HOUSTON, TX – In the summer of 2014 I was involved with a major project with Houston Arts Alliance. Thanks in large part to Angel Quesada, I was hired to take photographs for the promotions and major exhibits for Stories of a Workforce (celebrating 100 years of the Houston Ship Channel) & Transported + Renewed. It was during that time that I was given a chance by Angel and Pat Jasper to film a couple of short documentaries for one of the major exhibits.
This was a leap of faith on their part. All I had to show were a few videos I’ve made for fun or for entertainment clients put to music. I hadn’t produced this sort of content before, but I was confident that I could and they believed in me.
Shortly after I finished filming the videos and completed my initial draft of the edit, I saw an avenue into a genre of movie making that seemed to come naturally to me. I’ve been on a journey for many years to tell stories by the way of a feature film. It seems that making documentaries is the way for me to get my start.
The first thing I thought to myself was, “I need practice.” So I set out to contact some of my interesting friends that would make good subjects. The first person I reached out to was Daniel Anguilu. I met Daniel only a few months (maybe weeks) prior to me asking him could I film him. I actually didn’t know the full extent of his impact he has had on the community let alone the art world.
I asked him at my Roof Roof 4th of July Party I had at my place with Dandee Warhol. He told me to get in touch with him the following week and I did. It just so happened that he was in limbo of sorts with getting a project started at the famed lounge/bar the Flat. I told him that DJ Sun (one of the owners) and I went back a ways and that maybe if we combined forces we could get this project moving. I told Sun that I wanted to document Daniel creating artwork on his wall at the historic Flat. A few days later I got a call. It was Daniel. “Hey, I’m up here at the Flat. Come on by and bring your camera.”
Luckily I live right around the corner in the Montrose area. I was there within minutes… and so it began. I had no idea what would come of this, but I just started tagging along whenever he would paint the wall. Then Daniel started calling me out on several of his works around town. When filming a documentary on a particular subject you have to be ready to move when they move. Having the freedom to do that is priceless.
One Saturday evening I was walking to Tacos A Go Go to pick up my taco salad and my phone chimed. It was a Facebook reminder of the Folklore Films Festival being put on by Marlon Hall. (You can check out my post HERE) I was feeling lazy that day, but sometimes you just need to show up and support. By chance I had my camera on me and it was literally only a few blocks from me. I walked down there and quickly found out that this was going to be a special night.
I’ve know Marlon through multiple random occurrences and he has always taken the time out to converse with me. He is genuinely one of the nicest most positive energy type of people you can meet. He was screening 6 of his short films to a prestigious guest list. I was humbled to be on it. After watching the 3rd film of his series I quickly felt empowered. I know this guy… if he can do it… why can’t I? I was inspired to make a great film with Daniel. Where this road would lead me hadn’t fully occurred to me.
About a month or so later I was riding around with my friend Cutthroat. He had no idea that I was filming with Daniel. Cutthroat is a well known street artist that has been in a movie “Stick ‘Em Up”. He asked me if I could film him wheat pasting his art around Houston. Humbled that he would ask me to do this I agreed. Now I was getting the work I needed to hone my craft. Two well-known subjects I was filming. This was great. Still… I had no idea how far this would go.
A couple months after I agreed to film Cutthroat I found myself at Tout Suite (hip coffee and desert shop on the east side of downtown). I was promoting my Halloween Party “The Omen” when I saw my good friend Stephanie Gonzalez. She was outside next to her truck. Little did I know she lived right across the street from the coffee shop. She had recently come back from Vietnam. She and a friend Julie Worsham were commissioned to outfit a hotel with their abstract artwork. I was so impressed with this endeavor. (Read more about it HERE) She asked me to come over for a coffee after I was done. I agreed, but quickly forgot in my rush to keep pushing my concert/party.
The next time I was at Tout Suite I happened to Steph again. She quickly told me that she was waiting for me the last time and I didn’t show. I felt awful even though it was an honest mistake. She was sweating it too hard and told me that I had better come over this time. I obliged immediately. That’s when my eyes grew as wide as the sky. Stephanie’s home was amazing! I almost immediately asked her could I film her story to which she replied, “I’m available tomorrow.” Oh wow, I thought. This is now three super cool people I’m shooting all at the same time. I don’t want to give away too much before you see what I shot. I’ll just say that it was a house of wonders!
After that occurrence I finally knew what was going on and what lay ahead in my destiny. A documentary series was forming. A few days later Dandee Warhol, a famed Houston artist and my friend, invited me out to a special pot-luck party he called Friendsgiving. It was a special Saturday night that included his close friends that may or may not have had family in town. Everyone brought a dish. It was a very special night and I had my camera in tow. I wasn’t really expecting to shoot that night but as the night unfolded I started realizing that I very well should.
This was the night that I knew I had something special. Daniel showed up. Cutthroat showed up. Stephanie showed up. Then I realized something. They had been showing up in previous works that I was filming. That’s when I asked Dandee if he’d be in it too. He agreed without hesitation. Four subjects… I now wanted six. I started looking around the room to see who else had been showing up and was equally as talented. It didn’t take long before I singled out Lee Carrier. I didn’t tell her at the time that she’d be in my series, but I knew she’d agree too because she is also a dear friend of mine.
Now I needed a sixth participant. I was racking my brain to figure out who it would be. I was invited out to the Space Villains* album release party. I was looking forward to this night because they had given a great performance at my Halloween party. As part of the promotion I was doing I had recorded several sessions of them playing in their old studio. I was even there the night they wrapped up the final recording of their album. I got all of this on video. Still I was oblivious to what I realized once I got to their studio for the party. I was quickly floored by all of the artwork on their walls. Who’s artwork was it? A number of artists contributed to the murals but the most striking were those of Daniel and Cutthroat. Holy shit! They were all even in attendance. I had just shot Lee’s episode earlier that day and now I knew who my sixth participant would be. Dandee, Cutthroat, Stephanie, Lee and Daniel were all there! 8 people. 6 stories. All of them were brought together by their art. Their stories were Intertwined and thus I came up with the name… Intertwined.
This is the story of how this project came to be. Find out more about them and their stories at StoriesIntertwined.com