Tag Archives: Polar Pro

My New Film “Force Touch” Is Streaming For Free


Force Touch is now streaming for FREE

Check out my latest short film “Force Touch”, shot entirely with the Varavon Birdycam Lite and the Panasonic GH4. Synopsis below:

When four friends discover a smartphone that takes pictures of the future, things go from bad to worse as their darkest secrets are revealed. Written, Shot & Directed by Rik Cordero. Produced by Arbor Day Pictures & Neutral Zone. Executive Produced by Nancy Mitchell.

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Photo Credit: Katie Alexis

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Photo Credit: Katie Alexis

The sold out screening at the historic Michigan Theater was a huge success. The power of independent storytelling, community and inspiration is a potent combo and it was evident from the positive feedback from the audience. A big thank you to our sponsors – Camera Mall, Aspen Mics and Polar Pro for the wonderful raffle gifts, Neutral Zone, Sunday Afternoon Pictures, YPSI24, our photographer Katie Alexis and our friend Jason Buchanan who conducted the interview below about the making of “Force Touch”.

I sense an influence from The Twilight Zone here. In particular, the episode “A Most Unusual Camera”, was that show an influence on you as a storyteller? Could you talk about some of your influences in writing and directing?

Yup that episode of the “Twilight Zone” was a major influence, especially with the voiceover narration that provides just enough exposition to pull you into the story. Charlie Brooker’s “Black Mirror” was also a strong influence as I wanted to explore the consequences of modern technology on a specific group of young people who aren’t very likeable. I imagined these characters had big dreams in college which never fully materialized. It’s like that weird time in your early 20’s when you’re not young enough to be dependent yet not old enough to be jaded by the grind.

My wife Nancy (Executive Producer of the film) and I, moved from New York City to Ann Arbor last July. We shot a ton of music videos and commercials during our time there but the work life balance sucked. Once we moved, the creative quality of our lives improved almost immediately through meeting many diverse folks with common interests.

With more time to focus on storytelling, I came up with the idea of “Force Touch” and my goal was to capture elements of the college culture here from an outsider’s point of view. I’m a college football fan but maybe not to the degree as some of my friends who have lived here their entire lives so I wanted to explore those emotions and how they would bounce off the characters in the story. Also Ann Arbor was a new canvas for me to employ a layer of sci-fi and technology which is another passion of mine.

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Photo Credit: Katie Alexis


Neutral Zone Promo video produced by Arbor Day Pictures

Can you expand on the role that the Neutral Zone played in producing the short? What was it like working with them?

I was introduced to Lori Roddy and Mary Moffett at Neutral Zone through Dug and Linh Song. After getting the tour of the facilities I was instantly inspired to contribute something to their video program that’s run by Alysha Schlundt-Bodien. Once we set our shoot dates, I reached out to Neutral Zone to help produce it. From our script rehearsals with the actors to camera assisting, lighting and sound, we provided some Neutral Zone Teens first hand experience with independent filmmaking. It was a tough shoot, especially since our first day landed on a major snowstorm but we made it through and hopefully some of the kids will stick with it.

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Force Touch pre production meeting at Neutral Zone, Ann Arbor

As a relatively new transplant to the area, what are your impressions of the local filmmaking scene? What do you like? Anything you wish you could find but haven’t?

I met the majority of our cast by participating in last year’s YPSI24 24 hour film competition and it was one of the best experiences I’ve had in a long time. There’s a special sense of camaradrie and collaboration here that’s been missing for awhile in New York City. It’s easy to stay busy in NYC but most video creatives including myself were often stuck hustling multiple gigs just to pay the bills. There’s a better work life balance here that’s very refreshing and reminds me about why I got into this business in the first place – to share stories and stay inspired.

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Photo Credit: Katie Alexis

Can you talk a little about your work with Duo Security?

Duo Security reflects a lot of why the Ann Arbor community is appealing to me. Our CEO Dug Song, Creative Director Pete Baker and Multimedia Specialist Martin Thoburn have embraced my thirst for living a creative life which motivates me to think about creative video solutions for Duo. Things like recruiting videos to brand awareness and case studies are not often big priorities at most tech companies but Duo is unlike any other company I’ve worked for. Our creative team can go toe to toe with some of the best creative agencies in any major city and it’s a testament to the forward thinking goals of the leadership here.

One thing that most filmmakers have in common when it comes to doing the corporate grind is – how much of my artistic integrity do I have to give up just to fit in? I’ve retained 100% of my artistic integrity since working here and that comes from having an office culture that doesn’t force you to conform to tradition.

My value at Duo may not have a direct measurement as someone in Sales or Engineering and while metrics and procedures are important, nothing is more valuable than offering up creative solutions that keep our street cred intact. There’s a reason why our website doesn’t look like an out of the box template or why our videos entertain some of the most successful tech people in the world. We must be doing something right.

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Photo Credit: Katie Alexis

Lastly, are there any video projects in development that you can talk about?

