Posts Tagged ‘Elliot Minor’

Fact of the Matter: Inconvenient Truths

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
Ventura Palmset

Ventura Palmset

I got in a lively discussion on Global Warming the other day. More specifically Anthropogenic Global Warming.

It is a “given” that we humans have  the capacity to foul the Earth. It is also a given that the Earth by it’s architecture will cleanse itself.

In the civilized and educated Western world we typically endeavor to keep a clean house. Look around. PZEV vehicles are standard fare in our world and have contributed to a massive decline in hydrocarbon emissions from Automobiles. That is just one example in a huge list of things Western Culture embraces as a means of keeping air, land and ocean clean.

But we have a fly in that ointment, and ironically it is the “Global Warming” environmental chant so common in media today.

What you will find is a complete lack of understanding of the role of Globalism, Trade and Commerce among the proponents of that environmental group chant, which begins with a sort of chicken little fear mongering, that gets all of the uneducated to line up for the Kool Aide that can destroy Western Culture.

Tiny Bubbles of Light

Tiny Bubbles of Light

Seth Godin has this to say about a culture which has decided to stay deliberately misinformed.

Here is “The Deal” in a  nutshell. Our culture places a huge demand on durable goods. We used to make them here in the US. As the environmental movement acquired traction here, and a punitive method of regulatory control took effect, industry went overseas in order to avoid the additional expense and hassles that increased cost and decreased bottom line.

As a result, Western based Cities and Oceans cleaned up. Third world Cities and Oceans grew much worse.

Clean Wave

Clean Wave

The world is a space ship. Everything connects via atmosphere and is in turn moderated by weather. That is how the Earth maintains control.

The affect of the “Global Warmers” is actually promotion of a willful ignorance of weather, economic law, basic human greed, and puts control of hazardous effluent and exhaust into the arena of Third World entities.

Zuri Starr just returned from a tour in China, explained how dirty the place is, and how sick she became as a result of her recent time spent there. The same people who, in what I am pretty sure is a display of abject guilt, in ascribing to groups “fighting global warming” buy most of their durable goods which are MADE in China and other places with little to no ethical manufacturing process.

The net result is a huge dumbing down of Western Culture, environment and our power to effect positive and sustainable change.

Green Girl: Donna Von Hoesslin

Green Girl: Donna Von Hoesslin

It is evil.

One Volcano can spew more into the atmosphere than decades of industrial output. That is a really inconvenient truth.

Dr Ed Brenegar pointed out this very accurate essay, which explains why evil people promote ignorance, in the Servile Mind.

So let’s be honest.

Or not.

It is a big world.  Make a difference. You matter.

I like where Elliot Minor went in their endeavor to matter, at the direction of Tyler Swain. All Along.

Kool Aide fans click here. Your people are this serious. They made this.

Death Destiny

Deaths Destiny

Canon 5D Mark 2: Trial by Fire

Saturday, August 28th, 2010
Me by Shawn Frederick

Me by Shawn Frederick

My 5D Mark 2 system has been getting quite the workout of late.

The other night Tyler Swain came by. Tyler is the talented director, writer, camera operator who, when I am lucky, I get to work with.

He had dropped by after a  long day working on an episode of Top Gear, to be briefed on the workings of the Canon 5DM2 which he would need to be shooting a show on in the morning. In explaining the workings of the system to him I realized how truly complex it is if one really wants to utilize the tremendous capability of this camera, And I also realized that much of what I had read on it by so called experts is wrong. Most of it’s advertised shortcomings are simply failure by the operators to own the skills most DP’s and Cinematographers take for granted. yet they wrote about it. Um, yea……

Philip Bloom is not of that ilk.

But in two hours Tyler was off head spinning, to get a little sleep before his 9am call time. If it were anyone else, they would likely be headed for their Waterloo. Not Tyler.

