A Sort of Love Note to My Paris Crew

This is partly an account of the amazing things that happened over the past three weeks, geriatrician but mostly a massive thank you to those who were involved: 

On March 17th, hemophilia I booked a ticket with writer / actor Kevin Clark from LA to NY to Paris for departure only two and a half weeks later. We decided to shoot an independent feature film with three weeks of prep and three weeks of travel / production. For crew, my brother, a photographer in San Francisco, came to run sound and serve as some kind of assistant. The three of us, armed with my small-yet-reliable network of friends in Paris, completed not only a feature, but a companion short film as well.  We shot 14 total days in locations ranging from the amazingly-lit streets of the Marais to the Pere Lachaise cemetery to Jonathan’s amazing artist studio in Gentilly, filled with sculptures, a 150-year old lithographic press, a real human skeleton and painted canvases up to 3 meters long. We created an art gallery in the Cité Universitaire’s Fondation des Étas Unis, we shot  all over the city in shops, cafes, over canals, under monuments and in parks. The entire city felt like it was our set and we found quite a few of its inhabitants to be part of our cast. As I sit on a train, cruising under the English channel for the final stop of my trip (some decompression time with a great friend), all I can think about is “how the hell did this actually happen and get finished?”

The answer is easy, but it still blows my mind: friendship and generosity. Kevin and I had this crazy idea to make something while our other film in LA is on hiatus but never knew what to actually expect:

-I wasn’t expecting my brother, Clay to fly to Paris from SF for the entire shoot to be there helping for every moment for absolutely nothing in return. Nor was I expecting my friend Nadia to train down from London to help as a script supervisor for five days of shooting.

-I certainly wasn’t expecting Jonathan Shimony to offer me his entire studio for cast and crew to basically take over for two and a half weeks. I wasn’t expecting him to allow us to use all of his work as the work of our lead actress in the film either, or setting up a private gallery for us to shoot a scene in.

-I wasn’t expecting Michèle Catillon, someone I sparked a friendship with in the last FEW DAYS of my months in Paris last summer, to power through the entire shoot, finding us locations and setting up casting and just generally making sure everything was happening smoothly.

-I wasn’t expecting that, thanks to Michèle, we would discover someone as wonderful as Barbara Probst, a young French actress who not only put up with the whirlwind nature of a film shot more or less on a whim, but raised the spirits of the entire crew and basically sang her way through every day no matter how long or last-minute.

-I wasn’t expecting Fleur and Jerome to allow me to use their music in the film, but come to the studio and record instrumental versions of anything I wanted with the offer to do even more later. They even spent an afternoon with us to play as street musicians in a scene.

The list of favors is so long that I can’t even come close to thanking everyone for what they have done. I haven’t even touched on all the resources we pulled in New York like musician Matt Fazzi playing a small role and some friends of Kevin’s donating their mansion and Rolls Royce for two days of shooting.

All I can say is that regardless of how the actual film turns out, going through this process with Kevin, Michele, Clay and Barbara with the aid of amazing people like Jonathan, Fleur, Jerome, Nadia and everyone who donated their stores and spaces and acting services even if they weren’t actors is without a doubt the thing in my life I am most proud of pulling off. If it could just help Jonathan sell a few extra paintings, Fleur and Jerome spread their music to the US, and Barbara get another leading role in a film, I feel I’ve been successful in my efforts.

Thank you, everyone. Really…

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A New Year, New Updates

Howdy!

2013 kicked off in a crazy way, unhealthy coming back into town for only three days in January before flying out to Manhattan to shoot out all of the NY scenes for the feature that I am currently DPing. Shooting is now on hold until our couple weeks of completion, most likely in March, and will move onto post. There are a few well-known celebrities / actors involved which nearly makes the film a shoe-in for distribution to the markets that the directors are going for, so I’m excited to see where the journey leads.

Also in the new year, I finished post production on my latest short film with director Jesus Celaya and producer Christopher Nightingale. Set in 1950s mexico, it is a take on an Aztec folktale where a man takes his last dying walk to a graveyard in order to confess his love to a spirit and convince her to save him from his fate. The festival circuit begins very, very soon. Below are some stills:

Lastly, I’ll be taking delivery on a set of late 1970s Zeiss Superspeeds (commonly called “B Speeds” today for their original bayonet mount) for the RED. The model was used to film Taxi Driver back in the day and has some pretty awesome and unique characteristics. I’m looking forward to breaking them in (as if they weren’t already 30 years old) on a short film I’m shooting in February and the vintage first half of the feature scheduled for March! For now, I just need to focus on getting them back from the lens tech who is tuning them up for me…

More details to come as I am given the OK to post screen grabs and reveal information about certain other projects, including an exciting documentary series I’m finally in the middle of writing a treatment for.

