Moving Product Off the Shelf

Category — Pack Your Kit

What’s New @ Blackstone Edge Studios

As passionate filmmakers, we at Blackstone Edge Studios wanted to amend our website to feature some of our film clips and awards as a landing page! Now you don’t even have to go to the “tile” marked “Awards” at the bottom of the Home Page to see what Blackstone Edge Studios has garnered most recently.

BSE wins Gold Innovator Award from Summit International

BSE wins Gold Innovator Award from Summit International

We hope that more of clients present and future will make use of our talents as filmmakers and editors to promote their product in a unique way.

You’ll want to see this on device larger than your cell phone to get the full visual effect. We’ve highlighted a few of the clips with references to their original films or YouTube series, but others you will have to go a bit deeper into the site (click on YouTube tile, for instance) to discover their origins.



April 2, 2014   No Comments


One of BSE's most illustrious former assistants - Matthew Dae Smith

One of BSE’s most illustrious former assistants – Matthew Dae Smith

Blackstone Edge Studios has had a number of fine photo assistants over its long history, but none so illustrious and entertaining as Matthew Dae Smith, now of Lansing, Michigan. Matthew is a highly respect AP photographer, who was chosen to cover President Obama’s visit to Michigan recently.  You can also see him as the funniest of hosts on BSE’s Pack Your Kit hit YouTube series with over 100,000 hits worldwide about how pro photographers pack their gear. Kudos, Matthew!


February 8, 2014   No Comments

Blackstone Edge Studios Produces Eight Short Films

Philip Clayton-Thompson at his 16mm editing suite back in the day, where he edited the hit YouTube video "Heaviest Load"

I began my filmmaking career in the U.K. as a “Tea Boy,” making tea for the likes of Lindsay Anderson (If, O Lucky Man, Clockwork Orange), John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy) and Academy Award-Winning cinematographer Dougie Slocombe (The Lady Vanishes – both versions, and all the Indiana Jones films). They all said they I made a “smashing” cup of tea and they enjoyed the extra “bikkies” (cookies) I gave them.

FAST FORWARD TO 2012… Portland, Oregon, and Blackstone Edge Studios, the boutique ad agency I co-own with Donna Pizzi, where we’ve produced a number of YouTube videos, including the ever popular, which now enjoys over 91,000 hits worldwide. Even a decades old film, “The Heaviest Load,” which I directed and edited on the suite seen above, has garnered 200,000 hits in 90 days on YouTube. It gets, on an average, over 2,300+ hits a day.

Today, we’re producing eight short videos for BSEB to accompany a musical show. We’ll keep our readers posted about its debut when they are complete.

January 5, 2012   No Comments

Blackstone Edge Studios @ Work!

Studio A @ Blackstone Edge Studios

A 70′ trailer delivers a passel of windows & doors to Blackstone Edge Studios.  BSE goes into high gear, working to beat the clock without compromising quality.

Studio B @ Blackstone Edge Studios - Taken w/new I-Phone

Shooting product is just the first step in a bid to bring this large window & door company’s 2012 product to the market for its West Coast launch. We’ve been creating Hero Images all year long in preparation for this event.

The same camera that shot video for Pack Your Kit w/80,000 worldwide YouTube hits, also makes sales of windows & doors climb!

One window was so extraordinarily large that it took 6 people to maneuver it before the camera! Exciting times, lots of French pressed coffee, and a few laughs to keep us all going strong. A big thanks to our mid-West client and our talented team!!!

November 15, 2011   No Comments


Pack Your Kit wins Two EMPixx Gold Awards

Our hit YouTube series, which recently surpassed 65,000 hits worldwide has been garnering nothing but praise for the past year, with many, many requests for Blackstone Edge Studios to do another series. Winning two gold EMPixx awards for Pack Your Kit yesterday – especially when we were up against such big guns as CNN and BMW (with large budgets) – just underscores the excitement we’ve felt all along for this effort and those who participated in it.

I conceived this series after years of being on the road as a pro photographer and wondering how other pros packed their kits to make life easier. It was very gratifying to see the idea come to fruition under my direction.

Blackstone Edge Studios continues to use its expertise in various venues to promote such new clients as: Paul Schatz Furniture, The White House Collection, Inc., Trustile Doors of Colorado, and Associated Materials, Inc.

August 2, 2011   No Comments

BSE’s New Promo Card Series

New Promo Card Series features Matthew Dae Smith, star of Pack Your Kit, Pro AP Michigan photojournalist

Our former photo assistant, Matthew Dae Smith, who kept us laughing on the road for at least four years before he agreed to be the subject of our new promo card series for  Blackstone Edge Studios, is pictured here in a REAL print shop in Portland. This was probably the precursor for hiring him as our spokesperson for our hit YouTube series, “Pack Your Kit,” which recently reached 60,000 hits from around the world, including subscriptions from Malta, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Russia, Phillipines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Chile, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, to name but a few. If you haven’t visited the six part series, you’re in for a treat, as well as a visual travelogue of Portland, Oregon, and the professional gear of six of its top pro shooters. Matthew has gone on to become a successful AP photojournalist with clients such as Harley Davidson – out of his home state of Michigan.

Thanks, Matthew, for your uplifting spirit!

June 21, 2011   No Comments


Despite what you may think, one isn’t always awarded for being ahead of the curve.  I’ve been blessed and cursed with the ability to foresee trends and to act on them. Unfortunately, many of my greatest ideas have been tossed aside by the powers that be, because they couldn’t see what I saw, and didn’t want to risk following my vision.

You’ve probably seen the big hoopdelah about Traditional Home cozying up with the first webzine – Australia’s Lonny – to create TRADHOME – a totally online zine like the much more hip and very youthful Lonny Copycat Rue Magazine.

