Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ziggy Owned a Miss Sixty Jacket

O.K. maybe not, but damn, Bowie never looked this good. O.K. maybe he did, but in a different way.

Going through the last of the Natsuko digital shots this morning while getting the last (???) bits of info together for my tax attourneys (don't ask...)


Wanna try to figure out a 8-10 page color story for submission. Will talk to Rich about it tomorrow night over drinks and dinner. The plan is also to photograph his foot and a half long scar left over from his little run-in with a triple bypass. In black & white.

He insists.

Monday, August 28, 2006

That's When The Party Started

I spent most of the day attacking the digital shots of Natsuko and got about 1/3 of the way through my selects. I drop the black & white off at the lab tomorrow, which I'll get back Wednesday or Thursday. I think of going through the digital stuff as a sort of precursor to seeing the film. I love manipulating the digital to give it "my" black and white style, but I love going to the lab and SEEING what is on that film even more.

I remember at NYU when my group shot our "thesis" film. We thought it was a masterpiece. I've seen it in the last couple of years or so, and it's UNWATCHABLE, but I digress. My buddy Andy and I shared cinematographer duties. I think neither one of us was confident enough to do it on our own, so the buddy system worked out for us. Oh...we were using blue, yellow and green gels and all sorts of crazy lights and there was a - hold your breath - dolly shot!

I lit a complex shot in the kitchen set where our main character was to throw a glass against the wall and shatter it. Real glass. One take, one money shot explosion. I was on top of the stove focusing an "instrument" and when it was perfect, I jumped down and landed with my right big toe underneath my foot. It "snapped" so loudly that everybody stopped what they were doing. As I was standing there trying to deal with the tsunami of pain, I looked at the actor, tears streaming down my face and sounding like a murderer, said, "One take, man."

Toe is still fucked up.

Anyway, I remember the fear that Andy and I felt when we took the subway up to DuArt and breathlessly waited for our Super 16mm Reversal. The guy handed it to us and we just looked at him. He said, "What?" And we said something like, is everything all right? He smiled and ushered us into a room off to the side with a light table and told us to have a look at it.

I hope he thought that we were more cute than stupid.

We unspooled a few feet off of each reel and checked it out and it was perfect. We were ecstatic! And all the way back down to 10th Street and Broadway we sang little songs like "There's pictures on the film!" and "It's perfect, it's perfect, we kick ass."

I still feel that way when I go to the lab.

I also remember Andy looking at me totally stone faced, right before the guy came back with our film and saying, "Dude, what are we going to do if it's all black?"

Haven't had that happen yet...but it still haunts me.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Beautiful Sunday

I celebrated my 42nd birthday on Friday. It was wonderful.

I received:

• Well wishes from around the Internet.
• Chip Willis dedicating his blog entry to me.
Tito buying me a coffee and hanging with me at my apartment and offering life-changing advice on “the shit.”
Toby sending me a Captain Beefheart "Mirror Man" re-issue that I didn't even know existed.
• My parents calling me on my cell phone, while I was having coffee with Tito, and putting my 92 year old Grandmother on the phone, who couldn’t hear a word I said.
• My sister singing some weird, twisted and warped HAPPY BIRTHDAY song that she always makes up. Again.
• My girl giving me the best gift of all – loving me so much she is still with me – and taking me out to Patois on Smith Street (Brooklyn) where, we had a great bottle of wine, and against my better judgment, I ordered the 14 oz. Steak Frites that was DELICIOUS, but since I ate 13 ounces of it, kept me awake the entire night, tossing and turning.
• Our friends, Michael and Kelli, joining us for an after-dinner drink and shutting Brooklyn down with us!

My first shoot in my 43rd year (hey, I was nervous) was beautiful. I rented the most economical studio in Manhattan (no, I'm not linking) and shot an eight page FASHION story with the beautiful Natsuko.

She had an antique Japanese umbrella that was given to her by her mother, so that became the "through-line" of the "story."

I’ll post shots shortly…

She was awesome. And a great sport. And cute. Really cute.

I also had my dream team on hand; Martha on MU and, on hair, the newly christened SANTIAGO!

