Heading back from Park City, Utah where we took the Art & Soul project to the Sundance Film Festival shooting more celebrity portraits for the arts advocacy project which is the cornerstone of a grassroots campaign to focus national attention on the need to ensure that arts in America thrive and flourish. Art & Soul has been used to successfully lobby Congress and the White House for increased funding for the arts and arts education. Thanks to the participation of over 40 celebrities at Sundance we have now photographed 160 celebrities to date as part of one of the greatest projects that I’ve ever been involved with. It’s a great thing for those of us lucky enough to make a living from the arts to have an opportunity to show our support and give back. Here is our story…
DAY 1 – January 22:
We started off our Sundance shoots with Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt and Thomas Ian Nicholas from Please Give. Wonderful air guitar rifts from Thomas who brought his vintage Gibson Sunburst guitar to Sundance. Next the lovely Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza stopped in followed by director Kevin Asch of Holy Rollers, Ryan O’Nan The Dry Land, Jon Prescott from Howl and John Ortiz of Jack Goes Boating, spoke of Al Pacino’s generosity to him as a first film Carlito’s Way.
DAY 2 – January 23:
An amazing start with the lovely Vicky Cristina Barcelona herself Rebecca Hall in town to promote Please Give, Happythankyoumoreplease‘s Kate Mara, Tony Hale and Pablo Schreiber, Noureen DeWulf and Jon Prescott from Howl. The day’s highlight was a very pleasant surprise drop-in by Oscar-winner Adrien Brody thanks to a big assist from John Ortiz who had such a good time with us the day before he sent his friend our way. I’ve always wanted to meet Adrian – not only because I’m a big fan of his work – but because very early in my career I took a workshop with his mother, renowned photographer Sylvia Plachy.
DAY 3 – January 24
Started with Michael Shannon of The Runaways then a a visit from our sponsor Silvercup Studios head Stuart Match Suna, followed by Emma Bell of Frozen, Justin Bartha of Holy Rollers, Ellen Hollman Skateland, Bellamy Young, model Emme, Nathaniel Parker A Perfect Host, 3 Backyards Danai Gurira and Kathryn Erbe – one of my favorite actresses for her work in Oz and Law & Order: Criminal Intent and finally High SchooI‘s Adhir Kalyan who was marvelous in Youth in Revolt and Nip/Tuck.
DAY 4 – January 25:
Our day began rapid fire with Sam Jackson, Jimmy Smits and Josh Radnor and ended with ended with Adrian Grenier. Along the way we ran into lovely Kerry Washington who lobbied Capitol Hill for increased funding for the Arts with me last May. Next was Rikki Lake, High School Musical‘s KayCee Stroh, Haley Ramm, of Skateland. After that, we entertained director Joel Schumacher with stories about burlesque legends Tempest Storm and Satan’s Angel. Still laughing from a wonderful laugh-filled shoot of Laura Silverman. High School‘s Nadine Crocker showed up leather-clad and looking like the perfect addition to the cast of Sons of Anarchy. Chris Ashworth of The Wire who showed up with Russian bombshell Natalie Gal, Frozen director Adam Green and Drones Amber Benson, Adam Busch, Samm Levine and Tangi Miller. Before dinner at the The Creative Coalition’s Spotlight Initiative Awards we added Melissa Leo of Welcome to the Rileys, Treat Williams of How1, Malin Akerman of Happythankyoumoreplease, snapped Art & Soul participant Jason Ritter again, Christopher McDonald and Entourage’s own ‘Vinne Chase’ Adrian Grenier picking up his award for Teenage Paparazzo. Then chatted up Creative Coalition President and friend Tim Daly and had dinner with Twitter co-creator Dom Sagolla showing off the next BIG thing, the Square, and yes..I tweeted about it…
As always, my BIGGEST THANKS goes to my lovely wife Fazia who makes sure everyone always looks great! Returning the thanks to The Creative Coalition executive director Robin Bronk for the kind words at The Creative Coalition’s Spotlight Initiative Awards and to Barbara Horvath, Briana Mulherin, Liviya Kraemer, Dennis St. Rose and Gabrielle Young of TCC and assistance from BYU student Bethany Davis. David Manning of A-List Communications and his staff for put together a great lounge at Sky Lodge. Special thanks to Stuart Match Suna, head of Silvercup Studios for their sponsorship of our shoot and to Sony Artisans of Imagery director Kayla Lindquist for dropping this wonderful project on me and for finding a way to get me to Utah.
Brian Smith and Tim Daly photographed at the Sundance Film Festival
Generous support provided by: