Desert C.A.M. Studios/Winmill Films, LLC is located in La Quinta, CA, just walking distance from the annual Coachella Music and Stagecoach Festivals grounds, and Historic Old Town La Quinta, home for many film and television celebrities, and linked forever to Hollywood’s golden past. Icons like Frank Capra, who lived in the village, wrote many of his greatest screenplays here, from “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” to “It Happened One Night” and “The Lost Horizon.” Legendary actors Clark Gable and Carole Lombard often secluded themselves here. And Presidents and World Leaders all vacation here.
DCAM Studios, is the brainchild of NY and LA Filmmaker/award-winning music video and indie film director/film and television producer, WGA Screenwriter, and Recording Artist, Chip Miller; along with his Israeli/Canadian business partner and International Entrepreneur, Hagai Amir, who oversees DCAM Studios’ Vancouver, BC, production office and taping studio. Miller and Amir set out to create an oasis in the desert for film and video production, offering full post-production services, an inventory of film and video equipment rental, and a mini-TV stage.
DCAM Studios is centrally located for their LA, Canadian, and NY clientele, as well as for local clients in the Palm Springs area, including the major desert cities. Miller conceived the idea of a Hollywood-like mini-production and post-production, multi-faceted studio, but in a large home as opposed to a business structure, adding, “The house is inspiring to work in, the grounds are beautiful and relaxing, and it’s private, with a wonderful creative ambience.” Miller was greatly inspired by directors Steven Spielberg and his original Amblin Films production house on the Universal Studios lot, and Ronnie Howard’s Imagine Films house on the 20th Century Fox lot. He worked at Amblin several times, and was Howard’s music video director rep when Miller’s former company, Winmill Entertainment, signed Howard to direct videos, including a few MTV clips they did together to promote Howard’s “Splash” film. Essentially both of these important filmmakers converted large homes into film and video production/post-production facilities, giving the overall environment a better feel than a standard office or corporate environment.
Desert C.A.M. Studios/Winmill Films’ client list is very impressive, considering they are still a fledgling enterprise, operating in a bad economy, and located two hours from LA in the middle of the desert. Amongst their colorful national and local clientele, are: MTV, VH-1, BET, CMT, Kellogg’s Froot Loops, Organex Global Inc, Tony Robbins, Universal Records, MCA Records, Atlantic Records, Curb Records, SHP Records, Warner Brothers Records, Sugar Hill Records, Capitol Records, Sony Records, BMG Records, PBS Television, HBO, Showtime, Fox Television, The Wimmer Group, Time-Warner Television, La Quinta City Council, Talk of the Desert Productions, The National Dance Company of Ireland, Tourism Ireland, Tourism Puerto Rico, Palm Desert Center for Advanced Periodontics, Brian Panella Management, Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry, film producers Robert Russo, David Kiviat, and OSM Music Publishing. In March 2013, DCAM was awarded a yearly contract with the City of La Quinta, to record and tape their bi-weekly City Council sessions. La Quinta had been the lone hold-out amongst Coachella Valley desert cities, turning down video companies for over 10 years. But DCAM Studios prevailed, and we now provide them with quality footage and on-line uploads after each session, we provide it all at a fair cost for the city’s taxpayers.
In 2012, pioneer female music video editor and Line Producer, Travis Miller joined the company. Her resume of film and TV production experiences ranges from Wardrobe Supervisor (she did Angelina Jolie’s first film), to Art Production Supervisor (Disney’s mega hit TV series, “Lizzy McGuire”), to a dozen indie features, and producing and editing over a 100 music videos for MTV, VH-1, and BET. She heads up operations and production duties as well as edits and oversees post-production. In early, 2013, longtime Music Supervisor and Producer, Daniel Pomeroy, joined as the in-house Music Supervisor for the company’s feature film slate, as well as on TV product and content. The rest of DCAM Studios team includes Editor/Camera Op, Janaki Jennings; Jon Ballard, Audio/Sound Director; Don Pinckston, Canadian Production Rep; Ilene Sellaro, East Coast Account Rep, and DP/Op, Cameron Cannon. The company’s support team includes Video & Live Switch Editor and camera operator, Kevin Curran.
Desert C.A.M. Studios/Winmill Films features video and film post-production suites, a state-of-the-art sound/audio mixing bay and recording booth, live switch & virtual set capacity, a television news set, a mini-stage with set pieces, interchangeable scenic backdrops, flats, wrap-around green screen, seamless white, and all-black drops. The edit suites consist of three fully upgraded Final Cut Pro bays, featuring optional digi Beta decks, PAL, transfer services, Pro-VHS transfer, HDCAM, Live Switch capacity, and all MAC-based. The Pro Tools sound and audio mixing and recording suite features an ADR booth, looping, Foley, and voice-over studio. In 2014, one of the video edit bays will be converted from Final Cut Pro to AVID.
The company offers a large inventory of film and video production equipment and supplies. This includes: Four Sony EX3 1080 HD cameras, Two JVC HD cameras, two Canon D7 cameras, a Sony FS100 camera, an expandable 30’ film and video crane, walkie-talkies, video village set-up for up to ten cameras for multiple camera live switch concerts, , full grip packages and gear, a video Glide Cam system, and a teleprompter. There is also a wide assortment of tripods, camera accessories, lens, and general production supplies, including a Jib zoom cable adapter, chargers, C-stands, sand bags, medium flags, medium silk, shotgun mics, wireless mics (Sennheiser), 50' + 3 25' XLR cable kits, 50' + one 25' + BNC, BNC barrel, and Apple monitors.
Lighting-wise, DCAM offers a full set of Redheads (led/redheads/2xhmi 575w, 650’s, 300’s, 150’s, etc.), 3 HMI’s (750, 300), custom Aries, custom Mole Richardson box lights, 100, 750, 200 K’s, two 12K’s, an assortment of ballasts, 1000 watt long tubes, chimeras, row lights, small field light kit with 2-300 watts, a stock of stage and set lights (overheads, grid, etc.), Kino flows, mini-light kits for field packages, and two rare outdoor 12 K concert/sports lights. All rates are flexible depending on the project, client budget parameters, and individuals involved.