Living

Just returned from my second trip to Iceland for a new video shoot. It was life changing as always. Iceland has a special talent at helping you feel more alive than you've ever felt in your life. And with every step you take, you feel as if you're the first person taking that step. You feel as if you are discovering something new. It's invigorating. 

As a side note, after my shoot in Iceland, I took a little rendezvous with my girlfriend Brynn Watkins to Paris, France to photograph and film projects she was doing. While we were there we got engaged. It was perfect.   

Photo by Rhianne Jones

In search of a story

I believe that everyone has a story. It doesn't matter where you're from, how poor you are, how rich you are, how big you are, or how small you are. Everyone has something in their head that has the potential of changing the way that someone else looks at the world. These stories deserve to be told. A while ago I went out to Ireland with film equipment with that in mind: I don't know what I'm going to find, but I'm going to find a good story. After a week of searching, we found Pat Murphy, The Oldest Man In The Sea. His story inspired me to continue this tradition of traveling the world in search of beautiful stories that deserve the rest of the world's attention. 


I'm off on another adventure in April. I'll be traveling to Iceland and France in search of interesting stories. I'm specifically looking for people with interesting occupations; a sheep herder in Iceland, or a shoe repair man in France, or a rescue worker in the mountains. You get the picture. People that work with their hands. I want to hear about why they do what they do and why they're passionate about it. 

If you have any ideas or leads of people you think I should contact, feel free to leave me a message in the comment section! I'd love to hear your thoughts! Let's get these stories out into the world. 

Fish in water

If swimming in cold waters, make sure you get out before the deep freeze comes in an instant. Or you might end up like these fish in this Norwgian lake: 

Or this moose...

Read more about how it all happened here

An Inspiring Film

Last year I had the great pleasure of helping ou with the filming of The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. I can't think of a more perfect movie to have helped out on. It was filmed in NYC and Iceland (both of my favorite places!).

I got to go watch it today for the first time and was extremely inspired by it. Seeing the Icelandic landscape on the big screen made me dream of traveling there again. It reminded me of the importance of getting outside of your comfort zone and living life to the fullest. It's such an important reminder. 

Go check it out for yourself in theaters today to see some breathtaking images of Iceland. 

Watch the trailer here:

The Oldest Man In The Sea

Last year I met one of the most remarkable men. His name is Pat Murphy and he claims to be "the oldest fisherman in Ireland". 

 

Finding him was no easy tasks. Here's the story... 

We set out to Ireland in the summer of 2012 with one thing in mind: Find an interesting person and film their story. Half was through our 2 week trip, we hadn't found a single person worthy of this video. But one day we made our way down to the southernmost portion of Ireland to a small town called Castletownbere. We stopped in three different pubs to hang out with the local fishermen and on three separate occasions fishermen told us stories of this man named Pat Murphy. This was our guy and we had to find him. 

A fellow fisherman on Pat told us the general area that his home is. We literally went door to door asking "does Pat Murphy live here". If I remember correctly, we went to about 4 houses and on the fourth house, a kind woman with short, wavy, brown hair answered the door and said "yes, Pat Murphy lives here!" As you might have guessed, he was out at sea alone and wasn't going to be back for a couple more days. She said that she was sure he would love to be a part of the video and told us to come back on Sunday. When we got there on Sunday we were greater with tea and scones and a huge smile from Pat.  He was so excited for "the Americans" to tell his story to the rest of the world. 

We sat down with him, listened to him tell us story of growing up in his small town, fishing with his father, starting a company with his children, and so on. We could have stayed there for weeks and the stories would not have ended. And from these conversations, our film was made. 

The story doesn't end there. He gave us his email address to send him the video once it was created, but when we tried to send him the video a couple months later, his email address didn't work at all. We had spent all of this time excited to capture his story and give it to his family so that they could have this as a small piece to remember him by. But there was no way for us to actually give them the video. For over half a year we weren't able to contact him. We went on a search for Pat Murphy, emailing newspapers, websites, and blogs in Ireland asking one question: "Where is Pat Murphy"? Finally, I received one email from Pat's daughter! She told me how much she and her family loved the Pat Murphy video and that a local journalist had sent them the video. 

And the best part... Pat loves it. His favorite thing is to have his friends and family over to watch it on his "big screen". This brought such a smile to my face. 

It brings such joy to me knowing that the story we captured for him will live on for many more years through his family. I hope that the video brings them as much joy as the day I met Pat Murphy. 

Go somewhere colder this winter: Iceland

As winter comes into full effect, I want to encourage you to do something unimaginable: Travel somewhere much colder than where you live. 

Last year I had the absolute pleasure of filming in Iceland for a week. This was a different experience than most tourists, because I went during the winter. There was ice on the ground and there was snow falling every day on us. But I'll never forget the feeling of climbing up the Skaftafell glacier and thinking to myself "You discovered this. You are the first person ever to walk this glacier." Obviously, I wasn't the first person ever to walk on the glacier, but it's the feeling of exploration and discovery that has been on my mind ever since I left. 

Here is a video I made of my journeys. The great musicians DM Stith and Son Lux were kind enough to lend me their song for the video. Feel free to share it!  

 

One of the other beauties of traveling during the winter time to Iceland is the ability to see the Northern Lights. This is something that gets robbed from you if you travel during the summer. Here's are a some shots I took while I was there. 

I can't stress enough how great of a location Iceland is for a vacation. It's actually extremely affordable to get to, which most people don't realize. From NYC, it's very common to find round trip flights for about $550. My flight to Texas this Christmas cost me $500 (to give you some perspective).  Just this morning I found round trip flights from NYC to Iceland during new years for $650. To say the least... I'm tempted...

For more information on traveling to Iceland, check out this websites and follow them on Facebook. They always have great information. Can't wait to film there again someday!

I met an Indian Princess

I've been busy filming and traveling around recently. A couple weeks ago I had the great opportunity of going to Pendleton, Oregon for a shoot and got to spend some time on a reservation up there. It was really remarkable. I got to spend time wth people from Indian tribes from across America... including this Indian Princess. 

Pendleton is a town that does not shy away from its inner spirit. It's not afraid to be its own. When you're there, you forget that you're living in a modern society and get lost in the past. But you become completely okay with it.  

The coffee has been picked

The coffee beans have just been pulled from the bushes by the workers. They each got their bags weighed and are paid according to how much weight they picked that day. It usually comes to about $10 American dollars per day for each worker. This rate is common throughout Colombia, but changes on a regular basis depending on how much the coffee can be sold for. I'm told that the "hipster" coffee culture is very good for their business because the "hipsters" love quality coffee and are willing to pay fairly for it. 

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Asking the right questions

When creating a documentary, the cinematography is important... but there is something else that cannot get overlooked. The questions. You have one chance. This is never going to happen again. What do you ask your subject? This is what I've been contemplating recently in preproduction for the documentary (which begins this week) in Colombia. I'll be spending my time with some very interesting people who run a very small coffee farm. They all have a story to tell and I need to get it out of them. 

What would you ask?  

Filming in Texas This Weekend

Excited to be in Texas this weekend to film a music video for the wonderful Andy Mineo. This guy is legit. After releasing his debut album a couple months ago, it because the highest selling debut album of all time.

We'll be filming in an extremely small town in Texas and I guarantee you that this town has never had anything like this happen there before. There are city officials that want to come watch just for the fun of it. I love how filmmaking brings people together and makes dreams come true!