It’s difficult enough trying to put into words some of my experiences, but cramming an entire year into one post, especially this year has been quite an ordeal…
Welcome to 1127 2009! Hope this year has been outstanding and successful for everyone. This is my 7th year sending out these 1127 emails. Each year I give a quick recap of my past 12 months. Hopefully people will keep me up to date with what they are up to. This year’s 1127 blog will follow a slightly different style than last year’s. Last year, was my first year adding photos to my 1127 blog. After posting that post, I continued to post blogs with lots of photos and descriptions of all my adventures. If I were to include everything that happened since my last 1127 post, It would be 10 times longer than my last year’s post. If you want to check out what that looks like, it’s crazy!!!
I left off on my crazy 1127 blog last year, on a plane flying to China. It’s hard to believe an entire year has passed. Do I feel that I have accomplished what I set out to accomplish in the past 12 months? This is something that I continue to think about. What is it that I accomplished? What am I comparing my accomplishments to? What makes life fulfilling? What is the goal I have this life? My goal has been: “To inspire others.” I’m sure I have inspired people this year, I’m sure I continue to inspire people. Has it been rewarding?
I did manage to fill my year up with many film shoots, many film festivals, many trips, and shot another few hundred thousand photos. I was published in many magazines, and even received an award for a short film I edited. Did I finish the things on my todo list from 2008? No. Did I finish some of them? Yes indeed!
The largest project of my life, which I started back in 2008, continues to be worked on. I hope that 2010 will be a year of finishing many of the incomplete projects I have done over that past few years. In many ways, I feel like I have been writing pages in my “book of life” so fast, but have never bothered to go back, fix the spelling errors, bind the pages, and publish the book!
I am incredibly grateful for the people who choose to surround me with their support. A huge thank you to all the people who continue to inspire me.
So last year, after an amazing shoot out at Burning Man, and several months traveling all over Europe, I ended up in Madrid where my friends, Macgregor, Zac, Pedro, and I talked about doing a trip out to Asia to shoot some tests and location scout for a film project. We left from Madrid on Nov 27th 2008 and flew to Shanghai, China. then to Thailand, including Phi Phi Islands) then to Mumbai, India. Here’s a quick clip from India including a shot of India’s largest slum, Dharavi. India Dec 09-2008 Please read the blog here.
In mid-December, we flew from India, back to Madrid. Once Macgregor and I landed in Madrid, we quickly repacked and flew to London to shoot some footage for a teaser for the Erased Tapes’ band, Codes In The Clouds.
While is London, I got to hang with Erased Tapes Records owner, Robert Raths for a couple days. It was really awesome to see the day-to-day operations of Erased Tapes. Before leaving the UK, I got to meet several other inspirations of mine: Bill Erickson, one of the founders of the BIL Conference, Richard Moross, founder of Moo.com, Frank Da Silva of DMTlabs, and Matt Biddulph, one of the founders of Dopplr.com. I also got to hang out with Anita Ondine of Seize The Media and Lukas Fittl co-founder of Soup.io. Check out the adventures in the UK blog.
Connecticut became home base for the month of January. Roger Ingraham was nice enough to let the As The Dust Settles team set up shop at Highland Terrace.Team ATDS edited all month. Check out the photos, and the blog.
In February, I finally returned back to LA. It had been months and months since I was last in LA. I left in October and continued traveling. I ended up going to 12 countries. The amount of media I created on that trip was crazy! terabytes and terabytes. Please read the blog here.
Days after returning to LA, I found that my hillside was on fire! A pretty large brush fire had erupted very near my house. Lucky for us, the wind was blowing west! We joined many neighborhood people and watched as helicopter after helicopter full of water put out the fires.
Feb 3rd, was Nathan Reid’s comic book release party for his new film Prey: The Beginning. Feb 7th and 8th I got to attend the BIL Conference! Lots of passionate people brainstormed about innovative ideas about what’s going on today and ideas for the future. It’s sorta a sister project of the hugely inspiring conference called TED. While at BIL, I got to meet up again with Bill Erickson, Todd Huffman, EFF Chairman, Brad Templeton, and Lukas Fittl who was in town.
