Last week was SXSW in Austin. My sister flew down from Seattle to hang out. We saw Big Boi at the Austin Power Plant, Foo Fighters and TV on the Radio at Stubbs, and Wu Tang Clang with Erykah Badu at the Austin Music Hall.
I received a call a couple of weeks ago from a good friend Ben Kutchins asking if I knew anyone in Austin who does videography. I referred him to half a dozen local filmmakers, editors and videographers I've met in the last year. The job was for SPIN magazine for a SXSW feature. Although they didn't need a photographer, it felt really good to be able to pass on work to friends. The day before the shoot Ben called to let me know that their main photographer cancelled. They booked me for three days of portraits.
The shoot was set up in a side building/storage shed at Stubbs, a huge venue in downtown Austin. They turned the room into a country store sort of set up with a bar, rocking chairs, wooden barrels scattered about, and taxidermy and wagon wheels on the walls. Artist would come in, do an interview with the head of SPIN.com and then I would pull them to the side to shoot a quick portrait.
I am pretty lucky because I can never remember who anybody is. I don't remember quotes from movies, the names of bands, actors or celebrities. I can't remember what most famous people look like and I can't recall songs unless you sing them to me. This minimizes any starstruck-ness.
First up was two members from Explosions in the Sky. I pulled them aside after the interview and introduced myself. "I know you!" Munaf Rayani said. Turns out he is an Austin local and frequents the same coffee shop as me- where I just hung my photo show. He recognized my name and my bookmark. How cool is that?
Next up was Gayngs, The Bangles, Duran Duran (who gave a killer interview), Little Dragon (a Swedish band who has a member that I'm in luv with), Surfer Blood (whose lead singer acted like he was too good to answer questions that Duran Duran answered), and Chromeo (who I've danced naked to a dozen times).
The second day we shot Wild Flag (later I was told that one of the chicks was from Sleater-Kinney, who I would have totally girl-crush-gushed over... but I didn't recognize her), then Moby (who I thought was black... ¿ ... he's not), B.o.B., and Bob Geldof (who said I was a beautiful girl. I don't know who he is but I think I'm in love), and Cisco Adler... not thong song Cisco. My favorite quote of the day was from Cisco- "I came out of the vagina ready to rock some shows." awesome.
The third day we shot Panic at the Disco, Black Lips, Pentagram, Liz Phair (who was super rad to shoot and inspired additional creativity), Diplo (who is more intelligent than his twitter feed would let on to), and Theophilus London who presence seeps timeless class into the air. My bootie made the Thephilus London video. Holler.
You can watch the videos here.