Sandra had a nice modern apartment in the town of St. Pauli a neighborhood that contains the infamous Red Light District of Hamburg, Germany. I knew this neighborhood well, easily finding her place within walking distance from the Monopol Hotel, located on the Reeperbahn in the same neighborhood. She was located on the top floor of a 5 story building with roof access and lots of skylights. From her location you could simply walk out onto her balcony and listen to the cat calls, as the hookers lined along the Herbertstrase in plain sight of the St. Pauli police station. Yes. Prostitution is legal in Germany. Sandra’s apartment provided a comforting setting to light her portrait. I shot on a big red contemporary sofa just off of her nicely appointed bedroom. I used a combination of high ISO with cross processed film, available window light added most of the fill with my ever present ring flash. Sandra pulled clothes from her own wardrobe dressing herself up like when she and her husband invite another couple over for a night of play. She exuded a classic sex appeal with a mixture of Asian and German looks with perfectly sculpted high cheek bones and a perfectly balanced frame with big hair. She exuded a vibe as if she were ready to please.
St._ephen “Saint Stephen” aka Stephen Levine local artist in the Philadelphia region was born January 26 , 1993. Son to Marita Coston and Ronald Levine . At an early age, Stephen was exposed to a range of eclectic music such as Motown and Classic Rock . Inspired by the Grateful Dead from their song St. Stephen; the name was once reborn . He spent summers with his Dad living in Montgomery township, Pennsylvania and during the earliest part of his school years lived in New Jersey with his Mom . Ultimately, Stephen spent the remainder of his teen life at Cheltenham High School .
During those years Stephen was introduced to participating in musical productions. Like singing in the high school choir , a cappella groups , touring ensembles and musicals. After high school he decided to go to Montgomery Community College but decided to take a year off to pursue being a songwriter and an artist in music . “Netflix and Chill” is one of the many songs that Stephen has made over the past year. Most of his songs are produced by Andrew Meoray and Xave Michael . The video was produced and directed by Joe Schaefer and Marissa Nicole Pina .
It took two days of filming with scenes shot in Dumbo, Brooklyn and in parts of North Philadelphia. With this video, the directors wanted more of the clashing of colors and specific visual movements . They also tried to capture the natural art of just chilling. The people involved in the production deserves the utmost thanks, gratitude and appreciation. The question what is to come next?
His next single is called; Someone Better, featuring Xave Michael . Also, a full body of work is planned to be released by the summer of 2017. His grandfather’s favorite quote was “Be Ye not , but be prepared” . So whatever life has to bring Stephen aka “Saint Stephen”will surely be ready.
During my childhood there was a beautiful lake by my house. For all the kids growing up in the neighborhood, the lake was like our backyard – a place to play and see friends. About 5 years ago, the city decided to reclaim the lake into land for commercial use. Water was drained and replaced with a luxury shopping district. People got used to the new center quickly, but for me, every time I walked by the mall, I still see the lake I used to play around. With some nostalgia, confusion, and primarily helplessness- Waterless is made.
It was my first time making a video and I didn’t know any filmmaking techniques or rules. I planned out the scenes in my head and just went for them. When I first started shooting, I only had two scenes in mind and came up with the dream scene much later. Initially, the water balloon part was just to contrast the past with the waterless “reality.” However, my film teacher inspired me with the idea of using a war metaphor to create a sense of irony to the dream scene. Likewise, with other spontaneous decisions, I added random elements to the film but luckily the dots all connected at the end and served the overall story well.
Looking back, I am glad this is my first film experience. In a way, ignorance of the filming rules gave me freedom and allowed me to follow my heart. Now after having more experience, I can’t approach a film without worrying about the structure of the story, character development, etc. Sometimes, when I am overthinking my work, I think about Waterless and tell myself to relax because the story will come together at the end.
About The Author: Ruowen discovered her passion for film last year when she made a video for her acting class. She now studies at the University of Pennsylvania, intending to major in environmental science and cinema studies. She hopes to use her artistic skills to advocate for the environment and helps green organization reach high impact. Ruowen also has a background in theatre and sometimes acts in her own films when she has spontaneous ideas. Even though it is hard to operate the camera while acting, Ruowen finds it fun and a great way to make short experimental films.