Cinema Verde Productions helps Jack Maxwell’s Spirit Quest (formally from Booze Traveler on Travel Channel) win Best Documentary Award at the Monrovia Film Festival, Best Pilot at A Royal Chance Film Festival & Best TV Host at the Silicon Beach Film Festival. 

Producers Jack Maxwell & Meredith Thomas searched and searched for an all-in-one-production company solution to film their TV show pilot, Spirit Quest here in San Diego, CA. 

The Production Challenges


Hire locally in order to save on travel and lodging expenses 


 Hire an experienced creative Director of Photography who could give Jack & Meredith the look of a high-end travel series. 


Make sure RAW capable digital film cameras were used to film the show.

Cinema Verde Productions, Inc. was the best choice by far.

“Being on location in a new city can be such a daunting task for a producer but right off the gate we felt so confident with Mario and his team. Our days with this wonderful family of artisans made all the difference. The professionalism, work ethic and enthusiasm from his team made our project flow in a positive direction every day at every location.”  

“Working with Mario Ortiz and Cinema Verde, we couldn’t have gotten luckier. Not only did he have all the equipment that I needed, he suggested stuff that I didn’t even know existed yet. 

He has his own Sprinter van with everything you need…”

“Mario knows everything about the latest camera technology but more importantly, to me anyway, he’s a really great guy.  Everyone he brought on board are just wonderful to work with.  Great attitudes.  Everyone smiled every day.  We had fun and laughed every day and it’s not work if you enjoy it.  Couldn’t have had a better time.”

We chose our in-house Blackmagic cameras because of their color space abilities, extra resolution capabilities and ergonomics.  Two Ursa mini 12k’s and three Pocket 6k cameras worked the entire show.  The 12k’s were outfitted with high-speed Tokina Cinema zoom lenes, while the 6k’s used Sigma glass.  Everything cut beautifully in DaVinci Resolve, which is also owned by Blackmagic.  Having software and hardware designed by the same company makes things flow smoother in post production.

The Blackmagic 12k Ursa mini cameras where mostly built for handheld use but I also flew one on my Steadicam rig.  I love the ENG style ergonomics inherently built into these cameras and having a high-resolution viewfinder is critical when running and gunning on these kinds of shows because the focus plane can quickly change when pulling manually.  In other words critical focusing by hand.

The Blackmagic Pocket 6k cinema cameras worked well in tight spaces and when also being mounted to our gimbal stabilizer.  Having dual ISO capabilities allowed us to film in extremely low-lit environments like the haunted hotel. We also employed our eMotimo 4-axis robotic camera slider system for smooth moving interview shots.  Everything worked together seamlessly and the right tools at your disposal is key to a successful production.