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BTS 2017

Weekly BTS

Weekly behind the scenes updates on the work of Lev Omelchenko. 

BTS 2017

Lev Omelchenko

BTS 1 - LIVING WALLS

Finally got to do some work with Living Walls. Got to meet Chip Thomas. Got to meet Killer Mike. One of the better Mondays. 

 

BTS 2 - A LATE NIGHT JOURNAL ENTRY

Katy "What is the intention?"

Sequoyah's Music Video. Intetion: Make Something Beautiful. <-- Memory: Anicka reminds me of this in a coffee shop. Beautiful Collaboration.

What are we digging into/ Our desire for connection --> language

Vulnerability 

#ME asked ME "King, why did YOU wake up in the morning". I respond by repeating the question, which made no sense to ME.

#ME woke up to "Serve"

"Why did I wake up?" and "What is the Intention?" 

"Why do I wake up in the morning" - To build community. The more skills I have, the more useful I am. Freedom. Friendship. 

"'Friend' and 'Free' in English come and "Freund' and 'Frei' in German come from the same Indo-European root, which conveys the idea of a shared pwoer that grows. Being free and having ties was one and the same thing. I am free because I have ties, because I am linked to a reality greater than me". (To Our Friends p 127) 

The more freedom I have, Fuck #Me, Mean

 Follow @greetingsme7 to plug into what #ME has to say. #ME KNOW #ME

Follow @greetingsme7 to plug into what #ME has to say. #ME KNOW #ME

BTS 3 - LIVING WALLS

Living Walls. After the storm cleared, I was out on Buford Highway filming most of the week. Filming the talented artists as they put up their work, filming the Living Walls crew and volunteers working tirelessly to support the artists, filming the community as it joined in the passion of the work. 

Here are some pictures:

 

BTS 4 - THE BAKERY

Finished "Heart Balance", my first mural at The Bakery. The biggest change was the addition of white flourishes, which really opened up all the energy stored in the colors and geometry. I knew white was the answer, and one of the motivations for using it was advice I got from an art teacher back in first grade. I was working on a painting of underwater fish that was meant to be in a "stain glass" style. He told me to add white to the paining to really make it pop. I didn't really understand what I was supposed to do, and he added some elements for me. It really worked, and the painting was featured in the school calendar for the month of January. It's really beautiful how advice from 19 years ago helped me find the way with this piece. 

The Bakery Opening. I'm disappointed that I didn't take more photos and video of the work that we put in before the opening, but I'm very happy with how things went. Willow is a badass and I have really high hopes for what we can accomplish with the space.

 

BTS 5 - THE GUILD

I've spent a solid part of this week finishing The Guild video. Niki and I met almost a year and a half ago at Atlanta Film Festival. We started talking about doing a video, and it slowly materialized over time. In that time I built a real relationship with her and her team. Connecting in unexpected places through beautiful people. The video should be coming out soon. 

 

BTS 6 - SUNDAY MORNING AT 7

I've been brainstorming with Anicka on how to approach her dance project "Sunday Mornings at 7" from a film perspective. Part of the challenge is for me to really understand the core of what this work means to her and why she is developing it. The work is based on the Cupid and Psyche myth, and I'm trying to understand what "myth" means in a modern context. I can probably find some literature on the subject. 

For inspiration I watched "Pina" by Wim Wenders and was blown away by the quality of dance, and the masterful translation of the work to cinema. I hope I can develop my craft and perception to approach the level of sincerity and emotional depth of Pina. The diversity of people, the actors is really breathtaking. The quotes they share from her are brilliant. 

"Go on Searching" "Make me Scared" "Dance for Love" "What are you longing for? Where is the yearning coming from?" 

Attended a rehearsal this Sunday. Had a conversation with Anicka to further discuss the heart of the project. Feel like I got some real serious closure. As a man - this is a rare opportunity that I need to value as deeply as possible. 

Read the introduction to the book Bloom, that my friend Ariana let me look over while at the Goat Farm. (I should make an effort to be there at least once a week).

"Desire needs to be embedded in empathy"

"praying to the energies from the earth, willing the limped serenity of the skies, meditating on the still reflections of the waters. Honoring the gods of small things."

"But a Fool's Paradise also where comical and surreal creations are paraded with zeal to act out the trivial aspects of human condition, stretching the borders of belief to include a hallucinating faith in the power of imagination and story telling, a fold tradition that thrives and even gains importance, giving wings to the carnival of naked truth." 

"Delving in a deep well of human experiences tokes from the selvage of time." 

-Lidewij Edelkoort

 

BTS 7 - COLORADO

Journal Entry November 6, 2017

"On a plane back to Atlanta. A wonderful and very necessary trip. "Be in the moment with Joy" 

The waterfalls. 

The mountains.

The sky.

The water. 

The fire. Warm bodies.

Full moon. Bright white.

Alec - from Donetsk.

Infinite gratitude to the energy of Colorado. It has worked its healing magic on me. I am focused and clear. I must actively maintain that state of mind for my own good."

Finished the tea bus video as soon I got back from Denver with some footage that I got there.

 

BTS 8 - BLUE JAYS

Friday November 17th Sequoyah and I premiered his album Dream Sequence and the "Blue Jays" film at Argha Noah. This week's post is a reflection on my experience collaborating with him so far. 

"I found a rare gem in Sequoyah as a Collaborator" - Journal Entry

Another big inspiration on this project was Wong Kar Wai. Specifically his brilliant use of color and the step printing technique. (There's an cool video essaythat explores ways in which Moonlight by Jenkins might have been influenced by Wong Kar Wai's work.)

This video is from a rehearsal at the Work Room. Sequoyah and Anicka had been praciticing his movement for several weeks and  I came to see how it translates to video, espesially at low shutter speeds/low frame rates.

 

BTS 9

Enchanted. Crowned by Shira.

This film premiered December 2nd at Shira Benson's launch of her new website and release of her Crowns. It was an awesome experience and I'm very honored to have been part of the event. I was humbled the reception of the film and hope that it helps spread her work to a wide audience.

When she commissioned this film, I was reading Carl Jung's writings on alchemy, specifically his thoughts on Coniunctio or the "sacred marriage".
"Literally, “conjunction,” used in alchemy to refer to chemical combinations; psychologically, it points to the union of opposites and the birth of new possibilities."
In conceptualizing the film my goal was to understand and communicate Shira's intention with the Crowns. I needed to cinematically manifest the Power of her work.
It was a challenge. I first met Shira as her new roommate when I arrived to Atlanta. Our personalities were strikingly different and we came from alien worlds. In many ways we were opposites. Our yearlong collaboration on this film, with all its complications, reflects our new friendship and is itself a "union of opposites and the birth new possibilities".
I think that's beautiful, and it inspires me to seek new collaborators.

 

One more interesting note:
In originally envisioned a scene lit by moonlight. It was an unrealistic goal considering the limitations of the shoot. Looking back at my notes on the project I found this quote from Jung striking:
"Seek the coldness of the moon and you shall find the heat of the sun."
I wish her the best of luck and envision much success for her work.

Here are some BTS photos of the film shoot:

 

If you've made it all the way down the page, Thank You very much for following my work. I'm excited to continue collaborating with you.

I wish you Love, Peace, Joy, Gratitude, Kindness, and Beauty in 2018.