Exit 12, a film directed by @mogorjestani, released today as a staff pick premiere. When Mo came to me with this film I had no clue how much it would impact my life. At this point in my career I was going through some serious health problems (ones that fortunately I have recovered from) and each day on set had to be something that was a very conscious choice. This film reminded me of why I do what I do, and why filmmaking is such an important aspect of who I am as a person.
Exit twelve tells the story of a dance company in NY that was founded by Roman Baca who served two tours in the Iraq war.
Having a brother in active military, and a lot of family and friends that served, this was a very meaningful topic for myself. Hopefully this sheds some light on an often forgotten demographic of our society.
This film is for my brother, Rory, my grandfather and the countless other men and women that have served. It’s funny, not a single one of the veterans I met on this project chanted “build that wall” or had any thoughts on bringing America back to its “former glory.” Maybe a little something to think about when we see the GOP claim to speak for veterans, but not listen to them.
Mo wanted the photography to be as honest as possible. This meant avoiding any photography that was self serving and “beautiful” without just cause. Thank you Mo for pushing me to be a more humble filmmaker.
Link in bio
Thank you to a very special crew. I love you all. Color by @jennymontgomery At Co3
Shot in Arri Alexa w/ @panavisionofficial Ultra speeds, and @kodak_shootfilm 7219, 7213
Steadicam @devon_catucci And @mphauer
Key Grip Mark Boucher
1st AC @rachelbatashvili
Special thanks to @marni.z For taking lots of gear for very little money.
@kodak_shootfilm 7219, 7266 and Orwo 74 film.
• @drielycarter reminded me to stop praising square bullshit, and to always do your own thing. Thank you @ninameredith for the fun collaborations. Commercials might pay my bills, but projects like these are what makes it all worth it.
Thanks to a great crew as well. Y’all crushed it.
Color by the wonderful @ayumiashleycolor
When I decided to move to New York, I had two months to make things happen. I allowed myself only five medium size boxes. It was a life changing experience: I’ve always prided myself as someone that doesn’t idolize material possessions, but until you are faced with letting go of things, you really can hide this behind saying “I’m a minimalist.” I would go through my stuff each day and slowly come to terms with letting go of something new. One day it would be some old cards, the next it would be a piece of furniture, or a book that I hadn’t read in a while. It was seriously the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. In a way it was humbling and left me saying “oh you think your possessions don’t own you, well ok, get rid of most of them, then.” The only exception to this was my SR3 and a large box of 16mm Film. There was about 15000 feet of film of different varieties. Once in my hiatus in Montana, I began to worry about how I would babysit all of the film with my next 6 months fairly uncertain in terms of living situation. So in purely an effort to get rid of Film, I texted @charliebuhler and asked if she had a story that was personal to her that she wanted to shoot. Maybe something in South Dakota. She pitched me on a few things that I thought were decent ideas, but then she said “wait I have one that super personal,” and several weeks later I was in South Dakota with @_kirsten_ shooting one of the most meaningful projects that I’ve shot in the last ten years.
I’m a way this was my first shoot back in a month and it kind of has become the tone for my entire career at the moment: every job that I’ve done since this point has been something that I’ve really wanted to do.
I’m curious if I would have had the same feeling had I not taken this project.
Anyway, enjoy a few stills for now!
@kodak_shootfilm 7219, 7207, 7217, 7218, 7212
Mitchel, SD 2018