As Panera post-production winds to an end I thought some of you might like to see how we did what we did. everything was built from scratch and done in camera. In the end, we made a :60, 4 :30's and this Behind the Scenes. Enjoy.
One of my favorite things about traveling for work is the jiuji academies I get to drop into. Today I visited Josh Griffith's Clockwork Jiu Jitsu Academy. I trained no-gi with a few dudes this morning, taking instruction from a really nice dude named Cisco. He mentioned he came up through the ranks at the Jungle Gym in the Bronx. The Jungle Gym has a great reputation and Cisco did well by his education. He showed a relatively simple, but very tight and technical butterfly guard sweep. This little fella seems a hair tricky to set up, but was really nice once the mechanics had been run through a few times. It's also necessary for your opponent to have one knee flat and, more importantly, one knee up.
No-gi Butterfly Guard Sweep
Pretty much in starting positon, with your butt flat on the ground, leaning forward into a butterfly guard position, slide into your opponent. One foot needs to go ankle-to-ankle with your opponent while you grab his ankle pulling them toward you. I'll finish this post soon, gotta scoot muh boot.
This week I'm in New York City's Lower East Side editing the Panera broadcast work we shot last month. We're editing a :60, 4 :30's and at some point, a behind the scenes video. We're fortunate enough to be staying at a solid hotel right around the corner from JUMP, our editing facility. On the way to the edit each morning we have the pleasure of passing a giant How & Nosm mural. Killer work homeslices, killer work.
Still in the shop. Still making a mess.
For my next act, I've designed a bench with concrete legs. Well, to do that, I need to build a mould to pour the concrete into. I chose to build a negative mould using 0.75" MDF board. The board itself is coated, but will more than likely be destroyed after the first casting without coating the boards with something to keep the water out. In this case, 2 coats of lacquer.
Concrete is strass under pressure, but brittle with any sort of flexing. So I used some foundation bolts and 16 gauge fencing for the internal structure that ended up buried in the mortar mix. The concrete sets in 24 hours and strengthens over time.
The bench top is 2" solid oak with cherry end caps. I have entirely decided how to finish the bench, probably just a few layers of polyurethane. The final piece weighs nearly 150 lbs. and measures 40"x16"x10", it will probably be finished with a few layers of polyurethane.
It's been a disorienting several weeks, spending the last three weeks in LA, a few days in Chicago, now off to Detroit for Christmas. The best thing about Detroit though is my Dad and his wood shop. I've taken a dramatic interest in creating things more permanent than TV spots. I've got large ambitions for the week ahead and have swiftly dug into my first project, cutting boards.
After designing the piece the first thing you do is select the wood you'd like to work with. Given that we mill our own wood, our boards also needed planing to a uniform height, which in this case was 0.5".
I was using multiple techniques to bond Oak, Cherry and Black Walnut. To get a perfect seam, the edges need to be run through a Joiner before anything else was done. Once the wood was Joined, several pieces were ran through a finger-joiner jog on the router. Everything got a generous coating of Gorilla glue prior to clamping.
Once everything was properly glued, all the little knots and holes and dents were fileld with wood putty and sanded like hell. Knowing the boards were going to be used with food, I opted for organic first-press coconut oil as a final sealer.
The final product turned out well and since we used hand-milled wood we had the opportunity to put a lot of character into the boards that would have otherwise not been possible.
So my sweet, sweet, super-hot girlfriend got here Friday to spend the weekend and help me explore the city. We've had some great food at Amarone and Tar + Roses, hung out in Santa Monica and made sure to spend plenty of time sleeping in. Not to mention an afternoon at the beautiful Getty Museum. They had a bunch of Rembrandt's work on display. Mother-Fuckin-Master-of-Light.
I can't really post anything specific, but I can tell you production is going swimmingly. These dudes are straight up geniuses. What I can post about is just how fantastic Santa Monica is. I'm running almost everyday before work, drawing and doodling most mornings and all sorts of other fun stuff. There's a ton of great found typography and street art and I even bumped shoulders with a palm tree overcoming the trials and tribulations of being born into some tough circumstances. There was even one crazy-huge car fire on the 405 one morning. Check it.
Today I embark on the largest broadcast production I've ever been involved in. Panera Bread bought 4 :30's, a :60 and we're creating a behind the scenes video to document the entire thing. The cool thing about this creative is that it's for great people trying to do good in the world. Panera came to us knowing who they were and simply needed a beautiful and poignant way to tell it. I couldn't be more proud to have a significant part in winning the business and relaunching a brand with such integrity.