Later in February, I got to join the New Media West: Office Hours meeting, where everyone joined up to discuss new forms of online media projects. It was awesome to see a bunch of people that I hadn’t seen in a while! Shout out to: Mike Ambs, Rudy Jahchan, Casey McKinnon, Ric Rey, Meg McGarry, Brigitte Dale, Cristian Olave, and I also got to meet the co-founder of the Streamy Awards, Marc Hustvedt. February also marked the first time big screen screening of America’s Phoneless. We had many of the cast and crew there at LAFS, it was great!
Macgregor and I shot this teaser for the Erased Tapes band, Codes In The Clouds. Their new album came out in June. Macgregor also finished the ad we shot for Nissan out in Death Valley last year = genius! Codes teaser. Nissan spec.
In March, Arin flew out to LA to do a couple presentations. One was at Cal Arts for Jon Reiss’ new media class, and the other was Film Independent’s Directors Close Up event with Sleepdealer Director, Alex Rivera. I got to shoot photos and video for Arin, and it was neat to be part of the events and be around like-minded people, thinking about ideas for the future of how we are changing the film industry and distribution.
March also marked the completion of the UYUNI project! Thanks everyone for making the REDuser.net thread the second most viewed thread in the “Shot on Red” section in the history of the forum. Here is a quick slideshow of production and post: And here is the first 2 minutes.
We then picked up Jackie at the OC airport and started the most epic PCH road trip ever. I have never done the PCH, so I figured I would take the opportunity to head up the coast on my way to the Sacramento Film Fest and the Ashland Film Fest for the premiere of Wake Up You’re Sleeping.
We headed north and visited with Randy Carranza, and his daughter Alexis, then stayed at Markus Sandy’s house, the Digital Dojo. The next morning we met up with Scott London and his daughter Gabriela in Santa Barbara and visited with them. We then met up with Trevor Carpenter and camped on the beach at Pismo Beach.
In the morning we had breakfast with Steve Gibby, then headed to Cal Poly SLO to visit with Katharina, then to Bubble Gum Alley, past the seals, up through Big Sur, past the Bixby Bridge, to meet up with Miles and Elise, then stayed with my friend Robin Beck and her daughter Allison. The next morning we had breakfast with Jessica Zylker who I hadn’t seen for 20 years, then drove out to Lake Tahoe, NV to drop Nathan off. We stayed that night with my Primal Quest friend, Aja Cook. The next morning, we got to shoot with Lauren Rosenbaum, Karen Strolia, and Diyosa, all super inspiring flickr friends. That same day, while we were doing the epic road trip, the film I edited, America’s Phoneless, screened at the Lake Havasu Film Fest and won the Final Cut Award!!!
We then headed to SF and went photowalking with Thomas Hawk at the SF MOMA, then met up with Tristan Savatier and talked about Burning Man and photography. We then headed to Startup Weekend (which was created by my friend, Andrew Hyde.) Tyler Willis and Jeremy Tanner organized the SF Weekend which went really well! Many of the startups won’t end up sticking, but some do, like my friend Paul Stamatiou’s project from Atlanta Startup Weekend 2007, Skribit.com. Anyways, I had a fun time shooting photos and video I hope to edit some day. I also finally got to meet Daniel Brusilovsky, one of my inspiring internet friends.
We stayed that night with my friend Jerry Paffendorf at The Dragon Drop and headed to the Burning Man BBQ where we met up with fellow Burners and met with Marian Goodell, Heather Gallagher (Camera girl), and Andie Grace (Actiongrl) !!! And I finally got to meet Michael Michael (Danger Ranger), one of the original Burning Man co-founders and a huge inspiration for my documentary As The Dust Settles.
We then headed to the Sacramento Film Fest screening 11am on Sunday April 5th. It was fun to see the team all together. Brette Way, who plays Emma in the film, and her husband Evan (both in an awesome LA band called The Parson Red Heads) came up for the film fest.
