1/7
Sage Vaughn.
Short Film for RVCA (2019)

 

A short film for RVCA inspired by conversations Sage and I had in his Pasadena studio and driving around the freeways of Los Angeles. Although as a teen he Vaughn started out spraying graffiti around the San Fernando Valley, California, where he was raised, it was a scene he quickly outgrew. He is interested in the interface between "mans' wild side and animals' civilized aspects." We touch on the ideas of growing out of things as well as childhood memories. In the film, Sage recites a poem he wrote about memories of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and how that effected him as a kid. At the time of filming, Sage was going through a change of styles in his artwork and so the film is again, about liberating yourself from the past. It’s also about looking for freedom in destruction.

1/5
A Night For Change.
Short Film for Absolut Vodka (2018)

A very unique short film project for Absolut Vodka where we partnered with seven artists in seven countries who have united for a common cause...to create a more open and inclusive world. For the film, each artist created a mural with their vision of a better tomorrow. Locations included Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, The UK and The US. The themes of the paintings included were Global Unity, Immigration, Women's Rights and The Environment.

Each artist, working over the course of one day, from sunset to sunrise, created their uniquely visual ideals for change. Coming together across different time zones to help shine a light on their local communities in each country. Following this film, each artist supported the project at the local level, leading workshops and activities in their communities to give back, inspire and encourage people to come together and drive change through their creative expression.

1/3
A No Good Day In
Tuckertown.
Short Film for Vogue and Tucker, NYC (2017)

A NO GOOD DAY IN TUCKERTOWN is a short fashion film made for Tucker by Gaby Basora in the Fall on 2017. The concept for the film was to represent real women in their real New York City lives. While almost the whole film was staged, the overall idea was to approach the production like a documentary...giving minimal direction and letting scenes play out as they would naturally. To achieve this we filmed on E 7th Street (between Ave B & Ave C) in the East Village. Our diverse cast of lades and men most of whom are not professional actors or models were forced to interact with the general goings-on of the neighborhood residents and their day to day routines. As a result of this, many of them ended up in the film. East 7th is a magical block, with a long storied history in both politics and film and the residents were the perfect addition to what is a very touching film. The beautiful music was recorded by Rachel Loeb, and our guest dancer/choreographer was none other than the notorious Jeff Selby of New Style Hustle.  

1/1
Fade To Blue.
A Short Film Series for Sutor Mantelassi (2016)
 

FADE TO BLUE consists as a series of episodic short films centered on the classic themes of love, loss and redemption. The films are inspired to play visually on the archetypes of classic Italian 1960’s melodramatic cinema, but like Sutor Mantellassi, they were updated to reflect a modern contemporary twist. Our story puts the focus on a single male character that exists as a metaphor. We see him, but we don’t see him. However we always notice his Sutor Mantellassi shoes. His exquisite footwear becomes integral to his persona as he interacts romantically with numerous female characters. At first, he comes off as a bit of a Casanova, playing with hearts like a poker dealer, however in the third act he finally comes to his senses and returns to the woman he truly loves. We shot these films with a skeleton crew on location in Wanganui, New Zealand. The incredible 1950's house that serves as our backdrop is one of the coolest locations on Earth. The beautiful original score was composed in Topanga Canyon by Aska Matsumiya and color work was executed by Ted Gehrike.

1/4
Because I Love You.
Two Short Films for One Love (2016)
 

A very personal and empowering campaign I directed for One Love, an organization founded in 2010 to honor the memory of Yeardley Love, a tragic victim of relationship abuse. One Love works with young people across the country to raise awareness about the warning signs of abuse and activate communities to work to change the statistics around relationship violence. In a violent or abusive relationship, control statements like “Because I Love You” are often used in a pattern of put-downs or mind games that are meant to gain power over you, leave you feeling fearful or like everything's your fault. Such a simple phrase can take on a different meaning in an unhealthy relationship; escalating from a statement of care to one of control. These spots are meant to educate young people about controlling statements and how you can empower your friends to make a difference. We shot these films in a single day using young Los Angeles poets who did a wonderful job with the material. Beautiful films with a very important message.

1/6
Bombonice.
Short film for Mini featuring Ana Kras (2015)
 

A fast-rising presence in the design world, Аna Kraš shies away from overthinking her creative approach. Ana's offbeat personal style, coveted by fashion and music industry collaborators, reflects the hyper-intuitive approach that she applies to her artisanal furniture line. From ‘Bonbons,’ the multicolored lantern lampshades she makes with leftover cotton, to her gallery-exhibited drawings that echo medieval architecture, the influence of Kraš’s native Serbia is never far away. In this short film for MINI’s "The Cultural" series, we traveled with Ana to Belgrade to explore the cultural traditions that influence her work. We were able to shoot in some of the most specacular locations I've ever visited and working with Ana is a dream. The resulting film is an architectural tour of the Serbian capital that playfully captures Kraš’s magpie spirit. As she states in the film, “Most things happen to me because I wasn’t making a plan,” she says. “Rather, I was going with the flow.”

