BTS 2017

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. 

 

 

 

 

BTS WEEK 8

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

PART ONE - BLUE JAYS TREATMENT

I first met Sequoyah at his tour kickoff at the Atlanta Contemporary. I thought I would miss his set and almost didn't leave the house, but took the chance. I had been listening to his music while filming practical effects for LIFE and was captivated. 

I got there just as he went on. His dad was on drums and his mom was the back up singer. He was even better live. I offered to do a music video with him and he sent me some demos. Blue Jays stood out. I developed an idea and shared it with him in Inman Park after a long conversation about our lives and loves. I created this treatment to prove the concept.

One of the biggest inspirations for the project was Kahlil Joseph. I first became familiar with Kahlil's work after attending a Liquid Blackness talk at GSU with him as a guest speaker. His work totally entranced me, and became a huge inspiration for the project. Some of the images used in the treatment come from his work on "Process" by Sampha,  and "Until the Quiet Comes" by Flying Lotus. 

Other images are sourced from: "Moonlight" by Barry Jenkins, Alexandre Moors & The Little Homies music video "i" for Kendrick Lamar, Grace Jones' performance footage, Maceo Frost's "Raised by Krump" documentary, "Shame" and "Voodo in my Blood" music videos for Young Fathers, and "Key and Peele" sketches

PART TWO

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 essay that 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.

 

PART THREE

Some photos that I snapped here and there during the development/filming/post process. I wish I had taken more, but when I'm doing a lot of jobs on a project, I can forget to pick up the camera. 

 

PART FOUR

These are some of my journal entries while I worked on the project. 



PART FIVE - DREAM SEQUENCE ALBUM PREMIERE

Months after the project was finished we premiered the album "Dream Sequence" and the music video at Argha Noah. We created a tea house with a dance floor. There was free tea, cocktails, vegan food and a warmth to the atmosphere that was really very unique.  Kofi, a magician friend, asked what my inspiration for the project was. I said that there were a lot of things and they changed and evolved throughout the filming process. So I said it was about "Ancestry".

During the process of putting this post together, and looking through my journal for entries, I came across an entry that didn't directly deal with the project. In fact I was writing about a woman I was seeing at the time. Yet, in its own way, it describes why I said "ancestry".

"What can I know of my ancestors

What kind of dreams did they have

What blood did they

pass through into my

veins

What world could they

imagine -

what beauty can be achieved when the blood of 2 people are mixed -

whose blood centuries ago

would never meet."

BTS 3

PART ONE

Hurricane Irma passed Atlanta on Monday. My roommate Anneliese made a big pot of vegan chili. My hands felt swollen after moving loose objects into our shed before the storm hit. Everyone fell asleep as it moved through Atlanta. Journal entry:

"Hibernating through a hurricane. My body feels different. I feel the weather. I feel my surroundings. I feel me. I. me. The world - madness - such a harsh word. Especially underlined. We toil, for what. What is the proof? The Heart.  A desire for understanding. If others understand - you're not alone. Friendship. Co-dependence. We should depend on one another to survive. Do you depend on any of your friends? Do you depend on anyone. If not- is it a sign of strength? But we do depend. On our system - government, police, global markets, bankers - we depend on everyone but our friends. Because we are all so independent that we can't bother each other. The independence is killing us."

Anneliese feeding the home.

Anneliese feeding the home.

EDIT: After hibernation I showed The New World by Terrance Malick to my roommates for the first time. It was a powerful bonding moment. 

PART TWO

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:

 

PART THREE

The Bakery. Inspired by the muralists and presented with a wall, I started putting up my first mural. Throughout the week I sketched out the idea and figured out the colors. I usually spend more time with the colors, but did not have that opportunity this time. 

Mural as of Sept 18th 2017

 

PART FOUR

Organizing a video installation for The Bakery opening featuring local Atlanta artists.

Currently the line up features: "Gomi Maku" by Brandon English, feat music by 10th Letter. "Silver Planet" by Chris Hunt feat music by Kasie Marie. "New Life" by Lev Omelchenko feat music by Chris Gravely AKA Red Waters. "Rhythm of Ghana" by Brandon Polack feat tradition live drum music from Ghana. "Levitate Levitate Levitate" by Ebony Blanding and Amber Bournett of House of June, feat musical score by Belle Bynone. 

On the look out for more artists to include. 

Here's a look at New Life, which I directed Winter 2017.

 

PART FIVE

Finished Journal Number XIII

Last page:

" I just came out of the shower - meditating on the mural. Colors, shapes, nature, memory. I was meditating on the ancient sacred symbols. Sun, Earth, Water. Fire, mountain, Reflection. Air - the royal creative force. The Breath - The Soul. These thoughts feel ancient. A cry for truth - for a path - for a memory. For life. Alive."