After the fest, we headed north to Redding and hung out with Tracy Evans and her family, then up to Ashland, OR for the premiere of Wake Up You’re Sleeping! It was a sold out screening of over 200 people! Nathanial Bennett, the director, gave a great Q&A. Many people were excited to get the DVD or find out where they could see the film again.
We then headed down to Redding to hang out with team SOAR which is one of the adventure race teams I met while shooting Primal Quest in Montana. We went snow shoeing for the day in Lassen National Forest with Betty and Tom Thomas. Crazy fun!!! I also got to shoot some RED footage of the team bike riding.
We then traveled south to Alex Rich’s house. Alex is the genius musician who did the music for the SXSW video I did last year. He has several projects going, including his new project Tonight’s the Night. We then headed to Reno, NV with out hitting any deer!!! or getting cought in the snow storm, and met up with Lauren Randolph!!!!! (jumpshot photographer extraordinaire, and member of the ATDS team) We got to hang out with her for the day and shot some jumpshots. Yes this photo hit Flickr Explore!!!!!
Here’s a recap of April and May. The blog has a ton of photos. April 15th, I went to the DVD Party for the film The Art of Travel which Chris Masterson starred in. The film was directed by Thomas Whelan and produced by my filmmaking friend Brian LaBelle. Erased Tapes launched a great series called Found Songs, where Olafur Arnalds did one song per day for a whole week. All the songs were free and never before released! It was awesome! On April 19th, my two best friends from high school, Kellyn and Nikki got married. Wow. Happy for them. Wish them all the success in their marriage. Here’s the wedding set.
Did Jury Service for a few days which sucked…. Then Alex’s new EP for his side project, Tonight’s The Night launched on itunes! I then went to the Evolver Los Angeles launch where Daniel Pinchbeck ran a gathering of minds. A few days later my friend Leah Meyerhoff cast the main actors for her film Unicorns. She was written up in Variety. congrats!
On April 30th I got to work with Logan Kugler for a few articles he was writing for some magazines. We got to hang out with Jay Leno at his Garage. It was neat. Look for my photos in Autoweek. Big shout out to my friend and fellow photography Brad Kugler for the opportunity.
On that same day, Mike Ambs also started his journey east. He will be editing Project Pedal in Michigan for a while. Excited for new episodes of Pedal and the cut of the genius feature documentary film, For Thousands of Miles !!!!!! Also in May, Roger (who did the film Moonshine) launched his new short film, The Age of Change online.
The adventures never seemed to slow down. Late in May, I got to team up with Hunter Weeks (10 MPH/10 Yards/Ride the Divide) and Mike Dion on a project for Quiznos. I joined the team and did the lower 48 states in 12 days. Check out the blog here. Here’s the flickr set. Here’s one of the videos we made on the trip.
Immediately after returning from the epic 50 States in 14 Days journey all over the US, I jumped in my car, and headed to Yosemite to join Tiff and Todd and their family for a couple days up in Yosemite and the Sequoias. Seeing Half Dome again was so awesome! It’s been a while since I was last up in Yosemite. Seeing the giant Sequoias was super fun, we even got to drive through one =) Tiff shoots awesome photos. Here’s the blog.
Griffith Park!!!!!! I have wanted to do the tour of Griffith Observatory for many years. Back in 2002 they closed the doors and started a $93 million renovation and expansion project. In November 2006, they reopened with several new exhibits! It was super fun getting to enjoy the new exhibits. At night we even got to see Saturn through a telescope. Here’s Tiff’s post, and my blog.
Halves!!!! Awhile back, I started a collaboration project called Halves. The idea is that each person picks 5 things to shoot and we both shoot all 10. I finished two of the Halves projects!!!!! One with Meghan Plowman, here’s the set: Link And another one with Tracey Mellinger. Here’s the set: Link Each of these sets are awesome!!!! We hope to make some awesome prints at some point.
I couldn’t join the DIYDAYS in Philly, so I made a video. Arin Crumley and Zak Forsman, among others did a neat panel called: Changes in Creative Collaboration. Here is the video I made which was part of the New Breed project from The Workbook Project.
