This is the annual 1127 email/blog I always post on November 27th, but due to the universe presenting non-stop opportunities, that took me all over the world, I have been unable to get the email out until now.
Welcome to 1127 2008!
Wow. Hope this year has been happy and successful for everyone. I have been sending out these emails for 6 years now. Every year, I try to stay in touch with everyone, by sending out an email updating people on what I’ve been up to, in hopes that others will keep me up to date with what they are up to.
So in November of 2007, I went to the The Winnies. It was put on by Bonny, Lan, and Vu Bui, and a lot of online new media friends were there. I ended up winning the Adventurous Spirit award, so that was pretty neat! I made an awesome picturevideo of the event.
In December, we got the spec ad for Nike posted and I went skiing with my family up in Mammoth. It was some great skiing. While there, my Grandma passed away in her sleep. She was an accomplished painter and artist, and always an inspiration to me.
In January, I got to be a production assistant on the feature film, Eagle Eye starring Shia LeBebouf. It was a really interesting experience, all the PAs on set for the days I was there, got to make sure the streets were clear and safe so we could film giant car crashes.
As a Ron Paul supporter, I continued sharing his ideas, and in January we got the opportunity to go around the neighborhood and talk to people house by house. The small group of friends I was with, ended up spreading the message of freedom and the reminder to vote in the February elections, to 120 homes. Then late in January I drove out to Park City for Sundance, and met up with a bunch of friends. I saw many films including Phoebe in Wonderland starring Elle Fanning and Sleepwalking which used a song in the film and credits by my friend Ali from A Fine Frenzy.
After Sundance, I drove out to the SLC area to go skiing up at Brighton with a friend. It was really cold, but there was tons of snow. I ended up back in LA, and got to shoot some behind the scenes shots for an AFI film that my friend, Michael McGuire was producing.
In February, I drove north to San Francisco, where a bunch of my photos were part of a huge collaborative photo project that the Art House Co-op runs, called A Million Little Pictures. It was awesome to be part of it, and I was one of the few featured photographers at the art show. While in SF I also got to go photowalking with Thomas Hawk!!!
In March, I headed out to Austin, Texas for SXSW with friend and fellow filmmaker Mike Ambs. The drive took us 35 hours. While at SXSW I got to shoot many panels for From Here To Awesome. I also got to see many films and hang out with many of my filmmaker friends. On the last day I was there, I got to talk to Mark Cuban for a brief moment. I told him that Ryan Dacko had finished his film, Plan 9 From Syracuse and the DVD would be for sale soon. Mark said congrats. The DVD, with some neat special features is now for sale on Amazon.com or for rent on Netflix.com The awesome picturevideo that I made from all the photos I shot at SXSW ended up getting reblogged on sites like Variety.com, Cinematical.com, Filmmaker Magazine, and IndieWire.com, it was awesome.
Later on in March, to meet the submission deadline for From Here to Awesome, I got two trailers up for two films I was part of. One was the short I produced that we shot using 16,000 still photos called Louder Than Words. I also was the editor of the short comedy film Ted Prescott directed called America’s Phoneless.
In April, I got to drive out to Las Vegas for the annual NAB conference. Sidenote- When people get their RED cameras, normally people will shoot photos of the unboxing so others can share the passion and excitement. Some people have even shot video of the unboxing, but no one had ever done a live unboxing. So I set up the web camera, and from the hotel I broadcasted the unboxing of RED camera number 998, which had finally arrived days before NAB.
While at NAB, at a special REDuser party, Erik Widding showcased his Birger mount for the RED camera, that lets you switch out the standard PL mount for a Canon EOS mount. I was super excited about this, as all my still photography Canon lenses could be used with the RED camera then. It was truly awesome to see, but we would have to wait a few more months to actually beta test it. After NAB, I drove out to the dust flats in Utah to do a test shoot with fellow filmmakers Macgregor and Ozan. We shot on 2 RED cameras and tested out a new set of Zeiss high speed prime lenses.
Later in April, Arin and Susan had the cable television release of their film, Four Eyed Monsters, and the DVD was finally made available for people to buy. They did an exclusive deal at Borders stores. I decided to help them with their west coast tour of the film, and so in May, drove to Seattle. We ended up doing a west coast tour to various friends of the film and in Portland shot a video with Gingerbread Patriots who had music in some of the episodes. We ended up arriving back in LA in time for the huge Google/YouTube event where Arin got to join the panel with other successful YouTube filmmakers.
Later in May, I left with my dad for Israel to help the Association for Peace and Understanding. Traveling around Israel was amazing, there is so much history and culture, and many religions all getting along. We explored Old Jerusalem, saw the ancient fortress of Masada, saw the Sea of Galilee, stayed at a kibbutz, and visited Tel Aviv. I also got to float on the Dead Sea and went kayaking down the Jordan river on my birthday. The trip was incredible. I left Tel Aviv and flew to NYC to shoot a friends’ wedding. It was a really awesome wedding with so many great people, it was fantastic. Congrats Gabi and Nathan Reid!
In June, I got a ride down to South Carolina to meet up with fellow filmmakers and friends Roger Ingraham and Arin Crumley to shoot a documentary while traveling up the east coast, after many days of filming, we ended up at the Kushi Institute in Becket, MA. I shot a bunch of photos for them. It was really relaxing and beautiful, although we nearly got struck by lightning. From there, we visited Red Fire Farm where we picked strawberries, moved hay, and had a bonfire.
