The Artisan Way

At Explore Media

We’re creators


And purveyors of fine artisan TV Ads, Branded Videos, and Motion Graphic Communications.

Like a fine wine or a favorite piece of handmade furniture, viewers will notice, will care, and will respond to a custom Explore Media Production.


We’re steeped in creativity. We’re crafters of beautiful images. And we take care of all the details so you can rest-easy knowing you’re working with professionals … who care.

Most video production companies are based on a technical model. The owner is also the “videographer.” Maybe they splurge on a producer to help with the shoot. Next the videographer switches hats to become editor and chief creative in post-production.

This model is technically able to capture video & audio, but why isn’t the target market super-engaged by the resulting video?

And why did you have to work so hard when you’re investing so much money?

Where’s the extra “umami” component of the production you’re tasked with marketing?

Our model’s a little different.

And is proven in every other commercial advertising market.

We have the knowledge and experience to collaborate with you on the big picture. you’re working with a team of professionals who, simply put, “get it.”

Our award-winning directors have the out-of-market experience to achieve creative shots and capture poignant talent performances everytime. Even when your creative calls for “real people.”

This idea involves more than just beautiful moving pictures. Our films are hand-crafted. A Director is an expert at storyboarding fluid movement and pre-planning the moments you notice and remember in top-notch productions.

If the creative calls for on-camera talent to tell a narrative story, rest easy. We use the best casting agents & services to personally find talent who fit your video or commercial advertising campaign.

A Director is experienced at pulling the extra emotion from a seemingly ambiguous scene.

At Explore Media, your personal relationship manager will walk beside you through the project from beginning to end, working on your behalf so the little creative details you notice in large productions always come through.

A production coordinator will handle all the telephone calls and scheduling logistics, arrange feeding and parking everyone during the shoot, so you have time to focus on what’s important. Your message.

During the edit, we search for custom narrators to become the voice of your organization.

Finding custom music or composers, combined with sound design, give your picture dimension & depth. And our expert color-correction & motion graphics team adds the extra fine touch to bring your project past the “local production” feel – giving you a seat at the table with any other organization in the country.

Deliver branded content that fits your needs, tells your story, and in a way that will influence your viewers to pause, take note, and respond.

Now that you see all the extra care and artisan touches that go into an Explore Media production, for a comparable price as our competitors, why wouldn’t you let Explore Media hand-craft your video?

Your Path.

Your Story.

Explore Media



Jeremy Pinckert is a Director of Brand Films and Commercials.  His work for Production Company Explore Media has won Tellys, Best in Show ADDYs, and an Emmy Award.  To discuss commercial advertising projects he is represented by Chicago-based Bow + Arrow Films.  You can follow him on Twitter @jeremypinckert,  LinkedIN, and see his commercial portfolio reel.










Explore Media Produces 4 Super Bowl Commercials

Did you checkout the Super Bowl game, and most importantly, watch the Super Bowl Commercials this year?  If so, you caught four tv ads produced by full-service video production company Explore Media for the exciting 2015 NFL championship between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots.

The narrative device for these latest Beacon Medical Group commercials was simple: we directed the actual physicians who already practice in traditional family doctor offices. This health care TV advertisement features over 20 providers who surprised us by being pretty darn good actors!  Aired in February 2015 as one of the Super Bowl Commercials.



How can you not want to get a mortgage with INOVA Credit Union when improv comedian Joe Anderson shows you his domesticated side?  This beautiful :30 advertisement was shot on Canon C300 on location in Northern Indiana on a perfectly even summer day.

Using improv actors Quinn Wilson from Chicago and Paul Schissler from New York City, this story was an original idea brought to us by the organizers of the Sunburst Race. Director Jeremy Pinckert storyboarded out the spot, and our team found the space and put together this little indie HD Commercial for a nickle and a dime. Special thanks to improv actors Quinn Wilson, Paul Schissler, Don Watts as Ray the Mascot, and Tony Marquete as Background Coffee Guy. Thanks to Brian from Onward Coworking, and Edgar & Dan from Beacon Marketing for procuring the hilarious little touches to the set design! Also special thanks to crew Jamieson, Julia & Steve for working for peanuts to make this little Super Bowl Commercial work so well!

Answer this question: what’s the most rewarding problem you ever solved at work? These OSMC Doctors had no trouble telling the stories behind their favorite cases in this Orthopaedic TV Advertisement.

