No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.
- Ingmar Bergman

November 1, 2013

Filmmaker About Town -- MS Can Do Honors Clay Walker

With all of the tragic events that occur on a daily basis, it's always refreshing to learn of people who are doing positive things to make someone's life better.  One such organization is MS Can Do mscando.org.  They help those living with MS reclaim a "sense of dignity, control and freedom" by empowering them with the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to transform challenges into possibilities.

I had the privilege of filming their awards dinner held this year at The Metropolitan Club, New York City.  Each year they honor an individual who has demonstrated the Can Do spirit and who has made a significant contribution to improving the lives of those living with MS.  This year they honored country musician and founder of Band Against MS, Clay Walker claywalker.com.  Clay has battled MS since he was diagnosed with it 17 years ago.  Thankfully, he is now in remission and is moving forward with his goal to help raise awareness and fund research.

Below is a Fox News short showing a clip from the event and a quick interview with Clay -- happy to say that my footage of Clay accepting the award came in handy.

A special thank you to Claudia Hanlin theweddinglibrary.com for connecting me to this fantastic organization.

If you or someone you know has MS, check out the MS Can Do website so you can learn more about their programs.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/2769530698001/honors-for-carrie-amp-clay/

August 28, 2013

Art Opening -- Passerby • Etemad Gallery • Tehran, Iran


August is soon ready to bid all farewell and it is ending with a bang!  Passerby is almost up and ready to roll for the opening at Etemad Gallery on August 30th.  The exhibit will be on view until September 10th.  Passerby is a collaboration between Kimia Rahgozar (photography), Julia Knight (poetry/performance) and myself (video) that took place in the streets of Harlem this past July.  From the day she returned to Tehran at July's end, Kimia has been pouring her heart and soul into making this exhibit possible.  It was frustrating only being able to participate through Skype and email -- we would have loved to have been there with her and certainly are sad to not be present for the opening.  I want to thank Kimia for her tenacity in bringing Passerby to Tehran for all Iranians to experience. I can't wait to hear how all went.

If you would like to read more about "Passerby", click on the below link: http://www.galleryetemad.com/index.php/Tehran/upcoming


Etemad Gallery preparing for the opening
The video wall

Hanging the photographs.




The poetry wall.



"Passerby" program

July 31, 2013

Filmmaker About Town: Williamsburg Wedding Styled Shoot

On what had to be one of the hottest days of the Summer, a group of talented artists assembled to create a wedding styled shoot held in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

For those who are not familiar with the term "styled shoot", the idea is to create a "faux" wedding day so that artists can showcase their work in order to update their portfolios, meet and work with new artists, inspire potential clients and generate press.  Models are brought in to play the role of bride and groom.

Photographer Jessica Schmitt, JessicaSchmitt.com invited me to join in on the fun and I was thrilled to accept her invitation.  I couldn't have been happier then to have Lilian and Kayden fill the role of bride and groom.  Not only were they photogenic, but they were a delight to work with -- they were very patient, pleasant and willing to do all asked of them.  Usually with these types of shoots, the models chosen aren't together as a couple and therefore the natural spark of romance is lacking. However, Lilian and Kayden are indeed a couple so their affection for each other really made the work come alive and the faux wedding day feel authentic.

The design concept was spearheaded by Jove Meyer of  jovemeyerevents.com who transformed the restaurant Acqua Santa (acquasanta.com) into a room that momentarily had you thinking that you had been transported from the heat of  Brooklyn into the middle of a rustic European village.

I filmed most footage with my 5DMark ii but as an added splash, also used a hand cranked camera that shot 35mm film.  Because it is film, the depth and texture added greatly to the vintage feel.  I also love the staccato look that the hand cranked camera gives.

I've listed below the artists that made this day in the sun a pleasure.  Check out their work.  You may want to consider using their services whenever you hold an event.

Cake:                  Sugar Flower Cake Shop sugarflowercakeshop.com
Desserts:            Alana Jones Mann alanajonesmann.com   
Event Design:   Jove Meyer jovemeyerevents.com
Florist:                The Wild Ivy thewildivy.com            
Groom's Suit:     Brooklyn Tailors brooklyntailors.net
Hair:                    Once Upon A Bride onceuponabride.net
Jewelry:              Catbird catbirdnyc.com
Makeup:             Sally Duvall sallyduvall.com
Photography:     Jessica Schmitt jessicaschmitt.com
Robe:                  Comfy Clothing etsy.com/shop/ComfyClothing
Sash:                    Hushed Commotion hushedcommotion.com
Shoes:                 Chromatic Gallery chromaticgallerie.com
Stationary:          Fourteen Forty 1440nyc.com

You can see how all came together by watching the below film short.  You can also check out Jessica's blog to see how she interpreted the day with photos at jessicaschmittblog.com

July 23, 2013

The Talent Pool Corner presents: Kimia Rahgozar, Iranian Fine Art Photographer

kimia rahgozar
Kimia Rahgozar has been photographing life around her for the past 27 years.  Though she received a degree in engineering from Azad University in Tehran, photography has always been her passion.  She now makes her living by focusing on fine art portraiture photography.

