"Fav Bag" Behind The Scenes

If you’re one of the many these days who feels that technology plays an ever increasing role in distracting us from being connected to one another; from mindfulness and from the essence of our innate humanity; I’d say, okay, that’s worth a discussion.  But it was this very discussion that gave birth to this story which in turn led to this film.

While talking one day with my neighbor and friend Richard Leib about ways in which we thought technology is or isn’t positively impacting the human experience, Richard noticed my Tile unit hanging from my keys and he inquired.  “Charles, what’s that on your keys?”  I gave him a quick rundown of the product and a little demo of the app on my smartphone.  As he wrapped his around the Tile conceptually, he started to chuckle a bit to himself and I could tell that his wheels had begun turning.  “What are you thinking?” I asked him.  Richard began to articulate his idea of just how the Tile unit and app functioned, to which I responded: “Well, that’s not quite exactly how it works… but fundamentally, yes, you’ve got it!”  We agreed that it’s a very innovative product and an example of our discussion on technology and the human experience.

I said to Richard: “You know, that’d be a great story to communicate as a short film.”

He agreed and after we wrapped our conversation, I decided to write out our account which was followed soon after by a phone call to two of my most trusted filmmaking collaborators, directory of photography Gabriel J Lewis and writer, director, actor Ronnie Butler, Jr.  Ronnie helped me cast the short, Gabriel agreed to shoot it and they both agreed to help me produce the film.

Albeit the film wasn’t initially created for commercial purpose, we did share the work with Tile and their agency Praytell located here in Los Angeles.

It was a delightful experience sharing the story and subsequently being showered with the latest run of new and improved Tiles gratis!  A special thank you to everyone who gave of their time, resources and presence to help realize this little film that was inspired by an original concept from Richard Leib.

See the film HERE


Don't Boo Vote

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016 has been a curious day, but a warm, sunny and bright one needless to say especially here in Los Angeles.  My home strictly avoids broadcasting any network news programming within it’s walls, so I was absolutely stunned when I tuned into the election conversation late last night to find Donald Trump in a seemingly decisive lead over the democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Social media was a buzz with commentary on the matter:

  • “Hillary went down for only one reason, it wasnt sexism or racism against Obama or any of those civil war pushing agendas, it is very simple: HER ACTIONS. She burned and cheated out Bernie.” — via facebook
  • “A racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic game show host without any political experience is currently in the lead. I’m beyond mortified.” — via facebook
  • “Hillary was the wrong candidate. Bernie was the right one. The DNC screwed him over and now they gave the election to Donald FUCKIN Trump. Don’t blame 3rd parties. Blame Trump voters. Blame the news media being on the side of corporations and not journalism. Blame the DNC for shoving the Bernie voters away instead of reaching out to them.” — via facebook
  • and this from IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb: “The election for President of the United States is over. While we did not achieve the result we desired, I am extremely proud of the work of our Political Department, Local Union officers, International Officers and Representatives, and members for the significant efforts made to protect the interests of IATSE members and workers in general. Now we must move on. While I am skeptical for obvious reasons, it is my sincere hope that there can be some healing in our starkly divided nation.” — via email

As I read the commentary online and look at the expressions on half of this nation’s face via television.  I see and feel so much negativity, defeat, skepticism, and blame.  Blame, blame, blame and more blame.  Hillary Clinton is not our problem.  Nor is Donald Trump our problem nor Barack Obama.  Our problem in my opinion is the deep rooted value system that operates beneath our collective societal conscience.

I remember vividly the feelings that flowed through me in 2008 when our nation elected Barack Hussein Obama into the highest office in the land.  It was unprecedented.  It was emotional.  Americans of all races demographics ages and backgrounds were moved to tears; especially older African-Americans; and it felt like we all shared a sense of community, unity and oneness even if just briefly. This morning as I listened to president elect Donald Trump’s acceptance speech I was again moved.  I again felt a feeling of community, unity and oneness which I believe to be the vibration of the 50+ million American’s motivated to vote Donald Trump into office.  This time it was a sea of Red baseball hats and pale white faces that I saw on my television and iphone screen shoulder to shoulder, alive with celebration and glee.  So, this might be a glimpse of what small town America has been feeling like for at the very least the last eight years in this my great country.  This is what it feels like to have your “team lose”.  Well my friends, I must say, our multi-party political system isn’t devised to pit us against one another.  It’s intended to create an environment for debate.  A platform for viewpoints and values to be juxtaposed, reconsidered and reimagined; so that they can evolve.  So that we as a society can also evolve.  By the looks of what’s going on in America today, our society IS evolving! We are bearing witness to never-before-seen manifestations of our true selves via our nation’s political system.  With the outcomes of election years 2008, 2012 and now 2016 we have all learned the potency of the single vote.  We now know from high to low that every voice counts in this country.  Barack Obama mobilized the young voters, the minorities and the educated to elect him into office for two presidential terms.  Donald Trump has motivated the rural, small town, blue collar, conservatives to rise up and put someone completely unexpected into the white house.  If that’s not evidence of change then I don’t know what is. Thank you America for participating.  Thank you Donald Trump for bringing out the best in our nation.  I look forward to Mr. Trump making good on his very inspiring acceptance speech this morning when he said: “I’ve spent my entire life in business, looking at the untapped potential in projects and in people all over the world. That is now what I want to do for our country. Tremendous potential. I’ve gotten to know our country so well. Tremendous potential. It is going to be a beautiful thing. Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.” — Donald J. Trump

