Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Marcellino’

Repose

Monday, December 7th, 2009
Repose

Repose

Our lives are a lot like that of a wave, in how we roll through the sea of life, in an ocean of existence, headed for some place. But unlike a wave, we have choices we can make that determine our final destiny. Those choices determine who, and what we are, because we learn from them. Hopefully making for a somehow “better” you and I. The ability to choose is what makes us human. The desire to select by principle, can make us something else.

In the Gospel there is a key saying that has always spurred me when I needed it: “Faith without works is dead.” I sometimes need the spur to be taken to me. My friends and subjects are generally quite happy to oblige.

A simple e mail had dropped into my G mail in box mid week. It was from Venturan Steven Schleder, someone I had met in the course of our recent city elections. The crux of the message was: :”Are you still going?” The letter was in reference to a Memorial service for Col Lewis Millett. A man who had dropped everything and come to Steven’s aid several years ago in a quest to restore a desecrated graveyard in Ventura. You can read a little about that here via K38 Rescue’s blog. My home town did something vile in it’s past. Many believe that honor dictates the desecrated graveyard be restored somehow. Steven had been the sole man to charge up that hill. The city understandably, sought to marginalize him.  Now there are many more behind him. The number swells as our honor bound friends hear the sordid tale.

When I agree to shoot something, I know that my simple “yes” means anywhere from 2-5 days worth of work. In this case I had said yes 6 days prior and promptly shelved the affirmation. (I had forgotten about it.) Steven also asked if I could maybe shoot motion. Imagine a slot machine and all the little icons whizzing by.  Ding ding ding! That was my psyche the day I realized that my own word had snared me. Okay I would shoot a film now, in addition to stills.

A quick e mail to my partners and colleagues asking for someone to step forward, brought three responses from three men. Tyler Swain and Rob Dafoe would do it if there was no other. Aaron Marcellino said that though he had just arrived back in town by train that day, and was moving into a new house, he would be at my door at 6:30 Saturday morning with his motion kit. We have a good group. Any of us would come at a moment’s notice for another’s project. Each person has mad skills.

Aaron and I arrived at the Riverside Memorial which stands overlooking March AFB at 9:30 am and dragged our gear a 1/2 mile or so and without a word, fell into our separate production roles.

What passed before my eyes remains burned into my psyche. It will make for a great short film. I look forward to completing it. You can read more about Col Millett here.

If you have never been to a Military memorial, please take some time and look at these images. We made them to honor Col Lewis Millet: Medal of Honor holder, but much more than that, a man of God who earned his repose in a dedication to country, family and honor, out of love for his fellow man. No, the irony does not escape me. It enforces just how important this country and a true moral compass heading are.

This beautiful piece was sent along by my old friend, Terry Irwin. It says a lot about the human condition.

As we head towards Christmas, maybe ponder a little bit about sacrifice, love and strength. Have you made a choice about who and what you will follow? What shore you will wash up on?

Here is a beautiful piece about Christmas and small honors leading to great things.  Think about the beat of the snare as you see the casket headed for the dirt of a cemetery. Now think about someone bulldozing the thing. My town did that. They made it into a dog park. Bad choice.

Howitzer detail. Grave field.

Howitzer detail. Grave field.

Shawn Alladio.

Shawn Alladio.

How will your epitaph read?

How will your epitaph read?

From Drew Kampion:


A Song for Occupations
by Walt Whitman

(1819-1892)



Will you seek afar off? you surely come back at last,
In things best known to you finding the best, or as good as the best,
In folks nearest to you finding the sweetest, strongest, lovingest,
Happiness, knowledge, not in another place but this place, not for
another hour but this hour …


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 6: Gusti Gathering

Sunday, August 30th, 2009
Donna in the middle of it all

Donna in the middle of it all

I am sitting roadside in a wood carvers village clattering away on my Macbook Pro while Bali rushes by around me. Time to journal yesterday while Donna, Ketut and Aaron shop.

Yesterday was a long roll day. One time lapse of a rice field being harvested, ran for 9 hours and ended in a carefully designed motion move. In between, was a lot of writing and motion picture review, while the 5DM2 snapped a frame every 60 seconds or so.

At 8pm we shut the camera down and headed out for the evening, and what was the last part of three days of ceremony. It was a caste oriented gathering, and Gusti being of upper caste, we needed to all dress in ceremonial garb for  what later proved to be comedic theater. Quite appropriate for a gathering of the Gustis. The man lives his sense of humor.

