Since apprenticing with Steve Carmichael
at Radiant3 Productions
in Atlanta, Georgia in 2012, Film Connection graduate Steven Pitts has gone on to become part of the Atlanta-based Rite Media Group collective, serving as director, 2nd Unit Director and cameraman on a wide range of projects. This past summer, Pitts directed projects for two national clients: a commercial spot for Coca-Cola and The Weather Channel app for Android smartphones.
Looking at the Rite Media Group website
, it’s easy to see from the fresh energy in their work that something unique is happening there. This made us curious to find out a bit more, so we called Steven for a chat!
RRF: How did you meet up with the other people who became Rite Media Group?
We all came together very organically. Basically, the two founders of the company started it in 2010, just loosely doing music videos. One of them is an artist, and the other one is a music producer, so they were [originally] working together musically. Then they were like, “We need some visuals to go along with this,” so they started shooting stuff and met one of our other core members that started it, Colin Quinn. He’s our Director of Photography and our editor, and he’s insane at what he does. I met him, and we started shooting a few projects here and there.”
RRF: It seems like there isn’t much ego or friction with the group you’re a part of. Is that what happens when everyone’s just focused on the work and has the skills they need?
And even if they don’t, they’re eager and willing to listen. [With] people that are new on set, I feel like 80% of it is just paying attention to what’s going on around you. If you have people that are willing and eager and ready, even if they’re not so experienced or knowledgeable, it still can turn a great product. It helps if they’re artistic, too. Another element that helps [us] too is that we’re all best friends, so when it comes to helping each other finish what we started and what we came out to do, we all will pitch in hands and eliminate the hierarchy that’s on set. I’m not opposed to helping the guys unload a truck at the end of the day after I’m directing and I have no right or reason to do it but I see my best friend still working and I’m done for the day so, I’ll help them carry some gear inside. The same thing with everybody, you know?
RRF: Do you have any pet projects you’re working on?
Actually, one thing that I think is pretty huge is we’ve developed our own lights that we call the “Rite Lites.” … They’re basically high output LEDs that we think are going to revolutionize the film set, especially the indie world, because we’re able to get the same amount of light as big expensive lights…We’re in the process of patenting the housing for them. They are prototypes right now, but we have a full variety, and we’ve actually lit an entire feature film with them. We didn’t use a single incandescent light at all, they’re all LEDs. So far I think we’ve shot four music videos with them since we’ve been back from the feature, and we lit Bill Clinton with them.
RRF: Wow. Did you film Clinton?
We didn’t film him, we just lit him. He was giving a speech for the elections we just had recently, and he was speaking on behalf of a Georgia potential congresswoman…I went there the night before and helped set up lights. We lit basically for the camera crews and for the event there.
RRF: You apprenticed with Steven Carmichael at Radiant3. What was your experience like with him and the Film Connection?
It was great. He’s definitely a wealth of knowledge. I learned a lot…. I’d been working for a TV show as a field producer, but it was reality style, and I didn’t have a broad knowledge of what I wanted to know. I was always wanting to direct. Directing is my passion and I wanted to know how to do things properly.
Check out some of Steven Pitt’s work in our Apprentice Media section below!