We were in LA for call-backs last month, but are now back for the meat-and-potatoes of this bitch. The first stop is a three -week stint in LA with one week of fabrication approval and two week shoot. We'll be spending the first week at the Casa Del Mar, Hotel by the Sea. From there, we're on to the Mondrian in West Hollywood. CK is pretty strict when it comes to posting photos while on production, but I'll post something worth looking at soon.
Last week an opportunity came up to do a few posters for the Off The Street Club here in Chicago. The OTSC is a youth group organization that helps 3,000 kids a year find a safe and constructive use of their time. Every year the OTSC organizes a toy drive to help each of these children have a Christmas that might otherwise not exist.
Working with two good friends of mine here at CK, CW Rich Black and AD John McKenzie, we came up with a way to show just how simple the dreams of these children must be. Then I went to town on the illustrations.
I illustrated these with a really simple, graphic style and the texture ended up in a great place, here's a little detail.
This morning I had the pleasure of visiting Gracie Barra, Hollywood. I have been in LA for business since yesterday and really didn't want to lose the momentum I had going with training. The morning class was taught by a welcoming purple belt with two blue belts and a white belt to train with. We were doing some very basic throws when my knee scuffed across the ground and really, really aggravated it.
More importantly, while rolling with both blues, I drove right through there guard, mounting and sweeping without a lot of interference. I got swept a few rimes, but more out of courtesy, than getting out techniqued. When I was rolling with the white belt, I set up Ryan Hall's rolling back attack and went for it. Like a total newb I missed a detail and spoon fed homeboy my back. MY pride got a little in my way and I almost went out before I tapped. It was really fun to make such a huge mistake on someone else's turf. The instructor was watching and let me know exactly what I had done wrong, which was great. I had over-committed my leg and my opponent had his leg in the back of my knee, instead of the other way around. I'd love to dial in this move, it's really great and comes from a position i find myself in often.
I do have to say that the best part about training at GBH was the instructor waived the drop in fee, gave me a bottle of water and later texted me to see how I enjoyed my time. Class act guys, thanks for the roll!
Today I went to class and there was some sort of issue with who Isaac had lined up to teach and I was the highest rank. Typically, we would just have an open rolling session or just bail, but with the school in such a state of flux, I felt it important to give the guys some direction. Julian, a fellow blue belt helped me remember all of the detail on Issac's open guard pass recovering to 1st Position.
I warmed the guys up well and taught them the details of the open guard pass from yesterday. I was surprisingly impressed with myself and how many details I was able to show the guys. Class went extremely well and I was very proud of myself :)
Today Isaac ground us down to a pulp as usual, but we learned a really tight open guard pass. I appreciated the technique as well as the recovery to Position 1, Side Control. The image above should be two guys in their gis, but C'est la vie.
Choose this pass when you are standing, with your opponent on their back, feet on your hips. The first thing you do is grab their pants on the inside of the knees, gripping tightly with your elbows pressuring down on the inside of their shins. Squat down and get on the balls of your feet to protect yourself from being rolled or pushed and mounted.
Lean in ever so slightly to make them think extending their legs into you was their idea. When they push back, step a single foot back and force their knee to the ground, resting your fist on the ground inside their knee. Step over their leg, maintaining both grips. Your inside knee drops over their pinned leg trapping their leg between your toes and your knee which is now blocking their hip. Be sure to hold your grip and have your elbow under their shin raising it in the air. Your hip should be sitting on your foot and you should be laying on your opponents hips rendering them immobile.
Stretching their legs open will distract them from the pass completing to side control. To complete the pass, release your grip on the pinned knee and grab from the outside under their elbow and draw in the arm. Once this is secure, release the other grip and shoot your arm in for the under hook.
Lift the arm you picked at the elbow, sliding your knee through then switch your hips and recover to Position 1, Side Control.
Over the last few years, I've taken an interest in Halloween, specifically Halloween costumes. No reason in particular I suppose, but I have a few winners under my belt.
So this year I was looking to do the same. Enter my new beard. The beard I could never grow, but kind of always wanted. If one is so cool, well shit, 2 would be awesome. Anyways, mad props to the beard-trimmin'-berserker Jason Brady for slicing up a second place win in the annual CK Costume Contest.
So, here's the thing... Professor Isaac's pressure game is so tight and so technical, I can't imagine how great I'll be once I really accept my training and devote the proper time. Today Isaac showed an arm bar from mount that sets up multiple chokes along the way. All with really, really impressive pressure the entire time. I felt super-strong and capable rolling today, it was really exciting to feel back in somewhat of a groove.
Mounted Arm Bar
Start mounted on your opponent. Use a same-side grip to open the lapel and feed four finger inside the collar, punching your fist to the ground to establish base. From here, scoop their chin with your elbow, pressuring down. This will likely make them use the opposing arm to fend off the choke. This will leave their shoulder open for you to slide your knee up and drape their arm into your collar grip and across their throat. Stay heavy on the elbow to keep them in place.