Stop one was his family home, where Gusti, Aaron and I dressed. We all had hibiscus ginger tea and peanut cakes then grabbed Gusti’s youngest son, 10 year old Wayan, and made the ten minute drive to the temple. By 9 PM we had set up a couple camera positions and rolled a bit of motion for a couple hours.

Laughter translates easily, and in spite of the language barrier we all were appreciative of the warm village welcome. Being the only foreigners is something Donna and I have gotten used to in hanging with Gusti “The Real Bali” Made Merta. Though I have never needed to use his safety net which basically consists of the instructions(paraphrased): “Tell them that you are with me.” It is nice to know that we could.

Two hours of Balinese theater transpired, with the gamelan centric music beating a steady rhythm into the moonlit night under which maybe 300 villagers were gathered laughing: a LOT. I ran two cameras and sound, Aaron one and the village graciously put up with us yet again. I think that I may be becoming rather notorious in the village with my cameras. They have gotten used to me. (A good thing)

Midnight saw us back at the villa preparing a late dinner and having a cocktail. Not really a lot different than work at home, which frequently includes some long days. There just seemed to be a lot more smiles round here.

3 Gustis

3 Gustis

Lovely Donna

Lovely Donna

Rapt

Rapt

Hilarity

Hilarity

Scary Lion: Not

Scary Lion: Not

Childhood Glee

Cultural Advantage

Cultural Advantage

Gusti and Donna

Gusti and Donna

Gusti, Aaron and Wayan

Gusti, Aaron and Wayan

Ashes and Smoke

Monday, May 11th, 2009
fireline drop

fireline drop

Loss, this home was gone in moments

Loss, this home was gone in moments

Ashes and soot, someones former home

Ashes and soot, someones former home

How you feel, when you live through it and realize that you are winning.

How you feel, when you live through it and realize that you are winning.

All images above courtesy of Captain Doug Miser, Ventura City Fire Department.

Sundowner

Sundowner

Donna, Mary Osborne and a few friends were sitting at the bar of My Florist, an elegant little eatery in Ventura, which had a surf film playing on big LCD’s. Mary and I were discussing her boyfriend, Ventura Fire Captain Doug Miser,  and how she had a bad feeling about him the prior day as he and others from our town had been  initial respondents in the Jesusita Fire. Turns out that the crew had some tense moments in and around the time that we were both sort of stressing about them. Later that day Doug had sent some imagery from the fire line and let Mary know that he was okay but for awhile that day, they were not.

My phone rang and on the line was Shawn Alladio. Paul Schulte a pal of ours was being evacuated and his neighborhood was aflame. He said that things had worsened.

An hour later I was Northbound on the 101, full moon beaming as it sailed through a clear sky. My camera kit was tucked into the hatch of my MS 3 as we purred upcoast towards Santa Barbara. I wanted a better idea of the topography of the event that seemed poised to take out so much of the lives of my innumerable friends and family.

From the highway in Montecito I could see a red snake writhing on the mountainside above the town, working it’s way towards Cold Springs Canyon. Not good, but not imminently disastrous. As I exited the Fwy I drove a grid that took me all over the city for a couple hours. Dense smoke and ashes in varying degrees floated everywhere. As I drove out to the western edge of SB the ambient air temp rose from 68 to 78 degrees. Fire.

Law Enforcement poured off the freeway continually as outlying cities supplied reinforcements. The areas below the fire line were being evacuated.

I did not ever stop and take my camera out. I saw nothing I felt compelled to document. As the mountains, hillsides and homes wept flame and smoke I knew what would lay in the ashes of the town when it was eventually at rest again.

Sleep did not come easily to me at 4am. On my couch lay Aaron Marcellino who was helping me with a film project, and in our guest room, my sister and her husband. They had left SB, homes evacuated and smoke density being just too much to tolerate,  as the Jesusita Fire occupied the town.

A note arrived from Tony Luna. A pal of ours Grandmother had lost all, in her home in Mission Canyon. There it was, in essence. How does one fix that? When the retired elderly, living out the last of their days lose their lifeline?

I don’t know. And my lack of an answer is really disturbing to me.

The imagery below is Santa Barbara, in better days. Click on any of the images for a larger view and a back story. Truly a remarkable place. Birthplace of my sons, home of my friends and a community forged in social responsibility.

Santa Barbara. Gem of the California Coastline.

Santa Barbara. Gem of the California Coastline.

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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