Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Last Minute I Am Sick Spamming Attempt

Monday night I'm hit by a fever that leaves me with chills running up and down my spine. I'm sweating like I've never sweated before. Every equilibrium in my body is thrown out of sync. It is surprising these systems could ever work succesfully at all. Fluids and temperatures and brain synapses...just nothing is working.

The next morning I must send out a spam.

Lost in the confusion of what I want and what I need, what the future may hold and what I can enjoy right now, a series of choices must be made. In the end I opted for safe, scrambling to the deadline to send out the spam for maximum email carpet bombing effect.

Many choices one could make on that day from a rewarding shoot for Family Circle magazine with talent Greta Gurvitz. Big thanks to Tina Anderson, Lisa Kelsey at FC and stylist Shannon Amos of Amos Styles. I thought I'd share them here today.


Monday, April 29, 2013

CCA / Second Life

Story World Wide Art Director David Betz, Cynthia Wood and I had a true blast running around the SF campus of CCA just as the year was winding to a close, putting together a pictorial for Lexus Magazine. So psyched to see this project surface, as well as the best photographs of the day which came from David's phone, of course.

CCA SF at times looks like nothing but a barren airplane hanger, devoid of life and love. But there is a moment, and I saw it twice: the sun gets low, it gets warm in color and it pours thru the front windows as if it was trying breathe life into cold cement and metal. And at that moment...you better have your finger on that button.

See our spread up top and enjoy David's photographs below.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Schenectady : The Place Beyond The Pines

The Place Beyond The Pines - Poster Detail, 2013

Very powerful weekend, just don't know what to say.

Sitting in a theatre and watching the film The Place Beyond The Pines.

Text messages had been coming in all week, from people I hadn't heard from in years telling me to see this film. All the messages essentially said the same thing : you need to see this film. it is schenectady.

Busy with something else, I actually ignore all of these notes. Not a big film fan, I figured it was some goofy thing I'd watch someday on video. Same day here arrives an image from my sister. It's our family house, the house we all grew up in, as found on Google Streetview. The odd "God's Eye" view, high and above, strikes me. Like is this how I'd see the home when I die? Floating out of it, hovering above?

All of these forces were at work. I bought a ticket to the film.

Here we have a very well done film that addresses the complexities of father/son relationships as well as something I'll refer to as "the persistence of the past". More on that stuff later, but the visuals, for anyone who has lived in this area, are stunning. The buildings of your hometown appear as metaphors, the landscapes, seemingly shot from a helicopter, seem to hold the timeless secrets of the town, the people. Never before have I been surprised and impressed with another artist's take on my home town. In this case, director Derek Cianfrance and cinematographer Sean Bobbitt aren't locals, but they have embraced this place as thoroughly as I've ever seen it. You almost expect to see yourself walking thru the scenes, thinking it really is just possibly a slice of your life...or your memory.

Talking with a friend after the film, her take summed it up:

The characters in the movie, they seem to come and go. But the main character of this film really is Schenectady. It was the one constant that connected everything. I feel like I know that character, I know Schenectady, and I know they brought that character to life.

I really couldn't agree with her more.


The Place Beyond The Pines. See the Trailer HERE.

Civitello's, 1984 Schenectady, N.Y. by TA

Google Streetview, 2722, Schenectady N.Y. by Robin Heberling

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Casting In The Avenues

Working on a story about kids a few weeks back led me to the home in the avenues of the Gurvits family. An acting coach I spoke with had felt that their youngest daughter Greta would be perfect for the role we were casting. Acting headshots never do justice to the layers of interpretation you hope to get out of someone...they never come close. This role needed ambiguity and depth...what the talent looked like really had little to do with it.
I show up at their home on a Friday afternoon. Introduced myself and explained the role to Greta and her Mom. I try my best to illustrate what I wanted : I don't think the kid in this photograph is you, but you may know this kid. Or maybe you've had a day or two like this kid. But really, it's not you. You need to create this kid.
This giggly young girl who seemed excited and nervous to talk to this stranger in her house then slipped into the role. Her shoulders shifted. Her body seemed to get smaller, the pull of gravity seemed to weigh on her. Her mouth changed shape and her face seemed pensive. Right there in the living room, she became what she was not...and it was just what this role needed.
I was convinced. Next my job was to convince the editors.
And in this case, it worked.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Snapshots From Baton Rouge

The one constant that sticks with me whenever I do events such as this comes down to one point: these Moms and Dad's in the autistic stream pull no punches. The embrace it and are humbled by it and stand back in awe of it. The "it" being their lives, their kids, and all that this spectrum has brought to it. And they can tell you all about it like no one before.