BTS WEEK 2

PART ONE - BLUE JAYS

I AM 99% DONE WITH BLUE JAYS MUSIC VIDEO FOR SEQUOYAH. Excited to share it with the Patreon subscribers as soon as it's at 100% in the next few days. The official release date of Sequoyah's new album - Dream Sequence - and the music video is still undecided. However, a work in progress version of the video was accepted to Y'allywood Film Festival, which showcases films from the South. It will be playing at 7 Stages in Little 5 Points at some point October 9th - 15th. Very excited to be featured in an excellent local festival.

Opening Credits with Y'allywood Festival laurels for "Blue Jays" Music Video for Sequoyah Murray's new album "Dream Sequence"

PART TWO - EXPERIMENT 002

Spent some time this week discussing the logistics of a Virtual Reality Dance project in collaboration with Anicka Austin. I've worked with her previously on visual's for Chris Gravely's "LIFE" and she was Sequoyah's  Movement Coach for "Blue Jays". This project would be an experiment in preparation for her year long project "Sunday Mornings at Seven" which will feature an experimental VR component. 

If this project is a reality, it would be with the help of Kyle Morais and Brandon Polack of Argha Noah, a new art organization in Atlanta. They're working with 9to5.tv - the winner's of Goat Farms field experiment and are bringing a ton of cool art into the digital space for the month of September and first week of October. 

PART THREE - TO OUR FRIENDS

I've been reading "To Our Friends" by the Invisible Committee. It's very good. It does a really good job of communicating and supporting its perspective on Government, Power, Surveillance, Environment, Cybernetics, Community and Revolution.

"As to the truth about the present nature of power, every European has it printed exemplar of it in their pocket. It can be stated this way: power now resides in the infrastructures of this world. Contemporary power is of an architectural and impersonal, and not a representative or personal nature. ... Power is the very organization of this world, this engineered, configured, purposed world. ... Whoever determines the organization of space, whoever governs the social environments and atmospheres, whoever administers tings, whoever manages the access - governs men."

It's the second of 3 books published by an anonymous French collective. I first came across their writing in a friend's kitchen in the form of a newspaper, then through an audio book. I decided to get my sister the first book "The Coming Insurrection" for her birthday (along with two of the best books I've read this year - Of Woman Born by Adrienne Rich and The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin).

"Life and humanity were dissected into a set of needs; then a synthesis of these elements was organized. It doesn't really matter whether this synthesis was given the name of 'socialist planning' or 'market planning'. ... The outcome is the same: a desert and existential anemia.

Nothing is left of a form of life once it has partitioned into organs. Conversely, this is explains the palpable joy that overflowed the occupied squares of Puerta del Sol, Tahrir, Gezi or the attraction exerted, despite infernal muds of Nantes countryside, by the land occupation at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. It is the joy that attaches to every commune. Suddenly life ceases being sliced up into connected segments. Sleeping, fighting, eating, taking care of oneself, partying, conspiring, discussing all belong to the same vital movement. Not everything is organized, everything organizes itself. The difference is meaningful. One requires management, the other attention - dispositions that are incompatible in every respect" (p88 To Our Friends)

 

 

PART FOUR - MURALS

I'm excited to help document Living Wall's  incredible project on Bufford Highway this upcoming week. Anyone that has time should come out and support and experience some of the events that they're putting on.

That includes: A Lecture Series, a Movie Night and the Block Party!

Come and be an ally to the communities that are facing some of the most violence and intimidation from the white supremacy of USA. 

Jess Snow putting up one of TWO beautiful murals on Bufford Highway last week.

Being around talented mural artists, has also inspired me to attempt my own mural. The Bakery is currently getting itself ready to open in October and is opening its doors on the weekends to people to come and help paint. 

I plan on heading out there next weekend to 1. Document the process of building up a new art space and 2. Starting my first mural based on a sketch that I've been playing with for a long time. Will take time this week to figure out the colors. 

It has usually taken my a long time to figure out colors before, so in the very least it might a black and white line drawing. 

 

PART FIVE- 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

Premiere of LIFE at Eyedrum Gallery - Feb 28th

LIFE, a solo percussion show by Red Waters AKA Chris Gravely premiered at Eyedrum Gallery February 28th. The performance was accompanied by a visual installation created by Lev Omelchenko featuring the choreography of Anicka Austin and dance performances by Bella Dorado, Raina Mitchell and Anicka Austin. 

The visual installations are currently available online with demo versions of the music as accompaniment.  Look out for more live shows summer of 2017. 

Crown [1 min short film] + Crown [painting]

Check out a new short film I shot for a monthly challenge at the ThunderdomeATL with the following rules: 

1 min, 1 shot, can't touch the camera after hitting record

The painting featured in the film is the first painting I've finished in close to a year. (Photo taken w/ iPhone 5. Will replace with better quality image soon) 

Crown 

Acrylic on Canvas, February 2016




Old Band Tapes - First Short since moving to ATL

"Old Band Tapes" is a short film created for ATLThunderdome's monthly challenge with the following rules: 1 min, 4 shots, break the 4th wall. 

