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Explore the work of Jonathan Chapman through featured locations.

New Man on Deck- Joseph McMahon Joins JCP!

With the vetting process over, we are psyched to announce and introduce Joseph McMahon as JCP’s Media Production Assistant. Much like all of those we collaborate with, Joseph will be wearing many-a-hat. While most of Joseph's energy will be focused on the motion side of our visuals, his role and creative ideas will flow into all of our projects in addition to the realm of post-production.

Having Joseph on board will further fuel our abilities and initiiatives. We are already planning an extended Instagram series as well as working to shed light on past visuals from our vault, work that has yet to be exhibited. This is his third week and Joseph has already taken part in two shoots and has been editing at full-steam. It's been a great start so far and we look forward to introducing you all to Joseph at the studio or on set in coming days. 

"My path to JCP is a long and windy road through retail, banking, personal side projects, and unique word of mouth introductions."  You can learn a little more about Joseph through the interview below.

A Conversation with Joseph McMahon as Interviewed by Charles Youel

What inspires you? In general, or just lately…

The thing that inspires me the most with film is when I feel like I am being treated like an adult. I love a film that doesn’t have characters explain to me what is happening in the film with exposition. My favorite storytelling comes from visual vignettes that connect together to explain a complicated plot structure that puts my brain to use and makes me think, “I never would have thought of doing that”.

How has what you do (photography and video) changed the way you look at the world?

Filmmaking has slowly and surely changed the way I look at the world. The longer I have been making films I think about how a moment in my day could be an interesting scene, how I would film it, and if my life was more interesting, how the scene should have evolved or ended. Most of my films started from me daydreaming about something that happened to me during the day.

I think the biggest part of a good filmmaker’s life is being interested in people and situations. So many times in my life friends get in conversations with a stranger and they wish they could get out of the conversation immediately and I want to spend the entire night listening to the stranger talk. Learning what makes someone tick is fodder for a good character in a film.

As a lover of visual language, I enjoy thinking about how to photograph any situation I am in. I have a philosophy that there is a good picture available in any space at any time. Most of the time I take a picture with my phone when I am in a situation where I imagine no one would think of taking a picture and trying to find something visually fascinating about that space.

Can you think of one event or happening in the past that led you toward photography/filmmaking?

As a child, you don’t really understand what makes a photograph, movie, or anything visual “good” or composed well. There are moments in my life where a film or photograph changed my thought pattern about what a film or photograph could be. Those moments made me obsessed with finding more films and photographs that did something new and interesting that I hadn’t seen before.

What actually led me to want to create images rather than just appreciating them was from my older brothers. My two brothers made movies when they were young with a Super 8 camera, made a video game with an Atari when I was growing up, and had me act in a few homemade movies. It was the most fun I have ever had and the energy in the process of idea, writing, planning, production, editing, and final product was when I knew I would be making films the rest of my life.

Tell me about your favorite place in the world.

Thinking about this question made me laugh because I thought about all of the cool places I love to go but in reality I love being in a creative area where I can feel completely comfortable. My favorite place is wherever there is a safe space to plan my next project with friends or by myself in my apartment sitting on the couch with my laptop and zoning out to music thinking about the next sentence to write in a script.

What sets your work apart?

No matter what part of the process I am working on (Editing, filming, directing, writing, ideation) I want to bring the audience into the narrative or experimental work by peaking their interests and fulfilling that interest with what they didn’t expect but still with what makes logical sense.  A project I directed and produced for the band "Squares" was showcased and featured by City Pages as one of the 10 best videos of 2014.

Describe some of your little-known talents.

I can do a killer karaoke version of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. And when I say “killer” I mean that you will be entertained by the chaos and not by the amazing voice.

I don’t have a lot of times to showcase it, but if someone puts on Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, I can bust a pretty serious move.

What are people most surprised to learn about you?

This is an easy one. When I tell people that I made a full length rap album when I was 19, they don’t believe me.

McDonald’s | Around the world

The man in black once sang "I've been everywhere" and how true it is with our on-going travels for McDonald's.  In previous posts we've recounted our tales of far off lands including our neighbor to the North, the exotic far East, and the land down under to name a few.   After the latest globe trotting adventure for the golden arches, we certainly added a few pins to the map as we worked our way through Europe and the UK.  There is something special about travel and its uncanny ability to freeze time.  Night becomes day and day becomes night with the time zone changes and immediate insertion into another culture and way of life.

With our first stop in Hamburg, Germany, we kicked off the tour in full force and set the pace for the rest of our time abroad.  The shoot days were occupied with a nice mix of working from a designated shot list as well as gathering spontaneous, impromptu moments that have become one of our signature trademarks.  In lieu of air travel from Hamburg to Munich, we opted for the EIS high speed rail service to reach our second city destination.  The train has long been a favorite way to reach point B and it allowed us to see the countryside that only rail travel allows for.  Munich was incredibly beautiful and busy with all of the Oktoberfest revelers in full traditional Bavarian dress.  We even managed to take time out one evening to put back a beer stein or two, experiencing the festivities first hand.  How is that for mixing work and play?  It's not everyday your shoot ends with an evening of entertainment with Oktoberfest as the backdrop.

