November 12, 2013
Today felt like June in San Diego, just with a much lower sun. I’m making progress on the 3rd SD Study video, which reorganizes auto traffic on 163 according to car color. The abstract art above is my mouse path from three hours of After Effects work I did this afternoon. These are fun to look at – I’m always surprised by the shear quantity of movement at a task the FEELS like it has no movement at all. A blow-up below:
November 4, 2013
I’m working hard this week to move my new San Diego Study vid forward. The new one will reorganized traffic on the 163 freeway according to car color to reveal the city’s preference. I’m still very surprised that so many people drive silver/gray cars in San Diego. It’s such a sunny town you’d expect a little more color. I’m in my fifth week of editing with a few to go. When I’m done will someone please throw a bucket of Gatorade on me?
I’m also excited to move forward with a new community collaborator: Green Elementary School. We’re just starting to work the details out but what I hope to do with the school is show the total number of kids that use a swing set over the period of five days. I visited a class recently and was blown away by the kids. They’re a savvy crew with big ambitions. There are a couple of girls who want to be pro football players, which is incredible. The princess narrative that’s laid on young girls is so unbelievably lame and limiting, it was really neat to hear these girls talk about their ambitions without limits.
October 29, 2013
Scott Hamilton Kennedy whose film The Garden was nominated for an Oscar in 2008 will be in San Diego this Saturday November 2 to give a 3 hour master class at the Media Arts Center (10am-1pm). The event costs $50.00, which is a steal. Below is the trailer for The Garden. Click here for MORE INFO. Click here to REGISTER.
October 29, 2013
The Asian Film Festival in San Diego is fast approaching. Tag your Instagram vids with #SDAFFartistalley2013 #SDAFF #SDAsianFilmFestival and they may screen your work during the fest. Here’s one I made…wizard.
From the organizer:
“Participate in #NOFILTER the San Diego Asian Film Festival Artist Alley Exhibition. Join Pacific Arts Movement and use moving pictures to move minds! Follow @pacartsmovement on Instagram and tag your photo and video entries with #SDAFFartistalley2013 #SDAFF #SDAsianFilmFestival Selected entries will be displayed at SDAFF 2013 from 11/7-11/16 at Digiplex Mission Valley.
October 28, 2013
I’ve spent the last several days preparing for a photo review, something I’ve never done before. I needed to re-scan a few negatives, which inevitably turned into me doing a complete inventory of every picture I’ve made on film in the last six years. Many of my strongest pictures I took in Baghdad. I was amazed to discover that in the 16 months I was there I only took 250 pictures on film. Considering the number of images I like, I can’t believe the shot ratio. It’s a testament to analog. Yes, the quality of medium format is incredible but the value of being slowed down to a near stop and paying for every shot may be the real factor.
October 27, 2013
Working late putting a photo portfolio together for the Medium Fest of Photography, which is fast approaching. It’s a nice break from all After Effects work for the vid series.
October 24, 2013
I’ve been working for three weeks now editing a new piece for the San Diego Studies. I’m reorganizing traffic on the 163 freeway by car color. I had no idea how many people drive grey/silver cars and how few drive cars with color. The vast majority are either grey, silver, black or white. It surprised me. It’s a challenging piece to put together because of the numbers of cars but it’s coming along. It’s funny that it only took around three hours to shoot and will take a few hundred hours to edit.
I’ve found a companion while editing that I have never had before. Since these films have no dialog I can listen to audio books while I work. During this edit I’ve listened to Revolution 1989 by Victor Sebestyen, How Music Works by David Byrne, 1493 by Charles Mann and Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana. I’ve found that the better the book is the longer and faster I work. It’s a massive improvement over Pandora or my iTunes collection, which I erased recently…on purpose.
Two Years Before the Mast has been of special interest to me since this work I’m doing is about San Diego and much of the book’s account of a sailing expedition in the 1830′s takes place in San Diego when it was just a bay and a Spanish precidio. I’m amazed by his accounts of Sandwich Islanders, Russians, Italians, Native Americans, Spaniards and Mexicans all interacting in a distant wilderness called California. If they could have only known what the real estate values would be…
Below is a sample of what the final video will look something like. 163 was the city’s first freeway.
September 11, 2013
I was in the Peace Corps when it happened. I lived on the fifth floor of a block house in rural Lithuania and I didn’t have a television. We were seven hours ahead of New York/EST. I finished teaching for the day. Walked home, washed the day off and played guitar for a while. I walked across the square to the grocey store.
Tomas was one of my best students. I think I was looking at cornflakes. He said in Lithaunian, “Cy, the towers in New York are on fire.” I had no idea what he meant because the word tower doesn’t translate to Towers. He kept going on and on, I thought he was joking. He was always joking. Then something about the Pentagon. None of it made sense. “Come to my house.”
I rode in the back seat of his father’s car. He and Tomas were silent in the front seats. What’s the joke I wondered. Tomas was always joking. When we pulled into the driveway I started to think something was really up. The joke would have happened by now?
The living room was dark. Tom’s mother and little sister sat silently looking at a small television screen. The screen was indiscernible. After a few moments I realized we were watching dust clear. The second tower had just fallen.
September 10, 2013
I did some more test shots at Silver Strand State Beach today. This is the Bus Stop piece. I had more trouble operating my umbrella than I did the camera.
The story I want to tell with this one is about the numbers of people who use the bus and the number of times/day the bus comes by. The challenges are many. That chain link fence between the camera and the bus stop is just one of many complications. All the detailed geometry created by the wire means the background and foreground shots have to overlap perfectly. That’s hard because the foreground will be shot with a video camera on one day and the background will be shot with a still camera on another but the lenses have to sit in the exact same spot at the same focal length. Both shots will take a full day with zero movement. It’s a zen challenge.