This is the first personal creative project that I have finished since a music video I wrote and directed for Future Teens in August 2015. The 4 months in between these 2 projects can be best described with a 3 act structure: 

1. Lost in post-grad Limbo

2. Hurling along the east coast for 2 weeks in a white, 15 year old, Ford Windstar minivan.

3. Settling in ATL.

This film, being the first thing that I've been able to finish since the end of summer, is a confirmation that I am in a new place. 

 

A special shout out to the people that committed to helping me with this last minute: Rebecca Flax, Trey West, Aloysius Harmon and Josh Loner and his excellent band Great American Noise Jihad. Also thanks to Jonathan Gabriel for letting me use equipment and motivating and introducuing me to the ATLThunderdome community. 



In

Dudley Dough Commercial

I'm happy to present a commercial, which I directed and edited, for a new social justice venture by Haley House: Dudley Dough pizzeria. Haley House is an incredible organization whose mission is to "help those made vulnerable by the harshest effects of inequality to move toward wholeness and economic independence". This video outlines how Dudley Dough will be an integral part in that process. A special thanks to Luther Pinckney of Haley House for making this video happen. 

Charlie - Short Documentary

Charles (Charlie) Hurvitz is an artist and author with developmental disability whose work and eccentric personality have made him a fixture in his community. 

It was an absolute privilege  and an amazing opportunity to get to know Charlie with the help of his friends and co-workers. This is the fifth and the longest film that I directed while working with Gateway Arts, an incredible organization who provides services in fine arts to adults like Charlie. 

All comments are encouraged, and if you like it please Share. 

The Villagers - Thesis Short Film

I finally finished my thesis film from this past semester. I'm happy with how it came out, and I have to give enormous thanks to everyone that helped me in the process. This was a huge learning experience and I hope that it resonates with some people out there. If it does, please share it/like it etc. If you have any thoughts or criticisms please let me know. I'd love to hear any and all feedback. 

P.S. Check out Elias Alexander's (Ted) awesome music.

Interview with Jane Tarlow

This video features the wondreful Jane Tarlow, a Studio A artist of Gateway Arts. This was the last of 4 interviews that I did for a project with Gateway Arts about Studio A. I finished it a few months ago, and it premiered at Gateway's Reception for Reel Abilities Film Festival in Feb. In the next 2 weeks I should have a short documentary completed about Charles Hurvitz, also an artist Gateway Arts. 

Jane Tarlow is a Studio A artist at Gateway Arts, a career art center for adults with mental and psychiatric disabilities. This interview explores Jane's early influences and goals as an artist and Gateway's role in helping her find stability and happiness. 

Interview by Rae Edelson

Directed, Filmed and Edited by Lev Omelchenko

Music by Chris Zabriskie 

WInter 2015


Interview with Rae Edelson - Director of Gateway Arts

Gateway Arts has a new gallery show "Homage to Film" until Feb 28th, which features artwork inspired by their favorite films, film personalities and the film making process itself. 

On Feb 19th 6-8pm, Gateway will hold a reception and will be joined by the ReelAbilities Film Festival, in celebrating the artists and their exhibition. This video along with 3 others will be featured at the reception to showcase several of talented artists who work at gateway in Studio A.

If you've never been to Gateway this would be a great opportunity to see its impact on the community. 

Interview with Rae Edelson

Gateway Arts director, Rae Edelson talks about the programs offered by Studio A and the clients it has helped since its creation. 

Directed, Interviewed, Filmed and Edited by Lev Omelchenko

Filmed by Ramsey Khabbaz

Audio Recording by Mike DeLuca, Claudia Mazariegos 

Music by Chris Zabriskie 

Winter 2015

THREE

What are the 3 most important words? What are the 3 most important words to you?

NOTE: This video should be watched with headphones. The first time you watch the video, you should watch it with headphones in both ears. If you wish to watch it again, try listening with only one headphone in one ear.

Enjoy!

3

1min 54sec

Written, Directed and Edited by Lev Omelchenko.

Actors: Emily Blanco, Tatiana Nicole, Meghan McEachern, Kaitlyn Fitzgerald, Nate Fisher, Trini Gao, Maria Jose Cordova, Brendan Hayward, Dan Willis
Benjamin Miyamoto, Patrick Burke, Alex Dzialo, Artem Sergeyenko

Music:  Octopus - King Krule Instrumental Remix by NORRE


Interview with Ray Salter - Gateway Arts

Interview with Gateway Artist Ray Salter 

I had the privilege of working with Gateway Arts on an interview with one of their Studio A artists Rae Salter.

Gateway Arts provides professional development for more than 100 adults with disabilities who have talent in fine hand crafts and fine art. Artists are encouraged to follow their dreams, and create a unique individualized career, while learning new processes and developing skills with the encouragement and support of a professional staff of artists.

More information about Gateway and Ray Salter can be found on their website http://www.gatewayarts.org/.