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My First Class Reel

2013 was a year of artistic awakening for me.  I had just endured a profoundly influential breakup that shook my view of the world out of its comfort zone.  Stubborn and frightened, yet empowered with a sturdy group of artists as my roommates, I set out on a path of self-discovery that led me through a cavernous intellectual landscape of desire and yearning.  Along the way I encountered the fruits of human expression in its most extended beauty, the artists personifying a revived belief in greatness, auteurism, and love.

It began with a series of photographs of my hometown.

Then I collaborated with the endlessly entertaining Raquel Rodriguez on a series of fashion photographs.

My Reflecting Series was what really took it to a new level.  One of the photos made it to the second round of voting at the Paris International Fine Arts Photography Festival.

Something was unraveling inside of me, I felt.  I began to make work that challenged convention and existed for no one other than myself.  The first was Glass Box, which I shot in Black and White natively out of an instinctive thought that it would look better that way.

French Horn, to date, is my favorite piece, at a beautiful waterfall that the lovely Noemi Bodnar discovered online.

Anderson & Roe were perhaps the single most influential people I met all year.  They were quaking with enthusiasm at the work of art before them - an epic 35 minute surreal music video of themselves playing Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.  They brought me on to film the artistc shots after seeing Glass Box.

Suspended Ballet was one of those rare coincidences that only happens in the movies.  I stumbled into Robin Murez' art gallery on Abbot Kinney, and she invited me to film an exhibition of aerialists that were performing that very evening.

Meredith McMurray is an amazing woman.  A former marine, she runs a massage therapy company.

Allison Walter and Joe Henley were a dream to work with.  The entire concept, script, and execution came together in 24 hours, not least because of Alex Hill's 2nd Unit Solutions in providing the squib and hazer effects.

The reels business began to take off.  Here are the reels I have made to date since officially launching the business.

Hope you like it.  Like me on Facebook and Twitter if you do!

Darwin Carlisle
Director and CEO
First Class Reels