A brewery, a girl and a video

We at Muddy York Brewing Co. have some very talented friends. We are especially delighted when we get to employ these talented friends at the things they do best. Take our introduction video directed by the very lovely Ashlea Wessel. We approached Ashlea to do our little story video back in November, wondering if she would want to muck around with some motion work. She brought the gear, some coffee and 2 beer-loving assistants (a big thank you to Alex and Bryan!) and we got to work in our small garage with Jeff's brew equipment. Boy, did she blow us away! The video totally exceeded our expectations and we couldn't be happier. When Ashlea wasn't too busy taking photos of rock icons or Toronto Roller Derby, we asked her to answer a few questions and give us a scoop on the behind-the-scenes.

Describe what you do

Well, I've worked as a photographer for the past 8(ish) years doing everything from band promo to commercial to portraits and fine art. I've dabbled in motion here and there throughout the years and I'm just now starting to take it on as a larger part of what I do. Yeah, my job's pretty awesome.

What influences you?

EVERYTHING! Pop culture, books, all kinds of art, travel, music, you name it. All of those factors always come into play when I'm working on a project, but if I'm working with a specific subject, it's important to me that the person's character comes through in some way. I suppose people influence my work the most of all.

What gear did you use?

Shooting this promo we simply shot on Canon 5d mkII and 7d. The lighting was just hanging work lights and a small bank of kinos. (For those who don't know, it's a rectangular bank of lights that makes you look purdy).

What was your vision for the video?

I loved the story behind the Muddy York name and the design for the branding of the company kind of gave me a historical, warm, down-home feeling. I swear Jeff's mustache was the Pièce de résistance on that one. It really brought the concept together (haha).

How we were to work with?

Don't get me started! What a bunch of prima donnas! (Could not be further from the truth). I loved working with you guys (the folks of Muddy York) I admire you as a team and you have such a great vibe, level of creativity and all-around enthusiasm for everything you do. I couldn't have chosen more awesome, talented people to work with.

What challenges did you have?

Well, aside from it being the coldest day EVER, we did, in fact, have a little brush with terror when something that was not supposed to be on fire, caught on fire. I, in my infinite wisdom, swore my face off and called for someone to come save me. There's audio to prove it. I'm a brave warrior.

Are you a fan of craft beer and why?

I absolutely love craft beer and everything it stands for. There's so much care put into each different recipe and what ingredients are used. It can be so much more unique and personal and there's honestly a love there for the art of brewing that you don't see in the large beer companies. I definitely see that in the way Jeff runs Muddy York.

Anything else you want to add?

I love Muddy York! These questions are making me thirsty.

Brewery, NewsSusan Michalek