I watched President Barack Obama almost lose his voice trying to settle an angry North Carolina crowd riled up by a Trump supporter doing nothing short of exercising his constitutional right to free speech. See the full video HERE

But most importantly, I look forward to us realizing that our collective societal values are comprised of our individual values.  The only way we change as a nation is when we change as individuals.  With each thought and with each action. So moving forward I will no longer refer to any American as a right-wing-gun-toting-bible-thumping-war-monger-bigot. I will refer to them simply as people.  I will celebrate our diversity, our difference of opinion, our varying beliefs, our unique shapes, sizes, likes, dislikes, accents, tastes, jobs, dreams, wants and desires.

I promised Prince when he passed that i would listen to what he said in his music and practice love, love, love.  This nation has a lot of work to do and a lot of disenfranchised communities, marginalized individuals, traumatized racial segments and under-realized potential to acknowledge, embrace and begin to heal and improve.  But the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  We have long ago taken that single step; today we must keep on stepping!

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"Going Off" at RadicalMedia™

So, after a pointed referral, a bit of email-campaigning and a healthy portion of sincere desire; I find myself in the cutting room at RadicalMedia.

I’ve had my crosshairs set on collaborating with the folks at RadicalMedia since first taking in their Iconoclasts series for the Sundance network way back in 2007.  Sure they’re a commercial house but its been their cache-rich mini docs, television series and music-driven content thats attracted me to their brand.  But what’s even more fitting for me about RadicalMedia as a production company is their ability to create across any platform, any genre, any medium; and that is a practice to which I most definitely subscribe. The combination of  the ocean-cooled weather, the company-sponsored lunch on Friday, the harmonious coexistence of Media Composer and Premiere Pro NLEs and the uber-cool and uber-talented pool of producers, editors and executives with whom I worked and played each day really inspired me to give myself  wholly and enthusiastically to the process of cutting this show; which after all is why I get up every morning — to do what I love! I was confident from the initial contact with the project’s Exec Producer, Dave Sirulnick and Show Runner, Lindsay Panell that this would be a unique opportunity to really express myself in the editor’s chair on a reality…oops, I mean, an unscripted series.  The characteristics that really made an impact on me directly were the ample amount of autonomy allowing editors and producers to discover and shape the material, realistic delivery expectations and the entire post crew was committed to sharing ideas, approaches to challenges, supporting one another and each editor owned their respective episodes; allowing each episode’s individual identity to express whilst still serving the series common theme.   That’s really cool in this day and age in my humble opinion.

(L) Charles Little II, (R) Ravi Subramanian

Salute to the entire #GoingOff post team:

(Editors) Ted Woerner, Jesse Overman, Joel Marcus, Charles Little II, Jeremy Lusk, Ravi Subramanian, Eric Freidenberg, Kevin Lavelle, Julie Drazen, Patrick Perez and Taylor Alexander Ward (story producers) Claire Degrass, Jamie Hardesty and Lauren Schwartz (Post Supervisor) Gabriel Savo (Assitant Editors) Dennis Castello and Ryan Isbell (Associate Producer) Arly Montes and (Post Coordinator)  Maru Buendia. Let me not forget the comfortable and meticulously maintained production facility that I occupied for almost 3 months – The Digital Difference I simply cannot thank nor recommend Kevin Hearst and his team highly enough! It was an added bonus to get to chop it up a bit with Tricia Miranda herself.  She knows her world, her brand, her students and she was on it when it came to making sure the show content was true to all of the above.  Thank you Claire Degrass for snapping these pics!

(L) Charles Little II (R) Tricia Miranda

Tricia Miranda-isms that you’ll be stuck repeating after watching this show: “Live Your Life”, “Whoom”, “Boomziggywhaat”, “That’s Major”, “Say It”, “Lies”.

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Attention To Detail

Okay, so call me old school but, I still feel like you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Article to come on my custom business cards processed, screened, cut and crafted in Canada.