(He's gonna BLOW UP, this SANTIAGO! Trust me...)

Natsuko wanted a candid shot for her scrapbook. I shot this in the make-up mirror since all my lights were packed up to go at the time and I AIN'T GOT NO FLASH. (North Carolina schooled, don'cha know?)

I am doing that weird neck thing that you do when you try to take a picture of yourself while thinking backwards. If I were shooting me for real, I would have deleted this.

I may be 42, but just for the record, I do not have a double chin, unless I do what I'm doing here.

It's horrible.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Everything either happens, doesn't happen or gets rescheduled...

Of all those shoots I mentioned in the "Politics..." entry below, two actually happened.

Lexia and Sarah.

I rescheduled Natsuko due to the fact that my Ace hair stylist, Luis, was otherwise pre-occupied and I want him there.

Natalie just stayed in Los Angeles. And didn’t bother to tell me.

Hey 50% ain't bad.

For Natsuko, I've booked this studio on Grand Street. I don’t usually do studio shoots, as I think real places have much more character and, well, realness, than a random white cyc has.

But it’s a challenge, and I think Natsuko’s energy and her wardrobe are perfect for it. We’ll see…Plus, shhhhh, it's a "fashion" shoot.

This studio is the same one that Rich and I shot in last Thanksgiving with Raleesha and Naomi. It’s a block from where I lived for 13 years. Right above Mohammed's Diner, which is formally known as The Landmark, a place that I ate breakfast in for, well, 13 years. Mohammed, the owner, is the sweetest man to walk the planet. If I missed a couple of days (you know, because I can cook for myself) he'd say, in a very concerned tone "Where have you been? Are you all right?"

On September 11th, 2001, right after my sister called me from Austin and said "look out your window" and after I ran to the roof to really see the shit 20 blocks away, blowing up, I woke up in the Landmark Diner, asking Mohammed for a large coffee (what the fuck?) and he said to me with REAL terror in his eyes, "They just said something about The Pentagon." I took the coffee, and I said, I'll be back.

I walked (and sipped my coffee apparently on the way) across Grand Street to West Broadway. Six blocks, straight shot - the towers right in the middle of the street. There was only one visible, but I hadn’t yet figured out what had happened to the other one. The gigantic dust cloud rolling up West Broadway would have been a clue, but at that point, I didn’t get it. None of us standing there did.

I stood there for about 10 minutes, saw a bunch of stuff that is really hard to describe, and then ran back to The Landmark. I don’t remember for the life of me what I said to Mohammed for an update, but if pressed, it was something like this.

I have to go home and you should too.

Mohammed is from Egypt. Mohammed lives in Brooklyn and has the cutest little boys that you have ever seen.

I was scared for him then. I still am.

I hate anniversaries of tragedies. Especially when politics with a capitol “P” are involved.

This one in particular, as I wasn’t around to witness Pearl Fucking Harbor.

I love the old neighborhood and Sunday’s shoot with Natsuko will involve an attempt to produce an image I’ve woken up with in my mind for the last four days.

Her naked, with her mother’s antique Japanese sun umbrella.

And the best thing about the shoot is this: I get to go into the city and get a coffee from Mohammed, say "Hi, my friend," and then quietly and calmly, get to work. And attempt to create something that I hope is beautiful and transcendent and artful.

The rotting boat is in Chile. It's been there for almost 100 years.
It could be your country. Draw your own conclusions.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Crows talk...

She used to be an American airline
Through hotels / parallels
Of the far out moon

Still being watched by the pipe smoke contingent
From creameries extremeries
And you won’t leave soon

She drives like an exodus
Slow to the steeple
And her touch is sad
The cold room is clean
And it’s distant from people
But the bugs are bad

She is alone never off to the races
She is pulled by lumbering dogs
Being chased by beasts

For the foodstuff of dreams
Clay rails melting
Like at earthman equator
Blobs of light
Ripped from spiraled ceilings
Now there’s no place to climb
Not a place

Tear it alive
I am always Inventor
And I cry so suddenly
And I laugh so loud

And the cry is small

The lyrics are by Robert Pollard - “Death of the Party.”
The photo is of Sarah Ellis, this afternoon in Time’s Square, NYC.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Punk Rock

I’ve always loved Boston’s Mission of Burma. Even before the reunion tour, the two new albums and the books and other indie rock wanking.