Here is a little early timelapse shot with the 5DM2. One of my first. I have done dozens of increasingly complex ones since. I have shot 3 music videos, 2 feature films, done journalism, action sports, the 2010 Maverick’s Challenge shot while working rescue, swam Bali, done fashion, military training shoots with K38 Rescue. What my camera has produced since it became my first designated principal body for motion capture and stills production is probably the most intense field testing of any camera ever produced. Of course Canon probably does not know this. I am simply a user.

stormtimelapseweb – Computer

Tech is incredible. For the first time in my 12 years shooting professionally, it all is REALLY working. I made a good choice in systems with which to transition from film. And once again, Canon has helped me to feel confident in my ability to outperform while in the field. This camera has been swum, shot from airplanes, boats, cars,thrown off buildings while housed, into a swimming pool, done large format art production, commercial fashion and produced innumerable covers and spreads seen in publications throughout the world and in my library at Corbis Images.

In 1997 I weighed the development plans of Canon and Nikon in a close look,  and because of that glimpse, chose Canon. Wise choice. But only a sage DP or commercial photographer will ever really truly “get” what Canon has done and how they have changed imaging forever. The 5DM2 and my training in various aspects of Cinematography and Photography have produced more high profile motion and stills work in the 14 months I have owned mine, than many will get to do in a lifetime.

As I look out across the changing diorama of the imaging playing field, I realize how important it is to understand what you want to accomplish.

Here is the complete Video Tyler created as the anti music video for ElliotMinor. _”AllAlong”. Most of it is the 5DM2. This was one of it’s first tests.

You will see some newer ones shortly here and in a few films.

The images below are a small sample from the 5DM2 that sits here, ready to shoot anything, You would not believe what it has done. I barely do.

Song of the Chumash

Monday, April 19th, 2010
Animate Duplicity

Animate Duplicity

We just finished the Ventura Artwalk 2010, in my little town. The entire Downtown of Ventura California was turned into a living canvas for forty eight hours.

The event was a benchmark of sorts.

benchmark |ˈben ch ˌmärk|
noun
1 a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed : [as adj. ] a benchmark case.

2 a surveyor’s mark cut in a wall, pillar, or building and used as a reference point in measuring altitudes.

How did this happen? Not overnight. It was the result of seed sowing by a huge number of artists, city officials, merchants, and the many creatives who preceded us all: the various artists who showed. It was indeed the spirit of our forefathers, come back to life, borne by the flow of those involved.

Two of those, Kathleen Fitzgerald, and Rob Edwards, are no longer at their city jobs. Yet the work that they did for years here, bore much fruit the past week end. I saw and respect what they did to institute positive change for my town. I am blessed to have them as my friends. Everywhere I looked this past weekend I saw their, and many others, contributions.

I was continually, and repeatedly humbled by the generosity of my community this last week end. It is no secret that this country groans with the weight of drastic change and economic duress. But for a couple days, those that are poor in riches but rich with creativity and enthusiasm, made my little town forget about it’s ills. They did what artists do: create and share.

This  is a show that I did for the Artwalk. It is entitled “This is Ventura”. The piece is 16 minutes long and features local land and seascapes and many of my long term subjects. It is a series of four vignettes and was composed as a gesture of gratitude to the place that has been a constant muse for me.

In quiet fashion Sunday morning, a Chumash ceremony was performed by David Dominguez to dedicate and consecrate the new location of Zoey’s. It was in the middle of all of the Artwalk goings on. The event had deep significance. East, West, South and North. Those that were supposed to be there, were. My friend West Cooke, had invited me to attend. My girlfriend, Donna Von Hoesslin of Betty B, went with me. I love that Donna “gets” this sort of thing. (Most of my loved ones do.) She had taken a break from her busy schedule to experience this.

Reconnect

Reconnect

The vein that runs from the Sespe to the sea, is the Ventura River. It is a deep source of historic life and power. The Chumash settled here, and all along it’s path, used to hunt and fish. Eventually the Spanish came in, the Mission was established, and as modern civilization blossomed, the natives seemed to disappear. The issue though, is that the Spirit of the land, well, it still speaks to those that can hear. This image says a lot. Not everyone can hear it though. Can you?

Vital Venturi

Vital Venturi

Though I am a Christian by conversion, I am a native by birth. What that means, is that the land, air and water speak to me, even when I am not conscious of having listened. So what comes out via my art, whether it is in text, prose, paint, photography or motion work, tends to come straight from the heart. I am only a filter which colors that communique. Sometimes that is a good thing, other times, maybe not so much. Watch that movie with this in mind. Listen carefully to William Orbit, Justin  Young, Zuri Star, the Shoemaker Brothers, and Elliot Minor, both to their melodies, and lyrics.