July? August? They flew by. Check out the blog! My friend Robert Hogg and his company, Toy Kite Software launched a crazy genius iphone game called iSamurai. If you have an iphone, it’s a pretty genius app. One of my major inspirations is a genius filmmaker named Ondi Timoner. Her latest documentary, We Live In Public, is out now!!! Lots of screenings everywhere. Since she won best documentary at this year’s Sundance, she has been touring all over the world for various film festivals. The film is now out! Check out the trailer here. I was excited to receive a copy of Issue#81 of MovieMaker Magazine. This issue has a list of the Top Ten Indie Innovators. Arin Crumley is on the list, and my photo was used as the photo page for the article. It’s a shot from our 2008 shoot at Burning Man for As The Dust Settles. Here’s a link to the PDF. I blogged about it on the ATDS blog here. I went to RED’s REDucation Day. I got to briefly hang out with Mark from Off Hollywood & Ted from RED & Dino & Mike Cioni & Alexander from Octamas. It was neat seeing a bunch of my original RED inspirations.
I finally got to see BURDEN!!!!!!!!!!! I have been a huge fan of this project for many many years. My friend Michael Lynch directed it out in Chicago, Here’s a blog with a bunch of photos from the premiere !!! Link I also got to attend the DVXUSER screening, which was at the Downtown Indie Theatre this year. Zak did an awesome job running it. Some really great work. I also got to see Javier again! It was like a mini FHTA reunion!!!! Jackie was out in LA for part of August, so we went to the beach for a day! It was nice seeing her.
In August, Kieran Murphy (who I worked with back in the day on Eagle Eye) was shooting a TV show pilot for director Hadley Klein called Good Morning Rabbit. Nathan flew in to AC on the shoot, and RED998 with the Canon lenses was once again used to shoot some genius footage. If anyone was following the ATDS twitter, you would have known that As The Dust Settles was chosen to be part of the IndieGoGo Tease and Screen event at the Sausalito Film Fest. It was a super neat experience and the screening was sold out. We got to join several other IndieGoGo films including Zak Forsman’s Eloquent Graffiti. I got to screen a really unique interactive teaser. I blogged about it on the ATDS blog. IndieGoGo also blogged about the event here.
Late in August, my friend Terry Jones finally launched FluidDB. Crazy excited to see where this project will go!!! A while ago, Ozan, Macgregor, and I shot a spec ad for the Aston Martin Vantage. Big thanks to Ted Prescott!!! RED998 and RED506 at it again!!!! Here’s the spec ad: http://vimeo.com/6255317 Macgregor also finished a nice montage of what we shot on RED998 while in India in December. It’s an epic video postcard! Here’s my Flickr set.
Anyone follow the LA fires? It seemed like my house was surrounded.
The first week of September, with a huge epic participatory documentary not yet complete, I headed back to Burning Man. Last year was crazy epic in every way possible. It was my first time, and I was producing a huge documentary. Last year’s blog after BM. We loaded the bikes and headed out. This year’s theme was “Evolution” Check out the awesome blog with all the photos. and the flickr set.
The experience at this year’s Burning Man was extremely different from last year. This year I found myself alone most of the time. I did end up hanging out with a bunch of the As The Dust Settles photobook team! So that was really neat. Huge shout out to Katie Lee, Scott London, Lauren Randolph, Tristan Savatier, Ryan Jesena, Tomas Loewy, John Curley, and Gary Cohen
I did manage to find some of the people who worked with me on the documentary we did last year. It was nice seeing them.
And lastly, I did end up finding Larry Harvey. I even got to say thank you to him eye-to-eye.
Right after arriving back from Burning Man, I got to be part of a really great short film directed by Ruairi Robinson (Academy Award nominee in 2002). Ruairi has been a huge inspiration of mine for many years. He has done many successful short films and commercials. I saw The Silent City, and I said, wow. genius! So I was grateful and excited to be able to work with him. Macgregor flew in to be the cinematographer on the project, and Nathan Garofalos flew in to be the 2nd AC. I ended up being the 2nd AD and on set still photographer. I dealt with everyone’s paper work and made sure everything on set was running smoothly. It was a fun-filled week with an awesome cast and crew! Check out the blog here.