Happy belated new year!

Posted in Projects |

The Last of Paris

This will be a quick post.

The summer season in Paris brought a lot of opportunity and I’ll probably be back for some decent time in 2013, cough but I wanted to share the last of what I plan on sharing from my most recent time out there. Quite frankly, buy information pills I had just forgotten to post it anywhere.

I spent all this time following people around and, in the process, made a great friend in Benjo Arwas. I really admire this guy’s work especially for how little time he has had to practice. Look at what he was doing while I was over there just observing, drinking coffee, eating kebabs and searching for inspiration:

 

 

Posted in Projects |

Artist Promotions

One of the things I do on the side as much as possible is help out my friends; there is a soon-to-be released 10-song live DVD released for Happy Body Slow Brain, cure people I like very much, that I put together just to help them get the word out. Also on the books for this year, I am hoping to contribute either a still photo series or an experimental video to help The Family Crest promote the funding for their next album and, while they don’t know it yet, I’m going to convince them to play live in my house where I can produce another live video series.

 

Needless to say, when I met the painter / sculptor / print-maker, Jonathan Shimony (the man featured in the Lithographic Printing video in my previous post), and got to know him throughout my months in Paris, I couldn’t help but put together a little something that he can use to tell the world who he is and what he is about:

 

So, that’s that.

I leave for Normandie on August 14th with Fleur Offwood (click me) to catch the first couple nights of her small acoustic tour. On the 16th, it’s a train back to Paris and then a flight the next day back to Los Angeles… the end of a long, long trip…

…until the next week when I head to New York for a few days to be shown around by a very nice man named Matt.

Posted in Life, Projects |

Lithographic Printing

I made a new friend recently in Jonathan Shimony, more info a Boston native who has been in Paris for the last fifteen-ish years working on his art. He studied around the world, thumb resulting in an early Bachelor’s at Harvard, melanoma a Master’s at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and installations and work / study grants in Japan, China and all through Europe.

His studio space here in Paris is exactly what I would want if I were to live here: He built on an entire loft apartment on his own to make it livable and the entire warehouse-esque space is filled with canvases from one to fifteen feet across. A back room is completely set up for lithography and other means of printing, doubles as a photography dark room, and serves as storage for countless old art history books and technical manuals hidden on bookshelves amongst all of the litho stones. The place has quite a bit of character and it’s all sweetened by the presence of Hermine (pronounced somewhat like “heir-mean”), the resident cat.

Here is the first of a series of videos I’m doing to help out the promotional efforts for his work. It covers lithographic printing and I didn’t even intend to make it; I just had so much B Roll sitting around from the main video I am working on that it seemed like a waste to not show the romantic side of such a great and dying process.

Posted in Projects |

Fashion Photography in Paris

The documentary project is underway as I follow a bunch of incredibly talented fashion photographers around Paris, pilule capturing them doing what they do best. There have been quite a few amazing shoots in just the first few days I have been tagging along. Here’s a quick nod to two of them:

First, there Rj LaMendola took a model to the top of the Eiffel tower. Yes, the top. How he managed to get through security with a fairly large battery belt-driven strobe and a couple bags of wardrobe and gear, I will never know. The model was a great guy from Amsterdam who had no problem dealing with extreme wind, cold, or crowds of people staring at him as he did his work.

 

Most recently, I spent an afternoon with Benjo Arwas, Angelina Venturella and Sidney Kraemer where they were separately working on a diverse array of portrait and fashion photography. Benjo was working up in his small Paris apartment with an old 4×5 camera from the 1920s and came up with some amazing shots with a great young model from Poland. He had about four feet of space and explained how even that was a luxury compared to some of the shoots he had done in his home of Tel Aviv. The experience of setting a shot aside for three minutes before peeling it back to see if it is “the shot” is both exciting and fascinating.

With just under 7 weeks to go here, it feels like things are just getting started; this is probably because they are just getting started. Stay tuned for more updates as I spend time with more photographers and stumble upon other random things along the way.

Posted in Projects |

Fête de la Musique

There is an update coming down the pipeline that is just awaiting approval by those who’s work I will be sharing with all of you. Until then, oncology enjoy my wonderful friends from intO the mOOn who played the historical Fête de la Musique here in Paris last week. It is always a blast to watch them do their thing.

Posted in Life |

Day 1: Landing in Paris

Well, viagra dosage after 16 hours of travel from Los Angeles, visit this I have settled into my home for the next two months.