Kimia is also a contributing artist to Julia Knight's and my project, SKIN: A Meditation on Our Largest Organ.  She has been working with us on SKIN since her arrival to New York City in April.  During the past few months, I have enjoyed learning more about her life, her approach to photography and her creative process.   Out of my curiosity to dig deeper into her story, I posed a few questions to Kimia who graciously shared her thoughts.


You studied engineering.  Why did you not pursue a career in engineering?

Because I don't like it and I don't enjoy it.  In my generation, we had to decide whether to be an engineer or a doctor.   I chose to be an engineer because I like math, logic etc..  Still my passion was photography.

How did you come to be a fine art photographer?

The previous time I visited NYC I met a photographer named Nancy Rudolph.  She read my catalogue line by line without missing anything.  When she finished, she looked straight into my eyes and told me that the next time someone asked what is my profession, I have to answer "I am an fine art photographer."

Her insistence was interesting and new to me.  It was then I realized I am an a fine art photographer.

Why did you choose fine art photography instead of photojournalism?

I didn't choose it, it just worked this way.  Maybe it chose me!  

For me, photojournalism is too much too handle.  It reminds me of war and its effects which is the worst for me to think about.

Was there one photograph or one moment that you understood that you were a professional photographer rather than someone who shoots images as a hobby?

Yes.  Once I was in a gym and in the mirror I saw a pregnant woman. I realized how beautiful it would be to take a picture of her belly.  I took a piece of paper, drew a line on it and went to the woman and asked if she would accept to come to my studio to let me take the image I drew.  She saw the drawing of the curve and she loved it.

This was the time I realized how much I am focused on making what I want in my mind as a photograph.

Pregnant woman. ©kimiarahgozar

Why do you prefer shooting film?

I enjoy shooting film because of the quality and because I love to see the result of my imagination.  Did it turn out the way I envisioned it?

Is there a photographer who has inspired you and why?

There are many photographers who have inspired me, like Avedon, not only because of their work, but mostly because of their ideas.

Also, Kamran Adle and Ali Raees Shaghaghi, two older Iranian photographers. I owe them alot because both helped me to grow during the war when there were no films available.

Also, my friend Abbas Kiarostami, the well-known international Iranian director, whose films I love.  

How have you evolved as a photographer in the last 5 years?

I see myself in a very new stage which was always a dream and I enjoy it a lot.
I see how much I can communicate through my work.  Through photography I am able to reveal the deepness of  a person's being without knowing them or them knowing me.


"Photosophy"

Photosophy is an exhibition that was shown in Terhan at the Etemad Gallery in 2011.  It was curated by Jose P. Vargas who is also working with us on SKIN.  Photosophy's concept focused on "being in the now."  Kimia not only photographed people who came into the gallery but also filmed them being photographed.   Photosophy can be seen at :  http://www.kimiarahgozar.com 



Kimia at Etemad Gallery photographing Photosophy.

©kimia rahgozar





"I prefer it when people see my work they don't identify a period of time but instead, feel an emotional connection that will stay with them. "  Kimia Raghozar.




"Passerby"

While in New York, Kimia, Julia and myself also thought of another collaborative project to create.  This project is titled "Passerby".

For this project, Julia carried one of Kimia's photographs throughout Harlem, placing it in a few locations where people go to seek stillness, calm, or inner sanctum -- states of being which often get lost or misplaced in a bustling city.  I filmed while Kimia photographed the reaction and/or interaction of passersby to Julia and the photograph.  Julia also wrote poetry to accompany the photographs that will be shown in the exhibit.  We are currently working on finalizing details on "Passerby's" exhibition date and will post when known.

Below are a few images from our day in the blistering sun.

 ©kimia rahgozar2013
©kimiarahgozar2013

©kimiarahgozar2013

©valeriebarnes2013

You can check out more of Kimia's portfolio by visiting her website:  http://kimiarahgozar.com/








June 28, 2013

Spring/Summer Weddings

The past few months have given quite a few memorable moments for some very special couples.  A quick look at some recent wedding celebrations that I have been invited to film.  Links to some of their teaser films will be forthcoming.