1/3
Hot Pursuit.
Video Installation (2015)
 

A multi-channel video installation created for Aaron Rose's "TOTEMS" exhibition at Circleculture Fine Arts in Berlin. The car chase videos were sourced from YouTube and assembled brilliantly by the artist and film editor Toni Froschhammer (Wim Wenders). The films are set to a song by David Lynch. The overlying thesis of the piece has to do with celebrity. If you examine the videos you'll recognize that the perpetrators are not stealing Land Rovers and Porsches. They are pedestrian vehicles with little or no street value. The artist statement suggests that perhaps these chasers are instigating this action, not for financial gain, but for the fame of the television cameras. The coverage becoming a badge of honor amongst their peers as well as perhaps giving them a meaning for life. I have been filmed therefore I am. The ending of each of the split-screen videos provides perhaps the most telling anecdote to this hot pursuit for notoriety. On the left, our subject is killed. Shot by police in a ditch next to a freeway. On the right, our guy is trampled by a uniformed army of our peers. An interesting meditation on our celebrity obsessed society.

1/4
Identity:
Three Films for Guess? (2015)
 

Starring Grace Elizabeth and Tony Ward, these films were filmed entirely with single long tracking shots. 

It’s magic hour. The sun is falling below the hills of Los Angeles. A sinister car rolls up to a quiet street with no witnesses. A female accomplice leads the way inside the storied mansion, but who is she? The first chapter of this short-film series shows a modern day Bonnie and Clyde enter a breathtaking Spanish-style villa in the hills of Los Feliz. Then, in part two, the male accomplice encounters a seductive houseguest. Do they have a history? Can he resist the forbidden thrill? In the third installment of the short series, we see a powerful executive awaiting her next appointment. The meeting takes an unexpected turn for her guest, but is she hiding a master plan? Finally, our heroine dives into a twilight-lit pool and comes clean from her artfully constructed world of fantasy and lies. Gracefully moving back into reality, she takes the wheel and a veiled truth is finally revealed. 

1/9
The Bubble.
Short Film for COS (2015)

A short film comissioned by COS along with Another Magazine and Alldayeveryday as a part of their series looking at the artistic worlds of NYC and LA. The Bubble was shot over the course of a long day inside the infamous NYC drinking hole/creative hub, Max Fish, bringing together a diverse set of characters. Citing Robert Frank’s 1959 beatnik film “Pull My Daisy“ and Peggy Guggenheim's notorious artist salons as inspiration, this ode to the city features Rudyard Kipling’s 1890 poem, “Conundrum of the Workshops”, recited by actor and artist Leo Fitzpatrick with an additional original poem read on camera by Glenn O’Brien. We pulled out a wonderful bunch of collaborators for the film. Artists featured include Aaron Young, Ana Kras, Andre Saravia, Brandee Brown, Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe, Brian Degraw, and Hailey Gates, Jeffrey Deitch, Lele Savieri, Nelleke, Othelo Gervacio and Petra Collins. The film was beautifully shot by Brendan Stumph and edited by by long time collaborator, Lenny Mesina. A companion film about the Los Angeles art scene was directed by Petra Collins and released on the same day.

 

1/4
M.M.
Short Film for Sutor Mantelassi (2015)

M.M. is a funny little short film I made for Sutor Mantelassi, a legendary Italian shoe brand. They are possibly most famous for being the preferred shoe of actor Marcello Mastroianni during the peak of his fame in the 1960's. When they re-released his signature shoe, they asked me to interpret the concept. I decided to create a "homage" to one my favorite scenes from Fellini's 8 1/2, the rhumba danced by Saraghina. We shot the film in beautiful Piha, New Zealand. From a conceptual standpoint the film deals with the ideas of life and death. On a lonely beach, a beautiful woman is offered a small payment from a group of children to dance for them. As she moves sexily across the sand, the children revel in the hilarious event. Marcello Mastroianni, the lead character, appears only as an enigma, a spectre. He appears always as a ghost watching over the action from just outside the frame. As we were shooting I kept imagining Mastroianni looking down on us from the clouds. In a strange twist of fate, Anita Ekberg, who starred in Fellini's La Dolce Vita, passed away while we were editing this. It led me dedicate this film to her.

