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Updated: 8 hours 9 min ago
This animated Op-Doc for the New York Times Magazine explores why J.J. Cale, who wrote such classic songs as “After Midnight,” “Cocaine” and “Call Me the Breeze,” never achieved stardom. Full article here: nytimes.com/2013/12/16/opinion/naturally-jj-cale.html?_r=0
This film took 300,000 photos, riots, wildfires, paintings in abandoned houses, two years and zero graphics to make. It changed my entire life.
Circle of Abstract Ritual began as an exploration of the idea that creation and destruction might be the same thing. The destruction end of that thought began in earnest when riots broke out in my neighborhood in Anaheim, California, 2012. I immediately climbed onto my landlord's roof without asking and began recording the unfolding events. The news agencies I contacted had no idea what to do with time lapse footage of riots, which was okay with me because I had been thinking about recontextualizing news as art for some time. After that I got the bug. I chased down wildfires, walked down storm drains on the L.A. River and found abandoned houses where I could set up elaborate optical illusion paintings. The illusion part of the paintings are not an end in themselves in my work. They're an intimation of things we can't physically detect; a way to get an ever so slight edge on the unknowable.
Early in the process I mapped out a very interconnected narrative structure. It took a long time to fill that narrative structure in, and when I finished editing the film after seven solid weeks of being holed up in a dark room I had no idea if it was something anyone would want to watch. I almost cut the film into pieces before realizing that outside influences were pressuring me to make that decision, and that I was happy with it as it was.
It took a long time to come to the creation side of the original premise. It finally took form in a collaboration with sculptor, Steve Shigley, as well as 15 amazing volunteers who moved full sized tree sculptures 450 times over two nights to create the stop motion climax of the film (see the behind the scenes film, Story of Abstract Ritual for the tale of their monumental effort: vimeo.com/frostjeff/soar).
The idea I wanted to explore was the creation of culture as a conscious creative act, but without the trappings of dogma from institutions or even from ways of thinking. The circle of inverted trees became a small piece of the world with personal meaning where I could mark significant events, contemplate and reflect. That circle still stands, and I still visit it regularly. Several people who have been there have told me that it's come to mean something special for them as well. They each have their own fascinating way of interpreting the power inherent in those trees.
This film is art for the sake of art. It was made with much generosity, from the people who let me crash on their couches to the people who backed the Kickstarter to people who just wanted to pitch in: thank you. This would not have been possible without your help.
Every spare cent I make goes back into creating art. If you'd like to see me keep doing what I'm doing please consider purchasing a download or a print at jeff-frost.com, or PayPal me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for watching!
Dynamic Perception provided motion control gear for this project. They're a great company run by an awesome dude (hi Jay!), and their product is rugged and reliable. Check them out dynamicperception.com/?Click=4195
Short Film: E N V O Y
Director: DAVID WEINSTEIN
Producers: DAVID WEINSTEIN, MARIAM PRICE, ADAM COGGIN
VFX Supervisor: ADAM COGGIN
Photography: MARIO CONTINI
Editor: PHIL BUCCI
Music: EDWIN WENDLER
Details: Science fiction, action adventure, short film to be used as a proof of concept for a larger full-length feature film story. A young boy discovers a deadly alien creature and winds up entangled in a top secret government operation.
Cast: David Weinstein
This video is contains a horrifying wipe out at Pedra Branca 16 miles/30 kilometers south of Tasmania
Sunday 2nd March 2014
James Hollmer-Cross injuries included Broken leg, Partial ligament tears, Fractured Tibia..
Thanks to Dave Wyatt from Velocity Charters Tasmania
Shot on the Sony Camera F5 & Sony FS 700.. Thx to Sony Australia & Bright Tangerine
Last week Tim took a last minute trip down to Pedra Branca, which is 26 kilometers off the South East Cape of Tasmania, Australia. Like some of the best big wave locations, Pedra Branca is extremely remote and is a really long way from help if anything goes wrong. 32 year-old Hobart local James Hollmer-Cross came up close and personal with a gnarly wipe out, with a broken leg and torn ligaments, but luckily got to the surface and is frothing to get back out there.
Tim Bonython says about wanting to do the trip… “After 5 years of asking the local crew to take me out to this place they finally relented and invited me out to document one of my ‘great wonders of the world of big wave surfing. Simply my own Everest of surfing. I was desperate to get there!”
The weather is really hit and miss with such an isolated location and it’s a big gamble for Tim to take a team of surfers and his equipment somewhere for the waves not to fire. He says “from looking at the maps I could see a very large deep period swell pushing up from the roaring forties. Not actually a big size swell compared to others but that period was very intense. Most importantly the winds in that location looked light, onshore but light. I watched the charts not expecting it to eventuate due to the onshore prediction, plus I still had no green card to go there. I actually kind of gave up on it and was planning on a weekend at home in Sydney.”
Tim continues, “Friday at lunch time I get a call from Marti Paradisis. ‘Mate, its actually looking pretty good now, so we’re lining up the boys & it looks like we are heading out there at 3 am Sunday morning’. My heart went from normal to through the roof, like i am about to jump off a cliff with a bungee cord on the biggest drop ever. I was excited but also incredibly anxious. Anyway, tickets booked & camera’s packed. Thank god it was a convenient 12 noon flight down to Hobart.
On arrival I was picked up by local Zeb Critchlow who seemed worried that everything was falling apart.”
Zeb says “Marti had just pulled out & a couple of the others were getting nervous about the winds turning to a stronger onshore direction. You don’t want wind down there.”
James Hollmer-Cross was in the crew of Danny Griffith, Zeb, Tyler Hollmer-Cross, Jarrad Forster and a couple of blow-ins (like me ha) & Justin ‘Jughead’ Allport from the Central Coast NSW.
Media consisted with Stuart Gibson & Andrew Chizholm and the captain was Dave Wyatt from Southern Ocean Adventures. “As mentioned we were shipping off at 3am Sunday.”
James says “I’ve surfed Pedra Branca 5 times before, it’s known as a big remote and challenging wave.
Mentally and Physically it is easily one of the heaviest waves in the world.
“I consider myself lucky for not dying but, it’s what I do and if I wasn’t prepared mentally and physically, with my fitness and big wave skills, that wipe-out could’ve ended me. As soon as I’m fit again you’ll see me out there charging for the biggest ones again.”
Tim says “This was one of my greatest surfing adventures and it is about to make history with some of the biggest bombs sets I’ve seen down south.”
According to an interview the following day from Stewart Nettle from Swellnet.com
What he thinks happened to the board is this. There was a wave five minutes earlier that he got towed into and at the last minute pulled back on. I've seen it on video and it's like The Right on steroids(!), if he committed to that wave the injury list would be more serious reading. Anyway, he pulled off the back but the next wave mowed through and took his board. They hopped on the ski and found his board at the end of the reef, then motored back out to the takeoff. The wave in the video came through almost straight away.
From the get go he said his board didn't feel right. "It usually sticks to the face, but it was bouncing where it shouldn't have been."
He believes it was creased or copped some sort of damage that compromised its strength. That was why it was flexing and bouncing, and why he come a'gutser on a small piece of chop.
The downside? Three months out of the water during the prime swell season.
The Australian Surf Movie Festival 12 is looking good!
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Cast: Tim Bonython Productions