Moving Images with Gnarly Bay — WistiaFest 2016

Dan Riordan


Gnarly Bay is a small yet mighty video production collective hidden in Westerly, RI. Since setting out into the wilderness of video 10+ years ago, they’ve created content for brands big and small. They’ve also made it a priority to set aside time for telling a few personal stories to keep creative fires burning. Gnarly Bay share some production anecdotes and cover how their gear and workflow have evolved over time.

In seventh grade when Dan Riordan and his partner started filming for fun, they discovered cameras were a portal for capturing the world and its stories in a magnificent way. Together they sought to find meaning through visuals. Spending time on video passion projects has energized Gnarly Bay’s other creative work and helped them grow their business.

The pair discussed how their passion projects converged with commercial jobs. For commercial jobs, they learned these projects required more planning. Typically, agencies look for people with unique storytelling styles aligning with their brand. Gnarly Bay goes into their production process from this point.

When clients reach out, Gnarly Bay will send out a new project form to keep the ball rolling and focus the beam. Clients will give a descriptions of their needs, deadlines, availability, and budget.

Next in the process, Gnarly Bay will work from a creative brief to cultivate an ultimate vision with a mood board. Music libraries and still images from all over the internet will help create a skeleton of the final creative.

The skeleton helps tell the story, but also informs shooting boards. Developing a shot list helps visualize exactly how the story will come to life, but hand drawn storyboards are also effective.

Gnarly Bay creates shot lists detailed with time of day, type of camera, casting, wardrobe, location scout, shoot schedule, rough cuts, color, audio mix, and mastering. Riordan says shot lists aren’t only effective for bigger projects, but also for smaller jobs, too.

Watch Gnarly Bay’s presentation to learn all about their moving images process.

Dan Riordan


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