They are important to me. Like The Stooges, American Music Club, Televison, and PJ Harvey. But that is now, let's backtrack...

I was lucky. I stumbled across them innocently. Pure.

My friend Carl turned me on to them around 1986, three years after they had broken up. Oh, I’d seen their albums at The Record Hole (that’s a future post) and vaguely knew who they were, but their brilliance had at that point eluded me.

Their guitarist, Roger Miller, used to play the Fallout Shelter in Raleigh and we went every single time. At that point his ears had been blown out by THE SHEER NOISE HE HAD MADE so he was doing something called “Maximum Electric Piano” and he would show up with a baby grand and put combs and chopsticks and shit in the strings and bang out rhythms, catch them in a sampler multiple times, and play a song with himself.

It was quite astonishing. But, I just wanted him to do “Academy Fight Song” or “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver” (neither of which he wrote…)

Their albums have been re-issued by Ryko. Buy them. Or ask me to send you photos of my vinyl copies. Geek.

I had a great shoot yesterday with Lexia. She has a punk rock, eclectic look, and one that is right up my alley. We shot at her place, which involved me walking, getting on a subway, walking, getting on a train, walking a little, getting in a car, and walking some more.

I wanted to do something different with her, as my PUNK ROCK involves pushing against type. Take the dominatrix and make her an accident victim. Take the swimsuit model (shudder) and make her frown. Take the woman that’s never been properly photographed and photograph her. Properly.

Her wardrobe was amazing and voluminous. I looked at it all and chose four simple sets of clothing. And four locations. Fashion. Fashion. Fashion.

Our first set-up was on the front porch in the sun.
I hate the sun.
I cannot control the sun.
Enough said.

Well, that didn’t work so well.

But once we moved inside, it was Mission Of Burma full blast.

Their new album, “The Obliterati” is amazing and I KNOW THIS because I’ve had it on repeat for 12 hours now.

Lexia is also amazing, as shown here.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Politics and Pictures

I can’t talk about politics, but at this point (you know, before I BLOW UP or something) anyone that is reading this knows what they are.

Fuck anyone to hell that takes advantage of anyone else for monetary gain. Period.

That’s really the root of it. MONEY. I know it’s obvious, but I’ll say it anyway.

Fuck them in the head with a stick. Access your bank account, asshole, with that stick in your head. I dare you.

They run the country. What does that even mean? Run?



I’m shooting tomorrow with a wonderful model up the MTA Hudson Line named Lexia. Then Sunday, with another wonderful model called Natsuko. Then, Monday with the very highly recommended Sarah. Then Tuesday with Natalie from LA.

Jesus. I’m a busy boy.

And I still gotta go through the stuff I’ve already shot since April or some very talented models are gonna kill me. Like Sarah (from Ohio). Her "jam face" alone, could vaporize one.

Oh and the NEW website is coming as soon as I can get my boy the images. All professional–like. Man, I hate it when the responsibility is mine.

The photo is of politics, too.
The politics of my German friends, Lisa and Lars.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


One of my oldest friends, Chris, who I’ve known since 2nd grade, recently saw my work. His Dad was the cool hippie Dad, who openly had Playboy and Penthouse around the house, which of course made it a treat to go over and hang out with Chris. In commenting on my work, he said something like, remember when we were in 4th grade and we used to say that the best damn job in the world was a Playboy photographer, well, dude, you’re there.

(For the record, I have never worked for Playboy, but I do intend to piss them off with my Bunny series – detailed in a post below).

Hmmm, I thought. Hmmm…

As of today, I have a seven page, nine image “spread” in the current (September 2006) issue of PENTHOUSE FORUM. It’s in the “Artist’s Portfolio” that is featured every month along with a hot G-on-G pictorial and letters that begin with “I am a freshman at a small Midwestern Baptist College, and I never thought this would happen to me.”

