Blog

PRACTICAL makes films and videos that are the culmination of cameras, research, travel, sketchbooks, sleep, screen time, and running wild. Based out of Traverse City and Grand Rapids Michigan, we love sharing our work and process with those around the world.

Grand Rapids

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Deciding to open a second office 140 miles south of our first made a whole lot of sense to us. We've made that drive up and down US 131 about least 30 times a year for the past few years. Our team is split between Traverse City and Grand Rapids and we call both cities home.

We love expanding as artists with collaborators and clients. So in early 2017, we officially opened the doors to our office in downtown Grand Rapids. We've been really excited about the new people, companies, and projects we're gotten the opportunities to work with and can't wait for another year here in GR!

 

Best of 2017

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At the turn of the new year, we slow down and reflect on the past 12 months. Looking at it now, it's surprising to see how many projects we did, how much has happened, and how many big events we've started taking for granted that are, in fact, very new developments.

In 2017 Practical officially expanded from Traverse City to Grand Rapids and opened up an office downtown. We worked on a plethora of large, small, medium, and oddly shaped shoots. We produced two music videos, and came within inches of finishing a short film (announcement coming on that soon!).  Our team grew, it changed, and the list of people we really like working with got a lot longer.  It's been a great year, but also a growing year.

This year has been all about people. Meeting new friends in a new city and savoring the relationships that keep us loving Northern Michigan. We are incredibly thankful to do what we do and for the support of those around us. We look forward to the new clients, crew, talent, and non-stop adventures 2018 will bring us. 

But enough talk, here are our favorite images of some places, faces, spaces captured in last 12 months of chaos and collaboration. Thanks for being here. 

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See you in 2018!

 
 

Pushing

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written by Paul Genzink  -  Project Release  -  July 18, 2017

 
 

Post shoot errands are kind of my favorite. I’m an introvert, so the time alone after a week on set feels like heaven. While returning gear to rental houses, I started thinking about all the things we had just accomplished.

When writing the script there was always this tiny shred of doubt in my mind about being able to pull off filming scenes that will amount to literally a half-second the final edit. Things like someone sailing, or a rock climbing scene that requires a camera mounted at the top of a wall, or a young couple demoing their kitchen. When considering the work it takes to find the right people to fill roles, logistics for work like this, and not to mention the insurance and legal ramifications, it’s hard to resist the voice in your head that says, “this sounds kind of tough to pull off, you know what would be easier and probably still on message? [fill in the blank].”

Ironically enough I kept reminding myself of the words in the script that I had written: “It’s better to try and fail than not try at all.” Granted, I’m ripping off an old saying, but it served as a wonderful reminder throughout this process.

 
 
 
 

Pushing past the doubt, even when it’s based on a small slice of reality, is what helps me grow not only as a director but as a person as well. It’s really an exercise in trusting the team you’re surrounded by and your cumulative networks. If you never try, you’ll never know what you’re capable of, and if you never reach out, you’ll never know which one of your friends is friends with the guy who owns both rock climbing facilities in town and puts in a good word for you.

There were so many times during this process that I was ready to compromise my creative integrity because the puzzle pieces weren’t falling into place in an organized fashion. But I didn’t, we didn’t. Our team bought into the vision and worked their butts off and we came out the other side with only a few bruises.

And it worked.

 
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