 

1/2
Dumpster Diving.
With Sophia Amoruso 
Short Film for #GIRLBOSS (2015)

One of my stranger film projects. A thirty-second spot to advertise the release of Sophia Amoruso's #GIRLBOSS book. The story of the spot (and the book) is that Sophia went from a dumpster-diving punker in the Pacific Northwest to becoming the CEO of a multi-million dollar fashion company. We actually couldn't locate the final completed piece, so this is a rough edit test we found on an old hard drive. If you listen carefully you can actually hear my voice in the background yelling directions. That said, it's a pretty funny little film. Shot in a single take by the illustrious cinematographer Autumn Durald, this film literally took ten minutes to shoot. We all looked at ourselves after we nailed it and were like, "Is that it?" That's it.

 

 

1/3
Fashion At Work.
Short Film for i-D Magazine (2014)

The fashion industry is a giant machine comprised of literally thousands of people. While they all work in different capacities, many times they work over each other, interconnected. When stitched together they form a beautifully eccentric and slightly dysfunctional world. Now, what would it look like if all these people worked in one office? Just imagine it!! Desk to desk, atelier to atelier, everything mashed together in one large open-plan space incorporating all the elements and idiosyncrasies of the profession. This film conjurs up this imaginary office, where the good and the great of the fashion industry work together, forming a picture of the beautifully eccentric fashion world. Shot over 3 days during New York fashion week, we brought together a core community of passionate and influential global insiders, from daring creatives like Edward Enninful to business titans like Renzo Rosso.

In the film, Carine Roitfeld is our receptionist, Susie Bubble is shooting model Binx while Nicola Formicetti doodles on a chalkboard, Alexa Chung is after vox pops and Derek Blasberg is putting in a call to Charlotte Tilbury. It’s just another day at the office.

 

 

1/3
Totally Addicted.
Short Film for Nasty Gal (2014)

A cheeky commentary on the instagram generation in the form of a short commercial for trendy women's clothing designers and online shopping website Nasty Gal. The spot was comissioned to announce the release of their first online shopping app. The basic concept was to drive home the point that contemporary girls are so "totally addicted" to their mobile devices (and vis a vis the Nasty Gal app) that no matter how many outside distractions we could muster, nothing could drag them from their screens. We shot the film over the course of two days in and around the Nasty Gal offices in downtown Los Angeles. We used a small skeleton crew as they were open for business during shooting. Many of the girls featured in the spot are actually employees and we shot the club scene in the employee bathroom. We really lucked out on this as on one of our shoot days there was a torrential downpour of rain, ever so rare in the city of angels. We couldnt have staged that. Oh, and did we mention that cute puppy?

 

1/3
Love Letter.
Soko & Niki De Saint Phalle
Lyric Video for MoCA TV (2014)

Love Letter is the third in a series of animated lyric videos I created for MoCA TV. This one was released on Valentines Day. The idea behind all three of these films was to fuse famous words and artworks of contemporary artists with original songs by popular musicians. For this awesome animated short, I chose the beguiling and slightly psychedelic illustrations of one of my favorite artists, Niki De Saint Phalle. Here, Niki's words and drawings literally come to life to the sound of Soko’s original track, “Love Letter”. The song was directly inspired by the late De Saint Phalle's seminal 1988 book, "My Love, Where Shall We Make Love?" and Soko was the first person I thought of to make the music for this piece. There is something very tough and also tender in everything Soko does and that very much suits Niki De Saint Phalle's work. The way Soko took the feelings of the texts and fluidity of the drawings in the book and completely transformed it into her own just blew me away. 

 

1/4
Boom Town.
Detroit In the Sixties.
Short Film for Levis Vintage Clothing (2013)

While sadly Detroit recently found itself in bankruptcy, one cannot deny the city’s great influence in music, subculture and the automotive world. Celebrating the Motor City’s rich heritage, Levi’s Vintage Clothing asked us to make a film celebrating this culture. Boom Town: Detroit in the ’60s, is a rough stab at this. Iconic genres like Motown and garage rock first found its footing in Detroit during the ’60s, an evolutionary time when the auto industry was booming. In creating this, we went to Detroit and delved into memorabilia, stringing together rare archival footage of club nights, live performances and factory visits. We recorded exclusive voice-overs from the likes of Russ Gibb, the owner of garage club Grande Ballroom and Motown musician Dennis Coffey, who played on numerous hits and actually produed Rodriguez' sugarman album and Gary Grimshaw, the psychedlic poster artist who unfortunately passed away in 2014, not long after we recorded the interview. Each person shared their fascinating stories with us on the legendary era. 