Explore Media is a full-service HD video production company focused on creating handcrafted brand films and commercials. Think eye-catching, attention-grabbing, visual storytelling for your brand. We’re a team of Directors, Content Creators, Producers, Visual Curators, Post Production Editors, Videographers and Inspired Storytellers with the award-winning experience to make your brand film (let’s use this phrase instead of corporate video) a unique, successful creation. We believe ultimately in this core idea: video content is a brand’s most powerful marketing tool. And if you communicate your advertising message clearly, creatively, and in an aesthetically pleasing manner, your target market will respond in a positive way.

Top 3 Super Bowl Commercials

Here are our top three favorite Super Bowl commercials from this year’s Super Bowl! Tell us what your favorites were!



This guy is doing whatever it takes to keep the seat next to him empty. This is a hilarious ad from the winner of the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Contest!



BBDO, New York, continues their “You’re Not You When Your Hungry” campaign with a perfect blend of humor and nostalgia! Marcia Brady just isn’t herself; she’s a bit like Danny Trejo when she’s angry. Nothing that a Snickers can’t fix!



This ad had me tearing up! Anheuser-Busch’s “Lost Dog” ad features the famed Budweiser Clydesdales and their adorable canine companion from last years ad, “Puppy Love.”



Katlyn NessKatlyn Ness is the Production Coordinator for Explore Media, an award-winning digital video production company headquartered in South Bend, Indiana.  She blogs about the advertising, film and music industries as they relate to tv ads, web videos, industrial & commercial video, and branded films.

Drone Vs. Helicopter Aerial Footage: Top 5 Scenes for Each

So you’re a Director or Producer who trolls on Vimeo for creative ideas and inspiration.  After weeding through a gazillion time-lapse and steadicam videos, you’ve hit on a school of ridiculously beautiful aerial shots.  You keep telling your creative inner self, “We’re gonna find a place for this scene in a project!”  Then the perfect project rolls around, and you put the shot into the storyboards and base another 3-4 shots on this visual hook because the ideas is so awesome.  And you’re super stoked.  Then the Buzzkill happens:  your production manager calls and asks how exactly you intend to capture said beautiful aerial shots?  How will you shoot these shots in the allotted amount of time?  How on earth can they fit within the budget?  Will the FAA, insurance, and your client allow you to get the shots, especially when people on the ground are involved? See below for a montage of the footage we shot over the city of South Bend, Indiana in about 1.5 hours of fly time.

After asking these questions on the production above, I thought sharing what I learned, and making a list of the Top 5 Aerial Footage Situations to use either an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV is the less-sinister name than “Drone”) or a Helicopter, could be very useful for your future planning on film or commercial aerial video production.  After discussing the positives and negatives of each situation with noted aerial cinematographer Kevin Bryan, who flies a UAV Quadropter, an Octocopter, and also shoots aerials from Helicopters, we came up with this list:

Top 5 Scenarios to Use a UAV to Capture Aerial Video

  1. As a Narrative Device – When wanting to use camera movement to reveal your subject or an object.  These might include dramatic jibs from the ground up the side of a building, or flying from behind a row of skyscraper windows to reveal person looking out the window on the other side.
  2. Lower Altitudes or Through/Under Objects: If you’re wanting to shoot from lower-altitude, or track under a bridge or through branches in a park, a UAV provides beautiful and dramatic results.
  3. Dollies over Long Distance:  Want to follow a person walking down 100 feet of  sidewalk?  Want to make a dramatic dolly in or out of a scene? A UAV can accomplish this easily and without near the amount of crew and equipment normally required.
  4. 360 Degree Shots:  As Long as the Object is not so big the operator loses sight of the UAV, a Drone works perfectly to spin around objects, especially at lower altitudes.
  5. Smaller Budgets/More Time: When you have less budget and more time, a UAV is perfect.  They generally only cost between $2,000 – 4,000 per day for crew + equipment.  But treat this like any other big piece of equipment; changing locations and scenarios takes time.  A UAV can can only fly for about 4 minutes before having to change batteries, another hit on your AD’s schedule.  Other quirks like WiFi interference and Satellite availability make a UAV a more time-intensive option for aerial footage than a helicopter.