Can’t wait to work with Ruairi again. One of the producers was Nick Ryan. He did an awesome film called A Lonely Sky and has also been one of my inspirations. We shot on a few RED cameras, the main one with ELITE anamorphic lenses, and RED998 with some Canon lenses for some cut-aways.
Right after I returned all the gear from Ruairi’s shoot, Ozan flew in from Vancouver. A few days later, on Sept 30th, Macgregor, Ozan, RED998, and I took off for a crazy road trip adventure! Neither Macgregor or Ozan had seen the sites of California. And even though I had just been on a crazy neat trip up to Yosemite, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with them on a few projects. Day 1 of the trip took us out past the Salton Sea, to Imperial Sand Dunes.
Check out the trip blog.
We then met up with Ayz Waraich and his team. We shot for a day on a project he was working on with a few actors. For parts of the day we had 20mph winds. Fun times were had!
We shot in the SF area for a couple days and briefly met up with Aaron Marshall. Aaron did the music for UYUNI!!! He is also a genius filmmaker. We then headed up to Marin County. Such a beautiful place!!! Then we headed down to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The Redwood trees are so beautiful and green!
Along the long drive back to LA, we stopped in Bakersfield area to shoot near the old oil fields there. Our last stop on the crazy adventure before Ozan and Macgregor flew out, was shooting on the beach in the Malibu/Point Dume area… at Sunset of course!
My friends over at Panacea have put together probably one of the most important collections ever. Free energy technology is real and has been real for a very long time. I have been doing extensive research in this field ever since I read Atlas Shrugged. There are countless people who have developed all sorts of inventions that use the energy that we have at our finger tips. Can you imagine if we gathered some of the greatest inventors and offered them some of the funds that we just spent in the middle east? Check out the YouTube playlist Part 1 and Part 2 playlist.
Without a moment to relax, my adventures continued. Check out the Oct/Nov Split blog here. After getting back from the epic CA road trip, I got busy doing taxes and eating pizza… DejaVu? I joined Arin Crumley at the FIND Filmmaker Forum after party. He was part of a discussion with Lizzie Gillett, one of the producers of The Age of Stupid, and one of the people involved with Indie Screenings. I also got to hang out with Ondi Timoner and chatted about ATDS.
A couple days later I got to meet up with Rob Hindle. He is the genius filmmaker behind The Lone Filmmaker series. For many years he has been making a feature film by himself. I showed him a couple teasers for As The Dust Settles that I was working on, and we talked about filmmaking.
Late in October was the launch of Workbook Project’s RADAR Season 2!! Oct 30 was the RED announcement, for the new cameras Scarlet and Epic. We had over 12,000 people on REDuser for the announcement. Crazy excited about the new cameras.
For several days in the beginning of November, I got to shoot some BTS stills for my friend Ayz’s sci-fi short, The Devine River. It was awesome being on set, and having solely the focus of shooting great BTS stills. Normally I’m multi-tasking, or producing or running around as an AD. So it was neat to be able to shoot for him. The film should turn out really nicely. They shot on RED with some anamorphic lenses. I also got to meet Karen Abad, who was also helping out with the shoot. She’s a fellow Project Pedal fan and supporter.
The month of November continued. After countless hours of importing/labeling/organizing/yelling at miniDV tapes, and countless terabytes of copying/indexing/formatting, night after night after night, I end up heading to bed just catching our nearest star rising over the horizon. The sunrises are epically beautiful.
