Jul 25, 2016

Hoop Dreams: Gordon James Models the Latest VINPIX "Dead Pixel" Tee Shirt

Actor Gordon James ( @gordezzy ) showed me his mad hoop skills wearing my latest tee shirt design.  Thank you Gordon for making my "Dead Pixel" short sleeve tee look good.  Here's a few of my favorites from the shoot.

Buy your own "Dead Pixel" HERE  See more product at vinpixstudios.com

Jul 14, 2016

A Few Questions with Veteran Sound Editor Don Hall

If you’re a fan of the iconic films: The French Connection, M.A.S.H., Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or Young Frankenstein, it’s likely that what made a lasting impression was not just what you saw but also what you heard.  And if you were lucky enough to see these groundbreaking features in the theatre, what you heard was a sound design that inspired countless cinematic storytellers.  The man largely responsible for all that sound is veteran sound editor, Don Hall.  Don has seen this company town go through an incredible technical change but as anyone who has ever spent time with Don will recognize- class and professionalism never go out of style.  Don has been a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for 52 years having served as a Governor of the Sound Branch for 18 years, he’s been a member of countless committees and is now serving as the CO-Chair of the Student Academy Awards.  

Photographed at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Sound Department where Don is a Professor of Cinematic Arts. 

VG: Tell me how you got started in sound?  What attracted you to this particular industry?

DH: It was not my intention to enter the sound or another motion picture field.  My aim was to become an Architectural Photographer at the end of WW II.  I attended The Art Center School in Los Angeles and during the first semester, the instructor asked the class “who is interested in filmmaking?”  I raised my hand and noted only one other student responded.  That is how Hal Stegman and I became the first film class at Art Center (1947).

Upon graduation I was employed by a small but very successful film company that specialized in industrial films and the budding television commercial business.  This attracted the eye of the guilds (unions) and they made Mercury International Pictures into a union company. I was given the choice of joining 2 unions, camera or editing, and I opted for editing because I could not afford to join camera.

Then I learned about the seniority system that banned new members from editing until they were in the union for 8 years.  I was allowed however to go into sound and that’s where I started.  I fell in love with the medium and I never once wanted to move to film editing.

VG: What was the most personally fulfilling project that you worked on?”

DH: This is a simple answer: All of them.  Each and every project, no matter how large or small, had challenges and all were rewarding.

VG: Were you influenced by films when you were young, before you got in the business?

DH: I never saw any movies when I was young.  I grew up during the depression and the only time we went to a movie was because they were giving a “dish” to all who attended.  This is how our family got dishes to eat on. So I was not influenced by any films.

VG: You’ve worked with greats like Mel Brooks, William Friedkin and Robert Altman just to name a few.  Can you tell us a little about those experiences?

DH: Mel did not want the Fox Feature Sound Editing department to cut Young Frankenstein.  Mel had a very bad experience with a studio crew on Blazing Saddles.  He finally committed when I said I would supervise and actually do the work.  It was the start of a very good relationship and continued to Silent Movie his next Fox commitment.

The studio execs did not understand the stylized overlapping dialogue in M.A.S.H.  No studio representative was present for the mix and I was asked to handle it all.  I enjoyed working with Robert Altman who strived for what he wanted to achieve.  I continued on to supervise the TV version for the first 3 years.

On The French Connection, William Friedkin was probably the most demanding director (from a sound viewpoint) I’ve ever worked with.  I was supervising with the Fox “feature” crew and sound editors. Grueling! Recorded all car FX with Hal Needham on the Fox back lot. 

Author Side Note: For anyone unfamiliar with the car scene with Gene Hackman, it is the car chase sequence.  Click HERE to see it.  Every filmmaker going forward knew that this was the action standard to beat second only to Bullitt with Steve McQueen.  Click HERE to see a breakdown of the sequence as told by William Friedkin on the DGA website.

VG: I know you as a highly respected artist in your field. Can you share any thoughts for anyone who has visions of becoming a top sound mixer?

DH: I appreciate your comment but so many things go into suggesting ways to be successful.  I was not a sound mixer but a Sound Editor (before Sound Design became the vogue).  And I worked as a Post Production Supervisor for 8-10 years, rounding out my career.

My suggestion is to be the best you can be in your field!  But be mindful that this is a collaborative medium with many people to satisfy (artistically and financially) so there’s lots of give and take.  In other words, whoever you offend will never become your friend and can hurt your career in the long run.

This is a small industry and every one knows every one.  Be the best you can, respect your co-workers and rewards will come your way!

Tags sound editing production post production audio don hall

Mar 18, 2016

Joshua Tree Adventures

Amazing couple of days & nights in Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley.  Recent rains produced vivid color and plant life on the desert floor.  Can't wait to go back.

Tags desert joshua tree plant life yucca valley

Feb 9, 2016

THR & Stuff

So great to see some of my Golden Globes shots in the January issue of The Hollywood Reporter

More pics here:  Ricky's Night, 2016 Golden Globes HBO Party

Tags hollywood reporter golden globes hbo circa 55 after party

Jan 12, 2016

Ricky's Night, 2016 Golden Globes HBO Party

HBO put on their Golden Globes after party at Circa 55 (formaly Trader Vic's) again this year hosting winners and losers.  Here's a few.