Michael Webber focusing in on Natalia.
Natalia + Glenn Edelson  -- April 27th 
The couple chose to have a very intimate wedding with approximately 50 of their closet friends and family members.  The wedding took place at the St. Regis Hotel.  My thanks to Michael Webber owner of http://www.studiowebber.com/ who introduced the couple to me and who also photographed their wedding day and finally, Matthew Anderson from the St. Regis who is always a pleasure to work with.

Natalia -- final touches before seeing Glenn















Jaimie with her young dance partner

Jaimie + Rick Sirianno -- May 31st

The sun shone on Jaimie and Rick for their May 31st wedding.  The warm, sunny weather made for easy travel from St. Joseph's Church in Bronxville to the outdoor grounds of Glen Island Harbor.  Claudia Hanlin's Wedding Library (theweddinglibrary.com) provided all of the couple's planning needs and excelled at making sure the entire day ran smoothly.




Andrea + Edward Dale -- June 15th

An urban wedding with a romantic feel that began at St. Vincent Ferrer and ended at The Century Club.  The weekend kicked off with a magical rehearsal dinner held at The Colony Club.  Brett Cameron (brettcameronevents.com) coordinated while the talented Liz Banfield (lizbanfield.com) flew in from Minneapolis to photograph the couple's glorious day.

Andrea getting set to walk down the aisle



Emily + Julian Madden -- June 22nd

What a treat to be able to experience a wedding at Elihu Island in Connecticut.  The island only allows for 4 weddings a year!  Emily and Julian had the entire island for themselves and their guests and they were given the perfect Summer day to celebrate their occasion.  Adrienne O'Connor of Ruffles and Tweed (rufflesandtweed.com) pulled it all together.  This location is a filmmaker's and photographer's dream so I am sure that Jason Walz (jasonwalz.com) and Bia Sampaio (biasampaio.com) have a collection of photographs that are certain to be breathtaking.

The Main House on Elihu Island
Emily + Julian enjoying their first dance

Follow the sign...

June 10, 2013

The Talent Pool Corner: Valerie Keane Decorative Arts



I feel very fortunate to live in a city that abounds in artistic talent.  Inspiration presents itself no matter where you turn.  Such is the case with artist Valerie Keane's work.  She masterfully hand crafts beautiful works of glass decoupage.  From paperweights to plates to bowls, these pieces will bring to life any room in your home or apartment.

Her work is somewhat playful, light in spirit, and contains a palette of many images and colors  -- from animals to flowers to mermaids to images of men and women that lived centuries long ago.   

She draws her inspiration from the traditional techniques perfected over the centuries with its origins
dating to the 12th century.  She combines these time honored steps with a modern technique of applying her designs to glass.  The result is a highly unique piece that is a wonderful combination of art that is hauntingly traditional yet with an inspiring modern flare. 

As Valerie says "I strive to create work that is not only exquisite, but celebrates the moments when we take the time to savor and contemplate beauty itself."

Valerie has traveled worldwide in search of the perfect images for her pieces.  She applies gilding or uses carefully selected handmade papers to serve as a background for each piece.  Then, she incorporates the traditional technique of finishing each piece with 25 to 35 layers of varnish.  One piece can take about 5-6 weeks to complete.

Her extensive training includes studying art history and architecture in Italy; art, sculpture and decorative painting in New York, and drawing in Costa Rica. She most recently has studied decoupage on glass with leading artists Jill Barnes-Dacey in Rome, Kaaren Lewis in New York as well as traditional mosaics with Luciana Noturni in Ravenna. 

You can see more of her work at:  http://www.valeriekeane.com




May 7, 2013

As Featured on Style Me Pretty

I would like to thank Style Me Pretty for featuring my film and also Bia Sampaio whose gorgeous photographs of Azadeh and Joel were the reason Style Me Pretty chose to spotlight our work.

Here's the link if you would like to learn more about a couple who exchanged nuptials under the August sky in the Bronx, New York.




April 8, 2013

Nick Cave's Soundsuits

The beauty of living in New York City is that no matter where you are, there is always something happening.  I love Grand Central Station and thankfully, Jackie Onasis saved it from it's impending doom when developers wanted to demolish it.  As this year marks its 100th year, GCT is celebrating in numerous ways.  Recently, Nick Cave brought his talent by presenting Soundsuits, a  piece featuring numerous colorful horses moving to music by percussion and harp.  Captured some of it with my friend Janene's iphone...thought you might enjoy.  I know that I did.






March 25, 2013

Thank you Tracy Osborn

I want to take a moment to thank Tracy Osborn, Founder of WeddingLovely, for taking the time to profile my business on WeddingLovely's blog.  WeddingLovely was created to help you simplify your wedding planning.  Check out weddinglovely.com/ if you need planning advice and/or are searching for talented artists who can help you realize your ideal wedding.

