Truth On The Line web mini-series trailer

Now on the Interwebs! Truth On The Line, a story about immigration, the media, journalism, life, and more! Brought to you by Liminal Communications and Pan Left Productions. Written & directed by Steev Hise. More info:

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Cast: steev hise, rynsa, Kevin Anderson, J.M. Aragón and Jamie A. Lee

Tags: web series, tucson, media, immigration, borders, journalism, television, activism and TOTL

Tucson Kidical Mass

Some scenes from the first Tucson Kidical Mass in March 2012. Other Kidical Masses are scheduled for Oct 6 at Himmel Park and October 27 at Tucson Children's Museum.

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Cast: steev hise

Tags: bikes, kids, bicycles, children, kidical mass, rides and tucson

Zen Hens Kickstarter video

This video was created to accompany a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign conducted by Zen Hens. The campaign is intended to fund the creation of new t-shirts and aprons and other apparel with a new Zen Hens logo. Check out the campaign here:

At any rate, I want to show off the video. It demonstrates pretty well, I think, my abilities at making this kind of thing, and I'm interested in doing more, so if you have a Kickstarter or other fundraising campaign for a project or organization that you'd like a video for, I'm available for hire.

Also, if you'd like to support my work so that I can keep doing stuff like this (which is often un or under funded), in addition to more artistic media work, Vimeo now has the feature called a "Tip Jar" - you can donate a small amount by clicking the "tip this video" button below. Thanks for your support!

Cast: steev hise

Tags: chickens, tucson, gardening, fundraising, crowdfunding, kickstarter, eggs and farmer's markets

Stock Footage Sampler

This is just a brief montage of snippets from stock footage I've been shooting lately over the past several months with my new camera, a Panasonic AF-100. All shots are from in and around Tucson, Arizona.

Cast: steev hise

Tags: stock, tucson, arizona, nature, macro, close-ups, time lapse, urban and eclipse

The Cool Versus, and Mixed with, the Good

I saw a friend online critiqueing "the bourgeois" the other day and started thinking and writing about it and decided to post here about it. His point was basically that "bourgeois" people in "America" nowadays don't so much conspicuously show their economic place by what they own, but by what they experience and believe. Read more>>>

The Empty International Love

Neon Tucson Sunrise Timelapse

Shot this morning with a Panasonic AF100 at 1 frame per second.

Cast: steev hise

Tags: dawn, sunrise, morning, timelapse and neon

Stealth Evangelism?

I've been not quite sure what to think about this comic strip series, Coffee With Jesus, and the whole Radio Free Babylon group and project that creates it.

The comic and everything else they do seems really carefully calculated to be hip and funny, in a sort of Get Your War On, Tom Tomorrow way, but to not be overtly critical of Xtianity or the religious.  At first I thought it was clearly a satire that was making fun of Xtians, and clearly, folks who are really conservative and orthodox and easily offended will be offended. 

However, what they're doing is really just harnessing the now-common tropes of hipster, countercultural humor, without neccesarily taking a clear stance.  The idea of no stance politically or morally is common to hipsterist media products, but these people don't even seem to take what I would call an existential/emotional stance.  The common position that is implicitly assumed by those who peddle "cool," is at the very least a sort of nihilistic, cynical, jaded viewpoint.  This comic, though, despite the appearance of cynical critique by the use of 50s clip art (or evoking the look of 50s clip art, at least), isn't really deeply critical of much.  It has a certain surreality to it, featuring Jesus in a business suit, drinking coffee, talking with Satan and the Easter Bunny and variety of Ward and June Cleaver types, but there's nothing that really states any serious problem with belief in a bearded supernatural guy who supposedly died and rose from the dead for our sins 2000 years ago.  There's some gentle chiding and fun made at the expense of some foolish, dogmatic characters, but nothing truly biting or deep.  The FAQ on their website is also very careful to not say anything in any detail about what they believe or want. Even their name is carefully ambiguous - is it the standard pirate/community radio station meaning, like Radio Free Berkeley, a free transmitter from a bastion of Freedom? Or is it that they're "Radio" (media producers) that wants to free "Babylon" (code for the sinful society)? 

