Are you willing to go far enough that you might not make it back? Down a long path that cant be reversed. Retread. Into the unknown unknown…
Friday, 24 October 2014
Monday, 20 October 2014
Thursday, 9 October 2014
Monday, 6 October 2014
Keep your fire burning. Keep it safe inside you. Protect it. Feed it. Nurture it. So that it can do the same for you. Keep you warm. Alive. Inspired.
I respect hard work and talent. In that order. Your talent is worthless without the hard work and dedication required to forge it into actual skill. This is a photo of my friend Amir. I’ve seen very few people work as hard. Fewer still with as much talent. I met him in Israel, his native country. I’ve taken him to Alaska (more than once) and other less exotic locations. Most of the work I do is hard. You don’t sleep much. Sometimes you bleed (I almost always bleed). Amir never complains. Always quick with a smile or a joke or a helping hand.
People like Amir keep my fire going.
Friday, 12 September 2014
Thursday, 11 September 2014
I met Sharon on the Instagram thingy where I think she’s kinda famous. I dig her work and she’s been a vocal fan of mine so I jumped at the chance to photograph her. She did add a disclaimer slash warning before we started shooting, something about not liking her picture taken, but she liked my portraits so she was tolerating it. It made me smile. I think she’s got a great face. And I love her real and clean work.
I think I’m getting over that fear of photographing photographers…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
A number of years ago I was hired to shoot a short film in Israel. It was quite the experience. Sophie was the only american actress involved and we’ve been friends ever since. She’s one of the good ones…
Tuesday, 9 September 2014
I think I’m getting over this fear of photographing other photographers.
Check out his great work HERE
Monday, 8 September 2014
Friday, 5 September 2014
Thursday, 4 September 2014
Malachi asked me to take his portrait. I was flattered and terrified as he’s a terrific photographer in his own right. In addition to having one of the all time coolest names he’s a warm, sincere and very real guy. These are the kinds of people I like to spend my time with.
Take a look at Malachi’s excellent work. www.malachibanales.com
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Tuesday, 2 September 2014
Sunday, 31 August 2014
I hate being late and now we are. I’m sick to my stomach. Why didn’t we leave sooner? It’s my fault. I want to vomit. I hate being late so much. Fuck all this traffic into Downtown.
Finally we arrive and park and head for the hotel and there is Megan waiting with the tickets and we’re not even the last people to arrive so it was no big deal after all and she tells us some of the crew are at the bar. And we do need a drink. Casey and John are at the bar with their wives and this is awesome because they’re probably my favorite people on the show, in front and behind the camera, respectively.
In the space of 10 minutes Casey buys me 2 double Whiskeys and then we learn the doors are closing in a few minutes so we haul ass to the red carpet maze. Dani crack’s her leg on a concrete bench or something. I think it must hurt but we cant stop now. Our little crew, Fahey, Carper and their dates and Dani and I storm the red carpet, taking photos and laughing all the way. I’m feeling that Whiskey.
Inside we pass the long bar on the way to our seat. “Dude, theres a hobbit!” One of the guys from Lord of the rings. I want a picture but theres no time. I cant see but I’m pretty sure Dani rolls her eyes. All in good humor. We head down the isle to our seats. Chris Ho to our left, Carper to our right. Good company. Someone leans back and tells me, “Dude, Joseph Gordon Levitt was right in front of you coming down the isle.” Awesome. I hope I never feel too cool to geek out over seeing people who’s work I admire.
When I was 19 I worked in a shoe store, a national chain. Despite no prior experience in retail I was hired as a “manager trainee.” Maybe I’m good in an interview, who can say. There was a high school kid that worked weekends and evenings and we were talking one day about his options after graduation and I suggested that with his part time experience he would be a shoe in (pardon the pun) for a manager candidate. He looked at me like I was fucking insane. Maybe I lacked vision at the time. Maybe my deep rooted desires and fantasies seemed unattainable. Impossible. I wonder now what the hell I was thinking. I really do.
Casey told me not to worry, he had a flask, but by the time he sits down, a few seats away, his flask is empty. This is most definitely a good thing. Josh actually sits down for about 10 minutes. We high five and thats about the extent of my dealing with Josh on any given time I have to deal with him. Then he disappears and I never see him again. I wonder what the fuck that guy ever does cause I’ve never seen him do a damn thing except high five and party. I respect talent and hard work and… well never mind.
