Visual Candy of the Day # 48
“For that was his name
Many years ago a young photographer came to LA and shot for the now defunked LA Village View – the last independent paper in Los Angeles. He got paid $50/shot + film. It was a pittance but what he got to shoot hasn’t happened in LA papers since. The new up and coming bands (like the Offspring in the drummer’s back yard, academy award nominated actors, directors, producers, even a police officer who went on to become the head of security for Iraq) Once the paper sold and was eliminated by the LA Weekly, those days ended forever.
But in that day I was asked by one of the editors if I wanted to shoot on a small independent documentary called “Bangin” – a film about how the gang wars in south central came to be what they were. It would be dangerous and something hadn’t been done before. The film has now been released on HBO as Bastards of the Party
To that question one always answers Yes.
So soon I found myself in Athens Park – the heart of Blood territory and photographing what no young white boy from Pittsburgh would ever get to shoot. I was introduced to our cinematographer. “Kevin, this is our shooter Haskell Wexler”
You mean the man who is the reason I wanted to get into film in the first place? It was the first time I had met a personal hero. And he was volunteering his time down here with the bullets because he believed in the project.
This day we were shooting in a place that just day before people had died. This was “Little Monster” a notorious gang banger. For the first time someone’s stare frightened me. They were the eyes of the dead. He was related somehow to Monster Cody. This relationship I never quite understood since Cody was a Crip.
Regardless, this was the day I met Little Monster. I think he was 16. We returned the next week to continue filming. He was shot dead a few days before. This was common place.
I’ve been working tirelessly now for about three months and have not produced much new work. This was from a contact I found in a small box. Life (like death and art) is often whimsical.”
2×1 oilgraph on a small piece of masonite