Jack of the Red Hearts @ YouTube

First off, I had no idea that there is a place called YouTube Space LA. It's cool. 

They hosted an event this evening there for Jack of the Red Hearts, the movie that I shot some of the stills for (pardon my poor writing skills...it's late). It was also an event for the Bentonville Film Festival which was co-founded by Geena Davis to further her the work she does at her Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Jack of the Red Hearts won the Grand Jury Prize at last year's inaugural BFF, which included a theatrical release with AMC Theaters and a television deal with Lifetime!

When I walked into the YouTube Space LA, I was thrilled to see a huge lightbox above the reception counter with the photograph I shot...

The second thrill was watching the movie. I was only onset for the first four or five days of the production so even though I had read the awesome script written by Jennifer Deaton, I had no idea how the film would turn out. Well, it turned out great - it's touching, thoughtful and funny. The acting was great all around and Taylor Richardson was particularly amazing, playing the difficult role of Glory, a young autistic child.

My next thrill after the screening when all these film industry heavy hitters took to the stage and sat under the photograph that I shot for the panel discussion. Yes, I took a photo of that too so I could introduce you to them.

From L to R: Actress Geena Davis (Oscar® Winner for The Accidental Tourist), screenwriter Phyllis Nagy (Oscar® Nominated this year for Carol), director/screenwriter Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen and Twilight), the Executive at Lifetime (sorry I didn't catch her name), screenwriter Jennifer Deaton (JOTRH), producer Lucy Mukerjee-Brown (JOTRH), actress Famke Janssen (JOTRH), director Janet Grillo (JOTRH) and moderator Sharon Waxman (CEO of The Wrap). And my photograph of Taylor Richardson above them.

Then there was my fourth thrill - is it even possible to have four thrills in one evening? - watching the people sitting in the rows in front of me shooting there own photographs of the panel and including the photograph I shot in their frames.

Jack of the Red Hearts is screening at several AMC Theaters across the United States beginning tomorrow, Friday February 26th. Please go out and see it this weekend to support this wonderful independent film so it doesn't close on March 3rd. I'll be going to the 6:15pm show tomorrow night at the AMC Burbank with the screenwriter, Jennifer Deaton and her lovely wife Erika...and I do believe there is going to be a Q&A after the screening. If you're in the LA area please join us!

Jack of the Red Hearts Trailer

Yay! The JOTRH trailer has just made its exclusive debut on Entertainment Weekly! Check it out and see when and where you can see Jack of the Red Hearts in a theater! 

It was a year and a half ago that I shot some of the production stills for the independent feature, Jack of the Red Hearts. While the movie was getting all kinds of awards on the festival circuit, I was honored that the production chose to use a photograph I took of Taylor Richardson on the poster.

 
 

I'm very pleased that AMC is using it for the theatrical release. I might be the only person on the project that hasn't seen the film yet. There have been some screenings I was invited to but each time I was on the opposite coast. So you will see me at one of these theaters.

The movie stars AnnaSophia Robb (Carrie Diaries), Famke Janssen (X-Men), Taylor Richardson (Annie (on Broadway)), Israel Broussard (The Bling Ring) and Scott Cohen (Allegiance). If you're close to any of these locations, please support independent filmmaking and see Jack of the Red Hearts in a theater! The release date is February 26, 2016.

Atlanta – Sugarloaf 18
Boston – Boston Common 19
Chicago – River East 21
Chicago – South Barrington 30
Dallas – Stonebriar 24
Dallas – Firewheel 18
Denver – Highlands Ranch 24
Denver – Westminster Promenade
Houston – Studio 30
Kansas City – Town Center 20
Los Angeles – Burbank 8
Los Angeles – Orange 30
Miami – Sunset 24
Minneapolis – Southdale 16
New York – Palisades 21
New York – Empire 25
Orlando – Disney 24
Phoenix – Deer Valley 17
Philadelphia – Neshaminy 24
Pittsburgh – Waterfront 22
San Diego – Fashion Valley 18
San Francisco – Metreon 16
Seattle – Alderwood 16
Tampa – Veterans 24
Washington DC – Hoffman 22

Film Release!

Jack of the Red Hearts, a film I worked on last summer, is getting a theatrical release in AMC theaters on December 4!

I'm honored that the filmmakers chose one of my stills for the poster and I can't wait to see this movie in the theater, after having missed all the pre screening opportunities and the multiple film festivals screenings. 

 
 

And it looks like they will be keeping this poster for the theatrical release as it's showing up on the AMC website

Presenting An Image

I'm big on people watching. Since I was little, I've loved to imagine what it would be like to be that other person I'm looking at. While I'm not a Peeping Tom, if someone's drapes are open I will take a look in to see how they live. I'm curious about people's lives and what makes them tick.