The next leg of the journey landed us in the heart of Catalunya - Barcelona, Spain.  We had one shoot day here near the Plaza de Catalunya, which sits at the top of the famous Las Ramblas.  The city of Barcelona is rich with culture, art everywhere, and threads of history as intertwined as the spaghetti of narrow streets themselves.  Although our time was limited in this city we captured a myriad of great imagery and met a lot of wonderful Catalunyans in the process.

The flight from Spain to Manchester went quickly and once again we found ourselves in another culture, another landscape.  The focus point for our first day in the UK was the home of the Beatles - Liverpool.  Often the subjects we profile are everyday people stopping in for a beverage or a bite to eat that can spare five minutes of their time to be a part of our shoot.  We always meet interesting people from all walks of life and with the added personalities of our local production assistants we walk away with great stories and a slew of memories from each destination.  The UK adventure began in the northwest and brought us south to our second shoot city in Wales and back up to the greater London area for our final day of the photo shoot.  All in all, not a bad way to spend nearly two weeks on tour, creating another visual library of still and motion assets for McDonald's.

Enjoy a few of our favorite still images from the Euro tour and look for the upcoming video reveal down the road.

Acura Style | “Perfect Match”

"Perfect Match, Minnesota Photographer Jonathan Chapman Takes A Fresh Look At The Sport of Kings..." 

So goes the title and intro to a visual profile featured in Acura's "Style" magazine.  The story highlights a collection of JCP images that showcase the sport of polo.  The creative director from Acura's quarterly magazine reached out earlier this year inquiring about a collection of work we had produced highlighting the sport of polo.  In addition to licensing several of the images, they interviewed myself about my process and approach to shooting. It's always a welcomed compliment to have your work picked up for placement and acknowledgement of one's craft in a venue such as this.  In a world of all things digital, it's sweet to see one's work in print.  Even sweeter paried with a brand such as Acura.

JEEP | Hana Highway, Maui

Set amid the wilderness and remote mountain terrain, Maui's Hana Highway was an ideal landscape to document a thrilling "day in the life" journey of two young, intrepid travelers.  This spec. commercial showcases the Jeep Wrangler's trailblazing spirit against a backdrop as unique and thrilling as the Jeep itself. 

Produced and shot this past spring, this project came to life through support and collaboration with Matthew Slimmer and Maui's, Hana Productions.  Hawaii, and Maui's Hana Highway in particular could not have offered a more visual backdrop for this story; an homage of sorts honoring the adventurous nature surrounding the Wrangler Unlimited and iconic Jeep brand.

Directed by Jonathan Chapman / JCP
Producer - Matthew Slimmer
Edit - Quenna Rae Gregorio
Director of Photography - Jonathan Chapman
2nd Camera / Movi operator - George Russell
Production Support / Assistant Camera - John Fontana
Production Assistant - Barton Hrast
Talent - Kelly Gillet-Shinn / Kenneth McNickle
Location Scouting / Production Logisitics - Hana Productions
Hair / Make-up - Camille Kozuki
Audio - "Orchestral 212" by Asche & Spencer

JCP Vol. 3 Promo

Proofs have arrived and are looking mighty sweet.  Vol. 3 of the JCP promo is underway and will be hitting a broad range of national and international mailboxes over the next few weeks.  Stay tuned, this is our finest to date thanks to the design work of Eight Hour Day and wordsmithing copy talents of Carolyn Petrie

Behind The Lens - Minneapolis, MN “Adidas”

We are proud to release the latest episode of our Behind the Lens series, "Adidas - Minneapolis, Minnesota".  This 3rd installment offers a detailed look at the making of the spec. / test project, "Adidas: Head to Head."  The project showcases a literal “head to head” match-up of two rising stars in the world of table-tennis.

Collaboration has never been more of a key element in the creative industry.  Working on this production, our most elaborate test shoot to date, we tapped some of Minneapolis’ most talented production partners for a fast-paced evening of action sports capture.  This Behind the Len’s episode offers a glimpse into life on set shooting and producing visuals, as well as the key developments in post-production through editing, music and sound design. 

A common reaction to our Behind The Lens videos is that people don't realize just how much support and behind the scenes manpower goes into creating a project on this scale.

The episode was shot and edited by Nathaniel Schmidt, view the full list of cast and crew below and keep an eye out for some of them in the video.

