In January, I started a new position at the Portland Art Museum as a Multimedia Specialist in the Events Department. This awesomely vague title has afforded me access to amazing pieces of art work that I have the pleasure of documenting… for work! It is my job to interact with art. Daily, I walk by a Keith Herring painting, a Lichtenstein sculpture, my favorite Basquiat, some of the nation’s oldest and best photography along with many other art works. These works are like old friends. Some that travel through on tour, I met as a child touring the National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum or visiting galleries in New York. It is a rush to see my old friends and make new ones. (I am especially impressed by the work of emerging Native Artist Wendy Redstar.) I am the kid that was constantly being asked to back away from the painting. Now, it it my job to look closely.
Cleveland Museum of Art Chief Painting Conservator Per Knutas examines El Greco’s “Holy Family” for damage during shipping.
My most recent assignment was to capture B-Roll of the unboxing of an El Greco painting from the Cleveland Museum of Art. While shooting, I was asked to take some stills and they were featured on Oregonlive.com. Enjoy photos and more on this seasonally appropriate painting “Holy Family With Saint Mary Magdalen.“ Special thanks to Cody Maxwell, head of Video Production at the Portland Art Museum (aka my video director, technical guru and camera settings master).
One of my life long dreams has been achieved. I directed a rock video. To further the accomplishment, it was a video for my favorite Portland-based lady rock band: Little Volcano.
For ages, I’d been working on various sets with super-talented make-up artist Jodi Vaughn, bassist of Little Volcano, and we’d talk about making a video for the band. With June’s release of their EP “6,” we decided to get our resources together and produce a video for the song, “Stranger Danger.”
As director, I was lucky the Little Volcano ladies were willing to star in and bring their style to the project along with leading lady Desiree Dreamscape, all captured by Director of Photography, Laurel Degutis, of Oscar Ordinary Productions.
It is partly the story of a young woman discovering her pack, partly a love letter to Kenton (the North Portland neighborhood where Little Volcano members reside) and mostly a whole lot of fun. This video was a great collaboration put together by many imaginations shot over one weekend and edited by Cathleen Arnerich (of Slutty Hearts). Special thanks to all the fire dancers that came out to drink, dance and tear into some meat (and meat like products)!
Shortly after the premiere of our video at the kick off show of Little Volcano’s west coast tour this summer, I was asked if the “Stranger Danger” video could be included in a collection of locally-created shorts premiering at the Hollywood Theater as part of a Halloween themed program called “Hallowed Ground.” I was honored that ours was one of the only two music videos. (The other one was for Chrysta Bell & David Lynch’s “Birds of a Flame,” directed by Chel White. It’s such an beautiful video with a wonderful use of dance, sculpture and color, this is one instance where I wouldn’t mind being judged by the company I keep.)
Just got this sneak peek of the trailer for Guy Baker‘s film and thought you might want to take a look. It’s gorgeous. The audio is terrific. (I was location audio recorder, as an agent of Bitterroot Media, a pro audio recording outfit equipped with well cared for top of the line tools.)
I dare you to tell me you don’t want to watch this short film.
Forgive the abrupt stall out on my movie-a-day postings. Toward the end of February, business picked up and I no longer had the time to keep up with the posts. I hope to pick up the habit again, maybe in the Summer if things slow down. In the meantime, have a look at this fun(d)raising video I produced for the Johnson’s Creek Watershed Council.
Learn more about JCWC and contribute to their campaign for habitat restoration here.
Matt Clark, JCWC director, was a great collaborator full of energy, focus and ideas. (This isn’t the first time we worked together. He appeared as a body double for Van Oodles in Flossophy 101, a kids’ music video I produced a couple of years ago.) The JCWC shoot went really smoothly, except for the uproar of song birds that starting shrieking when a red tailed hawk decided to crash the set. The sun as our key light was a little tricky (as you can tell from the video), but it was a great day out at Johnson Creek.
Those who know me well know that I am a salmon lover to the point that I believe my spirit animal to be a grizzly bear (playing in water, eating fresh salmon, sleeping all winter and being so big, no one will mess with you, seems pretty awesome to me). This project didn’t just fulfill a personal satisfaction to create projects promoting the natural environment, but it also educated me on the possibilities of a natural balance within and urban setting. I had no idea that water bodies, like Johnson Creek, once referred to as “junk creek,” are capable of a recovery, so successful, that a few salmon have been seen in the water – an unprecedented event in the history of the creek’s monitoring!
In our modern times, where it seems the natural environment is only shrinking, it brings me so much hope to know that nature IS capable of recovery. Plus, I got to wear a wader suit – also, unprecedented.