Speaking of talent and hard work, Matthew Weiner and Vince Gilligan come out and start things off. I geek out cause they make the kind of TV I really like. The kind I binge watch. The kind I’m inspired and intimidated by. Presenters come and go for the next couple hours. Awards given. Awards lost. Our editing crew wins, the sound guys don’t. Then comes the Cinematography part.
Sometimes it’s a cliff and sometimes it’s a brick wall. I haven’t tried any deep analysis to figure out why it changes. But the cliff and the wall are the same thing. Death. Destruction. The end. If you choose a creative life you might feel like your heading straight for it. The cliff or the wall I mean. And you probably are. Most certainly are. And your speeding up all the time. Impossibly fast. Time is always running out. Odds are if you choose a creative life your gonna come inches from the wall. Or the cliff. Or your gonna crash and burn. Probably WILL crash and burn. Eventually.
Casey had threatened to come with us onstage if we won and now we do and he does. I don’t mind at all. Anyone else, maybe. And then we’re backstage and being ushered to a photo area. This feels pretty good. Better than I imagined. But Matt and Steve are bickering about Twitter or something as we walk. Matt’s trying to take the high road but its all pretty pathetic. I guess if I wasn’t having so much fun it would be harder to disregard. Then theres a giant Emmy statue. Group photos and solo photos and individual thanks to the camera. Yeah, this is pretty fun. I thank my wife cause she’s responsible for the lions share of any success I attain. They usher us through a maze of halls and downstairs to a press panel.
But by the time we arrive half of out little party are missing. Including Fahey with the statue. Fucking Fahey. I love him but… Dude? Everyone trickles down but Fahey’s still missing. Watching the monitor of the ceremony I see Bourdain has won something. “Is he coming down here?” I ask. This is affirmed. I want to meet Bourdain. Bad. Finally Fahey shows up with the statue. We line up for the press. It’s a shitshow of high order. I’m almost embarrassed but who cares. We head upstairs and pass the statue around and pose for pictures. I glance over and see Bourdain slip down the stairs to the press panel. Shit, I missed him.
You might achieve a measure of success. Of financial security. Of recognition. Maybe even a large measure. But inside you know the wall is always there. The cliff is always there, rushing at you as you rush at it. Failure is a second away. If you want to live a truly creative life there is no safety net and no seatbelt at any stage and death and failure and poverty hang over your head at every turn.
At some point we learn that the show itself wins. More high fives. And then here comes the top line producers with their statues. I like all these guys, some of them even a lot. And I’m happy for them. But deep inside It doesn’t seem fair that we don’t get our own statues. We must be kept in place in our slightly lower station. And it’s very clear. And I’m a Libra and always bothered by an unbalanced or unfair outcome. So there it is. Recognize it for what it is and move on.
We all move over to the Ballroom for dinner. It’s dark and very classy. Dancers and lazer lights. Like a high end wedding. Hundreds of tables. For some reason I end up with the statue and it feels cool walking around with it. People offering congratulations. It feels real good. I ask several of the wait staff where Bourdain is sitting but no one knows. I think Dani is starting to question my sanity. Decker comes over. “I guess we don’t have to work anymore”, he says. We chuckle at that and then for some reason he kisses my head. Small favor that the camera couldn’t focus. I like Decker.
We eat and I drink a lot and dance a little and then we move to a neighboring hotel where the production company is having a small private party. I’m hammered but trying to maintain. Finally Dani suggests we head home and surprisingly I agree. Enough fun. But I’m starved so we buy bacon wrapped hotdogs from a cart vendor in the parking lot and hit the highway. I pass out instantly. Thank the gods for my wife.
It’s a road that doesn’t end. It’s a hunger not satisfied. For long. You might achieve a measure of recognition or success or even fleeting satisfaction but you’ll wake up the very next day starving. Yeah, I don’t know where this road ends. I don’t think it does. I’ve taken turns I never could have imagined. And I can imagine quite a lot. I don’t know whats ahead. Except for that cliff. Except that brick wall.
Saturday, 23 August 2014
So I sorta quietly updated the site. I feel in transition. The last few months have been very interesting. Travel. Introspection. Creative accolades. Professional frustration. Growth. Change is in the air.
If you choose a creative life the road is long. And with many turns.
My name is Ben. I’m a filmmaker and a Photographer.
Heres the new site.