The rainbow bridge is a deep part of Chumash lore. When this occurred early one morning, it was pre dawn. I was stunned. My life is like that: hearing hidden songs. Yes, that is Santa Cruz Island.  Some think that I spend a lot of time in Photoshop and After Effects, making all of this imagery up. I don’t need to. It is a whisper, often just below the threshold of physical perception. It is always there. I just key into it when I am ready. Not unlike the manner in which a baseball player homes in on a pitch to hit a home run. Easy peasey. I always have been a pretty good hitter.

Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge

Music is the highest form of art. In Bible college I learned that Christian theology teaches that mankind’s destiny is to fill Heaven with the music lost when Lucifer became Satan and fell to earth. Jesus said that he saw Satan fall as lightening from heaven. Pretty vivid imagery. The word Satanas is a Greek word, meaning adversary. So if we are taking that dark underlord’s place, it should be no small wonder that he isn’t fond of us. {If you believe in that sort of thing :0) }

Music connects all human kind. It is a language of the soul. All true art, really is that. But music, like dance, is high art. Play some. Stop. Where did it go? My photo is still there. So is the sculpture, the painting, the drawing.

Sunday evening at Artwalk, at Jonathan’s in Ventura, Bobby Hart performed. Jonathan’s is a stone’s throw from the Mission and from where David Dominguez had done the Chumash blessing a scant 5 hours earlier. All of this lies on the vein of the Ventura River, under the Rainbow Bridge.  For 5 hours Bobby, and a plethora of musicians performed high art, trading out positions at instruments and on the mikes. I am still reeling from the feel of it, the smooth harmony exhibited in the transitions from person to person. Like when my friend and colleague Chris Jensen, handed off his sticks and drum kit to our friend Richie. The harmony was infectious. But again, art is flow. People like flow. We get that.

Bobby Hart

Bobby Hart

Perfection rarely rears its head for long in this imperfect world.

Joy

Joy

This weekend it did for awhile. I heard it.

Homage

Homage

Thank yous all around to everyone who participated, engaged, looked, laughed, enjoyed, and Watermark, Jonathan’s, Betty B for hosting the gallery shows, and Pi printing for their excellent print work and support

Intersection

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
Intersections

Intersections

Tyler Swain and I strode arm in arm, lock step, across the pavers in the foyer of the swank, old, Figueroa Hotel. It was a rainy night in Downtown LA. I was just back from some time away with Shawn Alladio in Oregon and Northern California, and being immersed in watery adventure. Tyler was fresh off the set of Jackass 3 where he is engaged as camera. He had just survived being taken out with a twelve inch dildo fired at him down a hallway from a potato cannon. It had struck him mid chest and dropped him. Then there was the taser. My face hurt from laughing at the picture he had painted.

We walk different worlds, he and I, but fell in together gratefully this night. It seems that we never really get enough time to catch up. The cool damp air of the foyer presaged our trip out into the craziness of a Saturday night in LA, and the traffic created by whatever was going on at nearby Staples Center.

I am not a fan of LA. It is concrete claustrophobia to me, seasoned with dashed dreams and desperate hope, clung to by denizens and transients with claws of  blue steeled sorrow.  But this is where Tyler lives, when he is not traveling, filming or creating some wild thing or another.

Donna and Brittany trail behind the two of us. One of them says something in a sarcastic tone, to the effect of “Oh we see how it is, you two have your arms around each other and we are left behind”. Tyler and I grin, and do not say much, jerking the girls along, as we dive into the fluorescent night time, in search of a dinner together, before we go our separate ways, paths and dreams.

Illustrative Matrix

Illustrative Matrix

A scant few yards of sidewalk pass underfoot, and over the clean scent of rain, wafts the salty sweet fragrance of onion and bacon in a stark yet pleasant counterpoint. A friendly looking Hispanic woman smiles at us and chants “Bacondogs.” It is a statement, more than a query.

“Ever had one Tyler?”,  I ask. “Oh many’s the time when I was wandering along, and that is what I had.  It’s late, been drinking, and nothing sounds as good as grilled meat and grease. Seriously.”