Kelly and Cal - LA Premiere

I’m fresh from the LA premiere of Jen McGowan‘s breakout feature-length film entitled Kelly and Cal.

This was a shoe-in for me I guess because I was hooked from the moment after I took in the trailer.  Being a product of the 90s and a Juliette Lewis fan (probably of her on stage even more so than on screen, well except for Natural Born Killers of course), I was excited to see the film after crossing paths with the director on twitter.  Juliette Lewis’ performance was the entire package in this film.  Dramatic, funny, inspiring, sexy and flawed all rolled up into a character whom I won’t soon forget.  I arrived at Arena Cinema in Hollywood a little late and the film was already about 10 minutes in by the time I made into a seat; upon which time I was promptly blown away by Jonny Weston’s riveting presence on screen!  Which was just a precursor to the intoxicating chemistry between Lewis and Weston that would be a constant through the remainder of the film.  I was also inspired by the filmmaking.

The dynamic between Lewis and her on-screen husband played by Josh Hopkins was paced very intentionally, which made for a great treat toward the end of the film as the characters’ journeys and perspectives shifted.  The film’s cinematography was right up my alley as well.  An easy, rather flat color profile and lots of natural human-held camera work aided in the journey for me alongside a brilliant cast. Did I mention that Sybil Shepard is also in the film?  This cast was absolutely born to come together for this film. They were all truly perfect to watch, for me at least. I’m glad I’m getting a chance to catch rising talents like Weston and McGowan as they emerge.  Yes, it’s great to support independent film; but you should see this film simply because it’s really f*cking good! The film is playing in select theaters and available via video-on-demand services.

Here’s a treat from my own personal archives of Juliette & The Licks doing “20 Year Old Lover” circa 2008.  Yes it’s a fitting title, I know.  If you look closely enough you might find yours truly manning a camera from near the drum riser.  Enjoy.


VRLX Magazine - Welcome [Back] To Chicago!

You ever come into contact with a group of people and you just kinda…well, “dig ’em” straight away? Yeah, well that’s what happened when jet-setting-wine-whisky-and-ready Freddie Baez dropped by my pad with Eva, Sofia and Danielle of Verluxe.

I think I just respond to where they are as emerging artists; as they remind me of similar moments in my own creative and professional journey. Creativity is just extra special when it’s raw, uninhibited and authentic, which is what I love about Verluxe.

I know what it means to be an innovative young Chicagoan, as I left my own indelible impression on the world from the streets of Chicago in the 1990s.  From Wicker to Rogers Park from Cal City to The Heights and the west side to the wild hundreds.  The Verluxe ladies are out there doing them…and it’s all jammed into this mag to see.  It’s basically like a big Verluxe brochure, LOL!   I love the double page spread of chicago rappers shooting music videos in front of Harold’s Chicken. There’s a sort-of old-school, or better yet, true-school feel to the imagery in this zine.   It’s refreshing to see Chicago portrayed in this light versus what had seemingly become the norm during the Chief Keef age; which I do hope has run it’s course.

These dope little “slice-o-life-collages” in the Photo Diary section, are great little pieces of where the VRLX crew has been, the paths they’ve crossed and the dots they’ve connected along the way (yes, I peeped the sliver from my back patio…word ladies!).  But yo, the real word that I gotta use when I talk about VRLX magazine is: REFRESHING. Refreshing and diverse; and oh how diverse it is.  Black, white, gay, weird, alien, hip, geek, skinny, sexy and artsy-fartsy.  Chicago is such a unique city, with it’s own vernacular, swagger, history and style; and VRLX mag is all up in it!

The articles are on interesting people and just brief enough to still be insightful.

The writing, styling and imaging is constantly evolving yet stays true to itself; and there’s no fluff or gratuitous bullshit to be found in any corner.  Hell, even Paris Hilton is quoted in an editorial piece, and it’s intelligent!  Shit ladies, mad respect!  Mad love to mi hermano boric Freddie Baez, I need to get my fam Yung Swerv Divine in front of a Verluxe camera as soon as is humanly possible!  Keep blazing your own path ladies.  Chicago loves you for it.

You’re welcomed.


Flatline x James Benton x Joan Holly Padeo

Flatline is my second collaboration with R&B sensation James Benton

and my first experience with dancer/choreographer Joan Holly Padeo (courtesy of the incomparable Robin Aren, thank you Robin!). JB and I have been working together since 2012 re-imagining his brand and his music through the medium of moving pictures & synchronized sound. We went at this one with a little less pre-production and decided to allow space for the viewers’ imagination to accompany the story while it unfolds. The motivation was to explore the territory of passive-aggressive communication, which seems to take place between humans more often than we care to admit. Often times our mind is saying one thing whilst the words from our mouths are telling a different story; but always with just enough of the truth woven between the lines. I intended to keep this video clean and simple and actually wanted it to rely more heavily on longer takes, but it IS a music video after all. The electrocardiogram add-on was the go-to visual effect; but just how to implement it was the question.