Noah Kadner’s book got published on Peachpit!!! I have a bunch of photos is the book including a photo on page 1 of us shooting As The Dust Settles. His book, RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera, covers a bunch of info about the RED camera and working with the workflow. You can get the book at Amazon.com
Amongst all the crazy projects I have been doing, I did get to watch Jason Calacanis’s show, This Week In Startups a couple times. He did one with Matt Mullenweg and another one with Gary Vaynerchuk. (whose genius book, CRUSH IT! just came out) These are amongst my favorite #TWIST shows yet. Here’s Matt’s and here’s Gary’s.
For the last couple weeks I have been dealing with a lot of media manage type stuff. I also have been working on a project, getting several thousand slides sorted and mailed out to ScanCafe and DigMyPics. These photos are from the 60′s and 70′s mostly, so getting them scanned and organized is important. I am finding some truly beautiful moments captured by my mom and dad.
During the months of October and November I shared a ton of things on my facebook wall. I shared links to things that inspired me, I asked questions and got feedback, I also shared some things that people should be aware of. I have not been very vocal with all the information I have. Maybe I will decide to be more vocal at some point. But really what needs to happen, is that people need to wake up. There are things that have happened in our country and on our planet that have been kept secret for many many decades. Recently, with the power and freedom of the internet, people have decided to go public by becoming whistleblowers, people have decided to speak out about things. Please do research. All information is now available online. Find out the truth.
I invite you to read the blog here.
I shared all sorts of genius things including:
Oct 15: I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many people who love me. thank you for all your energy and support. You are not the costumes you wear. you are not your fears. you are not your body. you are not what others think. relax. Remember. The DNA in your 100 trillion cells in your body, if stretched end to end, will wrap around planet Earth 5 million times….!!
Oct 27: Ali rockin’ her US tour for her new album!!!!! Live video from Alabama!!! www.afinefrenzy.com Seriously getting close… another few days of crazy confusing copies and back ups… then Day 1 of editing begins! I dare you to be you. Remember to treat each life experience as a gain, it will always benefit you better. I was talking to some of my plants today… They brought up some neat ideas I had not thought of in a while. Plants don’t need to understand english. They understand our emotions. Love plants! or for the short version of one of the key parts. So beautiful! the clusters of galaxies are so epic. Hubble’s universe.
Nov 1: We are now in the month of November! I’ve never been more excited in my entire life. Nov 4: when we become young enough to understand, there will no longer be any questions. Nov 5: so… can someone please write a super neat script using some of the things on this wonderful list!!!! love it!!!! Or maybe a series of shorts!!! Here’s page 5. Nov 6: some of the greatest stars of my life: My mom, grandma, and aunt.
Nov 9: On Flickr, I recently hit 110,000 view counts on my stream! and someone bought me an extra year of Flickr Pro!!!! thank you!!! Nov 13: be careful who you listen to. Just because before, you may have believed the lies of certain people, doesn’t mean that you can’t do some research for yourself and learn what the truth really is. Be fearless, it’s magic.
Nov 23: So, the emails were leaked. Nothing new, the lies have been told for years and years. Instead of trying to figure out who will make more money, can we focus on some solutions now? I’m increasingly interested in nothing. The fullness and completeness of nothing… simple. clean. unattached. Nov 24: Each of us assigns the meaning to things we focus on. What we focus on is what we feel.
Back on October 9th I posted an update on my facebook wall. It stated:
“The list has countless things on it…… but this morning at around 3 am I became enlightened. It’s a feeling I have never had. and I feel that it will never go away. I will be finishing my current slate of actions and I will be moving on to another place and time.”
Soon, I hopefully will finish several projects. I want to get the Room 27 DVD available online. I also have some awesome BTS video to edit for Wake Up You’re Sleeping! and UYUNI. I also need to finish the greatest participatory documentary ever made: As The Dust Settles.
Anyone gonna be out at Sundance in January?
All the photos I take: flickr.com/mikehedge
All my semi-daily updates: twitter.com/mikehedge
All the great sites/links I tag: delicious.com/mikehedge
Here is my facebook: facebook.com/mikehedge
Here is my RSS feed: feeds.feedburner.com/mikehedge
Appreciation, happiness, freedom, energy, love, and remember think for yourself.
Being grateful. Light and Love, Mike Hedge