It’s a room in the 14th arr. (south part of zone 1) at the Cité Internationale Universitaire. There are dorm buildings for every major represented nation at the school; I am in the Fondation Suisse, which was designed by Le Corbusier – you wouldn’t be able to tell because of the famous architect’s modern style:

…and here is a panorama from my window:

The great thing about it is that the school, while still open, is not in session. This translates to super affordable subletting of the room while still having full access to the campus facilities (computer labs, cafeterias etc.). Affordable, in my book, is a very good thing.

There is a lot of work to be done to dive into the world of photography (and fashion photography, at that) and it all starts next week. I’ll be catching up on sleep and re-visiting some of my favorite place in the city in the meantime. À bientôt!

Posted in Life, Projects |

À la lune!

With the intention of updating this “blog” more often, discount rx I realized the milestones provide a much more succinct reading experience for the seven people who read it.

First, malady I suppose, is the personal:

  1. Big things are happening these days! I’ll start with the personal:I moved to Silverlake from the valley. As someone told me in Hollywood the other day, “Congratulations! The jeans just got a LOT skinnier.” I pride myself on wearing pants that simply fit, this will not change. In the process of the move, I realized how hard it is to shut down a freelance operation for nearly a month (long story) and continue to make clients happy. I have a good friend to thank for keeping my reputation squeaky clean.

Now the professional:

  1. This very morning saw the debut of “You Look a Lot Like Me,” the 130-minute documentary edited and helped shoot. The rather intense subject matter of intimate partner violence isn’t easy to face, but the theater in West Hollywood was packed with supporters. Despite being such a political issue, not a single viewer complained about misrepresentation of their segment of the community… something we were not necessarily anticipating. It’s funny, though, that I must have spent 1,000 hours on this project and I STILL teared up a bit on multiple occasions.
  2. In lighter news, I shot the first half of a western web series with a director I haven’t worked with before. A trailer was put together out of some of the raw footage: CLICK HERE TO SEE IT!
  3. In news not quite as light as the western but not nearly as heavy as the documentary, I will be shooting a great and simple (I find those two to often exist concurrently) concept commercial that was given a grant by Mofilm – Cannes. I’m excited because when it was pitched to me, I couldn’t help but say “awwwwwe” and get a warm feeling inside. I’m sure you’d feel the same way if you read the treatment, but you get to wait until it’s finished. Too bad.
  4. Paris! Oui. Je vais à Paris pour l’été pour étudier la photographie! Mon français n’est pas bon, mais je veux apprendre a tout en France. While I’m there, I might be putting together a cool little stop-motion short film with a Parisian friend I met in Istanbul last year. Plenty of content to come with that.
  5. Lastly, the Happy Body Slow Brain live DVD is in the final stretch. The editing is done; I am just waiting on the final mix. It’s been an incredibly hard wait because I just want to show everyone I know how amazing these guys are. The whole “good things come to those who wait” mentality has done nothing for me. Nothing at all.

I’m cutting it off there… I’ll keep typing through the night if I don’t stop myself. It’s kind of like a mental inertia where it becomes easier to just keep going than it is to find a way to provide closure to the posting.

À bientôt.

Oh, and here is a picture of the “super moon” from last night:

Posted in Life, Photos, Projects |

Kick it!

I’ve been unbelievably busy in post production on so many things. Here’s a fast update so you don’t think you were sent straight to my voicemail for naught :)

-Whispers Within did very well at the Santa Barbara Intl. Film Fest and won an award at a previous festival in Oregon. After the notify date arrives for the Nashville Intl., viagra buy we are putting it to rest for good. It had a good run.

-The new film, Bar Tales, was shot just a week after my return from Istanbul and is now complete. It’s way more audience friendly and has been very well-reviewed. It begins the long festival circuit within a couple months and features the same core crew (Producer, Director, DP, Music Producer) as Whispers.

-You Look A Lot Like Me, the feature doc promoting the awareness of Domestic Abuse / Intimate Partner Violence, had a successful campaign on Kickstarter and is within a month of completion. The director, Chloé McFeters, has already begun the festival submissions and is seeking various educational distribution outlets! It’s going to be great to get that into the world finally.

-Most recently, I Produced, Directed, DPed and Edited a ten-song live performance for Happy Body Slow Brain as a first act of the New Year. The post production process is nearly complete and the performances are unbelievable. I uploaded a little outtake below to show you how awesome these guys are:


Kick It! from Keith Lancaster on Vimeo.
More later! There are a handful of fun projects in the works that have yet to receive the green light!

-Keith

Posted in Life, Projects |