Farish Media has been a contributor to Shutterstock since 2011. Mason Farish, and his wife Regina launched their business in 1984 and shoot high-definition Hawaiian stock footage. Recently, Mason Farish took the time to answer questions as Shutterstock Footage’s Featured Contributor.
Shutterstock: How did you get started in video?
Mason Farish: I actually got my broadcast start in radio. One day in 1981, a video crew came in the studios and produced a video of me and several other jocks for a local music video show. After hamming it up a bit, I said, “Whoa, now this looks like what I should really be doing.” By 1983, I had my first official job in television programming at Cox Cablevision (now Time Warner) in Myrtle Beach, S.C. By 1987, I had opened a small studio in the area. I found out very early that an actual street-front physical address wasn’t as important as hustle and relationships. So within a year, I was working out of my home. I was very appreciative of keeping my overhead low and hiring talented contractors when I needed them.
Shutterstock: Tell us about your production company, Farish Media.
Mason Farish: In 1994, Regina and I moved to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. We evolved into the stock footage market over the years here in Hawaii. In 2006, when HD was becoming the new dominant format, we were asked to produce the new marketing videos for the Hawaii Island Visitors Bureau (HIVB). We negotiated a shared copyright venture for all the footage we shot. The project, lasting nearly a year, required a tremendous amount of shooting around the islands. It only made sense to use it in more ways than one – for our client and for our professional library. We haven’t looked back since. We started Farish Media – now a full-service HD video and audio production company that provides professional productions worldwide. We do still travel around the country on occasion for corporate work or just vacation.
In 2011, we produced a 13-episode weekly series entitled, “Salty Dog Sportfishing Hawai’i” which aired nationally on NBC Sports. We’ve worked on a wide spectrum of projects from major corporations on incentive trips to documentaries, including Neil Young’s “Living with War” documentary, and the Travel Channel’s “Sand Masters” series. Some of our stock footage has aired on the Weather Channel, Discovery Channel, and A+E Biography to name a few.
Shutterstock: How did you get started shooting aerial footage?
Mason Farish: My first aerial shoot was with the NBC Ironman crew the day after the Ironman World Championship here in Kona in October 2006. We had just been awarded the bid to produce marketing videos for the HIVB and I knew that I wanted to include high quality HD aerials of the island if possible. However, budget precluded the Visitors Bureau from being able to shoot aerials. So I came up with the idea to “timeshare” the helicopter that was already set up for NBC’s coverage of the Ironman World Championship. The equipment used was the new Sony 900 mounted inside a Gyron. We were in the air about 5 hours around Hawaii’s Big Island, capturing nearly the same amount of footage. We just kept rolling. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the experience. Over the years we’ve captured aerial footage for a number of resorts, golf courses and real estate developers in the area.
One of the most important characteristics of a good aerial clip is one that has purpose, has a variety of angles and, obviously, is smooth and steady. Other considerations are knowing where you’re going and planning the shot as best as possible, as it’s important to be economical with your time in the air. Sometimes the unplanned shots can work, too.
Shutterstock: What type of equipment have you used, and what are some of your favorite things to shoot?
Mason Farish: Some of our early stock footage was shot with an Ikegami tube camera. In 2006, we were the first company on the Island of Hawaii to invest into an HD camera with the Panasonic VariCam H Series, which shoots beautifully in 24, 30 and 60 fps. Today we still use the VariCam as well as the Sony NXCAM for sporting events. We also have a 5-camera GoPro package we use for fishing programs and underwater footage.
Some of my favorite things to shoot are aerials, especially the volcano area with its active lava flows and our beautiful valleys and waterfalls. Seeing new land literally being “born” right before your eyes is simply awe-inspiring – so much so it motivated us to produce our first independent short film entitled “On My Way to Pele,” an 8-minute visual journey of a man who dreams of soaring like a bird above the island of Hawai’i, and, in the process discovers Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of Volcano and Fire. Also, there’s nothing quite like swooping through our ancient “Valleys of the Kings” within mere feet of their sheer walls.
Shutterstock: Do you have any tips on producing stock footage for potential stock shooters?
Mason Farish: Yes, like anything, start doing it. Plan it, shoot it, analyze it, color-correct it, categorize it, stay organized and stay motivated to distribute it to someone who can manage and sell it for you – including an exceptional stock footage company like Shutterstock.