Today we have the first post in a series we’re calling Featured In. Each installment will showcase a Pond5 media maker whose work has been used in notable productions. It’s always an exciting moment for our artists to see their work go out into the world, and we want to go behind-the-scenes and learn a bit more about that experience.
For this installment, we’re speaking with Randy McWilson (MovingImages), whose clip Tornado with Dark Stormclouds Timelapse was featured in Sharknado.
Randy McWilson is based near Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and created Moving Images Video Productions as the move to digital editing was beginning. In 2000 he was offered the opportunity to launch a media production program at the Cape Girardeau Career & Technology Centre, and has been teaching digital media, including most of the production tools of the Adobe family, for 14 years now.
Pond5 recently got a chance to ask Randy a few questions about the experience of seeing his footage in Sharknado and other productions:
What did you think the clip Tornado with Dark Stormclouds Timelapse would be used for when you originally filmed it?
As a businessman involved in stock media, I knew that rare and difficult-to-obtain footage can command premium prices and typically involves less competition. I have created a whole series of natural disaster footage to meet that need in our clientele. One always hopes that their work will be utilized by major producers and networks, and thankfully, many of mine have.
What was your reaction when you saw the clip in Sharknado?
As a teacher, you have a loose finger on the pulse of pop-culture vicariously through your students. I was impressed with the almost cult-like influence of the movie Sharknado. Once it hit the channels on my Roku HD box, I decided to see if it actually lived up to the buzz. I was completely shocked when I saw my tornado clip early on, and I was then especially stunned to see the same clip repeated no less than four more times in the B-movie. One of my students was so impressed, he bought me a Sharknado T-shirt. I can wear it as a strange badge of honor.
What other shots have you seen being used?
Over the years, I have been blessed to see my clips used across a wide spectrum of our industry. Everyone in stock remembers their “first.” I received a phone call from my oldest brother a few years ago. He reported seeing one of my popular hurricane clips on the History Channel. I have since seen my clips on the Discovery Channel, on shows such as Meteorite Men, series like Doomsday Bunkers, and recently had a clip used in the Hollywood blockbuster film, Total Recall with Colin Farrell. Creating stock media is much like putting creative messages in bottles, and casting them out to sea. You never know when and where they will be found and used by whom and for what. Since I create most of my clips in After Effects, I receive many requests from all over the world to do custom clips and animations for various independent film projects, some recently in Europe and Australia.