Liquid Assets MN: Ames Construction and C.S. McCrossan Lend a Helping Hand

left to right: AGC Safety Coordinator Dan Hannan, Ames Construction Superintendent Gene Haaland and Andrew Sullivan holding tripod and video camera

Question: How do you get a producer, videographer and 50,000 dollars worth of cameras and equipment onto a SUPER busy construction site for filming?

Or … for that matter …

Into a public sewer, manhole or pipe that could potentially contain deadly atmospheres?

Answer: You don’t …

You give handheld video cameras to trained BlueprintMN team members … who work in these environments everyday … and let them do the shooting!

Here’s the deal …

We can’t talk about Minnesota’s buried treasure; the thousands of miles of pipes and mains; the lifeblood of our Cities and Communities; with-out showing what this infrastructure looks like.

Nope …

For this documentary to REALLY connect with the general public, will mean that the partner team will need to SAFELY shoot as much B-roll of REAL water, sewer and storm infrastructure as we possibly can!

Now, in order to pull this off we needed some guidance AND a place to shoot …

So here’s what we did:

Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) set us up with video cameras that wouldn’t break the bank, if … say … we dropped them down a manhole or something. These camera’s are also compatible with the TPT editing environment.

(… I am holding one of these video cameras in the above picture- costs about 300 bucks or so)

Then, TPT held a 4 hour training session on how to use them.

And finally …

Associated General Contractors (AGC) put us in touch with Ames Construction and C.S. McCrossan who are currently tackling The Central Corridor Light Rail Project

(… this is the biggest construction project in the State btw)

It just so happened that Ames and McCrossan were in the middle of several digs where water, sewer and storm pipes were being exposed, removed, replaced or relocated …


So, we met with Superintendent Gene Haaland of Ames Construction and Safety Coordinator for AGC Dan Hannan, on University Ave in St. Paul near Hwy #280 … and then rolled camera!

We continued heading West, finally ending the shoot on Washington Ave near the Metro-dome.  We got 30 or so great clips of excavations, pipes, people and equipment!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

And if that’s true … we easily wrote an entire chapter here!

Thank-you Ames Construction, C.S. McCrossan and AGC for helping pull all of this together!


PS; If anyone else has an infrastructure project/s that you or our partners can shoot … let us know!

PPS; Been getting several requests about the kind of handheld camera we use and the quality of the footage. I will blog about that soon enough … maybe even include a clip or two … stay tuned 😉

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