July, 2012

matthew turley shoots biltmore estate rebranding campaign

Matthew Turley was hired by The Richards Group to shoot the rebranding campaign for The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. The goal was to update their imagery with authentic lifestyle and landscape images that captured the estate’s opportunities for contemporary leisure amid its legacy of timeless cultural and natural treasures.

“As we often shot from areas inside the home that are inaccessible to the public, it was fascinating to watch the team of estate preservationists meticulously clear and and rearrange the Vanderbilt’s countless invaluable artifacts for our passing.”

Matthew worked with Art Director Kellyn McGarity and Creative Director Jimmy Bonner on the campaign that will run in national print, online and OOH ads.

rj muna selected for communication arts photo annual

RJ Muna is featured in the 2012 Communication Arts Photo Annual Advertising category with an image shot for Alonzo King Lines Ballet. The image was created to promote the dance company’s 2011 repertory season. Congratulations RJ!

magic johnson by james salzano for MAGICCash card

Jim Salzano was hired by ad agency U Marketing to shoot stills and motion of Magic Johnson for the MAGICCash Prepaid MasterCard ad campaign that launched last week. Developed by Celebrity Cards International, Magic Johnson developed the card to provide opportunity to under-banked and credit-challenged consumers striving for financial success.

Working closely with Agency Creative Director John Peebles and Jeff Pager, they had one day to shoot both motion and stills before Magic left for a summer vacation and before he prepared for the last game of the NBA finals in Miami.

James Salzano, Magic Johnson and John Peebles

The shoot was set for the Saturday before the game in Miami. Working with local producer Andrew Nathanson, they found a casual loft-like environment for the video and stills using Maps Production Studio. With a few changes using some creative scenic design and great cooperation from the stage they were able to get both of the locations in one. The final piece was produced and edited by The Station Media.

“We shot a series of Magic talking about the card and his philosophy of where money is headed and how it’s best to manage money responsibly,” added Jim. “Magic was scheduled for 8 hours which we really needed since the video portion was over two minutes. This was to be to be edited into smaller portions. We also had to shoot him on white talking about the launch of the card and a series of still images on white as well.

He was professional and hard working and from the first meeting wanted to go over everything and make sure he sounded sincere, after all his name is on the card. He did a great job and even gave us more time than he was scheduled to give.

He signed a basketball for my son and took so many pictures with the cast and crew. It was a great shoot.”

christine alicino instereo interview

I wrote about Christine Alicino’s InStereo project earlier this year at the time of the first showing of the work. It was such a unique project and we talked then about doing a follow-up Q&A after she had time to reflect on the project.

Produced in partnership with long-time commercial collaborative partner Art Director Ursula Brookbank of Nordstrom, In Stereo was a two-year-long photo and video project. In the first year, Christine and Ursula, living on different coasts, each took one photo a day on their mobile phones. The photos were sent at the end of each day with no knowledge of the other’s subject or image. For year two, Christine and Ursula each took one video each week with the same parameters. The images and videos were not discussed or written about until they met up at the end of each year.


How did you and Ursula decide to work together on a personal project?

When working together on commercial projects, Ursula and I always joked, “Boy if we put this much effort into a personal project…think of what we could do?” And one time I said, “Yeah, well lets just use the media of the moment and take a picture every day and send it to each other.” The parameters expanded to taking an image (not a snapshot) on our mobile device and to send it to each other by the end of each day.  We were not to look at the others’ image until we had sent ours.  It happened to be on the eve of the lunar new year, so we began.

The next year we decided to do moving images, and set the same restrictions on it – but because of the length (5-10 seconds of a clip) we limited it to one shot to be sent on Sundays. We worked in the ether and let go of images rather than holding on to them.  Our intention was to reach beyond a definition of any two people or ownership by the two.

We both live in different cites and travel quite a bit, but we didn’t add text or talk about our images until we met up at the end of the year and laid them down so to speak. The viewer takes in both images at once and makes of it what they will. It has been a journey through the days where something speaks out and needs to be expressed.  It is so momentary and certainly only a part of the whole. The final pairing being the complete picture.


What most surprised you about the project?

It seemed as though there was a communication channel between our imaginations as it was all done without verbal exchange or comments. The images appear as two separate entities but something else emerges spontaneously and the significance may become clear (or not) when viewed by the observer. There seemed to be a synchronicity occurring when both images were viewed side-by-side, they some how depend on and inform each other while conveying a sense of time’s passage.

The most amazing one to me was when I shot an arm of an old Victrola (Ursula) and I shot the piston of a flower in the garden. Never in a hundred thousand years could you have put those together. I was in Colorado on a retreat and she was at a flea market I think. We laughed and agreed that we shared an infinity for lampshades, curtains, and shadows. But basically we trusted and enjoyed the non-linear connection that the process offered.


Do you think the project revealed something extraordinary?

This is the question. Do these things happen around us? We have a need to make a narrative out of things. We create our own world out of the things we are attracted to. These are time-based, daily life. In a way it has created itself. Ordinary magic. We tend to think we have to create a concept, to have a visual story.  It was kind of a confirmation that we were the right people at the right time doing the right thing.

When I went down to LA for the residency, there was sound on the video. We looked at the stills from the year before and did a lot of self-referencing because we were available to ourselves. So we decided to add some voice or whispering. We went to bed and we’d both had process-related dreams and I’d whispered mine on my iPhone and she wrote hers down and then whispered hers as well. So we took the synchronicity and recorded the whispers as the soundtrack. What was extraordinary was allowing yourself to be on a creative wavelength with someone, to give them and yourself permission. Interestingly enough, there are other people who have started InStereo projects.

How has this inspired your commercial work?

As many creative people in our field, we work together on commercial projects that feed from our personal visions. This project started from our mutual appreciation of certain art movements and observations we had in our inspirational meetings for themes, locations and sets for commercial work. The image making for InStereo is an exercise in letting go of the market place and framing movements in our daily lives that open up potential themes for fresh ideas, and keep us involved in cultural trends.

One could look at the practice as letting go of perceived concepts of “commercial clichés” and going into the subconscious motivation of what appears to one when ‘capturing an image’, (maybe dreamlike or subconscious).

Both of us have been working commercially for many years and we’re very aware of commercial clichés and what happens when people are trying to create a lifestyle or vintage 50’s piece, again. It was an exercise with respect to this. When you first get an assignment, the world is wide open. We all have ideas about how we want to make things look and eliminate possibilities. This gave me a looser practice and looking at my own vision for ‘winter’ from my point of view rather than someone else’s, a new relationship to my own creativity, to look in more than out for inspiration.


How has this changed way you work?

In exploring the larger world of everyday life, I have loosened my approach to what is expected and see more of the unexpected, everyday magic. This opens the door for a more collaborative, spontaneous communication in the preliminary creative meetings and on the set with the creative directors as well as the objects or subjects. In the moving image series I have found the practice of shooting short clips an exercise invaluable to the transition of my still background as well as enhancing my personal approach and style. It has refreshed my passion for photography, kept me hooked in to reason I started photography in the first place.