During the past few months of living through this global pandemic, I’ve been trying to be more present and connected to the world around me. To notice more and be more appreciative of even the simplest things. That was one of the origins of this project, to reflect on things that often go unnoticed, or at least unacknowledged. Another is to keep myself challenged and engaged creatively when so much of the work I had planned for these past few months and in the months to come has been put on hold or canceled outright.
These films will vary in length from a minute or so to several minutes. Some will tell stories. Others will be purely experiential. So there you have it. Look for a new film posted here sometime on Sunday each week. I hope you'll find them interesting enough to keep you coming back for more. I’ll keep them all posted below so if someone wants to join in and catchup on the previous weeks they’ll always be available.
Thanks for looking in and I hope you’ll be back.
This week’s film takes us inside the artist’s studio for a look at the unique bond between an artist and his assistant. Using footage I shot when David Stucky and I were hanging out in the studio of our dear friend Harold Garde and combined with an original score from John Mehrmann I created this little mini drama. I’ll leave its interpretation up to each of you.
There is something in the sound of moving water that draws and soothes us. This week’s film celebrates nature’s symphony and offers a brief retreat from our turbulent, noisy world. I think it might be just what we need about now.
This week’s film takes us back to New York for three of my favorite things - a rainy day, a table by the window and a cup of coffee. Had a bit of fun with the sound mix here, balancing the sounds of the dinner, the rain on the window, the sounds of the street and another piece of original music from my friend John Mehrmann.
A few months ago John Merhmann sent me a piece of music to play with and I tried a few things with it before putting it aside for a while. Then, when I began this project, I came across some footage in one of my archives that immediately brought it to mind. So this week’s film is the marriage of the two.
This week’s film is just for fun. It started with a shot of rippling water that reminded me of the opening title sequence from the HBO film Empire Falls. Music from that film, combined with footage I hadn’t found a home for in any other piece, resulted in a credit sequence for a nonexistent film. I’ll leave it to all of you to imagine the film that might follow.
Using footage from my archives more than a decade old, this week’s film captures the pleasures of an ordinary moment and the joy of a late spring day. A remembrance of places past and loved ones lost, set to music from John Mehrmann.
Back in early March I boarded a plane in Cincinnati on my way to Boston where, via bus and car, I made my way back to our house in Rockport. Once there I began, what at the time was still only a recommended two week quarantine. This week’s film is a self portrait of that period, the many faces of trying to accept what has now, six months later, become our new normal.
Several years ago I was in New York shooting a promotional film for the Art Students League. For more than a week I roamed the halls and studios with my camera gathering material for the piece. Of course I ended up with much more than I could use and so for this week’s film I thought I’d sweep some of it up off the cutting room floor and create this little day in the life film. While you watch perhaps you’ll catch the scent of oil paint and turpentine hanging in the air.
This week’s film began with a piece of choral music from my friend John Merhmann which, when mixed with my admiration for filmmaker Terrence Malick, inspired a rumination on the essence of simple, fleeting moments, the fragility of the natural world and the ephemeral nature of life itself. I hope that it invites each viewer’s personal interpretation because, though I’m reluctant to describe it as such - isn’t that what all successful art should do?
This week’s film gets to the heart of this project. This spring, while dealing with the new reality of living inside a pandemic, I was at our house in Maine, missing my wife but feeling somewhat safe and secluded, at least when compared to what most of the country was going through. I began most days with a walk around Beauchamp Point. It’s a walk I never grow tired of. It captures the best of what this world has to offer - the woods, the sea, flowers, birds and a fresh clean breeze.
A few years ago I was invited to accompany the Art Students League on a trip to Beijing to visit the artist Ai Weiwei. During our week long stay, I shot a lot of footage that I've never used. This week’s film is the first from that trip that will be appearing over the months to come. It’s my record of a day spent among the people of Beijing - on the streets, in the parks and shops. Watch and I think you’ll find that, governments and religions aside, people are people no matter where you travel.
Summer is moving along and soon it will be Autumn, my favorite time of year. This week’s film transports us ahead a few weeks and takes us on visit to Maine’s Rockport Harbor on a blustery October day. This short features another original piece of music by the talented John Mehrmann, this one created specifically for this film.
In preparation for this year long project I decided that, in addition to shooting new footage along the way, I would revisit some of the footage I’ve shot and archived over the years. It’s been a real joy rediscovering video that never found its way into a released film. This week’s film is such a case. Shot over eight years ago, it’s a little memory of a morning spent in one of my favorite places with one of my favorite people.
The project’s inaugural film is an abstract piece resulting from video I’ve been collecting for the past year or two. I’ve been shooting light in motion whenever it happens to present itself to me and I’ve finally compiled some of these shots into this short. It’s scored with a piece of choral music from my talented friend, the musician and composer John Mehrmann, who’s work you’ll be hearing more of as the project unfolds over the next year.