HOLLYWOOD and NEW YORK - The leaders of creative production company National Television (NATL, www.natl.tv) are very proud to reveal their craftsmanship in creating a complete on-air promotional package for CMT's hit Saturday night reality TV series "Chainsaw Gang." Since debuting in November, the show has been featured by top news outlets, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Daily News and Huffington Post.
Airing on Saturdays at 10:00 and 10:30 p.m., ET/PT, the show follows artist Stacy Poitras, his Deadwood Tree Sculptures business in Agoura Hills, California, his colleagues, his girlfriend, and the surprising artistic creations they bring to life with their chainsaws. During the recent holidays, CMT ran "Chainsaw Gang" episodes back-to-back in numerous marathon sessions, to include the season one finale starring former "Dukes of Hazzard" star John Schneider. While fans await further word season two, the shows continue to air on CMT, and all episodes are also available on the network's website.
"We have a great relationship with CMT executives David Bennett and Leslie Legare, and they know we bring our A game to every project," said NATL's creative director Brumby Boylston. "The stars of this series use chainsaws in a unique way: They're artists, not lumberjacks or tree surgeons. To package and promote the show we focused on them… intercutting shallow depth of field portraits with them at work, chainsaws hurling debris in slow-motion. While it's built around watching a blank tree trunk become a distinct sculpture, it really conveys the cast's personalities."
To create the show's main title sequence and other promotional spots and elements, Boylston and NATL's crew made the trip to the Deadwood Tree Sculptures compound for a full day of shooting. Along with NATL executive producer Jared Libitsky, director of photography Andrew Shulkind and producers Josh Libitsky and Zach Wakefield, the company deployed two camera units. For principal photography, they chose a high-speed Red Epic system with Arri macro lenses mounted to a mobile jib, while a Canon D5 was used to quickly capture details and inserts. According to the filmmakers, the D5 was later moved to shoot elements and effects against a green-screen, and several HD GoPro units were affixed to motion-control time-lapse devices and mounted onto saws and cranes to provide additional motion elements for the tactile show package.
"Mainly we were focused on capturing beautiful, expressive portraits of the cast and amazing, balletic slow-motion footage of the carving," Boylston explained. "We arranged for the cast to have a sculpture in three separate stages, and we filmed them working on each phase of a project."