Archive for September, 2009

While the World Shakes

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
A semi alive contradiction: Salton Sea sunset

A semi alive contradiction: Salton Sea sunset

The Rim Of Fire collapses and expands and it is in upheaval right now. I could feel it coming while we were on Bali. Daily messages came in the form of little tremors, groans and bumpy vertiginous moments. A larger quake hit as we left Depassar. Now pain reigns in may places in the Rim. It is something I am cognizant of, but cannot focus on. I am just very sorry for them all right at the moment.

I am in the most polar opposite of places right now as Tyler Swain, Rob Dafoe and I work on content acquisition for a music video for phenoms Elliot Minor. We are in the desert in Riverside county which is only two hours outside of LA. We make daily creative forays out into the dusty oddness that is the Salton Sea. Our tempo is measured but intense. Temperatures are in the 100′s and we work fast. Tyler toured with Elliot minor doing some road documentary reality work. He likes and is inspired by them. They have a song that may never go anywhere due to it’s non pop nature. It is pretty dark, and beautiful. So of course Tyler figured that it would be a great platform to base a production on.

So he had called Rob Dafoe and I up. In working together,  each brings a huge amount of talent, creativity and teamwork to the table. I reckon Tyler thought we would have some fun and just do something different. We are. It is a fantastically creative environment and we all feel blessed to be here.

I have had to throttle back all my other ambitions and have thrown everything into Tyler’s concept. I am convinced this will be better than any of the main stream efforts I have seen. All of our creative friends are throwing down in an effort to produce something great with little to no budget. Once again we are using the Canon 5D Mark 2 system and the Panasonic HVX 200.

Last night after we had wrapped we sat in a nearby sports bar. The toast as we held cold glasses aloft? “To superior work and superior friends” I ‘m continually reminded of how high the bar actually is in cinematography and photography as I travel. I am so blessed that I have friends who regularly leap over that bar and drag me across with them. Egos? Yes they have them. Does one actually ever see evidence of that? Only in the content on the screen. Great artists are like that. They only seem to be having a good time. Part of the illusion they weave.

Here are some stills that are example of the motion segments we are collecting. Time to blog is brief. Back to our desert set in a couple hours with a talented model and actress.

Tyler Swain. Yes our days start like this.

Tyler Swain. Yes our days start like this.

Rob and Tyler prepping in our generously loaned production digs.

Rob and Tyler prepping in our generously loaned production digs.

Yep, tilting at windmills.

Yep, tilting at windmills.

Tyler soon chucked the HVX and subbed the 5DM2 for this car mount shot

Tyler soon chucked the HVX and subbed the 5DM2 for this car mount shot

Dafoe and Swain, Kings of the crane shot

Dafoe and Swain, Kings of the crane shot

Right Place, correct time. The motion picture shot if just as pretty.

As two other camera ran different motion captures. Days end

As two other camera ran different motion captures. Days end

Desert Seascape

Desert Seascape

The Artist as Asset

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Outward Bound

Well, I am home again. Sort of. Bali, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Central Coast California for a half day. It has been a long last month or so of being “on the road” building assets, which basically means creating content in stills and motion picture to be used in roughly a dozen ongoing projects.

The Canon 5D Mark 2 established itself as a ground breaking piece of equipment for someone like me. The things that a creative operator can do with it will prove to re define cinematography as time passes. Here is a great link that details some of the work arounds you will need, should you decide to convert to DSLR high definition motion capture.

But now that truly flexible low cost tools are in place and content acquisition has become more simple than ever before, what will determine the bar of content? Now more than ever it will come down to the ability and perceptions of the artist.

Developing yourself as an asset means being able to do a large variety of different types of work on the fly. Bruce Brown once told me that the key to success was keeping a crew small. This recent trip was a great illustration of small being efficient as Aaron Marcellino, Donna and myself basically were the complete production crew. It worked well, as we were able to navigate the complexities of a traveling production and just returned home with 16 time lapses, 18 hours of motion and approximately 3000 stills. It will all convert to an 80 minute film based on the experience of what amounted to a humanitarian-creative pilgrimage of sorts for Betty B, Donna’s eco sensitive line of fashion accessories and jewelry and four of the women who represent her company.

Right now multiple projects loom and I realize that it may get difficult catching up on things like family obligations and wading through the huge amount of post production this excursion generated. Looks like I leave for SF again shortly and then head out into the desert for a music video shoot with Tyler Swain and Rob Dafoe. Time to make lists and build a calendar again.

The images below are a small cross section from the trip, in pretty much a chronological order. Many of the images are stills studies shot in the course of building time lapse or motion picture footage for our upcoming film. You can see why the artist becomes your primary asset in production in looking at this tiny slice of our content. The footage is amazing. I could never have done this a year ago without a huge crew, and the irony is that with a huge crew, you could not do this either without spending a lot more time and money.

Seth Godin explains how content communication is changing our world a bit right here.

New tech! Sent along by Dan O Donnell

The future is here for the independent artist. Everything works at last.

View from our room on BaliMary O and CeningenHailey at Villa GayatriPlumeria StrandDonnaDavid BoothDouble TroubleJeanetteSteamer Lane. CaliforniaA young Rym Partridge by his Grandmother, Imogen CunninghamUnion Square, San FranciscoUnion Square DawnSan Francisco SundownGolden Gate Home: Ventura

Bali Journal 7: Gianyar

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Today saw a visit to a Balinese market place, where once again, we appeared to be the only foreigners.

Monday night we are hosting a party at our Villa, so we went out shopping for the odds and ends that we would need.

Gusti’s wife has generously offered to prepare food for 20, and bring it over. We are excited to see what she makes. Cooking is her forte. This should be an interesting party.

The marketplace was colorful, as many are. Gusti ran across a few people that he knew. Sarongs hemmed on the spot flawlessly by a skilled tailor.
Baskets of flowers and people curious at what the heck we were curious about. Nice.

On the trip back to Ubud, we stopped along the way for a little motion and stills capture in some particularly stunning rice fields. Of course Gusti ran across someone he knew. Feels like we travel with the mayor. I like it.
Eggs eggs everywhere

Garlic n Spices

Garlic n Spices

puu-9282

Peppers

Peppers

Cookies

Cookies

puu-9300

Gusti and Donna

Gusti and Donna

puu-9318puu-9320puu-9343puu-9350puu-9377Those are the good ones

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

home