POSTER PORN - EPISODE 2 : NXNE 2014

Come and witness The Posterz’ bass dropping rampage in this second episode of Poster Porn, chronicling their NXNE 2014 performances in Toronto – Vice Island, Tattoo, and Bruise Cruise (watch episode 1 here). This philosophical ass feature (with cameos from Bruce Lee and shit) gives a slight behind the scenes glimpse of Pharrell-looking boys of The Posterz as they prepare for and celebrate their first ever time at NXNE – a performance which marks the largest concert the trio have ever taken part in. Come along for the ride, filmed by Vinoth Varatharajan.

Words by Kazie Holiday - A huge thanks to The Hundreds and The Posterz! Check out the Episode 1 here.

I will be posting a breakdown of the whole process of filming and editing of this film in the upcoming weeks. For now, here is the inspiration behind the episode's intro sequence. A cross bred of intros of the Golden Era of adult films and Indian movies.

LAST WEEK ON MY PHONE

Traditionalism is fucking boring. So...I know a guy - who knows a girl - who knows a girl - who opened a hipster food joint. She said the website is in need of freshly shot culinary photos. I asked her if it's cool to shoot it with my phone? She said as long as it looks good. I showed her some samples. We in business. Oh...and also shot a music video for them Zoo Legacy boys and took a creepy self portrait.

EARLY MORNING DRIVE BY

So...right after the Zoo Legacy's show [the post below], the guys went for the after-party and sadly, I went to the Greyhound station to catch the last bus to Toronto. But -- once I had a good breakfast with my cousin, I was happy again. Then sad. Then happy. Then sad. Then happy. Then I wasn't sure how or what to feel anymore. Then I saw it. I saw the sign! I'm a huge fan of the series. I've seen it all and the two movies. I mean, HUGE fan. I mean, I was about to get "Trust No One" inked. I was gazing at the sign and I remembered the episode.

Mulder: Scully, I was like you once. I didn't know who to trust. Then I... I chose another path... another life, another fate, where I found my sister. The end of my world was unrecognizable and upside down. There was one thing that remained the same. You were my friend, and you told me the truth. Even when the world was falling apart, you were my constant. My touchstone.

Scully: And you are mine.

And that...that made my freaking day!

ZOO LEGACY AT THE E.L.E. FEST WITH SONREAL

This makes the second time that I'm witnessing the guys perform live and in the words of my good friend Jeremy Jahns, the homecoming show of Zoo Legacy's "The Flight Risk" tour was awesometacular! The show was held as part of the E.L.E. Fest at the University of Ottawa. Always a good feeling playing at home. The soirée was closed by a spirited performance by Vancouver based hip-hop artist SonReal. And yes, you are correct! I was editing the photos while listening to "Flashing...Lights..Lights...Lights" on repeat. That flute made do it.

CONTACT HIGH

I take pride [sometimes] on being a Jake Hoyt when it comes to blazing. However, when you are inside a 100 ft2 studio room, ten feet below the earth's surface [literally], with 4 people blazing, you are aimed to get some sort of contact high. Till today I'm not certain what exactly happened or how I behaved. I do remember that, I was editing these photos while being under the influence. It sounds cool when I say "I was under the influence of such and such outlawed drug(?)".

Q&A SESSION - ASK ME ANYTHING!

I did this interview last June [2013] for a student at Prasad Film And Tv Academy in Chennai, India and I've accumulated a bag full of more questions since. My craft grew. My clients grew. My business sense grew and I dropped my day job. A lot of things have changed in the past 15 months. It's only fair to answer the questions since I have/and can answer from my own personal growth in this industry.

You can ask me anything from my work to where I'm hosting my portfolio to the ever annoying what gear do I use. Any questions, please feel free to leave in my contact page through the contact form. It's easier for me to segregate that way. Kindly, do not use Twitter, Facebook or Instagram as I'm not active in those platforms. Thank you!

The video is about 30 minutes so to all the ADDs out there, here is a list of questions for the video above.

1:18 - About me
1:50 - How did I get started
2:54 - Education
4:28 - Why Street Photography
6:45 - Photography or Filmmaking
7:10 - Directing or Director Of Photography
7:39 - Qualification for a filmmaker
8:10 - How do you get work
8:30 - About the new world Internet
9:18 - My take on Tamil Cinema
10:00 - My first film - In Tamil or English
10:49 - Favorite Tamil Cinematographers
11:22 - Favorite Tamil Directors
12:35 - Does quality of camera matters or not
13:42 - Challenges on my work
15:14 - Dealing with disagreements
16:36 - Mistakes / Lessons
17:25 - Inspirations
18:41 - Sexuality on my work
23:48 - Advice for upcoming visual artists
25:30 - Business advice
26:29 - Being lonely and Soul searching

TALIB KWELI

I had the privilege to assist at Talib Kweli's conference where he discussed about his experience on the Ferguson incident. Most recently he made headlines when he appeared on CNN speaking with anchor Don Lemon about the ongoing riots in Ferguson, Missouri following the death of unarmed teenager Mike Brown.

