Documenting the Light | Blog of Joshua Ballinger aka Documenting the Light Filmmaker Artist Activist Documentary Video Travel Lifestyle Fashion
Joshua Ballinger, Documentingthelight, Documentary Video, Story telling, film maker, artist, activist
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NY I Love you

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So I’m in New York at the moment, just got back to my friends house after a full day of shooting. had a lunch meeting with Andrew Jenks, a guy we’re considering hiring to help write the story for H-Factor. His film about living in an Assited Living Facility was rather impressive considering he made the film when he was 19. What was funny about the meeting was that we met at a nice hotel/restaurant, in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and the guys showed up in T-shirts, and I’m pretty sure one of them was high. Granted they’re film makers, so we don’t expect them to be fancy….. I was Happy to have on a nice shirt and jacket, and felt like I was holding the power.

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We had a shoot tonight, with Eric Weiner, who wrote a book called the Geography of Bliss. He did a reading at KGB bar in East Village, which was a cool atmosphere, and his wit made it quite entertaining. The premise of his book was searching for where the happiest place was on earth, or rather where people are the happiest.

He started the night by telling a story about how he went to the World Database of Happiness in Rotterdam, and met Professor Veenhoven. Whats funny about this, was I too have been to Rotterdam to interview professor Veenhoven. He described the details of what his office looked like, and how he held himself, and I must say he was spot on. So I guess we’re on the right path of chasing happiness, or I should say we’re continuing to cross the right paths.

Took the subway around town today and as you would expect it was full of characters…..

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I really wish LA would figure out how to make Public Transit work…..

Sorry for the poor picture quality, these were taken with my phone. Photography is instant gratification; with film you have to go back and edit, and can be very time consuming, and projects can quickly pile up.

you can see more iphone pictures here

Shys Record release

I started logging all the footage of Delta Spirit and will take some time to start editing that stuff down.

So I thought I would post an Oldie but Goodie.

I made this video for the Shys Record Release Party

The Batcave

I did some more shooting with Delta Spirit this time we were at their studio in San Clemente. My friend Ryan Roco came along and took some stills click on his name to look at his blog.

heres a little glimpse of the action

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I love how this picture is split between the outside and inside

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Interviews are a key part to telling peoples stories, we were lucky enough to find this random setting to do ours.

Delta Does SF

Made a last minute decision to go with Delta Spirit to San Fransisco to watch/record them playing at NoisePop at Cafe du Nord. My night was quickly made when I talked to the house manager and explained that I had left a tripod here 7-8 months ago, the last time I was here with D.Spirit and Dr Dog. Much to my surprise the manager went to go check the lost and found, and ended up coming out with my tripod. i assumed it was lost after never hearing back from them….so a bit of good luck be-fell me.

This venue was quite a bit smaller than OC performing arts, and you could feel the intimacy here. The Guys played a great set, and many of the fans were saying that they stole the show…much like the review in OC weekly .

I’m happy to see the guys getting good reviews.

i haven’t gotten a chance to sort through all the footage yet, but snapped a couple pictures of Matt on the drive up.

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video will be up soon!

Changing(delta) Spirit Orange County

Went to see my friends the Delta Spirit play with the Walkmen last night, and did some filming for my Documentary. I ussually don’t even film the performances anymore, it ussually more about the venue, and the people, and checking in on whats new with everybody’s life. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them, because they were on tour for a while.

I’m too lazy to edit, the footage because I’ve been editing all day, but here are my selects, and you could image what it’d look like if I had energy to edit.
Heres a nice picture that ryan roco took_mg_8081.jpg

So I’m a huge Obama Supporter, and have been working on some grass root campaigns. One of which is making Obama LA shirts.

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I wore one of the shirts to the show last night, and got lots of compliments, and spurred lots of interesting conversations.

the brotherhood

I’ve always had a deep appreciation for music, growing up in the bubble of Orange County, music was what saved my life, and allowed me to leave even if it was just in my thoughts. I’ve played music for a while now, and because of it, I have lots of really talented musician friends. I gave up my dreams of being a Rock star long ago, but get to live the life vicariously through my friends. When I was first leaning about film in school, I would practice shooting all my friends bands. At the time I didn’t know why I was doing it, but I started telling their story. I found the subjects as interesting if not more interesting than the music. There was a few other things that clicked in my brain, but soon became clear that I wanted to make Documentary films. So I have continued shooting my friends bands, keeping tabs on their journeys, and will piece it all together when I’m ready. I wanted to have a concept for the film, that was bigger than just the music, or just one band, and I’m trying to show how many of these bands have been getting their inspiration form the 60’s, but more important than the sound, are the ideas. I like to believe the idea that social revolution is still possible, and maybe I’m projecting my goals onto the bands, but I know from talking to my friends that they feel the same way. Music is a powerful platform, especially for the youth, and I’m excited to see whhat these guys do with it. I’m going to try and edit some excerpts now that I have this Blog as an outlet to show them.

