bts: a web series

2012 Emmy Nominations for BTSZacuto Films presents bts, an Emmy nominated web series that goes behind-the-scenes to document the making of a film. In this Documentary About Making Documentaries, the Zacuto Films production team travels to Rwanda to follow Director T.C. Johnstone, Producer Greg Kwedar and their entire film crew during the last 18-days of filming Rising From Ashes: a film about Rwandan’s first national cycling team.

The new webisodic series bts produced by Steve Weiss, Jens Bogehegn, Scott Lynch and Greg Kwedar captures the moments, the misses and what it really takes to put a film together. This is not a reality show. In the field, on thin ice, with time counting down, T.C and Greg narrate some of the unforeseen accounts that can happen on-location. “There’s intense logistics,” says Kwedar. “There are motorcycles, follow-vehicles, helicopters and camera guys riding backwards on motorcycles.”

Watch bts: four filmmakers, making two separate films, on one location. Intense. Dramatic. Epic.

Watch bts: a web series


bts: a web series

BTS: A documentary about making documentaries


A Zacuto Films Production.

Produced by: Steve Weiss, Jens Bogehegn, Scott Lynch, Greg Kwedar
Director of Photography: Jens Bogehegn
Cinematography: Jeff Waldron
Edited by: Daniel Skubal and Karen Abad
Graphic Designer: Daniel Skubal
Sound Recordist: Sean McCormick
Location Director: Jake Hamilton
Directed by: Steve Weiss

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35 Responses to “bts: a web series”

  1. Den Lennie on December 17th, 2010 6:18 am

    You cuys are so on the edge of innovative web tv production that I’m gonna have to send you some band aids.  Stunning, and as someone who’s sweated in many exotic locations for 18 hrs a day , thank you for illustrating to the world that making TV  is hard graft  beyond filming in teh back yard.  It’s a great education for all aspiring film makers.  I look forward to more.


  2. Steve Weiss on December 17th, 2010 10:26 am

    Thanks Den.  I think you’ll enjoy this series.  Hope you are well and Happy New Year.

  3. Susan Rapp on December 17th, 2010 11:52 am

    Den ~ thanks for always supporting us and for getting what web tv production is really about. Hope all is well and see you in Twitterville. Cheers, ~sue

  4. Jordan McLachlan on December 17th, 2010 12:37 pm

    Love it – what a great idea. There’s too little great info out there on documentary making as opposed to shorts in my experience. This looks brilliant.

    Thanks for putting the time and resources into this, and for having the vision to do so! Very much looking forward to following the series…

  5. Anonymous on December 18th, 2010 7:46 am

    Same to you and Yours Steve, hopefully see you in Chicago next year D

  6. Steve Weiss on December 21st, 2010 12:34 am

    Thanks Jordon, it’s a passion project.

  7. Nigel Walker on December 21st, 2010 1:11 pm

    This is a great project, more awareness of the process is a good thing and will educate people on how difficult this can be. I just completed my own three year documentary in Africa and it was a lot of hard graft. I am forever changed but maybe not for the good :-(

    Good luck to you and your crew Steve, you are leading the way in online content.

  8. Richard van den Boogaard on December 21st, 2010 5:12 pm

    Steve, Jens & all others at Zacuto: a big thank you for giving so much back to the film community! Being a freelance cameraman/editor now for little more than a year, I am still learning everyday. Your gear helps me in getting the shots, whilst your advice and insights helps me in getting better at it.

    Keep up the great work. Happy holidays!

  9. Susan Rapp on December 21st, 2010 5:19 pm

    Nigel ~ what a great experience for you…although you say not for the good? Keep working on the craft and good luck. Cheers, ~sue

  10. Susan Rapp on December 21st, 2010 5:22 pm

    Richard ~ Thanks for all your support of our shows and Zacuto. You guys are what make our community what it is and big shout out to the freelance cameramen!! Happy Holidays too. ~Sue

  11. craigzarkos on December 21st, 2010 6:46 pm

    really looking forward to this!

  12. Steve Weiss on December 21st, 2010 10:52 pm

    Thank you Richard, comments like this make it all worth while.

  13. Robinder Khurana on January 21st, 2011 8:54 am

    Wow…Wow Wow Wow Wow…Wow lol!! I cannot wait to see this, fallen for the guys at zacuto. You guys have educated me beyond measure and actually given me hope that I can really know what it takes to be a filmaker and really do it for a living. Congrats on the Emmy, although i think Steve you should have let Jens hold the award a little, I hope you’re not hogging lol!!!