Top 5 Scenarios to use a Helicopter to Film Aerial Footage

  1. Higher Altitudes:  When needing panoramic shots of large areas like Cities, Scenic Vistas, or Events.
  2. Vehicle Scenes:  Following vehicles, tracking vehicles from the side, showing cars driving on a course or winding road.
  3. Heavier Camera Rigs – When your DP wants to capture using a RED or ARRI with bigger lenses.
  4. Long Distances – A good rule of thumb per UAV operator is if you are in a fixed position, a UAV can only go 1/4 mile before control starts to lag.  A Helicopter can fly much greater distances, pretty much until the pilot runs out of gas or you run out of card space or batteries.
  5. Bigger Budgets:  When you have more money and less time to spend on aerial footage, a helicopter is your best bet.  Normally a camera mounted to the helicopter (think any big-budget Hollywood action movie) uses a Cineflex, Tyler Mount, or Flex Cam and will start at $20,000.  The longer you shoot, the more that cost goes up.  A cheaper helicopter solution made more possible by Steadicam Gimbles like the MoVi or gStabi H14 technology, is for an operator to take the doors of a helicopter and use a gimble to shoot out the side.  This normally starts at around $5,000 and goes up per hour from there.  More expensive than a UAV, but far cheaper than a true mounted gimble.

For my recent production, we went with a Helicopter, shooting with a RED Epic and RED 17-50mm Lens in 5K, for a couple major reasons:

  •  We had a list of more than 10 locations spread out across a city area with a 15 mile radius. To shoot all of these shots with a Drone would easily take an entire 10 to 12 hour shoot day. We would’ve had to find a place to takeoff/land at each location, plus by spreading out the scenes across a full day, the lighting would not be optimal for each location. Using a helicopter we were able to shoot every scene in under 2 hours, right before dusk and sunset for optimal magic hour light.
  • Weight – We were filming in 5K on a RED Epic, so I definitely wanted to shoot using a Cine Lens.  Stepping down to a lightweight zoom would sacrifice quality, but to shoot with any Cine Zoom, the weight makes the camera front heavy, making it difficult to balance on a UAV’s gimble.  The weight of the RED with Zoom on the helicopter was a non-issue, making the use of a helicopter a no-brainer.

Our setup was perfect for our budget ($5,000 – 7500).  Kevin shot from the side of the helicopter (yes, doors were off yikes!) using a gStabi H14 Steadicam Gimble, while I sat in front and operated the Tilt/Pan function with a RC Controller and a monitor attached to the top.

My Director Controls - Slightly Easier than the Helicopter Control    Aerial Cinematographer Kevin Bryan

This gave me the ability as a Director to both critique the shots and do something about making them better, a win-win for any creative.  See below for the Full 4K resolution file, you can click to play but I would recommend downloading this file as it is around 600mb.

I hope these lists are good starting points for you when planning your next Aerial Footage Scene.  Look at each UAV vs. Helicopter choice as a case by case basis.  After going through the Top 5 Reasons to Shoot with a UAV or Helicopter above, make  sure you consult with local authorities and air traffic control to see which option they are most comfortable with you pursuing, as the local officials are going to ultimately be the ones who control which option you choose.  Good luck filming aerial footage!

NOTE: A hot topic for us commercial and video production folks lately has been Drone Aerial Legality.  Without going too far down the rabbit hole, in 2013 the FAA banned all commercial use of Drones for Photography.  Now, this hasn’t stopped drone operators from filming all kinds of beautiful footage, mostly because if they buy their camera personally (not through a business) and they keep under 300 feet they can be considered a “hobbyist.”

With the court system throwing out the last attempt the FAA made at actually prosecuting a Drone Cinematographer, and with Amazon & other companies pressuring the FAA to make clear rules regarding the use of commercial drones, the outlook for Drone Cinematography becoming legal again in the next couple of years is turning positive

Jeremy Pinckert is a Director of Brand Films and Commercials.  His work for Production Company Explore Media has won Tellys, Best in Show ADDYs, and an Emmy Award.  To discuss projects he is represented by Chicago-based Bow + Arrow Films.  You can follow him on Twitter @jeremypinckert,  LinkedIN, and see his commercial portfolio reel.

Super Bowl Teasers

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Super Bowl XLIX is only a week away and already advertisers have been teasing their big Super Bowl ads on the internet!


Ad agency, The Brooklyn Brothers, created the “Hyped for Halftime” campaign for Pepsi, in partnership with Comedy Central. Craig Robinson stars in a new three-part online comedy series.


This will be Snickers’ first Super Bowl spot since 2011. BBDO New York is continuing the “You’re Not You When Your Hungry” campaign with a Brady Bunch twist. Jan’s sister has become so grumpy she’s turned into Danny Trejo, angrily brushing her hair.


Newcastle is buying a regional Super Bowl spot this year and Aubrey Plaza’s sarcasm and lack of energy make her the world’s worst spokeswoman—or anti-spokeswoman.


Katlyn NessKatlyn Ness is the Production Coordinator for Explore Media, an award-winning digital video production company headquartered in South Bend, Indiana.  She blogs about the advertising, film and music industries as they relate to tv ads, web videos, industrial & commercial video, and branded films.


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