"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


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.