    Keep Up The Great Work Guys


  14. Susan Rapp on January 21st, 2011 10:39 am

    Robin ~ Wow…thanks for all the kudos and for coming back to watch more of our shows. Oh, and yes, I have to agree with you about the Emmy hogging. Cheers, ~Sue

  15. Susan Rapp on January 21st, 2011 10:39 am

    Don ~ we are very excited about this too + can’t wait to share the Journey!! Cheers, ~Sue

  16. Owen Radmore on February 7th, 2011 4:51 pm

    Wishing you all the best!

  17. Rob Imbs on April 1st, 2011 10:53 am

    Great trailer, really well cut! Love the bts animation and crackle.

  18. Steve Weiss on April 1st, 2011 11:25 pm

    love the crackle, I wanted that ratcheted up  :)

  19. Chuck Braverman on April 2nd, 2011 10:27 am

    This looks very cool and I am looking forward to seeing it. 

  20. Are Dixon on April 10th, 2011 9:11 am

    …I’m the head of security and that’s what you need to know… Okay.

  21. Steve Weiss on April 10th, 2011 11:19 am

    I love that line.  That says in a very polite way you are going to do what the Fu&k I say.  =-O

  22. Michael Buffa on April 10th, 2011 9:14 pm

    @zacuto I’ve been waiting for this and I can’t wait for it to start. I think bts a web seriers will be your best series yet!

  23. Steve Weiss on April 10th, 2011 9:46 pm

    I’m hoping so Michael.  It’s definitely more on the entertainig side then on the informative but it manages to accomplish both

  24. Nicholas Newport on April 12th, 2011 11:28 pm


  25. Susan Rapp on April 18th, 2011 4:47 pm

    Nicholas ~ very well said!!! Cheers, ~sue

  26. claudioagmfilho on April 25th, 2011 12:04 pm

    this is gonna be great …

  27. Doleep Mahmoud on June 14th, 2011 5:26 pm

    Where is episode 2 its almost 2 months now ?

  28. Susan Rapp on June 14th, 2011 5:48 pm

    Doleep ~ Our editing + production teams have been crazy with editing “The Great Camera Shootout 2011: a doc of the SCCE” which premieres tomorrow! Our next bts episode will premiere at the end of the month. Hope that helps a little bit. Cheers, ~sue

  29. Steve Weiss on June 14th, 2011 10:18 pm

    Here is the schedule.
    June 15th Great Camera Shootout ep. 1
    July 1st BTS ep 2
    July 15 Shootout ep 2
    Aug. 1st BTS ep 3
    Aug. 15th Shootout ep. 3

    With 5 editors, we are struggling to get this all done.  These are like 6 independent documentaries done in 3 months.  That’s hard, especially at the level we want them done.

  30. Anonymous on July 6th, 2011 2:52 pm

    I can’t wait!

  31. Anonymous on July 10th, 2011 12:35 pm

    The Great Camera Shootout is AMAZING!  Thank you Zacuto Films for this incredibly useful series.  I can’t wait for the upcoming episodes, and I admire your ability to deliver them so quickly – yet, with such high production value.

    I have to say, though, that BTS is pretty awful.  The featured filmmakers are a bit histrionic and overly negative.  We’ve all been on difficult film sets, but they just whine the entire time.  Greg Kwedar makes endlessly inappropriate, uneducated comments through each episode, not even realising it.  I can’t even finish episode 2…sorry.

    I like filmmakers that empower their crew, not b-tch about them constantly.

  32. guest on August 1st, 2011 2:49 pm

    Where’s episode 3?

  33. Scott Lynch on August 1st, 2011 5:23 pm

    Hi Guest,
    Greg and TC are great people and, I have to disagree that they are overly negative. TC has an incredible passion for this film and he cares about it and the people on his crew. I have to say they are increbily courageous people to let us have this kind of access to them as they work on their film. If you let a BTS crew have full 24/7 access to you while you are on a long and stressful shoot of course you’re not always going to be seen in best light. This was 18 long days, and considering the conditions they were under I think they handled it extremely well.


  34. Scott Lynch on August 1st, 2011 5:24 pm

    We’re currently still editing episode 3, we’ll make an announcement in the future when it’s ready.


  35. Doleep Mahmoud on August 20th, 2011 9:15 am

    no update about the 3th episode?