Wednesday, July 10, 2019

My Latest Short Film

Please enjoy my latest short film, One Of Our Satellites. I co-wrote/directed this film with Desireé Moore.

A burned-out caricature artist seeks to find meaning outside of her Earthly, mundane existence.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Skeleton Crew - a New Podcast

Last year, I came up with the idea of hosting a podcast that features discussions with key crew members who would be present on most film sets. I wanted to focus on local filmmakers, so I decided to start in the Central Florida area where I currently live and work.

My good friend and fellow filmmaker Mark Farag came onboard to co-host. And Skeleton Crew was born.

All of the 1st Season filmmakers

Today, we launched the full first season. We did hour-long interviews with a director, a visual FX guy, a sound mixer, a producer, a director of photography and a gaffer. You can find all of these interviews on most podcast platforms as well as video versions on YouTube.


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Restraint: The Power of Celluloid

I picked up a Canon Elan 7e (35mm film camera) last year and have been taking more photos lately. The film stock I have been shooting with is Kodak's Portra 400. It's a vastly different experience than shooting with a digital camera. You can't snap a burst of images each time. You can't take as many photos as you want and then just delete them later. Shooting on celluloid forces you to wait, to be focused and intentional and oftentimes to not take any photos at all.

But once they come back from the lab and you view that beautiful grain and the natural looking highlights and skin tones, it's all worth the wait. I got a few rolls processed a couple of weeks ago. Here is a small selection of those images:

Lydia, camping/breakfast in the Yorkshire Dales

Bug the Great Dane, yawning

Don't Tread on Me, feeding the squirrels and smoking in the park

Rowing toward the bridge in Durham, UK

Dad, lost in thought, wearing a picnic shirt

Film is not dead. Film is king.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Watch "A Storm Is Coming: Learning the Blues with Coney Island Pete"

I started shooting this film back in 2009. I found Pete, the subject of the film, to be such a unique person and simply wanted to create a short documentary about him and the music that he played.

As time dragged on, the project became bloated. The scope of the film was too wide and didn't have enough of a personal anchor. Other commitments arose and the project quickly fell to the wayside.

As I got older, I realized that the concepts that Pete spoke about were beyond theoretical. Life became harder and the film started to come to life.

After a couple of more jumpstarts in 2013 and in 2015, I finally finished this film in the Spring of 2017. It was the hardest edit I have ever done.

I always welcome your honest reactions and/or comments, positive or negative. Fullscreen it and enjoy!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

When Finishing a Damn Book Takes Forever

 My duct-taped copy of Atlas Shrugged in my blue backpack

I have been carrying around the same blue Lowepro camera backpack since 2012. It has traveled with me to many different places - India, Greece, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, all over the USA, England, Japan, Korea, etc. It has been a solid backpack but it currently holds a sort of emblem of shame: a tattered copy of of Ayn Rand's classic, Atlas Shrugged.

Late last year, I had to go to a Dr.'s appointment and apparently I had brought along this book. A few weeks ago, I was there again for a follow-up visit and the Dr. mentioned that I was reading it the last time I was there. It reminded me that I have been trudging through this novel for quite some time. It is rather lengthy at nearly 1,100 pages with fairly fine print, but that's not really the point. There are a couple of issues that this situation highlights that are worth pointing out:

1. It takes a certain measure of restraint to pull ourselves away from screens, social media, etc., in order to engage in activities that take much more focus but also offer the potential for a deeper level of thought.

2. My focus (and most everyone else's) is very fragmented most of the time. I work a full-time job, am finishing up the edit of a short film, have several other edits backlogged, am trying to write somewhat consistently, am reading at least one other book, just started a company, etc. We don't live simple lives.

3. If we don't keep up with the important things, they fall to the wayside. This is true for so many things: relationships, websites, blogs, companies, and of course, books.

 Werner Herzog, in his earlier days

When asked what advice he would give to other filmmakers, one of my favorite directors, Werner Herzog said, "Read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read." I have been an avid reader my whole life and this is a good reminder to make sure that I'm taking the time to do so.

I say that having this copy of Atlas Shrugged in my bag is shameful not because of its content. The novel is well written and contains valid and timely ideas that are worth engaging with. But the shame comes in because I haven't taken the time to finish the book as quickly as I would have liked and at least one other person has noticed. Now, I keep the book in plain view on purpose. It drives me toward a goal that will be satisfying to achieve.

Time to go finish that damn book.