More and more, I am finding out that most people are presenting an image. Or maybe it's that we are assuming things about others without them having to present an image. Recently, I've learned that several people I know are facing harder times than I would have imagined. I'm not sure if it was my assumption, or their ability to present an image...maybe a little bit of both. And when it comes to the artists (pick a talent - painting, photography, filmmaking, writing, music or all of the above) it's even trickier. I meet people and they appear to be flush, making a great living from their artistic endeavors, having gallery shows etc, etc. Then I later find out they are struggling to survive. I'm sure there are people who have met me and presume that I'm making bank. Is that the image I am presenting? Is it the idea if you act the image you will become the image? Or can we confirm that we are all struggling artists working toward that lucky big break the we truly believe is just around the corner?

I love shooting pictures and I want to get my feature film projects funded and made. I want more people to collect my work. I would also like to have a rep that would pitch me for jobs. And a gallery that wants to rep my fine art photography. For some reason, I am lost in making these things happen. I do get paid to take photographs but not at the level and income I believe my work warrants. And I have an artist friend that I think should be making a lot more money than he probably is. In the past year, I've come to realize that quality of the work really has no relation to the monetary returns. Follow Artnet News for a couple of weeks and you'll understand what I'm talking about.

I also have a penchant for shooting homeless people - FYI this post was originally titled "Homeless" with the idea that many of the people we know or are acquainted with could be closer to being homeless than we think. One of the times I went out shooting with Israel Broussard (talented actor and budding photographer) around New York, we ended up in the Bowery and came across these two characters.

 
 

It was a Friday in late July, around lunch time. I was immediately fascinated by the guy on the right and asked if I could take some photos. I also liked the sign that makes no sense. We ended up hanging with there for a half hour. I knew the guy on the right was homeless but was surprised that the guy on the left was too. He was sitting on this new computer case which I believe had his computer inside. He had been employed but had recently fell on hard times. Anyway, we introduced ourselves and learned that both were named Peter - the guy on the right is Peter Diaz. Diaz has been homeless for a long time. He had no qualms letting us know he loved his beer and was totally okay with living on the streets.

 
 

Hopefully that is apparent in this portrait I took of him. 

 
 

Peter Diaz was also happy to receive Israel's half-eaten sandwich. The more pictures I took, the more I really appreciated the relationship that these two men had forged. And that neither of them were presenting an image. They were fine with just being themselves, despite the fact they were homeless. They were not bitter and were actually enjoying the simplicity of their lives. At least that's how I remember this encounter.

 
 

I've thought a lot about the possibility of being homeless. I was homeless for a couple of weeks when I was barely of age and first moved California. And I wouldn't be surprised if I found myself homeless at some point in the future.

So let me toss out these questions. I'm interested and curious to see if anyone will answer them...Have you ever been homeless? Are you presenting or feel you have to present an image that you are better off than you really are? How far away are you from being homeless?

I'll go first: Yes. Possibly. Probably not as far as I think I am.

 

Sign Language - 1

I'm calling this Sign Language - 1 because I am always fascinated by signs and the people who make them and/or carry them around...so there will be a part 2 and 3. There are plenty more in my archives that I have not posted and I'm sure I will continue to shoot more.

The three I chose for today's blog post are about as diverse as I could get, not only for the message itself but for the people who wrote them.

 
One of the most common of signs is probably the Jesus sign. This woman is a stalwart around Times Square. I really like the way her sign is rigged. It's a little strange to me that she has the '666' matching 'Jesus', both in red lettering.

One of the most common of signs is probably the Jesus sign. This woman is a stalwart around Times Square. I really like the way her sign is rigged. It's a little strange to me that she has the '666' matching 'Jesus', both in red lettering.

 
 
I have always been drawn to homeless people since I am always aware that any of us could be a day away from being there. In this instance I was out doing some street shooting with actor and great guy, Israel Broussard. I asked him if he had ever photographed homeless people and told him in doing so it's best to introduce yourself, have a conversation and ask them if they would mind if you took their picture. Oh, and always add something to the cup. In this instance, it was so amazing for me to witness their conversation where they both learned something from each other. And Israel got some great pictures.

I have always been drawn to homeless people since I am always aware that any of us could be a day away from being there. In this instance I was out doing some street shooting with actor and great guy, Israel Broussard. I asked him if he had ever photographed homeless people and told him in doing so it's best to introduce yourself, have a conversation and ask them if they would mind if you took their picture. Oh, and always add something to the cup. In this instance, it was so amazing for me to witness their conversation where they both learned something from each other. And Israel got some great pictures.

 
 
I was backstage with  Jay Stolar  shooting him while he was printing this sign on his hand prior to hitting the stage at the Mercury Lounge. He had recently aligned himself with the  Love Is Louder  movement. Check it out.

I was backstage with Jay Stolar shooting him while he was printing this sign on his hand prior to hitting the stage at the Mercury Lounge. He had recently aligned himself with the Love Is Louder movement. Check it out.

 

Writing this post made me think of this song called Signs. Always great to finish with a song.