When approached by the editor of the magazine (an acquaintance who digs my work) I was totally dumbfounded as to what he wanted. He said to send him some shots and that he wanted to PAY ME for them? I asked him if I was supposed to, uhhhmmm, send him shots that were illustrative of the letters (I don’t really have a small Midwestern College gangbang in a bowling alley, but I could do it?!) He laughed at me and said, how long has it been since you’ve seen a copy of FORUM? I cleared my throat and said something like, never…

That’s when he told me that he had created an Artist’s Portfolio to be the literal centerfold of every issue, and in it he features folks that he likes – photographers, cartoonists, tattoo artists – whatever, but it is his little sanctioned area of free expression among a bunch of re-used photos of carpet munching and self-pleasuring, PENTHOUSE style.

And I did ask him the veritable million-dollar question:
Are the letters real?

He said, amazingly so, yes. Although he does get some every month, in the same handwriting, under different nom de plumes…

Think about it. A magazine the public writes for free, and who’s photographic content has already been paid for by the parent magazine. No wonder he could pay me for something artistic and new.

So here’s to Eric and PENTHOUSE FORUM. The layout they did for me is gorgeous and right in line with my style.

Upside – FORUM readers love “erotic photos” and may want to hire me/buy them.

Downside – I cannot for the life of me come up with a way to spin this so that I can tell my parents and my girl’s parents.

My sister digs it though…

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Scanning negatives is a very Zen sort of thing for me. When I’m scanning, I feel sort of like Iggy Pop must have felt when he talked about vacuuming being very Zen to him (in the early ‘90’s). I like doing dishes too.

But scanning, is the first step towards your final image. You get to make all sorts of creative decisions when you “see” your negative for the first time. And then once you make those decisions, they become the image. Or at least the beginning of it.

Fascinating. Relative. Artistic.

Sorta the same way you decide to detune the guitar and play the song that way (thank god I don’t have no bandmates).

The negative goes back into the sleeve and the retouching starts. And from there, it’s a free for all. Like the Nuge said. And I mean EXACTLY like that.

And then you see this. Naama's pants are silver...

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Elisaveta today.

This is just one of many.

It's amazing what you can do with a white wall...

...and a pretty girl.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Random shit that starts with “I”

- I subscribed to “W” and “Vogue” and “Vanity Fair” for a grand total of $31.50. Gotta love the Internet.

- I had a great shoot with Emily tonight. Started off a bit staid for reasons out of our control, but then we went nuts, or at least I did (thanks, Em)! Different, for both she and I, and good. Really good.

- I think that Robert Pollard & Tommy Keene’s new album “Blues and Boogie Shoes” is one of the best records of 2006.

- I am worried about getting older and losing my sight.

- I have too many books that I haven’t read. I bought another book yesterday.

- I miss my friends in North Carolina. Toby, Joey, John, Carl and Greg.

- I am way too far behind in my photo retouching and particularly in getting people that I’ve worked with the images that I’ve promised them. I’m not a bad guy or a liar, I’m just swamped!

- I need to do something about this thing on my forehead.

- I need to actually buy more food at the Park Slope Co-Op since I work there once a month and that's the whole point - it's cheap!.

- I should watch this Helmut Newton documentary I bought yesterday.

- I am worried about dying.

- I hate the world I live in. Politically and in reality beacuse of the politics.

- I love where I live. Brooklyn is and continues to be astonishing.

- I need a vacation. Just me and my girl.


"All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth."
- Richard Avedon

(Photo is of Rael Cohen. She swears she was not named after the protagonist in Genesis' "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.")

Thursday, August 10, 2006


When I picked up my camera again in 2003 and decided to do this for real, I found myself at a loss. I went to film school (NYU) and have worked in film and video for nearly 20 years, so I understand all things cinematographical – lighting, exposure, lenses, composition, etc…But starting fresh can be a bit daunting. What would be my style? What would be my subject matter? And if I wanted to play with the big boys, what about all that equipment out there that I’d either “need” or need to be able to use?

