Archive for April, 2012

Although our company is still new, we have already racked up some special memories. This endeavor of ours goes way beyond shooting films, it has given us the unique opportunity to meet some fascinating people and to be invited into their private lives for a brief time. More than anything else we do, that is what is most rewarding.

Laurel Marie Hagner is a glass artist and owner of Glassometry Studios and her work can be seen nationally in public and private collections. Glenn met her a few weeks ago and expressed interest in shooting a mini documentary about her work. She responded with enthusiasm so we set a date and I traveled down to the Portland area.

The drive to her studio took us into the countryside once again. We had planned to get started at 8am in anticipation of a full day of shooting. We wanted to capture lots of action shots of Laurel and her team creating some glass pieces and then interview her towards the end of the day. Actor Michael Patrick Connolly came along with us to help with the logistics. We knew we would have to move fast and also stay out of the way of the hot furnaces and molten glass.

Laurel arrived shortly after we got to the studio and greeted us warmly. She struck me as someone who was confident and completely in control of what was going on. She quickly briefed us about the day’s schedule and Glenn and I worked out some basic shot ideas and soon we were rolling camera. It became apparent that the speed in which Laurel moved was going to be a challenge. She and her team were very accommodating and worked closely with us to get the shots we needed. Laurel’s command of her art is mesmerizing to watch. It was like witnessing brain surgery in the way she handled the delicacy of her designs, while shoving the glass into the furnace, pulling it out at just the right moment, cooling it, using her bare hand to hold the long handle and the other hand to cradle the glowing material in layers of newspaper, gripping it like a baseball glove.

The energy level reached a frenzy and beads of sweat could be seen on every forehead, including ours. We found the team’s rhythm and moved the camera in concert with it, running here and there for the shot, alternating between a dolly, a crane and then the tripod and then running around with the camera handheld. Were we getting good footage? I didn’t know and at one point I was so wrapped up in the magnificence of these moments of creation, I really didn’t care. I trusted my instincts and tried to stay present to the orange glow of the hot glass and the deep blue of the flame.

We broke for lunch and got to know each other a little and then we were back shooting. The studio itself is basically a large warehouse so there was an abundance of things to capture. We could have easily spent a week there.

As the evening approached, things began to wind down and we prepared for the interview portion of the day. Laurel was so patient and gracious and we tried to make everything as comfortable as possible for her. When we got going, we witnessed an amazing metamorphosis; Laurel as the confident engineer of elaborate glass art to Laurel the vulnerable and sensitive woman of the earth. She shared her wonderful philosophy with us, deeply rooted in nature and how it is the biggest influence in her work. She also shared details of her recently deceased filmmaker father, his impact on the direction of her life was clearly significant and emotionally wrenching to hear. There were tears shed and I felt an undeniable bond with this woman who I had just met for the first time a few short hours earlier.

In the end, we walked away from this experience with some great footage and some deep appreciation for the wonderful glass sculptures all around us. This is why we love what we do. This kind of experience is transcendent and we are so grateful to have met this wonderful artist. Thank you Laurel, it was a pleasure getting to know you.

You can view the film on our Film Clips Page