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Laura Welsh "Cold Front"

So a few years ago, my wife started watching So You Think You Can Dance. Terrible title for a show, but it really showcases some amazing dance talent. Before that show, my picture of dance was either ballet, those terrible dance recitals with 5 year old girls dressed in some burlesque costume and gobs of makeup, or a sports halftime show with a dance line purely composed to give guys an extra reason to attend a sporting event.

With that TV show, I found dance can express way more than just pure sexuality. There is complexity, story and emotion in dance.

In the last year or so I've seen some videos like this one that really make me want to attempt to choreograph a dance specifically for the camera. Something that takes dance off of the stage and creates its own performance for the screen only. 

This is quite an amazing feat of skill to so fluidly combine physical movement with shadow, and how it transforms throughout the piece is breathtaking. Setting the bar high for excellently choreographed dance videos. 

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Making Art on Vimeo

This is a great series to watch if you have the time.

One of the hardest questions for me to answer is "What do you do?"

I've had such a diverse career. I've been a family portrait photographer. I've been a youth directer.  I've been a filmmaker, an audio engineer, and back to a filmmaker. I can fill a role as a grip, gaffer, sound recorder, cinematographer. So how do I answer that question?

I have an employer who would refer to me as their artist in residence. For a long time that felt very uncomfortable for me. Am I an artist? Artists, to me, were people I've always related to, had friendships with, but they always had a more eccentric quality that made their art interpret the world in a way I never thought I could. I thought there was something that made them far different from me. I wasn't eccentric enough or unique enough to really consider myself an artist.

I ended up doing a series of videos that focused on artists, and as I started hearing their stories and seeking out other stories of artists, I realized I am an artist. That word was one that took a lot of time to come to terms with for me, and I still wouldn't go around introducing myself "Hi, I'm Ryan, I'm an artist." But I let myself know that I am on the inside. That is part of my identity, and it is important for me to accept it. It allows a different kind of freedom to pursue new creative expressions. It has allowed me to tap into a whole different kind of work as a filmmaker. 

So this is probably the only place you'll ever hear me say it out-loud, but yes, my name is Ryan and I am an artist. 

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Kara

I'm kind of obsessed with this website Future Timeline, where I saw this little gem.  

I'm in the middle of my 4th rewrite of a short script based in the future about the singularity.  This film is mesmerizing.  I love the simplicity.  Two characters, one unseen.  One location.  Tons of emotion!  

I hate when I find that movie that seems similar yet so much better than the one I'm writing... The reality is that it is just different.  Every film has its own merits.  It's all just my own insecurities that like to come out when I run across someone like David Cage.  Well done sir!

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LAX – Bradley International Terminal

Great video is everywhere!  This is really such an interesting time to be a filmmaker.  On the one hand American cinema (the very reason I got in this business), according to some, is dying.  On the other hand, video is everywhere!  There are so many ways video is being implemented.  Here at the Bradley International Terminal at LAX, amazingly beautiful images are created, and a whole audience passes through on a gigantic scale every day.  

I was once waiting at a DMV that had a TV screen that played old Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton silent films.  I thought it was a genius way to make that wait a little more tolerable as well as give people a solid history lesson.

What are other examples of video being publicly exhibited?

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The Last Ice Merchant (El Último Hielero)

I think documentarians dream of characters like this.  Not to mention the stunning landscapes.  Beautiful photography makes this documentary easy on the eyes, but the story is beautifully told and makes it something you want to pass along. 

The natural sounds transport the viewer right into the community.  The music fills in the transitions and adds perfectly to the experience of the culture.

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