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Long Weekend Ahead? Movies to Watch this 4th of July

Movies To Watch on 4th Of July

Summer is here – which means it’s time for BBQs, ice cold drinks, swimming pools and more time to chill on your hands than you’ve had in months. Of course, one of Bottle Rocket Media’s favorite pastimes to pass the time is MOVIES! Whether surfing your iPad or hitting the cinema this weekend, here are a few suggestions to make the most of your well-deserved downtime.

When that Movie Theater AC Calls to You:

For some of us, it just might be one of the hottest seasons on record, and there is no better place to cool off than a dark theater, while anonymously sucking down an ice-cold beverage. Typically, this is also a HUGE blockbuster weekend for the box office—memorable movies from years past include Transformers, War of the Worlds and Hancock (who knew?).

This year is proving to be just as exciting, with the following suggestions from us to you:

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum We love this movie because it has everything you want from an action thriller: lots of fighting, tons of blood, fast motorcycles and King Keanu, who is apparently taking over the world this year with his turn in the video game, Cyberpunk 2077, and a long-awaited Bill & Ted comeback (WE CAN’T WAIT!). From beginning to end this release will keep you on the edge of your seat. *If you liked the Matrix, you’ll really appreciate the scenes with Lawrence Fishburne. The best part? NO dead dogs.

Midsommar Do you like feeling so uncomfortable that you just want to jump out of your own skin? If so, this movie is right up your disturbed alley. The amazing framing and lens work were just enough to keep us from running screaming all the way to the exit. To quote a friend: “I don’t know what I just saw, but it freaked me the hell out.” Enter into a mad world of sacrifice, suicide, drugs, sex and music, all set the backdrop of a beautiful, flowery European summer. Don’t bring the whole family.

Spider-Man: Far from Home What would a summer movie list be without a classic superhero presence designed to thrill audiences of ALL ages. Yes – take the whole family to catch our arachnid-infected protagonist as he saves the universe from evil, again! Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal and Zendaya round out the latest cast in this CGI masterpiece. We are so are blown away by the effects that we might take a few cues from the cinematographer in our own work this year. Stay tuned!

Sticking to the Couch this Weekend? Of course, you don’t need to leave the comfort of your living room, den, bedroom or neighbor’s pool to get some entertainment in this weekend. Instead, grab your tablet or pop a squat in front of that gleaming monitor and catch up with your favorite streaming services:

Stranger Things For starters, season three of Stranger Things kicks off on Thursday, the 4th on Netflix – and it is already teasing the hell out of us at Bottle Rocket Media. Why do we enjoy it so much? Well , I guess you could say many of us are children of the 80s, so any reference to Gremlins, Ghostbusters, Dungeons & Dragons, Goonies or cheesy hairdos is almost enough to get our attention – and there is plenty of that. Plus, we think the visual effects are pretty cool.

Divorce Got HBO or HBO NOW? Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Hayden Church have reunited for the sloppy, funny, sad and somewhat realistic tale of two former spouses trying to start new and separate lives. You can now catch up on the first episode of season three, which aired this past Monday and come down off the holiday weekend with episode two on Monday, the 8th. Think your life is complicated? Watch and feel better.

Have an amazing, fun-filled 4th of July, everyone! Don’t forget to sit back, relax and enjoy.

The Bullhorn | Meet Director Joel Kapity

Meet Bottle Rocket Media Director Joel Kapity

There is no shortage of creative talent at Bottle Rocket Media these days – emphasized by the onboarding of longtime Chicago-based director, Joel Kapity, who has been telling stories through the lens since childhood. A love for the human experience guides his creative sensibilities, while his fearless outlook helps him accomplish what others deem “impossible.” 

Here’s what Joel had to say about his rise as a successful storyteller:

What got you into directing? 

As a kid, I was always the guy with a camera. While others were hanging out, doing what kids do, I would be shooting little shorts with whomever I could wrangle on any given night.  

What about the craft moves you?

I think I’m terrible at a lot of things—directing is not one of them. There is no other job that comes more naturally or brings me more joy. One of my favorite aspects is working with professional actors to bring a story to life. As a director, I have a very specific task of pulling emotions out of others, and I love playing with framing, lighting and camera moves to help draw the audience further into the worlds of the characters.

How did you hook up with Bottle Rocket Media? What drew you to the company?

At my last studio, I was given the opportunity to direct a commercial with Bottle Rocket Media staff as my crew. It was a great experience. During the shoot, I had some solid conversations with Dan and Brett, and felt very in tune with their passion to produce great video content. It was a genuine connection. Bottle Rocket Media and I shared the same creative thoughts and direction—very refreshing. My gut feeling was that I could produce some truly incredible content with this studio.