 

1/2
New York LA LA LA.
C0-Directed with Andre Saraiva
Short Film for L'Officiel Hommes (2013)

A collaboration film between myself and my friend André Saraiva, the editor of L’Officiel Hommes. This was originally Andre's concept, but became a really wonderful meeting of the minds in the end. We shot this on the infamous backlot at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, where we tried to capture a dreamlike world of a completely empty and apocalyptic New York City. As a sort of bait and swtch, we don't reveal the location until the very end. At the time we made this film there was a trend of using skateboarders in fashion stories that to us were ringing as totally inauthentic and we wanted to subvert that a bit. We asked professional skateboarders Jerry Hsu, Austyn Gillette and Josh Harmony to take part, then dressed them in Dior Homme, Saint Laurent and Prada. The skaters are shot in slow motion on the desolate streets and confronted by a trio of models in lace lingerie led by Belgian beauty Anouck Lepere. The montage is set to Duran Duran’s iconic song “The Chauffeur,” the film slightly echoing the band’s videos from the ’80s.

 

1/3
Cake Walk.
Short Film for 81 Hours (2013)

Since I was young I've harbored a secret desire to be a dancer and choreographer. Though I've made a few futile attempts over the years, I don't think that dream will ever come true. That might be the reason I chose to make this film. Here, a young dancer (wonderfully played by Hayley Magnus) dances through the streets and alleyways as if nobody's watching. It's something we all wish we could do sometimes. We shot the film in and around Hollywood, just off the walk of fame. This is kind of a tribute to my pal Harmony Korine as well. He loves tap. Also, Tobin Yelland who was our cinematographer on Beautiful Losers, shot all the production stills. A funny side note, when we shot this, we hadn't settled on a final piece of music for the piece, so Hayley had to dance to a temp track. There's a funny little besides the scenes clip you can watch below. After Nouvelle Vague's cover version of Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself" was confirmed, Eddie Kim, our sound designer extroidnaire meticulously replaced each and every tap sound you hear on the film. If you look closely you can probably see some glitches, but all in all it's pretty amazing. Thanks Ed!

1/3
Alexis Ross.
Short Film for RVCA (2013)

Alexis and I made this film over the course of a long afternoon at his house in Los Feliz and driving around the surrounding area in his old Chevy. This was one of those projects where I just showed up with a camera and we let the moment take us where it would. We had no idea what we were going to shoot that day. We just started rolling and this crazy short film is the result. I think we shot the entire thing in three hours, but in the end I could not be more pleased. It's a really unique and offbeat portrait of an artist and friend that blurs the line between documentary and reality in the most magical way. Also, this is one of the few films that I shot and edited completely myself and, without even trying, is as close as I probably will ever come to making something according to the Dogme 95 rules of cinema. Even the music was recorded directly off the television in Alexis' studio with my i-phone. I can quite possibly say that the film includes the best nap footage ever committed to celluloid. Oh, and the budget on this one? Zero dollars. Seriously did not spend a cent. A chicano with panties on his head anyone? 

1/3
The Gallerina.
Short Film for 81 Hours (2013)

The Gallerina was my first stab at making a comedic film, however for some reason very few people who have seen it have understood that it's supposed to be funny. Penned by Arty Nelson, the story centers on a beautiful female gallery assistant expertly played by Annabelle Dexter-Jones. Gallery workers have the unique position of being a liaison between the creative class and the collector class and I wanted to explore that relationship. The Gallerina explores art-speak, one of languages most beautifully obscure incantations. To the uninitiated, art speak can sometimes sound quite odd and abstract and even borders at moments on poetry. Shot on location at The Painting Factory: Abstraction after Warhol at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, this film is a love letter to both creativity and words. Works in the gallery are by Urs Fischer, Sterling Ruby, Wade Guyton, Rudolf Stingel, Josh Smith and Christopher Wool. Comedic or not, the artworks certainly come to life though the Gallerina's wistful dialogue

 

1/5
Hot Rod.
Circa 1953
Short Film for Levis Vintage Clothing (2013)

I was asked by Levis Vintage Clothing to make a short documentary film about the origins of Hot Rod culture in 1950’s Southern California. To begin with we pulled from hundreds of hours of archival footage ranging from old "juvenile delinquent" movies to Life Magazine drag race films. Then through research, we unearthed old home movies from the personal collections of some of the most well-known Hot Rod enthusiasts and collectors from around the state. We also interviewed some of the surviving founders of the scene, including legends like world champion dragracer and hot rod builder "TV Tommy" Ivo and master painter, cartoonist and car enthusiast Robert Williams. We chose to create the film using only voiceover to really root the audience in the 1950's and not pull them out of that era through modern footage. The resulting montage is a striking and fastpaced film that captures the style and attitude of the uniquely American postwar subculture which continues to influence the worlds of fashion, music and mechanics today.

