24 Hour Film Race: Growing Over You

If you've followed my work at all, you know I love when I get to be the set photographer for film projects, no matter how big or how small. There's something very magical and unifying about working with a film crew, and inevitably the people you work with become an extension of your ever-growing film family. That's why the 24 hour film race is something I look forward to every year, and last year's was by far our best one yet.

If you aren't familiar with how a film race works, the concept is this: write, shoot and edit a film with several requirements (a specific line of dialogue, a chosen prop, and a theme) that are announced at the start of the competition. Given that all this would normally take weeks or months to complete, it's quite the ambitious undertaking. Despite the rigorous schedule, it's always fun and inspiring, and often brings out the best of our creative abilities. 

We may be exhausted at the end of it all, but it's the most fun I've ever had intentionally working myself to the bone and combating the sleep that threatens to invade. Many cups of coffee and red bulls later, I never cease to be amazed by what we've pulled off and how we've managed to bring it all together, and I think that's why I love it so much. Sometimes you need to do the work for the love of it and nothing else, and being able to focus on creating beautiful imagery without working through client concerns or deadlines or bottom lines is a much needed rejuvenating process as an artist. 

The VelociPastor!

If you read my blog with any regularity, it's no secret that I work on film sets often, and that it's one of my favorite places to work. I love my film-family, it's such a large and supportive community that I am unbelievably blessed to be a part of, and so I try to return the favor as often as possible. That's why I'm so excited to share with you news on the newest project some of my best friends are working on, The VelociPastor

Illustration by  Wyeth Yates

Illustration by Wyeth Yates

The film is written and (to-be) directed by my fabulous friend Brendan Steere, whose previous feature, Animosity, not only received global distribution, but was also well-received enough to show at many film festivals in the last year, including Fantasia, where it screened alongside Guardians of the Galaxy and Boyhood. It also won Best Picture and Best Actress at the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival in 2013; As you can clearly see, he definitely knows how to make a good movie.

Originally a spoof trailer of epic comedic proportions, Brendan's finally ready to develop VelociPastor into a full-length feature of dark humor, and I for one could not be more excited about it. If you want to see the concept's origin, you can check it out below.

Not only is it retaining Matt Ziegel from the original short as the lead and VelociPastor, but it also will star Alyssa Kempinski as his college educated and provocative love interest. I've also had the pleasure of working with her several times, most recently on the set of Six Windows! They were also both cast in Animosity, and I'm so excited to see them work together again. Not only are they both immensely talented, but they are both joys to work with on set, which I can personally attest to.

Along with Steere, two of my closest friends, Brandon Taylor and Gabryal Rabinowitz, have joined the teams as respectively Producer and Associate Producer. Not only have I known them for years, but had the pleasure of working with them on many previous projects including Six Windows, The Remembrance, and They Hunger. With a killer crew such as this one, I have no doubts this film will go above and beyond in the realms of creativity and craftsmanship, with a touch of insanity-bordering brilliance.

If you believe in this project like I do (which, in all seriousness, you really should) please check it out on Facebook, Like/Share, and Donate to help make this project a reality!

Behind The Scenes of Six Windows, Round 2!

Back in January, many of my good friends and I were hard at work filming the second block of Six Windows, a web series exploring six people's different experiences dealing with the challenges of New York City. Despite a blizzard or two trying to interfere with our last few days of shooting, we successfully wrapped in a little over a week, with a lot of fantastic footage. While the series won't be released until this coming summer, I have a few images from behind the scenes of the project that will hopefully hold you over until it's finished! Directed by my inspiring and deeply talented friend Brandon Taylor, this series is sure to remind you of the growing pains of life, love and loss. Starring such pretty fabulous actors, including Tracy Willet, Shannon Terrel, Gabryal Rabinowitz, Ellyse Burnett, Cornelius McMoyler, Susan Moses, Hamza Zaman, Nicole Im, and many others, I'm positive this series will turn out wonderfully, and I can't wait to see the finished project. So without further ado, here are some of my favorite moments behind the scenes on the set of Six Windows!

On-Camera Interview!

I'm so happy to share with you all this fabulous promo video my good friend Brandon Taylor directed and produced for my upcoming exhibition with the Young Photographer's Alliance. It was my first on-camera interview, so please forgive any awkwardness or long-windedness! I can't believe how wonderfully this turned out, given my nerves about making it, but making artwork is all about pushing boundaries, including our own comfort levels. I am so proud and excited to share my new artwork with all of you, and hope that you can join me on the 24th at the Art Director's Club to come support all of the artists showing in this sure-to-be-spectacular exhibition. You can buy (donation based!) tickets here. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Six Windows: Behind The Scenes!

This past month held one of my favorite projects from the past year; working as a Unit Stills Photographer on the set of the web series Six Windows, directed by one of my wonderful friends, Brandon Taylor. Not only did I get to work with some of my favorite people again, but I also was fortunate enough to meet some fabulous new cast and crew members that were simply amazing to work with. We spent a whole week shooting 3 of the 6 episodes that will encompass the first season, and I can't wait to see the finished product. Not only was the cast absolutely solid in their acting abilities, but the amount of love and enthusiasm invested in this project by everyone involved was undeniable. Starring Ellyse Burnett, J.W. Harvey, Alyssa Kempinski, Michelle Jones, Lauren A. Kennedy, Gregory James Cohan, Zach Sciranka, and Carolyn Blair, this project is sure to reveal the challenges and growing pains of navigating New York City. 

Here are some of my favorite moments behind the scenes  of this fantastic production; I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

"They Hunger" Behind The Scenes

This weekend, I had the pleasure of photographing on set to develop a proof of concept project called "They Hunger," which I hope comes to fruition because the script is absolutely fantastic! Both Brandon Taylor and Brendan Steere, two fabulous filmmakers and close friends of mine, are heading the project, and I can't wait to see what they can do. I'll be posting more on the project as things progress, but keep your fingers crossed for more good news on this front!

I don't think there's anything quite like working on a film. I love it more than words can describe, and I deeply cherish getting to work with such talented and spectacular people. I wouldn't trade it for the world, and I can't wait for the next project to start. They are some of my best friends, and working with them never feels like a job, but rather a wonderful way of life. I can only imagine where the world will take us.