Inspiration, Not Imitation

Inspiration, Not Imitation

Winter in Rogers Park

With the second month of 2016 coming to a close, principal photography for my thesis inches closer by the day. But there’s no need to worry (yet). Until then, I’ll take my stress-free strolls near the frozen Lake Michigan in Rogers Park.

Visits to the Art Institute of Chicago

As a grad student at Columbia, an amazing perk that’s included is access to the #1 art museum in the world! I thoroughly enjoy visiting on a weekly basis when I’m in between meetings in the South Loop. There are so many art exhibitions, including African, Asian, American, European, Impressionist, Contemporary, etc.

As a creative, it’s imperative to keep the muscles warm, and my visits allow me to soak in new textures, color palettes, compositions, shapes, landscapes, and stories to ponder about while I await my EUREKA moment for my #thesis.

Arts Institute

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery-celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: ‘It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.’ – Jim Jarmusch


Cinema B R E A K S

Meadowland Poster

Meadowland picks up with a struggling couple in the year after their young son has gone missing. Wilde’s Sarah processes her grief with a disturbing calm and increasingly unusual habits, and her job as a schoolteacher only serves to remind her of the precious gift she lost. Luke Wilson plays her police officer husband Phil, who turns to support groups and alcohol to cope with his suffering. The film is no easy watch, but Morano’s serene direction and Wilde’s crippling performance juxtapose for an emotional experience that’s hard to shake long after the credits roll. –Indiewire


In this film, the level and emotional depth [Olivia] reaches and the power that she has as an actor on screen is extraordinary, yet nuanced and detailed. You never know where she is going to go…What I’m also fascinated by in this film is Reed’s work not only as a cinematographer but also as a director. For me, it’s always interesting to see a film with this kind of subject matter, this level of acting and portrayal — [actors] inhabiting these roles, visually interpreted in a personal way. What you see there is what Reed is making you see through that lens, and it’s extraordinary in terms of unique personal storytelling visually through the size of the focal length and focus. I was just taken by the whole picture. – Martin Scorsese


While going through some old hard drives, I found one back from 2012, when I lived in Kansas City. While living there, I became really good friends with some local music producers. When the local Earwaxx Records closed down, they had a massive vinyl record sale. So I brought my camera and filmed as Buster Moody did his vinyl record crate digging.

Four years later, the footage is nostalgic, and the two artists are releasing a project that’s been in the works since I lived there. I figured it was necessary to use the footage in the archive vault and showcase two shamanrahs, listening and creating music. Take a peep if you want.


We’ve experimented with releasing portions of the mini doc on a daily basis throughout the week. We broke them down into nine parts and let Instagram users see the content stream instantly. We had a decent response for an experiment using Instagram as a distribution platform.