On the film shoots I’ve produced, I am a bit of an equipment geek. I LOVE the opportunity to rent a Steadi-Cam or a jib-arm, or work in Hi-Def or even use a dolly. But I’ve always tempered myself (and I think it’s because I became a Producer rather than a Cinematographer – which is what I wanted to do at NYU) to only using the right tools for the right jobs. Gear is a means to an end. You figure out the shot, the feel, the mood, and the composition FIRST and then figure out how best to achieve it.

I frequent a couple of online photography forums, mostly looking for advice, or to be able to share it, or read about something that might interest me. But, man, those so called photographers that put gear first and then jerk off about it all over the digital matrix and right into my face – arghhh! To me that has always been the sign of either the worst kind of amateur – someone that thinks that a fancy-schmancy piece of equipment will make them a BETTER photographer, or just a plain old geek, which I can appreciate.

Geeks don’t make art. Except for David Byrne, okay?

Bear with me…I have digressed.

When I picked up my camera again in 2003 and decided to do this for real, I decided that I might need to go back to school. For photography. The last time I took a “still” photography class was in 1985, so I might be a little rusty.

The idea terrified me, so I just started shooting.

By 2005, I started to get some interest in my work from various and sundry folks, all of whom I dug, so with the pressure on – I decided that now was the time to go back to school.

I am lucky. I live in one of the greatest cities in the world. And because I do, I constantly do what most New Yorker’s do – I do not take advantage of the amazing shit my city has to offer. Well, no more.

I marched myself right up to the ICP (International Center for Photography), one of the most amazing places on earth), and a) joined as a member, and b) picked up a catalog of their courses. Now, something about the ICP: If you go to their basic 4-year school there, you are pretty much guaranteed a career in photography, period. That said, Mommy and Daddy have to fork over upwards of $60k, so like a lot of GREAT schools with money behind them, you are "sorta" buying your way in. Unless you are a moron, like some of those guys on those photography forums – but not even…

Their courses alone are $600 for a weekend, depending on what it is and with who (they have a great faculty and AMAZING guest “professors”). I wanted to take a portraiture class with some pretty famous dude, but of course there were all these prerequisite courses entitled “Basic Photography I” and “Basic Photography II” that, well, I felt I didn’t really need to pay $600 a pop to sit through and THEN want to kill myself during. However, there was a “portfolio review” that if you did well on, would catapult you through that basic shit and right into the class of your choosing.

Cool. So, I called the dude, made an appointment and put my stuff together and headed uptown. Nervous as hell...

The reviewer (a really nice guy who was, thank god, a little older than me, you know, like you want people teaching you to be) looked through my portfolio rather quickly, closed it and said something like well, you clearly don’t need any basic courses and I’ll recommend you for any other course you want to take, but what is it that you really want to do? I said portraiture, but you know, in my weird creepy style. He looked at me and said, well, then, just do it.

So, I decided to find a professional photographer whose work I REALLY admired and see if I could get an assisting position. I got lucky and found a mentor.

At some point, school is DOING it. Especially when you are about to celebrate your 43rd year on the planet. So I do it.

I went up to the ICP today, as a member. Saw the show for free and dropped $75 in their bookstore, and that was WITH my 10% discount.

(Photo is a never-before-seen shot from my first "Alice" shoot with Kate Mandala right around that time. Not finished - contrast, brightness all outta whack, but kinda cool. It was a magic mirror...)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


People often ask me how I choose the models I want to work with. The answer is complex, but can basically be boiled down to one thing – gut instinct. I often see a model’s portfolio that has absolutely nothing worth looking at in it - cell phone photos, holiday snapshots, or just plain ol' bad shots by someone masquerading as a photographer (I once sent a message to a model that read, “You haven’t been properly photographed yet.” Never heard back from her…) but I’ll see some sort of a semblance of something there that I want to work with. Could be an innocence, a vulgarity, a willingness to transform, a “beauty” that appeals to my personal definition of beauty or just a great, expressive face. But my gut knows it. I’ve learned to try to not be seduced by other photographers’ interpretations when choosing a model. For instance, to fall in love with a model through a certain photograph denies the work the photographer/team/model did leading up to that particular moment. It also ignores the intervention of muse-like powers, supernatural spells and whatever the hell it is that makes “a perfect moment” perfect. That and the fact that I cannot do what that photographer did nor do I want to.