Jane Fallon, Ricky Gervais and Richard Plepler

Bryan Cranston, HBO's Richard Plepler and Glove winner Jon Hamm

Bryan Cranston and HBO's Michael Lombardo

Comic actor Matt Walsh and Jon Hamm

Brad Hall and Jon Hamm

Harrison Ford and David Oyelowo

Han Solo & Ally McBeal smooching

Ricky Gervais holding court with director Jay Roach

Liev Schreiber, Andy Samberg and Michael Lombardo

Rob Lowe hooks up a fan with an autograph

Rob Lowe and wife Sheryl Berkoff

Even Mel Gibson made an appearance

Selfie maddness

Larry David having a laugh

Niecy Nash and Michael Lombardo

Actor Sean Bean in a selfie huddle

Michael Lombardo and Emilia Clarke from "Game of Thrones"

Funny ladies, Zoe Lister-Jones and Angelique Cabral

Fashion blogger Oscar De Las Salas with Micheline Etkin

From "Silicon Valley," Zach Woods, Thomas Middleditch and Sam Richardson

"Bones" actress Michaela Conlin with friend

My favorite shot of the night.  Fresh off her win from "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" Rachel Bloom glowing with writer/producer Dan Gregor

Huge thanks to HBO's Adraina Fernandez for helping navigate the room

Party over!  Even waiting in line to get to my car seemed glitzie

Tags hbo golden globes circa 55 after party

Dec 14, 2015

Back to Paradise, Kauai Adventure

We finally got to return to our island paradise.  After a very busy end of year it was geat to spend some down time on Kauai.  I'll let the pictures do all the talking.

Flowers, flowers, flowers.  Couldn't get enough of the variety

Abandoned Aloha Theatre in Hanapepe

Once a grand stage

Tried shooting flowers at night with only a flashlight

From our balcony another perfect rainbow


More rainbows

Keeping them safe at Lydgate Beach

Chick and mamma

Wailua River valley

What are hicles?

Lighthouse at Ninini

Lavaflow at Brennecke's.  Yes please.

Shipwreck's Beach

Chilled fresh cocunut prepared by a local

End of day colors

Making friends

Another perfect sunset

Bannanas growing right outside of our room

Morning light


Ke'e Beach

Flower and color overload at McBryde Garden Botanical Garden

Spouting Horn

Monk Seal getting some sun

Mom with little ones greeting us every morning

THE spot.  Another walk at Shipwreck's Beach

Turtle in the surf

Playing with long exposures with flash.

Taking in our last day

Another perfect flower

Good night Hawaiian stars.  See you soon.

Tags kauai hawaii allerton garden tiki gecko lavaflow cocktail Hawaiian chickens tropical beach monk seal poipu aloha Hanapepe Lydgate Beach Wailua River Ninini Brennecke's Shipwreck's Beach Ke'e Beach Spouting Horn

Nov 6, 2015

Holiday Portraits with Hope, Tom & Sam

I had a such great time shooting with Hope, Tom and Sam for my White Winter Holiday Portrait series that I featured them in my November flyer.  Since this is LA, no boots or parkas here.  See below for a few of my other favories:

Tags family photos white party white winter

Oct 21, 2015

"The 213" T Featured in the Latest Israel Nash Video

Excited to see filmmaker Joselito Seldera wearing my “213” tee in the newly released Israel Nash music video “LA Lately” directed by Haroula Rose. Check it out below.  Get your own 213 here: vinpixstudios.com

The official "LA Lately"  music video by Israel Nash

Joselito in Venice Beach

With cinematographer Johanna Coelho

Like a boss JS getting real ink in front of the lens.  

Yes.  Pictures, tacos & curbs.

Tags graphic tees westcoast the 213 israel nash la lately music video venice beach vinpix studios haroula rose

Oct 20, 2015

Grace Tame Shoot

Thrilled artist and illustrator Grace Tame joined me for my White Party Shoot series.  Someone is channeling a bit of Grace Kelly, eh?  You can see more of her work on Instagram: @alienbeachpunk

Tags vinpix studio photography fashion photography

Sep 25, 2015

The 2015 HBO "Julia Louis-Dreyfus" Emmy After Party

So I walk into the Pacific Design Center in the middle of what seems like an unending Los Angeles heat wave to discover the theme of HBO's after party is.... fire.  Not kidding.  The event was super crowded with everyone hyped up off the network's big wins.

Funny ladies Shannon Woodward, Whitney Cummings, Zoe Lister-Jones looking- well... very serious for some reason

My new friends from accross the pond, British actors Richard Glover and Angela Peters

HBO's Michael Lombardo and supercoolrockgod Dave Grohl

Veep's Juia Louis-Dreyfus, HBO's Richard Plepler and Scandal's Kerry Washington

The legendary Mel Brooks and JLD

SNL's Vanessa Bayer and Colin Hanks

Table of Emmys

Funny folks, Will Sasso and Alex Borstein

Apparently winning two is a downer

Kyle MacLachlan pitches Laser Cat sketches to SNL's Lorne Michaels

Michael Lombardo and actress Arielle Kebbel


You won too?

Tags celebrity, after party, hbo, emmys 2015, pacific design center