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Things That Make You Go Hmmmm….

Updated: Aug 24, 2023


 

JUMP TO SECTION: 1. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! 2. Oppenheimer 3. Trump’s Prophets 4. Baltimore Bday Bash

 

FAVE PHOTO: Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Eze Jackson at The Compound
Where am I? I kept asking myself this question when I recently went to a party for the Baltimore Beat (a new local Black-led newspaper and media outlet). The event was in a place called, The Compound. How had I never been to this space which apparently has been open since 2010? When my ride left at midnight, I had the choice to leave with my friends or stick around and see what happens after my carriage turned into a pumpkin. So glad I stayed a couple more hours. Inside and out there were back-to-back DJs and bands and the beautiful assortment of Baltimore City characters that keep me loving this community.

Lately I’ve been blown away by the access granted to me and my lens. Below are some faves from different shoots over the past couple of months. Highlights include shooting my good friend and fantastic Americana singer-songwriter, Caleb Stine who performed at Camden Yards before the Orioles’ game. Other faves are from Baltimore Pride, First Thursday Concerts in the Park hosted by WTMD, Union Craft Brewery’s 11th Anniversary, The Depot Open Mic (in the parking lot), AFRAM where the Isley Brothers played 30 feet away from me, Metro Gallery at the opening party for the New/Next Film Festival, the Royal Blue bar, and the unbelievable experience at Patapsco State Park for the Deadly Venoms Crew’s 27th reunion.


 
 

VIEWING RECOMMENDATION: Oppenheimer

MY RATINGS: SCALE OF 1-4

Intensity: 😮😮😮😮 Comedy: X Drama: 😢😢😢😢

Writing: 🤔🤔🤔 Originality: 🧐🧐🧐 Cinematography: 😍😍😍😍


Intense. That’s the primary thought that comes to mind walking out of the theater. Actually, while sitting in my seat as the credits rolled, I thought, this is one of those films you hesitate to get up from. Not because you want to see who was key grip or best boy, but because you want to let the moment linger while you take in all you experienced.


The drama that unfolds in this uniquely filmed and directed true story lets you be a witness to an historic moment that has no easy answers. Wrestling with someone’s moral obligation to create a weapon that will literally change the world is the uncomfortable place I went to in my head throughout this movie. It feels like we’re given a judgement seat with the hindsight of knowing the world in which we now must exist. And do we condemn or condone, execute or exculpate J. Robert Oppenheimer? Watch and decide for yourself. I’d be happy to hear your thoughts.

 
 

VIDEO PROJECT: Trump’s Prophets


I honestly couldn’t have imagined a world where I would be directing and editing a film that had “Trump” in its name... unless it was about playing cards. This 24-minute documentary I co-produced with the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies is about Christian Nationalism. The content may be hard to swallow for some.


The focus of this short movie is to explain the thinking of a unique group of Independent Charismatic Christians who have created a theology that believes Christians should be in the top positions in every nation’s important social structures. We use the January 6th riot as an example of how this community showed up outside the Capitol to perform spiritual warfare in order to see Donald Trump remain in office.


If you think that’s scary, wait until you hear what else they believe! If you’d like to see the film, send me a note and I’ll get you a password protected link to see it before it’s released. Here’s a 1-minute trailer:



 
 

WORK: Live Baltimore’s Birthday Bash



Live Baltimore is a fantastic organization that encourages folks to live in the city I’ve called home for 20 years. They host an annual birthday party for the city that brings together many of the key leaders in our city along with whomever buys a ticket to the event. The video above was shot by me and my colleague, Matt Adams. I edited it and feel pretty great about the way it expresses the excitement of the evening.


Thankfully, after my duties were done, the party continued and I got a chance to dance for the final hour. Lately, I’ve bumped into folks I haven’t seen in awhile and they comment about how I seem to be everywhere - shooting photos and videos. Some would think its all I do. Work, work, work and no play. But a fellow Baltimore photog sent me a pic they took of me (not from the Baltimore Birthday Bash, but at the New/Next Film Festival opening party) and their comment posted above the photo says it all...


 
 

If you dig what you’ve read...please subscribe (at the top of the page) and send a link to folks you think might enjoy it. Contact me at michaelivan@loud-communications.com with any questions, comments, or if you’d like to have me produce a video or photo for you. Check out my instagram and website.


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