I like to take a model and transform her against type. I like to take a model who has never been properly attended to with make up, hair and styling and take her to that level and free her. Sometimes, the results can be amazing.

I worked with a young lady named Stoya the other evening who has a great, natural, beautiful face - one that doesn’t need any make-up, but BEGS you to experiment. My very good friend and patron, the extremely talented Martha Friedlander agreed to the task of doing three distinct looks for the shoot.

Martha and I know each other extremely well, and we certainly know each other’s idiosyncratic sensibilities. We know the code that we both speak. We also how to make each other’s work better.

So Martha asks me what I want and I say, “1st look – pretty. 2nd look – devil girl. 3rd look…” and she interrupts and says “smudgy mess” or something like that. Martha has just busted me. Am I that predictable? Yep…I have a series ongoing called “Smudge Girls” for god’s sake.

So she goes to work on “pretty,” calling me in when it’s appropriate for my input. When she calls me over the first time, Stoya is beautiful. The wardrobe in the first shot (a $944.00 Cerutti couture blouse) is a rich salmon color and Martha has shades of pinks and oranges on Stoya’s eyes and a perfectly matching shade of lip color applied. Her cheekbones pop, but in a perfectly natural way. It’s breathtaking.

I say, “Make it darker.” Martha looks at me sternly, but lovingly, and says that I need to learn to see things differently (or something). I shrug. She sighs and makes it all darker.

The end result is amazing. I take a couple of extreme close-ups for Martha and she is beaming.

I love a good healthy collaboration.

(Photo is of Martha transforming Stoya’s lovely face into “Devil Girl”)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Women's Clothes

Going shopping today for shoot clothes and it is one of my favorite things in the world. That, and dressing my models up and subsequently undressing them.

There’s a great place just two blocks from me here in Brooklyn that specializes in vintage that is astounding. The buyers there, although surly at times, have a great eye. I drop in every couple of months and spend 2-3 hours going through the racks, dreaming up photographic scenarios and thinking about specific models and what I have planned for them conceptually. About the 5th time I went in and hauled a mess ‘o clothes up to the register, the guy behind it said, “what are you doing?” I told him that I was a photographer and he smiled and said, “That totally makes sense.”

So after I shoot in the clothes I get there, I stick them in a bag and take them back in. Since they all came from there in the first place, the buyers, although surly at times, buy 80% of them back, credit I use to buy a new batch. It’s actually better than a rental house, and I’ve used those too.

I’m shooting everything like a story now - self-discipline for being published or at least getting the work to that level. It’s a mindset, really, and not much different from storyboarding a commercial or writing a treatment for a film. Just pointing a camera at a half-naked girl and firing away bores me.

(Photo is of a very dressed up Julia...)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

It's just a website with some pictures on it, dammit!

I’m working with this nice, young designer to finally get myself a professional looking / acting website. And being the perfectionist that I am, it’s driving me a little crazy.

I produce and creative-direct multi-media stuff for a living. My history with interactive multimedia is not inconspicuous. In 1993, I was hired by a company called Interfilm to help them produce an interactive proof of concept thing so that they could go public. Remember that this was a good five years before the silly Internet company stock market explosion / implosion and the Internet itself was just beginning to reach households. The four guys who started the company had this wacky idea that they would invent the technology that would allow a group of people in a movie theater to control a film (which they would make too) at certain points and determine the outcome of the narrative. Sound crazy? I thought so, but I was game.

We had to establish a set of rules, since nobody had done this before. The films would be controlled by specially created and installed pistol grips with three colored buttons on them. These would correspond to color-coded choices during the film. The theatres would only hold 100 people, a financial decision made in regards to the pistol grips and anyway, 100 is a nifty, round number. When a choice was offered during the film, the audience would have 5 seconds to vote on one of the choices. They could vote as many times in that 5 seconds as they could push the buttons. The votes would be tallied live on the screen so that everyone could see the where the audience was leaning. And lastly, the majority ruled.

