tests & outtakes

Firecracker video experimentation

A while back, we rented a Phantom high speed camera for a commercial job doing splashes and pours. We decided to keep it one more day and explore its capabilities. After a day of setting off rolls of firecrackers we had some annoyed neighbors and really fun raw footage.

In the name of exploration, the video has been edited two different ways. We love both version and it was fun for us to see the different ways Curtis and Gustavo interpreted and worked with the raw footage.

We are proud and excited that a day of experimenting in the studio could yield such a beautiful finished product.

Firecrackers – Edited by Curtis Schmidt from Adam Voorhes on Vimeo.

Firecrackers – Edited by Gustavo D’Oliveira from Adam Voorhes on Vimeo.

Cocktail Test

Our working hard drive said it was full up and would hold absolutely nothing more. While transferring working files to the new drive I found this gem of a cocktail test Adam did last November for Veev Spirits. Not our usual style but it made for a fun afternoon.

No idea what drink concoction we made up, but it sure looks tasty.


Firecrackers – Outtakes from Men’s Health

I made these photographs a few months back when my nephew Miles was visiting after his tour in the mid east. We had a couple of full days scheduled for Men’s Health magazine. And if you’ve never witnessed a still life photo shoot, I can tell you right now, it’s not exactly ‘exciting.’ Fortunately one of our assignments was to blow up chili peppers. And what better to do with a black hawk door gunner returning from Afghanistan, than blowing stuff up?

We did have the technical hurdle of acquiring fire crackers off season. I mentioned the idea to my cousin Sterling who was having drinks at my house. He asked how many I needed. Just one pack should be plenty, I said. Oh no problem, he told me, I have a bunch of fireworks in the trunk. You have fireworks in the trunk of your car? In Texas? In the heat? Yeah, he explained, you never know when you’ll need some.

The following images illustrate what happens when you load a Serrano with fire crackers and connect your camera to a sound sensitive trigger. Enjoy…..


Growing up in California during the late-eighties-early-nineties graffiti art was everywhere. Through highschool seeing an ‘Andre The Giant Has a Posse’ poster or an ‘OBEY’ sticker was a normal thing. But honestly, it wasn’t until I moved to New York years later that I began to understand how widespread Shepard Fairey’s work had become. I saw the same stickers, the same posters. Everywhere.

A few months ago Fairey was in town for SXSW. He pasted up a huge Obey poster East Austin near my studio. I smiled every day when I drove past. Still the same posters. Everywhere.

The OBEY message has always resinated with me. I think it’s become lost in the art, but the message in John Carpenter’s 1988 film ‘They Live’ (this is where Fairey ‘appropriated’ OBEY. But you knew that, right?) seems just as relevant now as… well… anytime. Ever.

In the film a wealthy controlling class dumbs down the minds of the masses. You OBEY the television. You OBEY the radio. You OBEY what you are told. Money, THIS IS YOUR GOD. MONEY IS GOD. OBEY. DO AS YOU ARE TOLD.

Luckily, in the film Rowdy Roddy Piper found out that the wealthy controlling class was actually space aliens. So he put a stop to their crap pronto. But that’s another story.

Here in 2011, when it feels like the House of Representatives has betrayed us, and lunatics rage across the country campaigning for election, what’s a guy to do but make this photo? It’s the best I’ve got.