We step into the middle of Ninth St., and I look up after making sure nothing is going to run us down. The Marriott Hotel stands, a black obelisk against the brighter grays of a city lit, cloud layer, which steadily flows across black eternity, giving us brief glimpses of the starry expanse beyond.  Strobe beams dash to and fro like a laser light show. The scene is awe inspiring and strange. I knew that were I to set camera to tripod, we would be stopped in short order by some sort of official representative of LA’s no filming fan club. That says it all about LA for me: look, but do not touch, or share. We want it all for ourselves. What that braying really means is “pay us”. It is death to any conscious creative. It also strangles the asset  value of this piece of real estate. No one owns anything. Not really. Even the heart changes.

Here is something perfectly illustrative. It underscores much regarding man’s  path, and God, His. If you get your head around it, please drop me a note, as I have failed to do so. I already knew of my minuteness in intimate detail, thank you.

The four of us have a pleasant meal at a nouveau style bistro, and great conversation seasons it. The wait staff is personable and dives right in, as if they had known us far longer than thirty minutes. I appreciated them. The affect was not unlike being in a street side café in the Sumatran port town of Sibolga. I think it may be a third world tenet: hospitality to strangers. LA is peculiar in it’s similarity to things third world.

It is not that I despise the place. It is that I am uncomfortable there. Each visit reminds me that I am a stranger in a strange land. The wayfarer from abroad, on my way to a vital and loving reality. Yet each time I do manage a visit, I seem to experience what I like to call, a Matrix moment.

A Matrix moment is what was illustrated on film by the Wachowski brothers in their Matrix film series. It is when apparent time slows to a crawl and one becomes intimately aware of every detail and it’s movement through time. It causes me to understand, to comprehend something, by forcing me to slow down, and embrace the realization created by a complete shift in the tempo of my perception of time.

Those moments are inexplicably placed for me. They are cosmic signposts. But the number of things which must transpire in order for the moment to occur, are so involved and convoluted in form, that it boggles the mind. It convinces me that what is seen,  is frequently not what it appears to be. Unbeknownst to me, as we rumbled down Figueroa Blvd in the sinister black, Speed 3, looking for the 110 freeway entrance, one of those moments was about to occur.

That night had begun with the intention of attending a Sidestepper concert at Cal State University. Donna had won tickets on KCRW. We had been a little late due to traffic and the tickets had been given away. No biggie, I actually felt relieved as a three hour concert was not my idea of a good time. I was just trying to be a good humored escort. So I had called Tyler from the theater. He was at the Figueroa, having rented a suite for the night for an evening in Downtown. But it all began with the intention to attend that concert.

Finding the freeway entrance, I ignored Donna’s directions to go the other way, and we hot pedaled into a slot in slug tempo traffic. In awhile we had merged into the center lane of Hwy 101 N and meandered in the flow, towards our friend Brian’s place, for a party.

Up ahead I saw a trailer loaded with PWC’s and Donna said “Hey isn’t that Shawn?” My first reaction was: “Nah, probably a race team headed for an event.” Then I saw the deep blue truck Shawn uses as a tow vehicle and her home away from home. There we were, at an intersection, in a place none of us would ever be of our own volition or planning. Then it happened. As Donna rolled down her window screaming hellos and I love yous,  time slowed and we pulled alongside each other.

On my ten o clock a helo was hanging in pace with us. On my left, a champagne SUV was easing up to pass. Shawn turned and smiled somewhat amusedly. A midnight blue late model Saturn was changing lanes on the opposite side of her truck. Time crawled and I saw everything at a near standstill almost as if it were a high resolution still frame.  My car phone rang.  Shawn: “Hey David, I could hear Donna screaming while you guys were still back by the trailer.” “Yep. Funny seeing you here. Safe drive. Love you.”

And as everything shifted back into real time, I eased into the number one lane and softly throttled up. Shawn was on her way to a course in Morro Bay, where she was to train a select group of rescue personnel. I was on my way to hang with a bunch of creatives. I knew that both our heads would hit pillow at about the same time later that next morning. There are no accidents, only intersecting lives. This is the matrix. It is what determines our future. It is how I find subjects in my view finder, and how I come to love them.

