New Article on Silent Code Features

Check out my latest article for the Pink Line Project on local filmmakers – this time I look at Silent Code Features. This local production company is helmed by Anthony Greene, a screenwriter I’ve known for a couple years now. He writes very punchy, topical scripts.

Out of the four films by Silent Code that I saw at a special screening on March 12, the one that I liked best was “The Favor.” Greene handles controversial material with a deft touch. It’s also a very funny film.

DCist Exposed Photography Show Returns March 15-16

dcist exposed
image courtesy of DCist Exposed

DCist Exposed is back! This fascinating photography show returns to the Long View Gallery from March 15 to 27, 2011.  Out of over 1,000 individual entries, 43 winning images were selected by a panel of judges to be included in this year’s DCist Exposed exhibit. prides itself on engaging and promoting emerging local photographers through its daily use of images from the popular, reader-generated DCist Flickr photo pool.  Each day, selects photos from the pool for use in its daily coverage of local news, arts and entertainment, food and sports.

The opening reception, held March 15 and 16, will be epic. In fact, it was so popular that last year I couldn’t even get in. DCist is attempting to remedy that by selling tickets in advance. Get yours now!

I had a photo in a previous year’s show. To see my pic hanging on the wall was inspiring, and I got to meet some amazing photographers who have broadened my concept of photography. The DCist community is awesome. They’re nice people who like a good drink and they all have their own unmistakable style. Just glancing at my Flickr contacts, I can pretty much tell who shot what – Samer Farha (beer), Erin McCann (coffee), Jim Darling (iPhoneography), Matt Dunn (portraits) and Chris Chen (street life).

To accompany the DCist Exposed show, there’s also a special edition magazine featuring the winning photographs from all five years of the show.  The issue can be purchased online at MagCloud for $27.50, which comes with a digital version, or at Long View Gallery during the receptions for $25.

DCist is also bringing back the popular special event for emerging collectors, Emerge Exposed, on Monday, March 21, 7 to 9 p.m. Co-hosted by DCist and the Pink Line Project, a panel of experts will share tips and ideas on how to begin collecting art.

What I like best about DCist Exposed is that it demystifies the art of photography. You don’t need to have expensive lenses or your own studio to be a photographer. You just have to take a decent photo.

2010: My Year in the Arts

Several years ago, I was sitting in a bar with a bunch of coworkers. We went out a couple times a week for beer, always to the same place. They were fine people but, good lord, how many times can you hear the same old stories?

While we were rehashing the same old petty little workplace dramas, a group of staffers from the Portrait Gallery came in. They had more interesting things to say than me and my coworkers, for they were talking about art.

It was then that I vowed to get more involved in the creative scene in DC.

In 2010, I was fortunate to not only sample a lot of what the city has to offer, but also participate in it. Continue reading “2010: My Year in the Arts”

Gift Ideas for Aspiring Filmmakers

Check out my Pink Line Project article on gift ideas for aspiring filmmakers, including membership in local organizations, such as Women in Film and Video and Arlington Independent Media. Making a short film doesn’t need to be expensive and DC is filled with filmmakers willing to help out.

One thing I’ve learned as a judge for DC Shorts over the years is that there are plenty of good technical people. They can get the sound right and light a scene correctly. And every city, it seems, contains talented actors who can make your script sing.

The hard part is getting the story right, in making sure that you have a script with a beginning, middle and an end. Something with an identifiable protagonist and stakes that really matter. My article concentrates on the storytelling part of filmmaking. It’s easy to pick up a camera but much harder to tell a good story.

Writing and Taking Pictures at the Capital Fringe Festival

I’ve been busy for the past couple weeks as an official photographer for the Capital Fringe Festival. It’s been a great experience, giving me the chance to use my new camera, the Canon Rebel T2i, and the opportunity to take pictures of performers, which I really enjoy.

And I’ve gotten to see a lot of theater in tiny spaces, where you’re inches away from the actors – that’s part of what makes Fringe so special. From women in passionate embrace to remixed Shakespeare, it’s an intimate experience that can be uncomfortable, strange or delightful, depending on the performance. Sometimes you just can’t look away, try as you might.

But Fringe is more than just theater. It aims to create community in DC, striving to be a citywide celebration of the arts. Fringe wants everyone to be involved.

For people interested in creativity, it’s hard not to be drawn into the Fringe orbit. For example, I attended a discussion on Does Art Matter as a photographer but ended up writing about the workshop for the Pink Line Project.

The Capital Fringe Festival runs until July 25 in Washington, DC.

Things Fall Apart: The Photos of Kerry Skarbakka

Kerry Skarbakka, Window, 2009. C-Print. 50 X 60 in.
Kerry Skarbakka, Window, 2009. C-Print. 50 X 60 in.

Check out my Pink Line Project review of Kerry Skarbakka, The Struggle to Right Oneself: A Survey. The photos really have a dark humor to them that I really enjoyed. They’re big prints of absurd scenes – like a man in a suit leaping through fire – that tell a story, of people surviving unexpected catastrophe.

Writing About Creativity for the Pink Line Project

I’m going to be writing for the Pink Line Project.  What’s Pink Line?  Describing itself as “a catalyst for the culturally curious”, the site is a guide to DC’s art and cultural scene.  If you’re looking to attend fun art parties in Washington, and learn more about the arts, it’s a great site to check out.

From watching rollergirls arm-wrestle to dodging skateboarders at a photo exhibit, I’ve enjoyed the Pink Line events immensely.  It’s an unexpected side of stuffy Washington that’s much more interesting than some boring Capitol Hill cocktail party. Continue reading “Writing About Creativity for the Pink Line Project”