A Bit of Austin in Beverly Hills

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Beverly Hills Film Festival. Below is an excerpt about the experience from my Expressions in Video Blog.

I missed the first email. I’m not sure how. So, when I saw the second email telling me that my short film, “Smoke & Mirrors,” had been accepted into the 17th Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival, I realized I was almost out of time to respond.

So, respond I did.

First I called the actress and writer of the film, Mary Anzalone, to give her the good news. Then I filled out the required material to confirm our attendance and got it sent back to the festival on time. Barely.

Note to self. Check email more carefully.

Austin to LAX

I flew out of Austin in the early hours on the Friday morning before our Saturday night screening. Fueled by coffee and Maudie’s breakfast tacos, I managed to get some writing done on the plane.

I hit LA by 10 am, got the rental car, had a series of meetings and then headed to the hotel.

The official hotel for the festival was the Hollywood Roosevelt. So, hey. I had to stay there. If being the official hotel of the festival isn’t enough of a reason to stay at the Roosevelt, then you could also add the fact that Errol Flynn drummed up his famous recipe for bootleg gin in a big tub in the hotel’s barber shop.

At least that’s the rumor.

If it’s good enough for Errol Flynn then it’s good enough for me.

Read the full article at Expressions In Video.

Changing Lives One Drop at a Time

I recently co-directed this TV spot for Texan Allergy. We had an awesome crew, an awesome cast and stellar locations in Austin, Texas. Working with the wonderful folks at 360 Studios and my creative partner Zane Rutledge, we were able to add a little magic with lens flare, slow motion and plenty of bubbles.

The spot won two Telly Awards.

2016 Bronze Award: Texan Allergy – Commercial – Regional TV & Multi-Market Cable – Pharmaceuticals

2016 Bronze Award: Texan Allergy – Commercial – Regional TV & Multi-Market Cable – Videography / Cinematography

Art of Collaboration Part Two

Client Collaboration

Here is another post that originally wrote for our company site Expressions in Video.

I mentioned in the last blog post that Expressions in Video has many creative partners. But there is one creative partner that I didn’t mention: the client. As an Austin video production company tasked with bringing ideas to life, we work with many talented people. These talented people include cinematographers, set designers, storyboard artists and many others. But the client is an important artistic collaborator as well. So, let’s discuss production and client collaboration.

Sometimes the client has simply a brushstroke of an idea, and sometimes the client has an entire script prepared. But more often than not, it’s somewhere in between both of those extremes. Either way, it is up to the team at Expressions in Video to take those ideas and translate them into images.

Our recent shoot at Dell Diamond, the home of The Round Rock Express, is a perfect example of this client collaboration.

Our task for this shoot was to create a high-energy sports commercial. Our first step, as always, was to meet with the client and discuss their ideas. In this case, the client had really done his homework. He knew his audience and he knew the type of commercial he wanted. It was our job to take the ideas in his head and turn them into beautiful shots and a compelling edit. Which leads us to step two. We knew we were going to shoot at Dell Diamond, so we met the client at the ballpark and walked through all of the possible locations, including the ball field, the locker room, the weight room and the batting cage. We discussed what time of day we would be shooting, the location of the sun and, in general, all of the logistics as well as the possible shots. Step three is to then have a detailed conversation with the client, asking him to describe the commercial, as he sees it. The bottom line is that we have to see that same commercial in our heads before we shoot.

Here is a small taste of some of the shots.


Finally, we allow the whole team to put in their input. In this case, I was co-producing and co-directing with my long time collaborator, Zane Rutledge. Zane and I talk over the shots and decide how we want to tackle them the day of the shoot. We then discuss the shot list with First Assistant Director, Merle Bertrand, and with Director of Photography, Andrew Barrera. They also give their input on schedule, style and execution.

I’m happy to say we shot an immense amount of wonderful footage and covered all of the needed shots in a variety of ways. We shot with two cameras – the Red Epic and the Red Scarlet. Shooting with the Red Epic gave us the ability to shoot at a variety of slow motion speeds.