Produced and Directed by Jonathan Chapman / JCP


Production - Bobbi Peacock


Assistant to Producer - John Fontana
Edit - Nathaniel Schmidt


Assistant Director - Tony Franklin
Director of Photography - Alex Horner
Aerial Photography - Picture Factory
Second Camera - Eric Schleicher


First A/C - Jules Ameel
Talent - Ahmed Zain / Henry Klaverkamp
Behind the Scenes - Nathaniel Schmidt / Bill Hickey
Art Department / Props / Wardrobe - Alison Hoekstra

Lighting - Michael Handley / Tasty Lighting Supply
Location Scout - Anne Healy 


Production Assistant - Angie Marasco
Production Assistant - Nicole Klein
Production Assistant - Jaclyn Greeman
Color Grading - Jonathan Chapman
Original Music - Nick Mihalevich / Cape Status
Behind the Lens Music Track - Egg Music
Foley Artist - Nick Leisenheimer

Purina Pro Plan | In Motion

In our previous post, Purina Pro Plan | Santa Barbara, we shared a selection of  still images from our production for Purina and Colle+McVoy out on the coast of Southern California.  The following offers a motion based "day in the life" look, highlighting the sights, sounds, and overall competitive spirit that make up a dog show.

While we have shot at a number of dog shows across the country for the Purina Pro Plan brand, this was the first production where video capture was requested and added to the scope of our objectives.  Capturing motion visuals was certainly a natural pairing considering the subject matter and location.  Offering a behind the scenes look, this JCP Director's edit showcases nearly every aspect from early morning preparation, through the final hours when ribbons and trophies are passed out for the top prize, best in show.

For the role of DP / Director of Photography we were lucky to once again secure Ray Tsang of Stillmotion out of Portland, Oregon to capture the motion elements of this production.  We had a great experience working with Ray on a similarly fast-paced shoot for Target's C-9 brand, jockeying shots amid the harried streets of San Francisco. 

This project for Purina was a truly unique opportunity for our production team.  The possibilities are endless when there is a mix of creativity and visuals to tell the story in front of us.  Ideas were bounced around and imagery was shared in real time, inspiring us all to push the boundaries of what the agency and team at Colle+McVoy had assembled as our shot list.  Creative Director Derek Till kept us on the move, checking off his list of breeds to capture as every hour meant a new set of contenders in the arena.

Thanks to all agency, client, and crew members for helping bring this to life.  It's projects like this that underscore the excitement of creative collaboration.  Enjoy a few moments of what our experience looked like, through the lens, at the Purina Pro Plan dog show.

Purina Pro Plan | Santa Barbara

There’s no doubt that Santa Barbara is a city that is historically rich as well as visually one of California’s finest places to spend time living, or in our case on location shooting. The city has been host to top tier dog shows since 1919, when the city's first took place in the Palm Ring of the Belvedere Hotel.  The times may have changed but the dogs are still prestigious and continue to rank as some of the best in the world.

We spent a weekend last August capturing imagery for Purina and their “Pro Plan” line via Colle+McVoy at the Santa Barbara Kennel Club show.  It was a display of the best of the best competing for top rank in their respective categories.  Groomed to the nines, these canine paragons put on quite a show, with no shortage of visual energy to spend time capturing over the course of the two-day event.

We have shot a number of similar projects for Purina and this was the first where video was added as an element of our production and workflow.  We plan to share the director’s cut in a future post, offering a deeper look of life in the arena as well as how our spontaneous style of shooting was such a compliment to a fast paced project of this nature.

This week kicks off a 5 city tour to include Brooklyn, NY, New Orleans, LA, Denver, CO, Napa City, CA, and Detroit, MI.  This will be one of our most varied productions as far as multiple stops for a single project.  Spring is on and we are looking forward to life on the move, connecting with past as well as new prodution crew and talent in each of these markets.

PDN’s Photo Annual 2014

Proud to grace the pages of Photo District New's 2014 Photo Annual.  Image selected features Highway 1's Bixby Bridge, shot amid last summer's tour up the Pacific Coast Hwy from Los Angeles to San Francisco.  Thanks PDN!

El Bosque | Vol. 2 | A Cinematic Narrative

El Bosque is a personal project, a story of a man exploring and contemplating life amid the woods of Central Park.

As is typical of most personal projects, El Bosque came to life taking varied turns at each stage beginning with the morning hours shooting stills and video, as described in the Vol. 1 post.  After my return to Minneapolis the project continued to evolve throughout the post-production process.  Edited by Nathaniel Schmidt, the wide screen / split screen format offered a unique, less conventional style for combining shots and imagery.  Once visuals were in place, we asked copywriter Charles Youel for insight and support in crafting words that might ultimately be read as voiceover.  Charles offered the following thoughts after one of our first visits:

When we first met to watch the film, I think I mentioned that my instinct was to use a quote. There are a number of reasons for that. One, I think that using a quote will help keep the film from feeling like an ad — it lends a certain sincerity and gravity. I also think there's a timeless quality to the scenes, in that they feel like they could be happening almost any time during the past 40-50 years.

In response Charles suggested the writings of Henry David Thoreau, which matched up well with eloquent passages from a bygone era that still have relevance in our time.  The voice was destined to be one of wisdom and age looking back on a youthful, less obvious time.

We opted to try a voiceover read of Thoreau’s passages in both English and Spanish.  As you’ll note we went with the latter as it seemed to fit well with the visuals and ended up as a nod to Jason Hurt (the film’s subject) and his grandparent's latino lineage.  

Enjoy the cinematic narrative, losing yourself to the rhythms of Thoreau in Spanish.