After a bit of trial and effort I came up with a visual effect that I felt was subtle enough yet impactful enough to do the job.

JB and Joan meet at a familiar place and share a two-sided dialogue that’s completely unspoken as JB plays the standard role in R&B as the consummate lady-killer. LOL. I for one am looking forward to more songs about LOVE and less about SEX! Stay tuned for more from JB and I as I think we have one more single to get out before JB begins collaborating with other filmmakers and photographers as he continues to cultivate and develop his brand and his career. You can keep up with JB via following his moniker #jbnext1. In the words of a dearly departed soldier: “Love is all we need”.  Watch the video HERE.

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The Real-est Reality Show I've Worked On Yet!

freedia2I've worked on my fare share of unscripted television series for World of Wonder Productions; but today, I'm pretty excited to share this one!  Big Freedia The Queen of Bounce is the title of brand spanking new reality series for FUSE TV.  This is my second opportunity to work with Executive Producer Jeremy Simmons and it has again proven to deliver noteworthy results (I also worked with Jeremy on season one of Life With La Toya for OWN).  So what's so great about this show?  IT'S REAL!  Plain and simple.  Real people, real stakes and really happening right now!  I've become a huge fan of Big Freedia and the entire universe that is orbiting around him. He's black, he's gay, he's a rapper, and he's thoroughly and completely authentic and unique!  What's more, he's really fucking good at what he does!  From a tiny pool hall packed with crazed ass-shaking kids and veteran bounce collaborators like Katey Red or Mr. Ghetto, to enormous music festivals and stages across the globe, Freedia never ceases to give 120% to himself, his team and his audience.  I for one hope that this show does well for him, his team, his immediate community in New Orleans and the entire Bounce game across the south!  Hat's off to you Freedia!  I'll be proud to add this show to my editorial credit list.  Here's an interview with Big Freedia on FUSE.TV


Under The Electric Sky (3D Documentary)

Tonight I just completed a 3-week editing stint working on the trailer for a new 3D documentary film entitled: “Under The Electric Sky”; from Producers: Insomniac Events, Haven Entertainment and Magical Elves, Inc. This is my third project with Magical Elves’ Directors Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz this year; and I’m definitely a fan of the projects that they curate and their first rate facility, which is home to a brand spanking new ISIS media server. In the words of my favorite Pet Detective: “Mmmmmm, Like A Glove!”

The film was shot with an array of digital cinema cameras including the Sony F5, F55 and F65 3D rigs; along with Canon DSLRs the C300 and 5D. I wasn’t on hand for the shoot, but judging from the beautiful images I’ve been swimming in as of late, I’d be very interested to see what particular lenses the camera bodies were outfitted with. I’ll refrain from making any idle assumptions here. The over-cranked frame rates gave a beautiful density and “weight” to the imagery; as well as great color and latitude! From ariel to timelapse to handheld cinematography, there’s no shortage of stunning eye candy and visceral techno, house, hard house, tech house, trance, dubstep, drum n bass, oh and yes, ravers galore to keep you thoroughly on the hook once this film takes a hold of you. Avid Media Composer 6.5.x is the editing environment that’s played host to a team of editors working tirelessly in 2D and 3D since principle photography wrapped last month; following the immensely successful 2013 installment of the annual Electric Daisy Carnival. Many thanks to the incredible team of Magical Elves producers, editors and assistants with whom I collaborated through the month of July.  I’m off to a bit of traveling while the summer is still in fill swing and then on to more series work. I’ll be excited to see the film once it makes its way to the big screen.


Singha Transportraits Wins A Telly

Gertrude Inc. kicked off their Singha Transportraits campaign in Los Angeles and featured world-renowned visual artist Retna. I caught up with Retna to get inside his interpretation of Singha’s Mythical Lion and the origins of his own unique form of artistic expression in this docu-short which received a bronze telly at the 33rd Annual Telly Awards.  Learn more at Artsy.net

See the video HERE


Shooting Nude

Additional Content:
Behind The Scenes Video by: Nick Brazinsky
Still Photography & Cover Art by: Charles Little II

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Is The Housekeeper Here Yet?

Not every thought makes the journey from page to screen; and such was the case with this deleted scene from King Fantastic’s Why Where What video.  Intended to set up the story for the viewer, the scene does a great job of introducing our stereotypical L.A. power couple and streetwise protagonist; but, at the end of the day, KF just wasn’t convinced that viewers were interested in listening to all that talking. We really couldn’t argue.

Starring Kristina Rose, Woody Thompson, and Amy Williams.