When it was all said and done we created a fast-paced, high-energy commercial that we are all proud of. And one of our key collaborators… was the client. And that’s how it should be.

For more information on Austin video production contact us at info@expressionsinvideo.com.

The Art of Collaboration

Here is a piece that I originally wrote for our company site, Expressions in Video. I thought I would share it here also.

The Art of Collaboration: Ideas

Expressions in Video has many creative partners. If you read our blog, you know that we work a lot with Zane Rutledge at ZaneTV. We also work with BW Films and Writing and Shooting. There are great DPs that we hire on a regular basis, including Tom Hennig and Andrew Barrera of 360 Studios and Vance Holmes.

As a producer, writer and director, I love collaborating with other artists. I recently finished co-writing a script with Machete writer, Alvaro Rodriguez. The reason I love the collaboration process is simple. It works. It makes the creative process better. It makes the end result better.

The first rule of collaboration is “ideas can come from anyone and anywhere.” Take for example this commercial that I co-directed with Zane Rutledge for Carino’s Italian:

The original idea came from one of the waitresses at Carino’s. Carino’s liked the idea and pitched it to Zane and myself. We also loved the idea and then had to figure out the best way to execute it. We did a series of test shoots and finally discovered the best way to bring this idea to life. This opening shot is actually a combination of shots. We shot our actor in slow motion with a Red Epic. We then shot various shots of the plate of spaghetti. Then a series of slow motion shots of falling grated cheese. With the magic of post production, we put the whole thing together and brought the idea to life. In fact, the commercial was so successful it was mentioned in a NY Times blog.

It was collaboration that made this Austin video production of the Carino’s “Let it Snow” commercial a success. I’ll post more on the collaborations of our feature films, TV commercials and other video productions in the future. Thanks for reading!

– Jeff Stolhand

Music Video with Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars

We had a blast shooting this music video for Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars. Production took place at the old “Lonesome Dove” set and featured Gary P. Nunn.  The production consisted of a two day shoot, utilizing our Red Scarlet and two Canon 7Ds.

Animation for Dale Carnegie


Here’s a fun animation that I worked on with Zane Rutledge of ZaneTV.  My company,  Expressions in Video, provided writing, lip syncing and post services for this and several other animations for the Dale Carnegie Institute (via Simply Interactive).


Protect Eddie


Here’s a fun piece written by Zane Rutledge and Jeff Stolhand for Dell and BW Films.  With classic voice over by Rolf Saxon juxtaposed to the goofy “geek-culture” animation by Zane Rutledge, this corporate video achieves delivering its message with amusing charm.


Leaving Montana Music Video












I had a blast editing this cool music video for Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars.  The project was shot on location in Montana and the post was done in Austin at Austin video production company Expressions in Video.

Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars
“Leaving Montana”
Cd: Leaving Montana
Warehouse Records, LLC
Writer: Tess Williams
Editor: Jeff Stolhand at Expressions in Video – Austin, Texas

“ALICE: Madness Returns” Movie Trailer











My partners at MadHatterCollective just cranked out this awesome video.

Mad Hatter Collective production
starring Jennymarie Jemison as Alice
produced & shot by R. Zane Rutledge and Gray Haddock
director of photography Paul Gandersman
visual fx by ZaneFX
inspired by American McGee’s Alice
music carved from tracks by Chris Vrenna
conceived and directed by R. Zane Rutledge


Master of the Game

I recently added a “Master of the Game” photo gallery to the photo section of the website.  It was about this time of year when we shot “Master of the Game” at the Austin Studios, so it just got me thinking about the project.  I always thought it was a good example of how indie filmmaking can reach around the world..  After all, a movie starring an actor from Turkey… another actor from Amsterdam… directed by a guy from the Midwest… with a story that takes place in Germany… and the entire film is shot in Texas… I just think that’s kinda cool.


Post production for the film was completed at Austin Video Production company Expressions in Video.