During the interview, Talib was critical of Lemon and CNN for their coverage of the events, questioning the accuracy of their accounts of the situation which didn't match up what he says he experienced first-hand during the protests. The evening was hosted by Cult MTL's Darcy MacDonald.

After the conference, we [myself, a buddy of mine along side with Nate from The Posterz] had the chance to talk privately with Mr.Kweli on a vital issue; Police brutality. Without going into further details, I would like to say that something is in the work to bring the issue to the spotlight. Updates will be posted.

It was just surreal when I think how I first discovered him in my high school days and fast forward a decade to the conference and the moment I handled my contact card and a hand shake before closing the door. A massive shout out to my buddy Nissan for the invite. Without his network of some key people, we wouldn't be able to pull off the private q/a session.

SELF PORTRAITS LIT WITH AN iPAD

MY TWO CENTS ABOUT THE CRAFT OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND LIGHTING.

When you graduate from Robert Rodriguez's 10 minute film school, you learn one thing and one thing only. You gotta squeeze every penny. Yes, even if it manages to poke a hole and run through your veins as it did with Homer. You gotta squeeze that shit! It's not because you are trying to be cheap. It's simply because you are looking for alternative options and inject the savings into the more meaningful part of storytelling. Rodriguez taught us on how to cut corners by shooting with film negatives, thus his choices to save money made sense.

Now we are in a whole new era. The digital era. The moment when an average consumer purchased a DSLR on boxing day special and transform into a GWC and start posing on Instagram with hash-tags #studiolife #lovemyvintagelensnikonf1.2  #imshootingwithoutknowinthefuckimdoingbutwhocaresineedvalidationforwhatidoinlife #lovemyfuji #lovemynikon #lovemyblablabla, the options for lighting gear also became broader [and cheaper!].

HOW DO I APPROACH LIGHT

My primary go to source of light is the sun. It's broad and it's cheap! Especially the twilight periods. A solid third of my portfolio is shot between 5 and 8 in the morning. Especially my films. 

I get lot of emails asking on how do I light or tips on lighting. My answer is simple. Analyze your light source and work around it. You will be surprised what you can achieve just with a pack of reflectors. If you lighting interior, flick on one source of light and work around it. Unless you are trying to light a glass house, lighting shouldn't be a hair pulling process. Another tip is to watch a TON of movies! Try to aim for dramas as they have the tendency to create emotions. My favorite go to source is Korean films. Dear god, those folks know how to create mood and suck you in! My good friend and photographer Khalik Allah said it best - Composition is the son. Subject is the holy spirit and Light is God! Combined together, they form the Trinity.

PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE CRAFTSMEN

It is so sad that these days the term 'photographer' is viewed in a skeptical fashion. Too many "I capture your moments" tagline. Too many gear porn addicts. Too much profile picture of covering the face while squinting an eye with the camera's brand. Too much faded vintage look with blown highlights. Too much of a number game of followers and likes. Too much Facebook comment noise. Too much Instagram pollution. Yes, I get it. You can press a button. Yes, I get it. You can apply a preset. Yes, I get it. You spray and fucking pray all day. Yes, I get it. You pose next to your lens or a vintage camera that you bought on Ebay. I get the "look at me, I'm a cool photographer, now someone please validate my life with a like or a follow". I get all your noise. But where is the signal? But where is your body of work? 

Maybe it's time for you to learn what the hell that little black box of yours does for a change? Maybe try out new lighting techniques? Maybe, just maybe, practice the craft of photography and not be distracted with the unnecessary things attached to the craft. In all other words, maybe it's time for you to finally stop performing like a photographer and actually BE ONE! Photographers are craftsmen. A good craftsman can produce a piece of art regardless the tools at his disposal. 

Photography is all about creatively shaping and molding light. Repeat it. Photography is all about light. Once more. Photography is all about light. The camera is simply a tool to express your creativity. For lack of a better term, the whole megapixel and brand wars is equal to measuring and comparing your dick size to whomever. You got one right? It functions right? Then focus on using it properly than bragging about it! Drops mic. Open Letter by Swizzy and Jay-Z starts to play.

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THE SETUP

That being said, the photos on this post are test shots for an upcoming portrait shoot. I took these in my bathroom lit with an app called Flashlight on the iPad. I was holding the iPad in various angles to play with the shadows and highlights. The camera was set to burst on timer tethered to Capture One. This is my third edit with C1 and I must say, I'm gradually moving to C1 as I find the raw conversion is much refined compared to Lightroom. In addition, tethering is heavenly! For the curious minds out there, I was having a conversation on speaker, thus the facial expressions. No, seriously I was. Seriously.