Tracy Osborn, Founder of WeddingLovely

A link to the article:
http://weddinglovely.com/blog/interview-with-a-wedding-videographer-valerie-barnes-film/

February 26, 2013

SKIN: WE WELCOME MARISOL UMBRELLAS


Miranda Leigh, the talent behind the Marisol umbrella, has graciously offered 3 of her beautifully designed umbrellas to be given to 3 people who contribute at the $1000.00 level of our Indiegogo campaign.  Check out our campaign at:  http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/skin-a-meditation-on-our-largest-organ/x/2298772

The Marisol umbrella retails for $425.00.  Each umbrella is unique in it's print design -- made of African wax print and is constructed with a steel frame, flexible ribs and a signature handle.  These are limited edition prints that come with a lifetime warranty.

Articles on Miranda's umbrellas have been written about in Vogue Daily and V-Day.org.  Eve Ensler and Jane Fonda are two of the many who own her umbrellas.

Shown below are two of the umbrellas given to SKIN.
Sesi (Sister) Umbrella
Makena (Happy One) Umbrella


February 23, 2013

Cafe Wha? Music video premiere for Jem Warren


A packed crowd last nite at Cafe Wha? came to watch Jem unveil his new video "Heart Knows How", directed by myself and Jem, and to listen to him play.  I share some moments from last nite plus the link to the video.





and, of course the video


February 6, 2013

SKIN: A Meditation on our largest organ

Both Julia Knight and I are excited to introduce you to SKIN, our new work in progress.  We are running a 30 day Indiegogo campaign so that we can finish SKIN.  We think it will be an incredible multi-media installation and we hope to receive contributions so that we can realize SKIN.  Take a moment and view our teaser by clicking the below link.  If you feel emotionally stirred by it, consider contributing to our campaign.  Your support is vital in helping us realize our project.

Share with your friends and family -- you never know who's life you may be saving because you introduced them to SKIN and by sharing it with others, it will remind them how beautiful their skin is and why they should respect and love it.

A little background.
Julia and I have been working on SKIN since late 2011.  We filmed last year throughout the Greater New York Area + New Jersey.  From the sunlit beach to colorful sunflower fields to the dark corners of our apartments, we chose locations that metaphorically represented the spiritual and physical nature of skin.

Our Creative Team
Contributions from kimiarahgozar (photography), timothycramer (sound design) and josevargas (installation design) are instrumental in helping us evolve the work from once was a rear-projected diptych film but now has become a multi-media installation.

Our Thanks
We also want to thank Dan and Clare Schoenheimer for graciously letting us stay in their home while we filmed the beach scenes, Claudia Hanlin and Alvin Rodolfo for doing the same as we filmed some of the green screen shots under the roof of their home.   Caio Rodolfo for assisting us while we filmed and we even had Caio film the "watch" scene for us.  We also want to thank Leyla Shirley Knight for giving us the nape of her neck and her hand painted baby shoe for the film.


February 2, 2013

Video Premiere -- Jem Warren "Heart Knows How" -- February 8th at Cafe Wha?

Jem Warren: Heart Knows How Video Premier
JEM WARREN




Had a blast rolling a red ball around New York City with Jem Warren and Annette Babich as we filmed a new music video for Jem Warren's title track off of his new cd "Heart Knows How".  The filming was done in various locations throughout New York City during the Summer + Fall 2012.

Needless to say, most New Yorkers ignored the ball as it rolled through crowded spaces, including the subway and Central Park!  But, we also met some interesting people along the way -- people who were willing to be part of the video!

Drop by Cafe Wha? Friday, February 8th and check it out plus listen to Jem give a live concert.
Cafe Wha? -- 15 Macdougal Street, NYC -- 7:30pm

January 23, 2013

SMART CITIES EXPO IN VENICE


I am thrilled to announce that "Jessica Finds Her Way", an art film that was a collaboration between Mihoko Suzuki and myself, is included in the SMART Cities and HYBRID Identities Exhibit being held in Venice, Italy from January 25th-27th.   If you happen to be in Venice during this time (lucky you!), drop by and check it out.  There are many talented international artists and performers that will be on display.


January 16, 2013

If you haven't already done so, check out Christian Marclay's "The Clock" showing at MoMA until January 21st.  1400 film clips incorporated into this stirring piece of visual art that chronicles a 24 hour time period.  Mesmerizing.


January 4, 2013

Gifts for the Good Life Short Films


A recent project that I completed was for the company Gifts for the Good Life.  I created three short film pieces for their business which they describe as artfully branded custom goods.  These films were introduced at engage12, held at The Breakers in Palm Beach in December.  Apparently, the films were a great success according to the gals from GGL.  Hooray!  I love helping small business succeed. Enjoy watching.