Well, we also had to invent the system that played these films. Sort of like inventing the projector and the stuff that goes through it simultaneously, which in retrospect was a horrible idea, but hey, Edison did it! That system, for the technology buffs, consisted of 4 Pioneer Industrial Laserdisc players, synchronized and controlled by a state of the art 386 PC. The concept was that one Laserdisc would be playing while the other three were cued up to the upcoming three choices and voila, after the voting window, the winning scene would seamlessly play. And it actually worked!

“How do you make an interactive film?” I asked my new bosses and they said, “Beats us!” So we went to work trying to figure it out, making it up as we went.

I produced the proof of concept piece, which was to play at matinees with the help of our new production partner, Sony Entertainment. “Sony Wonder Saturday” was to be a 30 minute variety show featuring cartoons, music videos, and educational segments that were totally interactive. Hey kids, what music video do you want to see? Living Color, Soul Asylum or Mariah Carey? (The damn kids always chose Mariah). But here’s the catch – for 30 minutes that the audience actually saw, I had to produce 75 minutes of total programming, two out of three choices outvoted.

To make a long story short, we did it, we went public and raised something like 25 million dollars and then spent it all on three “feature length” films that played in 48 theatres all over the country. I worked with all sorts of Hollywood folks, some of whom are still friends and I got to delve deeply into the philosophy of non-traditional narrative and interactive storytelling either done by a group or by an individual. "Run, Lola Run" and "Memento" did not seem very ground-breaking to me...

The company went under abruptly after the last dollar was gone and the stock pennied out and we all went home.

There is a book called “Digital Babylon” that talks all about the Interfilm days. I’m mentioned as “The Producer” and it’s basically described as an idea ahead of it’s time. Maybe. I ended up traveling all over the world speaking at conferences, consulting for corporations and clients and eventually started my own multimedia production company that lasted right up to the aforementioned Internet Bust.

I keep having to remind myself that all I want now is just a website for my pictures. A decent little thing that shows off my work that I can send to reps, art directors, photo editors and galleries all over the world.

Working on your own identity is always difficult, I guess I can’t help but over-think it. It’s in my blood.

(Photo is of my friend Alyz from Paris. Seemed like a suitable illustration for the title of this rant.)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Sweatin' & listenin' to T-Rex

For the past year, I've played T-Rex at every single one of my shoots.

Oh sure, I play the coy game, like "anything you want to hear is cool" and I bring an eclectic selection. Got your Patsy Kline, your George Jones, your Garbage (1st and only album), got your Dandy Warhols (everything), got your Melvins, got your Kruder & Dorfmeister, got your Tool, got your Benny More, got your Swans, got your PJ Harvey, got your Guided by Voices - I even got your fuckin' Glenn Gould.

But whatever you pick, I'm eventually gonna sneak on "Slider" or "Tanx" or "Dandy In The Underworld" or even "Bolan's Zip Gun." And of course I got "Electric Warrior" but c'mon, everybody's heard that...

Music is IMPORTANT at a shoot and I don't mean in a stereotypical "Eyes of Laura Mars" way. People discover a common groove. People connect. People shake their asses.

I've been amazed at what models pick to play when presented with some of the above-mentioned choices. I am often reminded how old I am when they say "I've never heard of T-Rex, but this is GOOD!"

But that's fine. I've always been a huge advocate of turning people onto stuff YOU know about and LOVE and they don't. Perhaps the Bolan estate is benefiting and that's cool with me.

It's hot here in NYC. And apparently, according to Sam Champion (!) it's just the beginning of 5 days of record-breaking heat. I did not leave the house today except to get some coffee and an egg sandwich with hot sauce this morning. And then I went out tonight to get a great bottle of Argentinean Malbec. Spent the rest of the day retouching photos, trying to catch up, and watching the end of season one of "Arrested Development" with my beautiful girl.

Photo is of my friend Angela who was just in town touring as THE burlesque performer for OZZFEST. My heart goes out to her and I miss her.

Right before I took this, she pulled out T-Rex and skipped to "20th Century Boy."