What unique elements do you bring to the portfolio?

My most unique slash powerful element as a director is my love for people, and how that translates to my commercial work – whether it’s a tv spot, a feature film or social media content. The material I am most proud of almost always involves storylines driven by human relationships.

Also, big ideas with small budgets don’t scare me. I honestly believe I can accomplish what others deem “impossible.” 

How does your style lend itself to brand videos?

Shock and awe. I am obsessed with creating cinematic visuals to support brand awareness in new and exciting ways. For every project, I try to think about that one extra visual effect, shot or action that creates a video people will remember—one that stands out in a flooded market.

What can we look forward to from you in 2019?

So far, 2019 has been jam-packed with creating content for different brands every week and there are no signs of slowing down. I’m currently finishing my third film, I AM YOUR KEEPER, while working on several big client videos for Bottle Rocket Media.  

What industry techniques/technology/methods are you most excited about right now?

I am really excited about all the cameras and lighting tools we didn’t have 20 years ago – when I was still cutting my teeth as a director. A couple of months ago, I directed a Phantom high-speed camera commercial shoot with two of the best hockey players in the world—I was blown away by what we were able to capture. High-speed cameras can bring such an incredible value to a project that no other piece of equipment can. I’m also obsessed with the use of robotic arms in production, which is becoming extremely popular for capturing food and sports commercial imagery.   

What is one of your proudest accomplishments? Why? What obstacles did you have to overcome?

Directing and producing my second film, Dreams. It consumed my life for three years, three to six days a week, and roughly 15-20 hours a day. The movie involved a huge cast, with thousands of extras, and a limited budget. It’s a film I’d wanted to make for about 10 years and it ultimately involved flying in actors from all over the country. Considering the huge job at hand every day on set, it was definitely the most complex thing I have directed to date. 

Any words of wisdom?

Don’t listen to others who tell you what to be or what to do.

The best decisions I have made in my life were the ones that didn’t make sense to others. When you feel like being a part of something, just do it. Don’t think about the money or what you think you deserve. When you are a part of a project you love, you will perfect your craft. And that always leads to something bigger and better. Don’t wait to have what you think you need. If you are truly meant to do something, take a leap of faith and people will follow you.

Favorite movie and why:

One of my favorite movies is Crash. As far as films that tell multiple stories go, this was one of the best.  

On Set with Bottle Rocket Media

From two-day shoots featuring free ice cream for the cast & crew to a series of really cool 3D models being designed in-house for a client, spring has officially sprung for the team at Bottle Rocket Media.

Here’s a glimpse of what we’ve been up to the past few weeks!

We shot a series of videos for Dyson at two Chicago salons over the course of two days. Each location provided its challenges (hellooo mirrors), but the team overcame each one gracefully – making for a fun, rewarding shoot.

Director: Dan Fisher | Producer: Siobhan Summers | DP: Andy Stegmeyer | Assistant Camera: Nick Silva | Audio: Tyler  Lang | HMU: Jayciee Ganek | Set Design: Jim Lichon | Stylist: Becca Nino | Script PA: Jack Cronin | Camera PA: Corey Henderson | PA & BTS Photos: Amy Davila | Editors: Dave Sarno & Tre Manchester 

We also did a two-day shoot in Gurnee, Illinois, for Second City Works. It happened to line up perfectly with Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day, which some of the cast and crew have dubbed “the best day ever.”

This unique, vlog-styled shoot allowed us to shoot around 20 pages of script per day! Yep, the crew killed it every step of the way – even burning off calories from all the free ice cream while chasing after kids and running across the resort for gear (at least, that’s what we’re telling ourselves).

Director: Brett Singer | Producer: Siobhan Summers | Assistant Director/BTS Photos: Dan Fisher | DP: Josh Tallo | Audio: Tyler  Lang | AC: Jordan Kantola | Grip: Adrian DiGiovanni | Set Design: Jim Lichon | Stylist: Becca Nino | HMU: Jayciee Ganek | Production Assistant/BTS Photos: Amy Davila | 


Last year, we were fortunate enough to work on a campaign for a very popular appliance brand. Guess we did a good job, as they recently contacted us to shoot some pickups! In no time, we got the team back together, rolled into Oakbrook Center in Chicago, set up the jib and did our thing.

Director: Joel Kapity | Assistant Director: Dan Fisher | DP: Josh Tallo | AC: Erik Bjella | Producer: Siobhan Summers | Art Director: Jim Lichon | HMU: Jaycie Ganek | Production Assistant: Jordan Kantola | BTS Photos by: Dan Fisher | Editor: Dave Sarno