A preview I wrote for LA based holy water drunk, Brothers Grimm acolyte, backstreet cabaret rocker Dorian Wood. Never heard of him before either but then I checked out his music and would encourage you to do the same. Unfortunately I think I’m gonna miss his show here. (more…)
November 27, 2009
November 27, 2009
At the beginning of summer I clicked through to a forum debating the development of DSLRs beginning to include HD video recording. A group of Oregonians had utilized a Nikon D90 to shoot a feature length movie and I mentioned this to my editor who encouraged me to dig around and build a story. Sent out some e-mails to the filmmakers, a camera reviewer/photographer and a favorite indie director of mine. My editor liked the facts and color commentary I had collected when he finally got around to reading the draft, just not how I had written it.
He proposed a redirection and focus but I was well in the midst of getting ready to move. One evening I brought my notes up to a cafe by my parents’ (where I lived for a month before disembarking) to try and make sense of it all and failed miserably. Flew across the world and got my bearings before making another stab at it, which essentially meant rewriting the fucker, double-checking for new developments in the field and seeing if anything new was going on with the film.
The second copy went ignored for a while until my editor had the time to go over it. Together we worked out some clarifications and then he posted it, telling me I was holding the top slot of the front page overnight. Why? That answer remains a mystery, but any and all zombies awake at indecent hours had the opportunity to see me in all my glory underneath and Apple ad.
November 12, 2009
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Shit, I’ve been busy. I’ll explain, but first part of my excuse is:
Got assigned to profile a New York photographer who mashes up prints and exposures. Didn’t really know how to deal with the obtuse, approach but I tried to represent the guy as fairly as possible– my editor really likes to trim quotes down. I’ve never seen anyone get savaged by Wired readers like this guy and I do feel bad for him. (more…)
June 29, 2009
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During a tranquil evening of domestic bliss I first broached the subject of getting into writing. It wasn’t easy for me to discuss, in part because I’m squeamish when it comes to talking about creative projects and in part because this particular project was going to require more help than I’ve ever asked of anyone. Around bites of veggie chili dogs and salad, which Jeni and I both insisted he take, Keith openly shared everything he knew about the wonderful world of online publishing. Then he gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse.
The Raw File blog was taking its fledgling steps into the family of Wired columns and it would be the perfect venue to wear my water wings. I could gain experience while learning the ropes and get credit for my accomplishments in a nationally known and respected publication. People spend years in school just to have the credentials to apply for an internship of this caliber and I had someone holding the backdoor open. The plan was to build up my clippings to prepare me for the future as a freelance hack; this trial by fire would have me ready to seek assignments within a couple of months.
My concerns had been learning how to pitch stories and then write them according to commonly observed standards. The idea of requesting assignments was a foreign, but possibly more beneficial concept. After several pitches of my own devising, which have alternately found their way onto the site, been abandoned or are languishing in purgatory, I’ve now performed my first piece of assigned writing. (more…)
June 17, 2009
Once again the kind people at Wired allowed themselves to be victimized by multiple drafts, lazily checked facts and unfortunate attachment to complex sentences. This piece is about the 25th anniversary of a Russian automatic camera that has grown into a cult fascination with the young and hip, the Lomo LC-A. Sorry it took me over a month to repeat publication but it’s been a bumpy several weeks.
The biggest problem remains that I know fuck all about photography. I chased one thing that turned into a sprawling mess with lots of potential but more than I can handle right now. My editor Keith wants it fast and hard and I was milking a possible feature; back-burner it and move on. Caught wind of another interesting topic, this one about an African news agency that uses cellphones and folding keyboards to record and upload stories. The appeal was their program to train young journalists in the field but the photographic angle didn’t hold up– the kids all record videos on their cell phones. After a rousing defeat I sniffed around Indymedia hoping for a similar idea but walked away with nothing. My friend and former conspirator Pete suggested I interview a local photographer which I have done but the transcript is pretty mind-boggling and I’ve been staring at it with no clues for quite some time. (more…)