Thursday, January 30, 2014

On The Turntable

Working on new Promos and rockin The Chambers Brothers - Love, Peace and Happiness recorded live at The Fillmore East and in the studio w/David Rubinson producing- great stuff.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Backstory - Terra Firma Poster Art

For the poster for our documentary Terra Firma, we really wanted a shot of the 3 women in the film together.  Since they lived in 3 different states this was going to be a challenge.  Yes, we could have used separate shots and somehow made them work through the magic of Photoshop, but we were holding out. 
The opportunity finally arrived in November for all of us to be in downtown Louisville, KY.  The event was the Empowering Women Veterans Conference where we would do a test screening for the 100 plus women in attendance followed by a panel with the women in the film and the two of us.
We asked Anna, Sonia and Althea to pack something ‘farmy’ to wear for the shoot and we dragged along a hoe, a pitchfork and a shovel for props, which caused more than a few heads to turn in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency.  We used Google Earth to scout a few locations near the hotel and kept clocking the weather as the time drew near hoping for sunshine and blue skies. 
No such luck.  As it turned out the weather was horrible – grey skies, flat light and freezing temperatures and we would only have a short time for the photo shoot because of all the conference activities, so the locations we had scouted were out. 

What to do when you’re stuck in the middle of downtown surrounded by skyscrapers???  We got the idea to go up to the roof and once we explained our mission to the gracious hotel staff they agreed to escort us up to the 28th floor and on up to the roof.

Photo by Erin Raftery

As you can see it was cold.

Anna needed a little convincing to lose the hood.

Owen got it on the first shot!  Although we were up on the roof for about 30 minutes trying different angles and expressions, we discovered that the first frame was the one that really worked best.

But, the battle was only half over.  How were we going to make a photo of 3 women farmers on a rooftop in Louisiville work for the poster?
We thought about finding a photo of a farm to Photoshop them into but that didn’t seem right since it’s not just a film about farming.  It’s a film about 3 strong women veterans who have overcome hardships to survive, which is why we use the soldier’s motto of “Suck it up and drive on” at the beginning of the film.
Taking a cue from the “driving on” metaphor we decided on a road.  And as serendipity (something that independent documentary filmmakers rely on a lot) would have it, we had the perfect road shot to use.  The photo was taken a few years back while we were on location in Pensacola Beach, FL. and had some time to kill before the shoot.

We could have Photoshopped in some farm land to cover the sand, but we liked how the landscape looked similar to what the women had experienced in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Friday, January 24, 2014

On Assignment...

... on location with Lisa Kline Mowry and Sherry Hart.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot it's cold outside... but inside it's a well-oiled machine running smooth, hot, and fast, working out the kinks, cranking and cramming, pulling out the card tricks, auditioning pieces, and shooting it butch. Go!

Prop Philosophies: Lisa and Sherry in deep discussion about the merits of the Playboy™ Bunny trophy.

Yeah... we have all the fun.

Monday, January 20, 2014


Martin Luther King Jr.
Sculptured Head 1965
7.25 inches in height
Artist: Owen Masterson

"In October 1964, Mr. King won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. 
I was 9 at the time and I admired him very much."    O.M.  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Experimental Short

Shot: 01/17/2014
Camera over cranked to 60fps
Playback at 24fps
Slowed playback another 30%

Music by: AMPULE

We have a fireplace in our bedroom (wood burning, thank you) that helps warm us on these winter nights. Staring into the dancing, licking, quivering, ever changing flames, we notice the almost trance-like calming sensation that overtakes us. The fire draws us in, captivates us and sparks our imaginations to wander.
Humans have been staring into fires for a hundred thousand years and you realize how connected we are to fire. It warms, it cooks, it protects, it entertains and it allows us to sit by it and contemplate everything, anything or nothing at all.
And it is a link to ourselves 100,000 years ago.
It was this connectivity that got us wondering about slowing down time and going back into our primal brain to stare at an ancient fire.

It's only three minutes long... go for it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

On Assignment...

... with field editor, stylist, writer Lisa Kline Mowry

There are few reasons to spend the day in a bathroom; some not so fun- but we get to hang out and take photos in some pretty smashingly beautiful ones.
Today is another one of those days: designed, light filled, amazing.

Shot #1 - Waiting for the water in the tub to reach the perfect level:

Lining up shot #5:

And you'll just have to wait till publication for a peek... maybe.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Project: Short film...

Good friend and farmer (and actor) Elliott McGann stopped by for dinner and a sleep over last night while traveling around the south on hiatus from his farm work in Connecticut.  Knowing his background as we do we pitched him the project we'd been working on and asked if he wouldn't possibly consider making a cameo appearance in it. After plying him with wine and song, card tricks and bad jokes he finally relented.

Thanks Elliott for everything you do-

Search LABELS: Trailer Project

Thursday, January 9, 2014

In the Edit Suite...

Cutting a sweet promo for super woman Kelly D. "Fearnothing" Carlisle's organization "Acta-Non-Verba: Urban Youth Farm" in East Oakland, California.

Kelly is the Founder and Executive Director. Know this: she means business.

Filming (we don't dare say "shooting") in East Oakland presents some difficult challenges where many have guns and don't hesitate to use them. We found ourselves driving around the streets getting 'B'-roll on the receiving end of some awkward moments and looks. There was one especially tight moment when a car following us for a number of blocks, finally pulling up along side at the stop light and, though not looking directly at us, the two older folks in the rental car with the movie camera, let us know that they knew we were here, then slowly drove on. Was the word going out? And what was the verdict? Was it going to end badly?
It was tense but we had to get the... shots.

There is an oasis in East Oakland... discover it.

Friday, January 3, 2014


... and they're off and running!

Assignments, GROW! interviews, TERRA FIRMA promotion gearing up, working on personal photo/film projects...

"And I'm leaning out my window sill digging everything, and you too."
Jimi Hendrix