 

1/3
Learn To Say Fuck You To The World.
Tim Armstrong & Sol Lewitt
Lyric Video for MoCA TV (2013)

The second in a series of animated lyric videos I created for MoCA tv. In 1965, Sol LeWitt wrote fellow sculptor Eva Hesse a four-page letter of encouragement, urging her to stop doubting herself and to simply continue making her work. Despite the fact that some would consider their friendship unlikely, the two sculptors were close friends and wrote to each other frequently about their ideas, work, and personal lives from 1960 until Hesse's death ten years later. Often quoted, LeWitt's letter has become a source of inspiration and a vote of confidence for many artists the world over. This project started with Tim Armstrong taking the text, and reconfiguring it into a formal song structure with verses, bridges and a chorus. He then put together a group of his talented musician friends and let it rip in the studio. My favorite part of this project was recieveing a note from Lewitt's widow, Carol saying, "Sol would have loved it!"

 

1/5
Cat Power.
Nothin' But Time.
Short Film for Tucker (2013)

This film stars Jade and Hazel Altheide, two female teenage BMX riders who live just out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. This production has a pretty funny story. I got a call from Gaby Basora, who designs a really cool fashion line called Tucker. I had never met Gaby or her team before. They proceeded to tell me about these two girls they had heard about in New Mexico who ride BMX bikes and how they were great and really stylish and would I be interested in going to make a movie about them. There was a catch though. We needed to start shooting the next day! None of us had ever met Jade and Hazel or their family, and really had no idea what the landscape in New Mexico would be like, but I’m always down for an adventure. I agreed to do it. The next morning we were on a plane with cameras to go shoot this movie. All I can say is wow! The girls were absolutely beautiful and the surrounding landscape was magnificent. As we were making this, Cat Power had just dropped her new record. I was listening to it on the radio as we cruised through New Mexico and it just really fit the vibe. The song featured is called “Nothin’ But Time” and I think it just fits perfectly. The way Chan screams “I wanna live!” fits the freedom of jumping bikes and bombing down hills so perfectly. It was a match made in heaven. 

 

1/4
Words of Advice.
Featuring Chris Johanson
Short Film for Comme Des Garcons SHIRT
The Generic Man (2011)

To celebrate this unique collaboration between men's shoe company Generic Man and Comme de Garçons SHIRT, I enlisted my old pal, artist and musician Chris Johanson to vocalize his ideas on life, love, politics and happiness. In his usual cerebral manner, Johanson waxes about the complexities (and simplicities) of life. "Live in the sea of life," he says while painting his bold, primary color abstractions in the background. "It's your trip." Chris was perfect for this project because I wanted to show a type of man that is rarely seen in fashion. He's creative, hilarious, and somewhat of a mystic. He also has great style. Speaking to a paint roller, Johanson exclaims, "It's okay to be experimental," followed by, "You want to try things, but you don't want to live things." We shot the film over the course of a long afternoon on a soundstage deep in the San Fernando Valley. We didn't really have a script, I just asked Chris a series of questions off camera and he ad-libed answers in his amazing style. The results are pretty amazing.

 

1/3
Chicken Screen Tests.
Short Film for Nowness (2011)

Californian chickens and a charismatic duck mug for the camera in this Warhol-inspired mock screen test, set to Dean and Britta's cover of Bob Dylan's “I'll Keep It With Mine.” This film was a collaboration between myself and my old friend and famed music supervisor, Randy Poster. The vignettes were shot during a series of Levi’s-sponsored filmmaking workshops hosted at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles. This segment here was a re-edited part of a longer documentary called Wild Goodness. Hopefully the full film will be posted here one day. For the shoot, we enlisted photographer/DP Tobin Yelland to teach the basics of shooting 16mm film to a group of about 20 students. We used the standard formula of the Factory screen tests, with subject and camera remaining motionless throughout to create a "living portrait." We sourced the feathered actors from a farm in San Pedro and shooting them was very interesting. When you start focusing on the minutiae of the chicken’s eye, or the way it’s cocking its head, each has its own, unique kind of personality. Yelland says, "It's different to light a chicken from a human, because the chicken's head is so tiny," 

 

Californian chickens and a charismatic duck mug for the camera in this Warhol-inspired mock screen test, set to Dean and Britta's cover of Bob Dylan's “I'll Keep It With Mine.” This film was a collaboration between myself and my old friend and famed music supervisor, Randy Poster. The vignettes were shot during a series of Levi’s-sponsored filmmaking workshops hosted at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles. This segment here was a re-edited part of a longer documentary called Wild Goodness. Hopefully the full film will be posted here one day. For the shoot, we enlisted photographer/DP Tobin Yelland to teach the basics of shooting 16mm film to a group of about 20 students. We used the standard formula of the Factory screen tests, with subject and camera remaining motionless throughout to create a "living portrait." We sourced the feathered actors from a farm in San Pedro and shooting them was very interesting. When you start focusing on the minutiae of the chicken’s eye, or the way it’s cocking its head, each has its own, unique kind of personality. Yelland says, "It's different to light a chicken from a human, because the chicken's head is so tiny," 

 

1/6
Wild Goodness.
Short Film for Levi's Film Workshop and Cinefamily (2011)

