Jonathan Chapman Celebrates MLB Community with Minnesota Twins TV Spot

May 1, 2013

By Jacqui Palumbo

© Jonathan Chapman

Still from Minnesota Twins Community Fund television spot.

Still and motion photographer Jonathan Chapman was born and raised in Minnesota and began his career locally as well, receiving his degree in Visual Communication Studies and Journalism at the University of Minnesota. He spent his childhood as many Minnesotans do, playing hockey on the frozen ponds in the winter and cheering for the Twins during baseball season. 
Chapman has stayed in his home state throughout his career, based in Minneapolis and shooting locally and on the road. He has recently focused on building a solid list of motion projects, expanding his skills to further his thriving, well-rounded business. “This past year we’ve really taken a pretty big step forward in terms of motion and film, both with existing and new clients,” he says. Recent motion work has taken him on the road to San Francisco for Target, Los Angeles for Samsung, Seattle for Microsoft, and Buenos Aires for McDonald’s. Locally, he has shot four different spots for the Mayo Clinic.
With his local roots and his professional experience as a motion photographer, Chapman was the ideal candidate for a television spot for the Minnesota Twins Community Fund. The Twins Community Fund is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1991, that enriches the regional communities by providing resources to children and families through an association with the Twins. 
Martin Williams agency approached Chapman to shoot the spot in the winter of 2011, with whom he had worked on several print projects. In the 60-second spot, the viewers would be shown different shots of kids shoveling away snow on top of Brownie Lake, led to believe that they are preparing for an ice hockey game. A final shot from above reveals the snow shoveled out in the shape of a baseball diamond, showing that “It’s never too soon to start thinking about baseball.” Chapman explains, “The over all concept was about kids’ devotion to baseball and the lengths they will go to in order to play the game they all love.”
Chapman, his team, the Martin Williams creative team and the Volt Studios production team were ready to begin, but the weather in the winter of 2011 was too warm, keeping the ice on the pond too thin to skate on. The project was picked up again in the winter of 2012. After a year of waiting and extensive pre-production, the shoot was completed in one day thanks to three cameras rolling at the same time and a concise shot list. 
Chapman recognizes that there are often “potential challenges” when large groups work together under tight time restraints, but they did not have any bumps in the road once the weather began to cooperate. He says, “I attribute this to the efforts that went into pre-production, a solid concept, and a great crew that helped make this piece a reality.” Creative Director Toby Bali agrees. “Jonathan and his team were fantastic to work with,” he says. “We’ve been big fans of his print photography and were excited that we could collaborate on a spot for the Minnesota Twins Community Fund. With the temperature in the teens, Jonathan was able to get some really great shots and did so without getting frost bite on a single toe.”
The shortened 30-second spot has already begun to air on television and will also play in Target Field throughout the Minnesota Twins 2013 season. Alongside the television spot, Chapman’s team also produced a Behind The Lens video. Behind the Lens shows all elements of the shoot, including how they got the “reveal” shot using a remote controlled helicopter to shoot the scene from above.
For the full 60-second spot, click here. For the Behind The Lens short, click here. For more of Jonathan Chapman’s work, visit his Web site.
Agency, Martin Williams
Director of Production, Stan Prinsen
Creative Directors, Steve Casey + Toby Balai
Copywriters, Joe Stefanson, Jake Lancaster, Adam Ridgeway
Producer, Heather Blackford
Account Manager, Josh Nelson
Production Lead, Kathleen Flanders
Director of Photography, Jonathan Chapman
JCP Producer, Tanya Silver
B Camera, Eric Schleicher
Field Audio, Patrick Schaefer
C Camera, Patrick Meehan
AC / Continuity, John Fontana
AC / Continuity, Nathaniel Schmidt
Gen Assistant, Brendan Ryan
Behind the Scenes, Samantha Serbus
Gen Assistant, Thomas Wegner
Volt Studios
Executive Producer: Charlie Lach
Producer: Matt Nelson
Assoc. Producer: Kat Naden
Production Assistant: Rush Block
Production Assistant: Griffin Gau
Artist: The Decemberists
Title: January Hymn
Capital Records