Tuesday, June 03, 2014


i was listening to a fresh air podcast yesterday where terry gross was talking with david o. russell about american hustle. as he was talking about his own life and his interest in how we all have our "true self" and our "false self" and we reveal/project different aspects of those depending on our situations and how we're feeling. and terry made a comment about how that's just like the characters and themes from american hustle, especially since they had been talking about those ideas in the movie earlier in the interview. but david just said in sincerity, "wow, i'd never even thought of that until you said it."
his work including

i'm fascinated by those connections, about stepping back and looking at the themes that interest in our own lives in a way that we don't conscientiously realize, but once you identify them, they're plainly visible. in one of my photography courses at byu, our instructor had us all line up our work at the end of the semester so we could see the whole body of work and look for commonalities between them. (unfortunately, i don't remember what my themes were, or even if there were any, other than most of my shots being taken after 1 a.m.)

today i was in my weekly meeting with dr. parke, telling him about my idea for a portraiture series i'm interested in. i had also been looking into the works of norman mclaren, the canadian experimental animator. i'd picked up a 7-disc set of his off of amazon for $30 a few years ago and had never looked through it much until recently (i actually bought two and kept one sealed. now that the set is out of print, i was able to sell that one for $250. but i don't want to sell this one; it's too wonderful.) and i looked at the work he did just playing with writing on the celluloid itself and was talking with dr. parke about that, wondering what i could do in the modern day, now that we have things like "after effects" to create with. (i could also check out work by stan brakhage, too, i suppose

after a few minutes, he commented at how the work i've done is the modern-day equivalent to mclaren: he created directly on the celluloid and i have been working directly in jpg code to create images.

my head about exploded.

just seeing that connection was exciting and spurred to go back and revisit those ideas, and to go with full force what i tried a little earlier this year: messing with video code.

i realized another underlying attraction i have today. as i mentioned earlier, i'm interested in doing a series of portraits. just as the norman mclaren set got me thinking about some experimental stuff, i've been going through the second set of the "director's label" dvds, and not only looking at the videos, but also noticing that some of these guys are also very accomplished still photographers, particularly anton corbijn and st├ęphane sednaoui. and i admittedly know very little about portraiture. i know portraits that i like, but i can't figure out why i like them.
that mystique is enticing to me.

in fact, it was that same inscrutable attraction that got me into movies in the first place; in 1997 i saw pulp fiction on tv and couldn't figure out what i liked about it yet couldn't stop watching it.

i've got a lot of details to figure out about this portrait series but i've already got the studio reserved, so it'll be fun to give it a shot and see what i can do with it.