Hosted by the Junior League of Baton Rouge and part of the Baton Rouge Autism Speaker Series, we spent this past weekend eating crawfish in the backyard, drinking Abita, solving the issues of parenting once and for all, and celebrating ECHOLILIA with the most elegant presentation of the work to date.

If you want to get a feel for these folks and our shared values, Audrey Wascome's blog Mischief And Shenanigans : Lifestyles of the Insane and Delusional is a place to start. Dig in....you'll just want more.

More to tell in the days ahead, but some snapshots from the trip here for now, with more data to follow.

Every day ended with me alone in my room, thanking the creative creator, whomever he or she is, for allowing this work to open me up to such special people. Each and every time, none of this is lost on me.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

This Is The Game That Moves As You Play

I'm sitting in a hotel room in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

I came a day early to work on the lecture- I built it into the trip. A fortunately busy few months have occupied me with all sorts of projects, and I kind of was fearing this lecture.

When you have a project and it is new, you are an evangelist for this project. You are it's advocate. You are discovering and learning about it every time you discuss it. Right now in 2013, Eli is 11. Far, far away from the kid of ECHOLILIA years, ages 5-8. The world keeps on turning, no question.

But this lecture, it needs to deliver. It's more fun for everyone if you are a little off base, a little unsure, and learning something as you deliver it. That tension keeps everyone engaged. The sense of discovery sometimes helps the speaker and the audience.

Now this whole idea of connecting with your kid...the photos and stories in ECHOLILIA. This is a happy ending, uplifting thing, right? I mean...it's in Reader's Digest this month...please. Well no, it's not. It's real life: things get better, things get worse. You change one thing and another thing shifts. This is, again, the game that moves as you play. It always has been.

A casual conversation with a friend this weekend suddenly rings true as if it's points were etched in stone. I tried to write it down as soon as we hung up, but it went like this:

A: All along you have always been cryptic about this project you did after ECHO. It's got both kids but lots of your youngest son. You thought it was about the end of a long term relationship or some such nonsense. Look at those images again, with this distance. This is about your youngest son- his role in the family and his challenges with this hand of cards life has dealt him.  He’s supposed to be the easy one. Well it doesn’t look easy to be living with autistic sibling. You have NASA’s greatest minds cracking the code of your eldest son, the best drugs money can buy, and all these professionals steering the ship. Knowing how to connect with him now is second nature. But your other son, he’s still an enigma, isn’t he?

Q: Totally.

A: Look at those images again. You’ve got an audience this weekend and you need to give this a jolt of adrenaline- you can’t just phone this in. Something happens in a family and it resonates through everyone….no one is isolated and un-affected. Once you start to think that something or someone is easy, that something is on auto pilot, well that’s when you lose it.

Q: You think that should be the lecture?

A: Yes. You’ve been shooting it and wrestling with it. You’ve heard the saying “write what you know? This is universal, and you have the images to back it up. The holes, the broken fence, the turning off of the world. These are the coping tools and you have them in these images. Now go forth and write this thing.

Q: OK.

Baton Rouge Autism Speaker Series
6pm, Saturday April 13, 2013
An Evening With Timothy Archibald
The Manship Theatre at The Shaw Center for the Arts
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Breakers 2013

Well, I see it as the old and the new, the yin and the yang.
Old school Tintype process, but with color, and then shot with a phone, and then of course of it's my kids on Spring Break, and then you know, a cell phone tree to bring it all full circle.     
Buy that concept?