This is the longer form documentary / variety show that spawned the above Chicken Screen Tests film. The theme of this piece is to celebrate to idea of growing your own food, eating sustainably and essentially reveling in the joy of life. Different sections of the piece were created on different days with different volunteer crews and assembled in post with the thought of creating a "Sesame Street-like" vaudevillian structure. While disjointed at parts we see this as a wonderful experiment. If you watch closely there are some very interesting cameos as well!!  This film was made in collaboration with the Levi's Film Workshop and coincided with a series of related film screenings at The Cinefamily in Los Angeles. Produced in conjunction with the exhibition Art in the Streets at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). Executive Producers Randall Poster and Gelya Robb. Produced by Jon Barlow. Cinematography by Autumn Durald, Aaron Rose and Tobin Yelland. Edited by Otto Arsenault. Music Supervisor Randall Poster. Original Music by Money Mark. Additional Music by Dean + Britta & Oval. Extra Editing Aaron Morris. Animations by Clare Crespo and Maya Erdelyi. 

1/7
El Mundo Es Tuyo.
The World Is Yours
Short Film for Opening Ceremony (2010)

El Mundo Es Tuyo (The World Is Yours) is a short film I made for Opening Ceremony. We shot in the Las Peñas neighborhood of Guayaquil, Ecuador. The story takes a narrative cue from the popular fairytale Beauty and the Beast where a gorgeous young lady does not notice the charm of a trouble-making young man who is trying to get her attention. That is… until a magical event changes her perspective and the couple fall for each other. The dialogue was written by my long time collaborator Arty Nelson. You can't tell from the final film, but the location we were shooting was actually a pretty dangerous favela. The whole time we were there we were so nervous, always expecting to be rushed by gangsters. Also, to make the rain storm we wrapped a garden hose around some 2 x 4's, drilled holes in it and hooked it up to a fire hydrant. Ironically, we found Caroline Aguirre, who plays the female lead in the film, on facebook. She was just an aspiring model and singer then. After this she went on to become Miss Ecuador.

 

 

1/4
Samo.
NASA & Jean Michel Basquiat
Lyric Video for MoCA TV (2010)

This was the first in a series of lyric videos I made for MoCA TV. This one focusing on the work of SAMO, the graffiti name of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. For this film, rather than making a direct homage to Basquiat's work, we decided instead to try to re-create his world of 1980's downtown New York City. I reached out to N.A.S.A., a DJ duo featuring Brazilian DJ, Ze Gonzales (aka DJ Zegon) and music producer Sam Spiegel (aka Squeak E. Clean), who are amazing and known for their collaborations with Kanye West, MIA, Santigold, David Byrne, Karen O and more. The duo came together with Brazilian-American producer Kool Kojak and musician/producer Money Mark to collaborate on the track that also features legendary New York impresario Fab Five Freddy, who was recruited to do spoken word. A search for archival footage of New York from the era was undergone, then coupled with organic elements to add a sense of hand-made to the film. Animator Maya Erdelyi painstakingly painted and scratched hundreds of feet of vintage 16mm stock, which has been used as a visual bed for the film. All the lettering was then done by hand.

 

 

1/7
In A Suitcase...
Short Film for 81 Hours (2010)

I can't remember if there was any real story behind this film beyond the fact that I've always wanted to film a pretty girl hitchhiking. The rest of the shoot was pretty organic from there. Frankie Rayder, who stars in this film, and I have been friends for over 20 years, but we hadn't worked together before. This short was a spectacular chance. We shot this in and around Silverlake, the neighborhood where I lived at the time. Part of it was even filmed in my house before I moved out a few weeks later. The moped shop where the concert happens is called Choke, a place where I used to hang out all the time. There are a bunch of funny cameos in this film as well. If you look closely you can see pro skater, Alex Olson, artists Chris Johanson and Cali Thornhill-Dewitt as well as Mikki and the Mouses who recorded the cover of Talking Heads' "And She Was" specially for this film. I worked with amazing cinematographer Autumn Durald as well. She's the best! We shot the whole thing on 16mm over the course of one day. 

 

 

1/8
Vagabondage.
Short Film for Incase (2010)

Vagabondage was the third and final film and photo essay in a series of abstractly autobiographical shorts that I made for Incase using my iPhone 4. Shot on location in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin and Prague, this was maybe my most intimate film of the series. For many, there is an allure to travelling, a romantic freedom, but for me, especially at the time of this film, it was like living the life of a vagabond. To fulfill one’s wanderlust doesn’t come without sacrifice, as its greatest risk is the loss of real community, a disconnection from friends, lovers and family. This is the film’s underlying theme. Vagabondage also serves as an affectionate celebration of relationships held between myself and close friends, both old and new, the beauty in what they represent and where they stem from. These personal experiences created through travels far and wide conjure up feelings of sadness, loss, desire and most importantly love. Aska Matsumiya helped me make the music, a spoken word cover (in my own voice/in English) of Jaques Brel's classic, Ne Me Quitte Pas.

