New Portfolio Site (& Bye-bye, Recent Work Blog!)

Head on over to sufacist.com to see the very latest in my commercial and artistic portfolio. You will note that this recent work blog is no longer part of my portfolio site, and alas, this shall be the very last post on this blog. It has had a good run, over 8 years have elapsed from the warm spring afternoon when I sat at my desk in my railroad apartment in Greenpoint and decided I ought to have a way to post small pieces of work, work-in-progress, and updates. But alas, this blog has outlived the purpose it was created for, and the time has come for a merciful end.

If anyone is subscribed to this blog, I am flattered by and grateful for your interest and support. You really should email or call me, or at the very least check out all the other means to connect with me on the new portfolio site. I would be very glad to hear from you.

Bye and Thanks,
Jon

Pop Meets the Void at Museum of the Moving Image

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Hey New Yorkers! Pop Meets the Void will be screening at the Museum of the Moving Image in Long Island City on Friday, March 18th, as part of the Queens World Film Festival, where the film has been nominated for Best Narrative Feature, Best Director, and Best Cinematography. Get tickets here and catch our labor of love on what is quite possibly “the best big screen in New York City” (Village Voice).

Some long-overdue updates on this very cool project are coming right up!

The Cows Come Home

The Mach Family Farm in Pawlet suffered a serious fire last May. Fast action by the farmers saved nearly the entire herd of dairy cows, and Pawlet’s volunteer firefighters put in a tremendous turn of work alongside firefighters from six surrounding communities. The fire was stopped before it took the entire barn, but the milking parlor was destroyed, and without a milking parlor, a dairy farm is out of business. The night of the fire, farmers from up and down the valley descended on the Mach Farm, and by dawn, all the cows that needed milking were distributed to neighboring farms.

Seven months after the fire, a new milking parlor was ready to go to work, and the cows could come home.

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Phil Mach and his daughter Julie in the new milking parlor.

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The oldest barn at the Mach farm dates back three generations.

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The youngest resident of the barn was born yesterday. These heifers belong to other local farmers, and were swapped to the barns at the Mach farm to make room for Phil’s cows that need to be milked.

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This interior partition used to be the front of the newest barn at the farm. The new milking parlor occupies what was empty space between this barn and the the barn that partially burned. When the fire occurred, we put our first engine about at the spot this photo was taken from to defend the new barn from the flames.

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The first step in getting the cows home is to send the heifers back to their homes.

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Will, who works a dairy operation a few miles down the valley, heads towards the Mach farm on Rt. 30 with cows in tow.

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The newest members of the farm’s workforce are robots. This one moves feed around for the cows. A warning placard advises humans to watch out for the robots.

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Putting the finishing touches on the new milking parlor. The system is robotic, allowing the cows to essentially milk themselves by walking into the red machines, where they get a treat of grain to eat while a robot uses a laser map of their udders to precisely place the suction cups. The cows wear collars to identify themselves to the robots. These are the first robotic milking machines in the valley.

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David, who farms down the valley, opens the doors on the cow trailer…

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…and the first of the cows comes home.

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The cows return a half dozen at a time.

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Julie Mach watches as the herd returns to her family’s farm. Julie grew up on the farm and now raises her children in the farmhouse, which was her grandmothers.

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Phil Mach keeps tabs on his herd. He has not milked at his own farm in seven months, and now faces the daunting task of getting the herd accustomed to the new machines. This is expected to take about three days.

Thanks to Julie and Phil for having me down to shoot these images, and congratulations to the whole Mach Farm crew on turning this new page in their farm’s history.

Pop Takes “Best Feature Film” at the 2015 LES Film Festival!

10437818_890082381039796_2385087809724468578_nPop Meets the Void took “Best Feature Film” at the Lower East Side Film Festival last night! I am at something of a loss for how to express how honored, gratified and humbled I am by this tremendous piece of recognition. We had figured our film as far too unconventional for this kind of thing, but only a fool would underestimate a jury that includes members of the Beach Boys, the BitStrips guy, and Parker Posey, among other luminaries. I am deeply grateful to the wonderful people at the Lower East Side Film Festival for their tremendous support of our project, and to all of my friends and colleagues who came out last Tuesday to support our premiere.

Needless to say, this is surely only the beginning of the road for this film…

Pop Meets the Void World Premiere

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After laboring alone in rooms mysteriously filled with white light for two years, the time has finally come to unleash our creation upon the world. Pop Meets the Void will have its world premiere at the Lower East Side Film Festival in New York, NY on June 16th. The screening will take place at the Anthology Film Archives in the East Village as the “Mind Fuck Night” feature, which sounds to us like as fine a programming choice as could be imagined.

Tickets are available here, and as though the talkback with director William Cusick that will occur after the screening won’t be worth the $15 itself, this showing includes FREE BEER! No, seriously, there will apparently be free wine and beer. When you make the big time, you make the big time.

My sincerest thanks to all of my collaborators on this big, wild project, especially our devoted Kickstarter backers. I can’t want to show you all what we have made.

Old Sky: “Golden Hour”

My very talented friends Andrew and Shay, who record and perform as Old Sky, asked for my help getting a video of their music on the web. The concept for capturing the magic of their live performance was very simple: record them playing the song live. This might have posed a challenge with many bands, but the musicianship of these two made it a simple task. The venue we shot in is Pawlet’s old town hall auditorium. Though not-quite-entirely renovated, the space is a bona fide pre-amplification music performance space, dating to about 1820, and the acoustics were stellar. Long disused, this might have been the first time this space has seen live music in decades. Good light on a late winter morning took care of the rest.

I shot, directed, edited, and handled all post production tasks on this piece.

Almost Blue: Hot Tamale End Credits

This fun little end credits sequence came about when my colleague Benjamin at Almost Blue approached me with a unique challenge: he needed an end credit sequence for a micro-doc he was producing for a client, and it had to contain a LOT of copy and a number of logos, but he didn’t want to see the energy and spirit he’d built up so carefully in his edit peter out in a barrage of scrolling text at the end. The solution I came up with was to ditch the traditional scroll and instead lay out the copy as advertisements on a page of newspaper. This solution not only gives the various collaborators and sponsors of the festival their due, but it keeps the fun and watchable feel of the piece going right to the end.