Thanks for reading my thoughts this morning

I included this little video as a reward.

It’s super raw, the “Brotherhood” were improving some blues covers

Hacieda Prints

Still working on H-Factor Trailer, been working from my home office, so every now and then I need to take little breaks and touch base with the rest of the world via the Internet.

Last Night I worked on one of my side projects, Hacienda Prints. We started making our own screens in our apartment in Echo Park, and started giving shirts to our friends.
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We make our own designs, which has its influxes of what we can all agree on as being good designs, but having a few different designers allows for diverse styles. My style tends to lean toward more boutique stlye with the sloppy hand made-ness being part of what makes it special. Darren likes the Skate/Pop culture of T-shirts, Max likes Music/Band style Shirts, and Jared likes the Cult/Niche hipster style of shirts.
My First design Virgin Mary
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Sex Sells
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My First attempt at making some marketing materials
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We then got some opportunities to do some live screen printing at events. People are fascinated by the process, and we’ve been marketing ourselves around this idea. In LA people throw parties all the time for all sorts of reasons, and having a hired photographer is pretty much standard these days, and now instead of just giving away shirts to promote your event, you have the shirts being printed live at the event.Hammer Museum
Last Night we did an Event at the Hammer Museum called Paper Trails, the idea being to help get UCLA students more involved with the Museum. I took some time myself to walk around and check out the exhibits. They also had some live painting as part of the event and met a cool artist Max Neutra.
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I like events like this where I get to interact with people meet other artists, I like inspiring, and acting as a role model for the college students, that want to pursue a careers in the arts.

I got some Photos that I worked on Published this month in Filter Magazine.

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We actually got the cover of the Filter Mini that they pass out for free all over the Country
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So I was thinking that this would be a cool job, a Photo-Journalist for Space.
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H-factor Drafts

I’ve been working on a Documentary about Happiness for about a year now with Lisa Kamen. I started out as a camera operator, and since then my responsibilities have expanded to every aspect of production. We’ve shot over 150 hours of footage, and have traveled all over. It has been a rewarding project as the subject matter is something that pertains to everyone, and I’ve got to interview and meet some truly amazing people. We have tried to sample as many different people from as many walks of life as possible, and have focused on combining the Spiritual and the Scientific definitions of Happiness.

For the last week, I started roughing out this version of the trailer, where I was aiming to really show Lisa and Kayla’s adventure, and introduce them as characters that will take us on the journey and discovery of happiness.

Upon reviewing this version with Lisa and Rachel, we decided that it was a bit flat, and that we needed to add a little more tension. Show the difficulties in trying to get a 10 year to cooperate, or the struggle most people have with trying to be happy. So this is my task for this week, to build some tension and excitement for this film.

My New Blog

Well I’m starting this Blog as part of my new website, which has been a long time coming. I appreciate the power of the Internet, and want to somehow try and stay on the cutting edge of what’s possible. At this point in my career I’ve acquired enough production experience to tell the stories I want to. I’ve chosen to focus on documentaries as I feel that is the best medium for me to express my ideas. I don’t like boxing myself, and try to apply my creativity to everything I do. I’m still shooting photos, started a new project with my friend Ryan Roco, called Purple Ninja Photography as way to try and market some of our photos towards magazines.

I really enjoy conceptualizing what I think would be brilliant art, fashion, installation, music, whatever… I’m trying to create a couple installations for a gallery my friends run in Berlin called the Spielraum. They’ve already offered to show my work there, when I was there two years ago. I was lucky enough to be there to help set up for the opening, and tape some of the opening party. I had started to make an instructional video about how to pick up after your dog after it shits to post as an installation in the window. Anyone that spent some time in the Kruetzberg in Berlin knows why they need this. I recently created an installation of the beach with waves, and the freeway with cars, and drawing comparisons between their meditative qualities. My idea is to have the waves shown with the freeway audio on one wall, and on another wall across would be the freeway with the sounds of the ocean. I edited one short video that had both videos in it, so you can get a sense of what I’m talking about.

I also recently started creating a video wallpaper to be projected behind my friends The Voxhaul Broadcast, while they play their shows. Still deciding on the concept as a whole, but have started with a study of birds flying in large groups. I love the way they form a shape, and how this shape moves and evolves, it has an organic quality that would be impossible to re-create.I’ve recently been doing some experimenting with my friends camera the HVX-200, which allows we to shoot in 720p. What I’m most interested in is the ability it has to shoot in multiple frame rates, that I then can manipulate in Final Cut to slow down, or speed up. I did some test with my friends, smoking cigarettes, and by slowing down the footage shot at 60 frames to 24, gave me a clean slow motion, that made simple acts seem so much more dynamic.