 

 

1/10
Portraits of Braddock.
Documentary for IFC/Sundance (2010)

Portraits of Braddock was the first long-form film I completed after Beautiful Losers. We pulled together the core Losers film team including our producer Jon Barlow, poetic editor Lenny Mesina, with a somber score composed by Money Mark. Cinematography was helmed by Tobin Yelland and Autumn Durald and illustrated throughout with breathtaking black & white stills by Melodie McDaniel. The film takes an intimate and honest look at the young and old residents of a town still trying to heal itself after decades of strife and upheaval. Located just outside of Pittsburgh, what was once a bustling steel mill town during it’s heyday in the 1950’s quickly went downhill when the American steel industry collapsed in the 70’s and 80’s. During that time the small town lost 90% of it’s population in a common, “white flight” situation. Poverty, violence and rampant drug use quickly and easily took over. With compelling stories of some of the town’s lifelong and newcomer residents alike, we were able to create a hopefully awareness-raising documentary that mirrors other regions of the country which have also experienced heart-breaking changes in recent years.

 

 

1/8
Pendarvia.
Short Film for The Decemberists (2010)

Pendarvia is a film I made for the Decemberists over a 3 month period while they recorded their album The King Is Dead. The band were awesome and gave us complete acccess to their sessions. This was a very unique documentation of a band's recording process as they made the record in an old barn on Pendarvis Farm in Rural Oregon. The entire set up had to be built from scratch and we were able to follow the process from beginning to end. All of the band members were very gracious and honest about what they were doing, and that allowed us to literally watch them build their songs one element at a time. We used these individual takes as a thematic element in the edit. Interesting the location itself, along with the tricky Oregon weather during the sessions became almost like secondary characters in the film. We shot so much beautiful imagery of the surrounding rural landscape which really worked nicely to illustrate the music. Totally awesome photographer Autumn de Wilde was there with us for a time shooting 2,500 polaroids for the Impossible Project, Her beautiful stills became a nice additional element in the film.

 

 

1/9
Fake Love.
Short Film for Incase (2010)

Fake Love is the second film I made for Incase on my i-phone. It's my (abstract) tribute to the teen soap genre. Based on this idea, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to make one of these soaps. Not just as a commentary on the medium, but also maybe as the first step in a dream of actually producing and directing a series? Well that never happened, but Fake Love exists. I asked a bunch of my friends in Los Angeles to be actors, and we developed a very loose script. I chose the historic Echo Park neighborhood in Los Angeles as a location because I think it’s beautiful! Also, most of these TV dramas follow wealthy kids, and just to be contradictory I thought it would be cool to shoot something in the ghetto. I reached out to No Age (one of my favorite bands) and asked if I could use their music for the score. The rest is history. One must realize that most TV dramas are at least 30 minutes and this is only a three-minute film, so I wasn’t really able to do all the things I wanted to do with it. The final piece became more of a meditation as opposed to a straight-up narrative, but I think the overall feeling is there. It's a cool document of a very specific time.

 

 

1/4
Become A Microscope.
90 Statements on Sister Corita
Documentary Short (2009)

This film really was a dream come true and very close to my heart. Sister Corita, better known as Sister Mary Corita Kent was an artist, teacher and activist. She stunned the world with her popular art works from 1947 through to 1968. Incorporating typography and advertising slogans into her silk screen works, she was "pop" before they even coined the term. For this film we actually have two films cut together as one. The first compiles a wonderful arrangement of visuals and archival footage with exclusive interview footage with her friends and colleagues. Though Corita passed away in 1986, they give insight into the world of a woman who prioritized devotion, vision and a love of her world. Running concurrently, the second part deals with 90 "statements" we devised based on recurring themes in her work. Each of these were illustrated by designer Keith Scharwath and appear as cards and sequences of images throughout the film. We brought together the Beautiful Losers crew again for this one including producer Jon Barlow, editor Lenny Mesina and an original score by Money Mark.

 

 

1/1
Aska.
Waiting For The Last Bite (2009)

The only music video I've ever made. This was shot over the course of a few weeks in a junkyard in Death Valley and at a waterfall just outside Portland, Oregon. If I remember correctly the concept had something to do with the contrast between the wreckage human beings cause the planet and the beautiful violence of nature. I may be stretching though. Basically we knew of these cool locations and just went out there with cameras and made it happen. It's such a beautiful, damaged and touching song and if I never make another video I'm happy this is the one I was able to create. Apologies for the quality of the video. The master was lost a long time ago and all we had was this low resolution version.