This link is to the recent Music Video Tyler, Rob Dafoe and I made. The LA scenes are shot within a stones throw of where we stood tonight. It was a huge cosmic slow down, and is replete with Matrix moments. It is an example of why I connect to some people on a uniquely separate level. I only recently began to truly get a grip on this. But that is how life works. I appreciate shooting stars and how they can intersect. It only occurs when both position themselves by following their own paths. I have recognized this occurrence a lot in my career and life: the same characters will re appear at critical junctures.

I thought about Shawn, as I fell asleep at around 3:30 am.

I just finished writing this. The image below dropped into my e mail in box on cue. It is of Shawn, ready to embark on a training ride, in a rising swell, which I had been watching online. It is raining. If you have read this far, you are in. Welcome to the matrix.

K38 Morro Bay

K38 Morro Bay

Wonder

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

It has been a very busy year. So busy in fact, that I have needed to learn how to recharge my creative battery while on the fly. Fashion, Video projects, TV projects, motion pictures, my penchant for documenting beautiful things, travel, new tech, literary projects, commercial imaging, social projects, community, and hopefully some of me for my wonderful girlfriend and family. All of these things have beat a tempo never experienced in the realm of my career as an image maker.

It comes at a time when the economy is without a doubt at one if its worst places in recent history. Things have never been so hard for so many in the scant 50 years that I can recall on this blue ball. It is so distressing with friends and Country being dragged so horribly through the gutter, that it would be a more natural reaction to recoil in horror. But I don’t.

Seth Godin dropped this fantastic blog into my e mail this Sunday morning that had me go: “AHA” and sit down to write and ply the pixel seas for this.

I am supposed to be preparing for a fashion shoot for the next couple days. In fact I am supposed to be doing quite a few things like that.   Four AM today I awoke with the Music Video for Elliot Minor that Tyler Swain and I have been whacking away on in edit for the past two days, alive in my head.  I have watched a lot of their videos recently. High budget deals. Ours is not. Tyler was simply inspired enough by them to pen a concept and call  his friends, who in turn were equally inspired at the band’s ability and desire to deviate from a Pop culture, success formula laden career path, that we threw down our various skills to make something special at a unique fork in their creative path. So we endeavor to create something that will convey passion. The song is dark. We are all about light. It is a creative challenge. Plus there is only talent, no budget. But talent and passion trump dollars every time. All my close friends and colleagues live this credo. So doing fantastic work without a lot of money is just normal to us.

I was struck by what Seth said as he pinpointed exactly why I am busy: I have been focused on fabulous, but more succinctly: on wonder. The money sure isn’t there. But then I have never had that as a motivation for what I do anyway. Much to some of my commercial colleague’s concern over my well being. But it seems to work.

The Dictionary defines wonder here as a noun. Simple word, but since it converts easily to a verb, it is a very intrigueing thing to ponder:

wonder |ˈwəndər|
noun
a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable : he had stood in front of it, observing the intricacy of the ironwork with the wonder of a child.
• the quality of a person or thing that causes such a feeling : Athens was a place of wonder and beauty.
• a strange or remarkable person, thing, or event : the electric trolley car was looked upon as the wonder of the age.
• [as adj. ] having remarkable properties or abilities : a wonder drug.
• [in sing. ] a surprising event or situation : it is a wonder that losses are not much greater.

The worse things have become for the country, the more I have said yes to endeavors that point out the fabulous, the blessing, the awe inspiring. Why? Because we need them.  I want my family, friends and country to thrive. Inspiration is the fuel of innovation and we need that right now.  Possibly like never before. So I am going to continue with tail feathers on fire and hope the sparks ignite something in enough people that I feel it is safe to rest a bit.

I wonder. Here is some. It is all that I have to offer you. But it may be enough, if you treat it as seed. We need to plant seeds right now. No future harvest exists without them.

Liam: Wonder

Liam: Wonder

Looking for Rainbows

Looking for Rainbows

Hans Rathje

Hans Rathje

Zuma

Zuma

Hans: Zuma

Hans: Zuma

puu-5005

puu-4975puu-0320

Minor Monitor Burn

Minor Monitor Burn

Contrast

Contrast

Bliss

Bliss

Indian Summer Sunset

Indian Summer Sunset

My son Jon, me: Family

My son Jon, me: Family

puu26531

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