I then flew to Montana for Primal Quest 2008, where I was one of the lead photographers for the event. For ten days I got to chase racers as they competed in several skill sections including: mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing, trail running, and water boarding. It was a crazy couple weeks spent out in the beautiful Big Sky area of Montana. Mike Kloser and team Nike ended up winning! Photo Link.
After saying goodbye to many of my new adventure racing friends, I headed west to go water skiing on a lake for Fourth of July. I got to visit friends out in Montana, Washington, Oregon, and ended up at the Burning Man office July 8th. There I met with Communications Manager for Burning Man, Andie Grace. She liked our proposal we had submitted months earlier and approved my documentary project for Burning Man. I posted a great blog recapping all my travels over the summer: Link
Days after I returned to LA, both of the projects that I had submitted to From Here To Awesome won!!!! So both were picked to be part of the top 10 shorts. All the films launched at a huge filmmaker event in LA called DIY DAYS. I was also in Filmmaker Magazine for the Summer 2008 Issue. Here are the photos from DIY DAYS LA.
In August, Viola and her family from Italy came out to California to visit, I had a blast hanging out with them for a couple days. I then headed up to San Francisco for the DIY DAYS SF event. Which was sponsored by Current TV. It was an awesome event with many great speakers. The DVD, which I helped shoot, which has all the panels from DIY DAYS LA is now for sale.
So after a couple weeks of conference calls, Skype chats, getting people committed, and preparing for the huge collaborative documentary, a great team of 25 people was created. I booked many airline tickets, got the RED cameras ready, got some great advice about sound from the guys at Coffey, researched ways to protect all the gear from the elements out at Black Rock City, and ended up with 16 people at my house. All of us were ready to head out to Burning Man to meet up with the others.
On Aug 24th we headed out to Burning Man, which became the most epic two weeks ever. So for 12 days, we filmed with several HD cameras, a few still cameras, and 3 RED cameras, one with the beta Birger mount =), all together capturing 450 hours of material. I ended up shooting 7000 behind the scenes photos of the production. Burning Man is a place like no other. For two weeks about 50,000 people gather in the desert to express their ideas following ten basic principles. Many people build giant art projects. For many years I have been inspired by the photos from the event, always wanting to shoot a project out there. I am so honored to have gotten the opportunity to work with such an awesome team of people, so thank you, and thanks to Andie and the Burning Man staff and thanks to RED, Birger, Element Technica. Stay updated on the progress of the film at www.asthedustsettles.com
After finally returning to LA, Arin, Nathan, and I resized, copied, and renamed a ton of media on many hard drives. I also got to shoot behind the scenes stills for a TV show pilot that was shot with several RED cameras called Oregon Files. Should be an awesome project…
In October, I flew out to Washington, DC for the pre-wedding party for Amy and Erik Widding, then headed north to NYC to shoot some footage with our As The Dust Settles team.
I then got on a plane with Jackie and flew to Iceland. We spent several days there shooting the huge music festival called Iceland Airwaves and also met up with fellow photographer and friend Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir
We then flew on to Ireland and London, where As The Dust Settles got to be part of the London Film Festival by being part of Power to the Pixel. We were part of the Project Forum launch, with 3 other films. The Project Forum is a new marketplace for cross-media projects. Arin Crumley was also one of the featured speakers. Here is his video from his talk about collaboration. Arin and Lance were also part of a talk about audience. All my photos from Power to the Pixel Link
After P2P, we headed to shows in Oxford and London shooting for Erased Tapes musician, Olafur Arnalds. Some of the RED footage is now part of the short film by Iceland filmmaker, Gunnar B. Gudbjornsson. While in Oxford, we visited my friend Jerome who is the genius behind Message To Bears. We then ended our UK adventures filming for my friend Robert Raths, at his label night where 3 of my favorite bands performed. Shout out to Codes in the Clouds, Kyte, and The British Expeditionary Force. Stay tuned with the great artists from Erased Tapes Records.
Later in October, we were in Filmmaker Magazine page 106. Then Jackie and I took the Chunnel into France to shoot at Mont Saint-Michel and visit friends along northern France. Then to Switzerland to hang with Tobias Straka and the team from Octamas. We then headed to Torino, Italy where we met up with Viola and her family who live there. She is a really amazing kid, I look forward to shooting a film with her some day.
Later in November, we headed to Madrid, Spain to meet up with Macgregor and the team who I shot with on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2007. We were there doing final color correction and sound mixing for the final version of the film UYUNI. While in Spain, Jackie, Macgregor, Bianca, and I headed to the south of Spain to visit Granada. It was beautiful!
While I was in Europe traveling around, so was Ali with her band A Fine Frenzy. She was playing a show in Zurich, Switzerland, so I quickly booked a flight and filmed her show at the Kaufleuten with 2 REDs
I then headed back to Madrid, where Macgregor, Zac, Pedro, and I talked about doing a trip out to Asia to shoot some tests and location scout for a film project.
And here it is November 27th 2008. I’m leaving in a few hours for Shanghai, China!!! I will be traveling for several more weeks, as the trip will take us to China, Thailand, and India. After that?
And finally, I just found out that the feature film I produced, Wake Up You’re Sleeping, which was directed by my friend, Nathaniel Bennett, will be premiering at the Sacramento and Ashland film festivals in April! So if you are around those cities, let me know.
Good luck, peace, happiness, freedom, energy, love, and remember think for yourself.