 

 

1/5
Kreuzberg.
Short Film for Incase (2010)

This film was the first in the series of films I made for Incase using only my iPhone 4. I shot it over the course of a few months while living in Berlin. The film takes its title from the historically Turkish neighborhood of Kreuzberg, which since the 1980s has also been home to a population of artists, musicians and anarchists. I've spent quite a bit of time in the neighborhood over the years and this film is an attempt at creating a sort of visual diary of my experiences there. It's a very romantic place. The film is also a tribute to Brian Eno and David Bowie, both of whom recorded in Kreuzberg in the 1970s. The film's main characters are my fiends Fiona Geuss, an art historian who reads excerpts from Boris Groys' essay on "light luggage," and Nathan Harrington, a musician who created the film's original score. In the film, Harrington recites a poem written by me and translated to German. There's also some raw footage mixed in from my first solo painting show which I was installing during the shooting of this. 

 

 

1/6
Beautiful Losers.
Co-Directed with Joshua Leonard
Documentary Feature (2008)

This was my first feature film and it took almost five years to make. It follows the lives of a loose-knit group of American artists and creators. Names like Shepard Fairey, Mark Gonzales, Margaret Kilgallen, Mike Mills, Geoff McFetridge, Jo Jackson, Barry McGee, Chris Johanson, Harmony Korine, and Ed Templeton were influenced by the popular underground youth sub-cultures of the day. Activities such as skateboarding, graffiti and independent music were this groups first introduction to their careers as artists. Many had no formal training and almost no conception of the inner workings of the art world. They learned their crafts through practice, trial and error, and good old-fashioned innovation. Over the years, the group matured, and became more establishment-oriented; but no matter, their independent spirit has remained steadfast. The story of Beautiful Losers is a historical celebration of this spirit. It's an autobiographical tale, but I feel the message is pretty universal. Do what you love, even if you don't know what you're doing. It was released in theatres in 2008.

 

 

1/8
Visual Mafia.
Promotional videos for MTV (1995)

This series of MTV promos, which I suppose you could say were my first foray into "professional" filmmaking, came about when I met a producer from MTV named Mikiko Gill one drunken evening at a bar. We hit it off and decided to work on something together. I asked a bunch of my friends from the time to participate and we made these shorts. They originally ran in between music videos and from my memory these only played in the wee hours of the morning. I think they were pretty esoteric for MYV at the time. I was acting as producer and sometimes co-director on these pieces as they were all totally collaborative. Artists that participated in the project included Harmony Korine, who made an awesome vaudevillian piece walking through the streets of New York. Some have said it could be considered the first film that Harmony ever made. Rita Ackermann animated her paintings to a song by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and I created a film where I jumped a lowrider bike through a ramshackle ring of fire on the Williamsburg piers. There are also short films by Thomas Campbell and Spencer Tunick in this series. Trying to find those. Ahhh the 90's.

 

 

1/3
Dysfunctional.
Short Film (Early 1990's)

I guess you could say that Dysfunctional is the first film I ever completed. I had done lots of experiments before this, but I never seemed to be able to finish anything. This one really is more of a collage than a film. I did shoot alot of the footage in it, but the overall majority of this is just clips of skateboarding films and news footage that I cut together with my friend Antek. If I remember correctly we edited it in the back room of American Fine Arts gallery on Wooster Street in Soho. One of my favorite parts is from an AntiHero video where Julien Stranger and John Cardiel are having a vomiting contest in someone's kitchen. There's also footage here shot by Tobin Yelland, Lance Acord, Spike Jonze and a clip-out from Deformer, Mike Mills' documentary on Ed Templeton. There's some really funny footage of a very young Chris Johanson running around Nolita in downtown New York. Some of the stuff here is in really bad taste. Please accept my apologies in advance. I was 22 years old at the time and I had a lot to learn. Enjoy.

 

 

1/4
Alleged Films.
Trailer (Early 1990's)

During the process of building out this website we unearthed a pile of old VHS tapes from the Alleged Gallery days in New York. This "trailer" was one of the funnier finds. Even back in the early 1990's I had taken a keen interest in filmmaking and the idea at the time was that the Alleged Gallery would also become a production company of sorts for films by artists. Larry Clark's movie Kids probably had something to do with this as our little scene was prominently featured in the film, but there were other catalysts as well. This short trailer was something we cut together that was designed to be intended to play before films on all of our VHS releases. Yes, this was before the internet, and I think DVD's had just been invented. Anyway, it's a compilation of a bunch of films by other people alongside some things that we shot just for this. The song we used is from DJ Shadow's record that had just come out when we made this. It's a pretty funny document of a time in New York that is most certainly in the past. Apologies for the quality. This was certainly the last existing version of this film and was stored without a cover in a box for 15 years.