the optimist

“There are no problems, only challenges.” 

I’m always looking for edgy, hard, funny, ironic, and explicit material to shoot. What better way is there to capture the quirky, angst ridden, sexy, and darker side of life than with a camera? But do I always have to shoot a car crash? Sometimes shooting a sunflower field is just as striking. The trick is to make it engaging.

What I didn’t realize when I set out to shoot Joyce was that I would be forced into happiness. There is literally no way to tell Joyce’s story without creating an uplifting piece. She simply will not allow for negative drama or angst to be a part of her experience. So, I got shoehorned into shooting something inspirational no matter what.

My 20 something year old assistants and I showed up early with gear, lists, schedule etc. And we forgot the coffee. Ouch. That was a big enough problem for me to want to push a pin through my eyeball. Shooting is often referred to as “problem solving.” Joyce’s perspective is, “There are no problems, only challenges.”

And yes, we got the coffee. (Joyce demanded it.)

Angling for a reaction with the question, “What do you think of the term Live Fast, Die Young?” I got nothing more than, “Well, I don’t live that way. But if makes someone happy then it’s all right.” Nice try on my part, but no dice. She was even hard pressed to find “The most negative experience she ever had.” It didn’t amount to much. Notice it’s not in the video.

What is in the video is just how remarkable Joyce’s energy and vitality is given her optimistic mind-set. It’s real, genuine, and infectious. I learned something and was lucky to have some of that positive energy rub off on me. I feel more energized than ever to shoot a bomb shelter, desperate hero, unlikely sex symbol or something.

See more films here.