Spaghetti Pie & Directing for Pepper Custom Baits

One of the most recent projects at Hoptocopter™ Films was a piece for Pepper Custom Baits (  This was one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever directed.  Justin & Gene Covello really helped us in every way we needed to produce the piece they asked for.  They told us their ideas AND listened to ours.  They planned and organized everything we needed them to do…on time or ahead of schedule.  We were given the space to be creative. They had the boats, pros, and location.  My job was to display their bass fishing baits in a way that would get people’s attention.

This shoot needed a small crew. We were out on boats, didn’t have cell reception, and we weren’t sure how long the long hours would be.  Picking a very flexible and competent crew was particularly important on this project.

Short (Carrington Schaeffer) was obviously on the crew list and did a fantastic job running the interviews and details.  I wanted an experienced time-lapse guy with the skills (not to mention equipment) to be the main camera operator when needed; I called Wade Yamaguchi of Yamo Films ( to fill those shoes.  James Drake of James Drake Films ( was the Director of Photography and the “everything” consultant.

On set, we had a RED Epic-M (, RED Scarlet (Yamo Films), Canon C300 (Hoptocopter™ Films), two 5d Mark IIs, almost every Canon lens you’d need, too many GoPros to count, a steadicam system (from, Wade’s timelapse gear, and every tool we’d need for media and backup media.  It’s stressful being on a shoot away from a store, cell reception, or internet, but we prepared to be set with everything we needed (backups to our backups in almost every way).

Our acting producer from Pepper Custom Baits, Justin Covello, had his eyes set on filming at Lake Powell in Hite, UT.  He drove us from Grand Junction, CO to Hite with fishing pros Fred “Boom Boom” Roumbanis ( and Tommy Jonovich (  We connected with Pepper Custom Baits’ Gene Covello and professional bass fisherman Josh Polfer ( at the trailers we called home for a night or two.  Sheila and Gene Covello made sure the crew was ALWAYS fed and therefor happy.  I’d never had Spaghetti pie, but as Justin promised, it was fantastic and more than worthy of seconds (and 3rds, and…).

A few things I learned from this shoot:

  • Telling a pro fisherman not to fish is nearly impossible.
  • Time lapse photography is nerve-wracking for a guy like me.  Wade left his gear in places all over Lake Powell knowing and trusting it was safe from all those thieves that run around Powell stealing camera gear…and he was right.
  • Spaghetti pie is awesome.
  • ALWAYS get a permit to film in national parks.
  • Lake Powell is lower than it used to be but is still beautiful.
  • “Stripers” (Striped Bass) make for great shots but don’t work for a bass fishing video because they’ll eat anything.

I called my friends Chase Martinez and Danny Odom of “Caged Friendship” to see if they’d score the music for the piece.  I got more than I could’ve asked for.  One night Danny stayed up with me past 5:00 AM tweaking the score to fit the vision of the film.  They killed it (in a good way), and it’s exactly what the spot needed.

I edited the piece with the Adobe Master Suite CS6.

The crew rocked.  The pros were patient and on their game.  Pepper Custom Baits was patient before, during, and after the shoot.  So this is the commercial we got out of it:


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2 Responses to Spaghetti Pie & Directing for Pepper Custom Baits

  1. Al says:

    It’s SO good!!

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