At Duo, I’m working on a huge marketing stunt called “Duo in Space” where we will launch a weather balloon equipped with a phone and prosthetic finger that will perform a Duo 2-Factor Authentication push from close to 120,000 feet above the earth. In my spare time, I’m sharing DIY techniques on my blog runplayback.com and building electric longboards with my crew A2ESK8.

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Photo Credit: Katie Alexis

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product information button runplayback Polar Pro Trippler 3-in-1 Tripod/Grip/Pole

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Varavon Birdycam Lite 3-Axis Camera Gimbal


product information button runplayback Panasonic GH4 4K Video Recording

Polar Pro Launches New GoPro Accessory Line – NAB 2015

Our NAB 2015 coverage begins with some brand new GoPro accessories from Polar Pro. Back at PhotoPlus Expo 2014, Polar Pro impressed us with their line of high quality filters, the Pro View and Power Pole and they continue their innovation by introducing even more professional-grade GoPro accessories. We checked out the StrapMount, which is a quick release mount that attaches a GoPro to any strap or backpack; the ProGrip, which offers a waterproof housing for GoPro batteries that can mount with the Strap Mount; the NoShow Extension Pole, a selfie stick that has an adjustable-angle arm to show less pole and more action; and the soon to be released Power Vault, a GoPro gear case that has an embedded 5200mAH battery which provides power for up to six charges.

We spoke with Polar Pro VP, Austen Butler for more information.

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StrapMount-GoPro BackPack/Scuba Mount

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ProGrip-Floating GoPro Grip

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NoShow-Waterproof GoPro Extension Pole

Polar Pro GoPro Frame 2.0 ND and Polarizer Filter Test Part 2

Last month we tested the Polar Pro GoPro ND and Polarizer filters over the Paterson Great Falls during overcast weather. This time, we decided to fly at Half Moon Bay in San Francisco during bright and sunny conditions. Again we noticed better shutter speed and ISO performance with the ND filter and better color saturation and reduced glare over water with the Polarizer. These are definite must have accessories for the GoPro.

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product information button runplayback Polar Pro Glass Neutral Density Filter for GoPro HERO3 and HERO3+

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product information button runplayback Polar Pro Glass Polarizer Filter for GoPro HERO3 and HERO3+

Polar Pro GoPro Frame 2.0 Neutral Density and Polarizer Filter Test

Back in October at the PhotoPlus Expo, we stopped by the Polar Pro booth to preview their latest Frame 2.0 Neutral Density and Polarizer Filters. We decided to test out these lightweight filters on the DJI Phantom Vision+ Quadcopter and GoPro HERO3+ with a flight over the historic Paterson Great Falls in Paterson New Jersey.

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The Polar Pro Neutral Density Filter was very easy to install with a secure push-in design that fits over the bare GoPro lens like a glove. Although the filter is made of lightweight glass, you may require a counterbalance depending on your drone gimbal. As seen in the video above, the Polar Pro ND Filter slowed down the shutter speed for more natural motion blur and eliminated the annoying GoPro rolling shutter and wobble. Additionally the ISO seemed to bump up a little more to reveal a more detailed image.

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According to our tests, the Polar Pro Polarizer immediately showed an improvement in color saturation and reduced some of the reflective glare over the water. There was also an improvement in overall sharpness and clarity which worked great for the overcast weather we were shooting in.

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The guys at Polar Pro are making some of the best GoPro accessories out there and we look forward to testing out the new Polar Pro Power Pole (a battery powered monopod with dual USB ports) next. Stay tuned!

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product information button runplayback Polar Pro Glass Neutral Density Filter for GoPro HERO3 and HERO3+

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product information button runplayback Polar Pro Glass Polarizer Filter for GoPro HERO3 and HERO3+

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product information button runplayback Polar Pro PowerPole Battery Integrated Pole for GoPro HERO Cameras

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product information button runplayback DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Quadcopter with Extra Battery Bundle

Polar Pro GoPro Accessories – PhotoPlus Expo 2014

PhotoPlus Expo 2014 coverage continues with some very cool GoPro accessories by Polar Pro. We checked out the Power Pole, which is a battery powered monopod with dual USB ports, the Pro View which doubles as both a GoPro grip and LCD viewfinder, and a whole range of high quality filters which are perfect for both aerial and underwater videography. I’ll definitely be picking up the Polar Pro Polarizer and Neutral Density Filter to control the glare and shutter speed on the HERO4.

We spoke with Polar Pro founder, Jeff Overall for more information.

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product information button runplaybackPolar Pro PowerPole Battery Integrated Pole for GoPro HERO Cameras

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product information button runplaybackPolar Pro Proview LCD For iPhone 5/5S

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product information button runplaybackPolar Pro Glass Neutral Density Filter for GoPro HERO3 and HERO3+

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product information button runplaybackPolar Pro Glass Polarizer Filter for GoPro HERO3 and HERO3+

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product information button runplayback GoPro HERO4 Black Edition 4K Video Action Camera