From this position, reach across their throat forming a mounted cross choke. You can end here if threatened, but understand this is a transitional movement as your base is compromised with both of your hands tied up. If you'd like to end, place your head on the mat before scooping the collar grip, drawing your elbows to your side and arching your back to pressure into their throat.
To keep going, lean forward, bringing your foot around into S Mount. Professor Isaac prefers the heel under the elbow, but stressed the ability to finish from either position. Your butt should be over your heel with all of your weight on their stomach – perpendicular to their body. Use your free hand to scoop the arm you draped across their throat at the elbow. You can grab your own lapel to secure leverage. Lean your head toward their feet as your high knee now inches around their head. Now fall back, pinching your knees – never crossing your feet. To prevent escape attempts, loop your lower hand under their closest knee and draw in the slack.
Transition to Mounted Arm Triangle
This was an incredible transition. In fact, it even worked on a guy with a cinderblock for a head. I'll post the details when I get a minute.
Today I went to jits for the Sunday morning class, which starts at 10:30 and is usually over around 12:30. Professor Isaac wasn't able to make it, so we had a purple belt instructing. We did a lot of warm up, drills and finished class with Shark Tank from stand up. A Shark Tank is the term for a match the class observes with the winner staying in as long as, well... They remain the winner.
Since we didn't work any specific technique, I'd like to share a really slick triangle from one of my favorite black belts – Ryan Hall. Ryan is one of the black belts at 50/50 jiu jitsu in the metro D.C. area. We have a similar build and his intellect, temperament and patience are something I really aspire to incorporate into my training philosophy as much as possible. Watch the video below to see why. And if that doesn't convince you, watch his performance at Grappler's Quest against the talented (and much larger) Hermes Franca.
Today's class was actually really great. I think I'm already getting back up to speed on what it takes to keep up. We worked repetition and positional control. There were 6 of us, so here was the rough warm up. 15 minutes of running drills. 10x# of people (60) - jumping jacks, crunches, push ups, lunges, and squats. We then drilled 50 armbars and 50 triangles before working a mounted cross choke. By the way, shown above is an S-mounted Cross Choke. Similar, but not exactly what we worked.
Mounted Cross Choke – From mount position, base both hands above your opponents heads and slide your knees into their armpits to assume high-mount. Using a same-side grip, open the collar and gather a cross grip with your palm up, making a fist and punching it to the floor. Take your free hand and reach across their face and place it on the mat for support. Bring your head to the mat to replace the support cerated by your hand. Slide your elbow underneath their chin, and scoop as you bring a palm-down grip to their shoulder, grabbing the gi. Turn your wrists in (perpendicular to
After that I bounced between purple and white belts working position and rolling. I held ok against purple, but need to focus on maintaining stability in my base and staying heavy on top. The white belts were as fun as always to work whatever I wanted :)
Today in class, Professor Isaac went over the proper technique for a cross-choke. Maybe I was a little went behind the ears when I first learned this move, but the level of detail he showed was something that I've never see on the move before. After that, we learned a really solid defense and a counter to the defense. All in a good days work.
Cross Choke – With your opponent in guard, break their posture using your legs as well as giving the backsides of their elbows a tug. Using a same-side grip, open the lapel to allow a very deep cross grip – palm up. Turn your elbow underneath their chin to open the neck for a palm-up grip under your other hand. Now, bring them forward using your legs and as you do, punch the ceiling with your fists, this is a key detail and will allow for a significantly tighter choke.
- Honestly, not a ton. I hung in there, but was a bit of a rag doll.
- I felt weak today, logically being my first day back in 3+ months and hitting it 2 days in a row.
- I went to my back more than I should have, especially getting put there quickly by upper-level belts.
So today marks my first day back at Carlson gracie MMA since my 3+ month hiatus for marathon training. I ended up with the my most impressive marathon showing to date, but that still doesn't mean I'm in juji shape. Professor Isaac worked us tirelessly as usual. We went over what he called a "double fist throw", which seemed like a strangely colloquial moniker. Although quite a bit like the Seoi Nage throw pictured above, the throw is executed from the opposite side.
Double Fist Throw – From standing position with 50/50 grip, slide your grip from the elbow to the wrist. Release their collar and cup over the top of the wrist. As you look up, pull down in one motion to break the grip. From here, maintain wrist control and transition your top hand to grip the gi on their bicep.
You then move in a counter-intuitive motion, shooting their wrist above your head as you spin 180° with your foot straddling theirs as you load their weight on your hips before popping them skyward, drawing their hands toward you as they roll.
Recover to knee on belly.