To make my realization about these folks it took me a few weeks of looking at these strips and the other media that RFB makes. But it's pretty clear now that this is the work of some subtle Christian propagandists.  They never address any truly controversial topics of the day, like abortion, women's rights, taxes or gay marriage, nothing to truly tip their hand.  It's all these kind of relatively innocuous little jokes relating to matters like churchgoing and harmless bible matters and Xtian holidays.  So I think this is some very strategic marketing going on by some relatively liberal/moderate, young Christians with some cleverness and media-savvy. It's similar in spirit, I think, to the work of Rob Bell, a young Christian writer/preacher who wrote a book called Velvet Elvis:Repainting the Christian Faith, (which my evangelical stepfather sent me a copy of and I have yet to do more with than flip through). The idea, of course, is to get young, hip, smart people to start getting into Jesus again.

I'm not, although I admit that I used to be, one of those angry atheists. Furthermore, I certainly recognize there are some social, cultural, and psychological benefits to religions, and clearly other people see this too, including the celebrated theorist Alain de Botton, whose new book is called Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion. In this he argues that the question we should be asking is how we can fulfill those needs for people without resorting to systems and worldviews that involve belief in the irrational, supernatural claims of religions. To be sure, neither capitalism, communism, consumerism nor Big Science have provided for those needs or become a worthy replacement.  So, these are things to think about, and it's worth examining what Christianiy gets right, what comfort and succor it gives to people and can they be given that in other ways, or enlightened/educated/healed to a point where they don't need that anymore.  

But I cannot abide intellectual dishonesty and underhanded viral marketing in the name of even a kinder, gentler, hipper, more modern religiosity. Attempting to fly in under the radar of the cool kids to make your pitch in stealth mode is not acceptable, and is still lying, whether you're selling sneakers, gasoline, or Jesus. Read more>>>

Earth Day Worldwide Screening of a Film I Contributed To

From the "If you don't do it yourself it might just not get done" Department:

About 1 and a half years ago, I took part in a now-yearly event where filmmakers all over the world go out and shoot footage of, well, stuff, everywhere, and then it's compiled together by the non-profit One Day On Earth group.  That first one was on 10/10/10 and they've now finished a feature film that compiles the best of that footage from that day.  I'm proud to say some of my stuff made the final cut, including shots of my friend Glenn Weyant, who went with me down to the border with Mexico near Sasabe, Arizona, and let me film him using the border wall as a musical instrument, which is a thing he does a lot that he's becoming pretty known for.

Anyway, I'm happy that both of us will have our work shown on screens all over the world at the premiere of this film, which will be April 22nd, Earth Day.  With the help of the United Nations and others, the goal was to get screenings set up in every country (footage came from every country, by the way). I'm not sure if that's going to be achieved, and I'm sure some locations will be more challenging than others, but sadly for me it looks like the nearest screening to me will be in Phoenix.  The distribution effort is very much a distributed, crowd-sourced kind of a thing, just like the image-production was.  So a couple of months ago they asked if I could bottom-line setting up a screening in Tucson, and I said no, I'm busy, but i suggested The Loft Cinema and that they just contact them.  Unfortunately that did not work...  and I don't think I'm up for driving 200 miles on Earth Day just to see a film and do a Q&A about the 60 seconds of my work that appears in a feature film.

But, if you're in Phoenix, you may want to hoof it up to the Marriott Desert Ridge ResortAMC Desert Ridge Cinemas at 5pm that day and check it out.  And if you're somewhere else, you may want to see if there's a screening near you. It will probably be a really interesting film to see, regardless of my small part in it. Read more>>>

Occupy Tucson Evicted From De Anza Park March 1

After a month at De Anza park just north of downtown Tucson, police forced out the Occupy Tucson encampment, arresting several particpants and packing up tents and other belongings.

(Shot with a Panasonic AF-100 and a Lumix Vario 14-140 lens.)

Cast: steev hise

Tags: occupy, tucson, arizona, protest, police, activism and news

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