Thursday, January 19, 2012


Storytelling is hard. Sure, we all do it, while we're eating a meal with good friends, nursing drinks in a dim bar, or sitting around a campfire under a blanket of stars. But doing it well? Well, that is an artform - the art of plucking just the right scraps of information and experience from the roiling maelstrom of life and stitching them together into a narrative that flows. We've all heard amazing stories. And we've all suffered through more than a few bad ones. But we love them nonetheless. When told right, stories have an almost magic quality to them.

But storytelling can also house hidden dangers. By filtering the information that you include in a story, you inherently simplify the entire experience that you are trying to describe. Inevitably you leave something out. Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but the problem is that we almost always leave the same things out, and we keep the same things in. Despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that life and the world around us are complex systems of non-linear actions and reactions, we're often stuck trying to explain them using the same few storylines: good vs. evil, the quest, rags to riches, voyage and return, tragedy, comedy, rebirth. Sure there's some variation, but the result is that we keep telling ourselves the same stories over and over again.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Desert Life

Alf Randell is a self-described "dirtbag" who has spent nearly a decade of his life climbing amongst the soaring sandstone cliffs of Indian Creek, Utah. In November I spent some time climbing with Alf and documented his life in "The Creek," his love of tall splitter cracks, and his decision to shun city life in favor of a small camper in the middle of the Utah desert.

For me, there is perhaps nothing more inspiring than to see others truly live their passions - to refuse the normal life-script and to make whatever sacrifices necessary to be able to do what they love as much as possible. They show us that another way is possible, that you can choose the life you live, and that money comes second to experience, not the other way around.

This is one of the first "longer" videos that I have made and it was quite the learning process for me. From getting all of the shots out in the field, to spending more hours editing in front of a computer than I want to admit, it was definitely more work than I expected! I had a ton of fun putting this story together and I'm really happy with how it came out. Enjoy.