Well, about four years ago, we conceived a story idea “Garden Retreat” that was exclusively for an online magazine, using stills and videos to promote both product tie-ins and various hot and unknown designers, who would all decorate its interior in their way.

At a time when Garrison Hullinger was still working in retail, but was showing signs of breaking out as a designer, we asked him to host our online idea. We had a retreat – not a man’s cave – specifically built for women to get out of the house and find relaxation, creativity, and the lovely view of a garden. The building was constructed using product tie-ins, and was filmed and photo’d from the tear-down of an ugly tin storage unit on its site to  the entire building process. The retreat was designed to mimic the 1909 Craftsman home to which it belonged.

Garden Retreat Idea for ONLINE MAG by BSE - 4 years ago

Of all the many pitches we made regarding this idea, the only person who really GOT it was a woman at Country Home. She was really stoked about it and the concept began to make its way to the bigwigs in New York… when… Yep, you guessed it, the magazine downsized and she went to another corporate division at Meredith. Shortly thereafter, the entire magazine folded – ad sales were down because… Yep, you guessed it again, the world wide web was eating into magazine sales and therefore affected ad revenue.

Here’s a link to the entire site we created – with lots of videos and stills on the project… Enjoy perusing them all.

If we had just gone ahead and made our own webzine at that time, no doubt it would have been as successful as our You Tube series for professional photographers – which has gone around the world and back again – and is now approaching 50,000 hits in 1 year’s time.

Happy Anniversary to all those who participated in the idea that DID come to fruition, thanks to creating it ourselves.

BSE's Hit You Tube Series - Pack Your Kit - 50,000 hits

April 13, 2011   3 Comments


There was more than one Black Friday going on yesterday. Our Hit You Tube Series – Pack Your Kit – surpassed 20,000 hits, even though most Americans were at the mall, shopping. Subscriptions continue to roll in from around the world from pro photographers and wannabes. Recently, folks from Ecuador, Latvia, Poland, Thailand, Canada, U.K., etc. have subscribed to the series.

The Pack Your Kit Evite - Double Click to Enlarge

I conceived this idea after years of asking assistants what other pro photographers packed in their kits when going on the road. I was amazed at how readily Portland pros agreed to take part in my idea.  Documentary filmmaking, I should add, has been at the cornerstone of my career, having started out in the U.K., creating award-winning docos often shown on the BBC. An excerpt from my agi-prop film, “Tolmers, Begining or End?” was recently picked as footage for a BBC documentary on Darwin. It was also included in the Berlin Retrospective on squatting around the world.

Tolmers Poster - Shown on BBC - Featured in Berlin Retrospective on Worldwide Squatting

Thomas Boyd, a photojournalist for the Oregonian, has garnered the most hits, over 4,000.  When we re-edited the title page of all six episodes and trailer, the You Tube counts were lost, but the overall counts remain on our channel page (check it out).

We are very grateful for everyone’s participation, especially Matthew Dae Smith, our host, and for Philip Holahan’s contribution as Director of Photography. Well, let’s not forget the other photographers, Andy Batt, who loaned us his studio for the opening night party, Susan Seubert, Campbell Salgado, Lars Topelmann, and Holland Studios. Video editors, include Mikaela Works, Marshal Serna, and Donna.

Pack Your Kit Logo

The music was done by Steven Argila, an L.A. movie composer, who is appearing on the Tonight Show this week.

Thanks, one and all who have tuned in to make Blackstone Edge Studios’ Pack Your Kit a hit!

November 27, 2010   No Comments


Our You Tube series garners 15,000 hits worldwide- click to enlarge

Blackstone Edge Studios is delighted to announce that our You Tube series, Pack Your Kit, which debuted in late March, has garnered over 15,000 hits today in just 6 short months, with subscribers from around the world. Our latest subscriber hails from Israel, but the video has also found many fans in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Netherlands, Denmark, Russia, Australia, Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Phillippines, to name but a few.

If you haven’t yet seen the series, which features six professional photographers located in Portland, Oregon, discussing how they shoot, what gear they use, and kibbitzing humorously with our host, pro-shooter Matthew Dae Smith, then do take time to do so.  The series, which I produced and co-edited, is directed by Philip Clayton-Thompson, co-owner of Blackstone Edge Studios. Philip Holahan, the Director of Photography, hails from Los Angeles, where he has shot such series as “ER,” and “Boston Legal,” among others. LA Film Composer Steven Argila provided the music. There are also some great shots of our beautiful city, if you’ve never seen Portland. Watch all six along with the trailer! Everyone is raving… and asking for more.

September 30, 2010   1 Comment

Canon 5D Mark II Videos shot by Hollywood DP

We’ve talked a lot about our hit You Tube series in these pages, but we haven’t really addressed the cameras that we shot it on – namely, two Canon 5D Mark IIs.

DSLR Canon 5D Mark II - Pack Your Kit shoot with LA DP Philip Holahan

The DSLR Canon 5D Mark II is a versatile camera that shoots both stills and incredible HD video. The Canon 5D Mark II is very affordable, so much so that I have two of them – since one should always have a back up with any gear! Sometimes we find ourselves in the middle of nowhere, so better not to tempt fate by having only one.

If you haven’t watched Pack Your Kit in a while, you may want to take a fresh look at the 6 part series & trailer, which features such high profile Portland shooters as Thomas Boyd and Andy Batt. See if you can spot the changes we made during a recent re-editing foray to make each episode get in and get out more quickly… Let us know what you think, and be sure to leave comments on our You Tube channel:

July 22, 2010   1 Comment