CMG Filmmaker Fellowship in partnership with

CMG is pleased to announce a newly created full-time CMG Filmmaker Fellowship in partnership with The CMG Filmmaker Fellow will work directly with over an 8-month period in 2017 to produce short videos about climate activism & organizing to augment’s video capacity. The CMG Fellow’s duties are directly aligned with CMG’s mission to build capacity for the use of video to make significant change by supporting filmmakers, social media managers, campaign strategists and activists who work on current issues in ocean conservation and energy & climate. This CMG Fellow will report directly to’s North America Digital Campaigns Manager.

Clcik For more information

Plastic City: The Animation Process


Below is my animation so far! Because of the time commitment that this became, I am now aiming to finish this (a minute long) as my project. Unfortunately, this means that I had to scrap the Documentary element for now.

I still have to add in my sound (I worked on the ambiance but need to add in the sound effects) and I also need to finish the compositing of the rest of the 30 seconds. I am in progress here, it’s just a matter of some more editing. I will also insert facts about plastic consumption and the ban in NYC throughout the animation so that it still educates the audience.

Below is my animatic to show the rest of the animation framework:

Here are my backgrounds to show the style I have moved through with:

Below I recount the approximation of my process and how long I thought each step would take versus how long it has taken. It has been much longer because of my significant learning curve. This was a very new process for me. I had never made an animation before or used much After Effects. So although it put me behind a lot more, I am so happy to have learned this much!

My Process:

  1. Drawing Thumbnails (get story arc) — thought 2.5 hours/took 3 hours
  2. Expanding –> Drawing each beat — thought 3 hours/took 3.5 hours
  3. Editing into Animatic — thought 3 hours/took 4 hours
  4. Style Frames (plan the overlook look) — thought 3 hours/took 3.5 hours
  5. Painting Backgrounds — thought 6 hours/took 8 hours
  6. Painting Foregrounds — thought 2.5 hours/took 2.5 hours
  7. Compositing BKG/Foreground — thought 8 hours/took 19 hours (still 8 hours to do)
  8. STOP MOTION — thought 5 hours/took 12 hours
  9. Compositing Stop Motion — thought 20 hours/took 35 hours (still 10 hours to do)
  10. Full Composite tweak — thought 7 hours/took 16 hours (still 7 hours to do)
  11. Sound — thought 3 hours/took 3 hours (still 2 hours to do)
  12. Credits / fine tuning — thought 1 hours/took 1 hours (still 2 hours to do)

IN TOTAL: I thought it would take 44 hours in total. It will take 110.5 hours instead. I still have roughly 21 hours left until I’m done!

Project Update!

My project has changed drastically since the beginning of the process, but there are a few crucial reasons why it had to.

  1. The climate is still changing.  As the Earth warms, sea levels are rising daily and different environmental disasters are happening all over the world.  Also, the political climate has changed with the election of Donald Trump, a climate change denier.  My project has had to evolve with the times.
  2. I’ve reevaluated my strategy on how to best communicate the subject matter with my audience.  At first, I thought comedy would distance the audience enough from the heavy related emotions in order to carefully relay the subject matter.  But after participating in a Queer meet-up the day Trump was elected to office and hearing personal coming out stories, I realized that my personal story could have more of an impact.

The trash man will still exist in my project but only as an instillation.  I’m going to have multiple people clothed in newspaper/trash slowly moving around me as I perform a spoken word poem.  I’ve been working on it with my voice teacher (she did the audiobooks for Twilight. Lol!), and I’m excited to perform it for you.

Here’s an excerpt:

(Joni Mitchell Sample) “Hey farmer farmer, put away the DDT.  I don’t care about spots on my apples.  Leave me the birds and the bees.

DDT is a colorless insecticide that kills on contact.  It is poisonous to humans and animals when swallowed or absorbed through the skin.

And when I was in science camp in middle school, we learned that all excess fertilizer falls to the water, the lowest level of ground.  So you can sprinkle it on the very peak of the Appalachias and it will still fall to the Atlantic or the beloved Elizabeth River I grew up on but have never swam in.  For even with the efforts of local environmentalists, it’s too polluted to touch.

And there are tribes in Wyoming who will tell those traveling through not to eat the fish, for they are discolored and doused in disease.  Then right there on their front porch will be two dead fish, lying open and ready to feed their families.

And on the Chesapeake Bay where I grew up, we don’t eat the oysters.  And some fish we ship all the way from China.

My father was once a seaman.

But everything always changes.  Everything, it’s changing all around me.



One last update…

Cheers to what is (hopefully) the last update on my final project!

As of right now, I am still working hard to shoot one last time at either Pat LaFrieda or Gallaghers. I have still not had the best of luck but, again, am optimistic.

Last week, I went to Ronnybrook Dairy Farm to photograph some happy cows. That was truly one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I got to lay in a wide open field with massive animals and have them lay with me, sniff me, and lick me. I got to pet and cuddle with cows and even meet a calf that was born earlier that day. (pic below)


Being able to be with these animals and have such a personal experience with them really hit home for me about why I am so passionate about animal rights and happy farms. It also reiterated how terrible factory farms truly are. I wish that everyone who is adamant about eating meat could share that experience that I had because I am confident that even the biggest meat eater could never even look at another steak and find it appealing after being up close and personal with such gentle, sweet, and beautiful creatures. I’ve attached a couple of my B edit shots below.

_mg_6314 _mg_6352-edit

Beyond that, I have an edit of 64 photos to choose from (wish me luck). Tomorrow, I am printing them all out very small (4×6) and will be sequencing them into the series on my wall at home- I will add photos to this post of that process as it happens tomorrow.

My plan for the final presentation is to have two large images (I already know which ones but I want it to be a surprise) that juxtapose one another side by side. I will then have my artist statement explaining my project followed by the rest of the series. Under specific images I will have facts about factory farming versus happy farming to clarify why happy farms are better. I will also have facts about the meat and dairy industries as a whole and why they are ultimately harmful to our environment. All of this will be accompanied by an audio clip which you can listen to here. It is a combination of sounds of the steakhouse kitchen and sounds of the happy farm. I will include a small explanation about the audio within the layout of my project as well.

Overall, I am really excited about this project and how it has turned out! I have some great shots that really speak to what I am trying to say about happy farms. I have met some amazing people and had some amazing experiences.


Epstein’s Brandicapped takes the reader on a journey through Some Place, a town in Southern California that makes white shirts. The story begins with Dr. Melman coming across Some Place. He makes quick note of the problems with Some Place’s brand, or lack there of.

Along the way, Dr. Melman meets Bumble, Rumble, Aumble, Numble, Dumble,  and Ed- the principle principals of what becomes Some Place’s brand. He educates them about what it means to create a brand and helps them do so to “un-brandicap” the town of Some Place.

In Brandicapped we learn the components of what it takes to create a brand. I find that these components and principals can be applied in my own line of work as I begin to enter the world of being an artist.

Specifically, as a photographer, I realize that I need to begin to form my own brand- what type of work I do, who my clients are, my goal with my work, etc. This requires me to market myself appropriately through my website, social media, and connections that I make while in school and beyond.

As I do this, I find that my line of work and the jobs I desire to have will fall into play. However, that ultimately requires my success in creating a brand for myself. Because, as I learned in Brandicapped, “THE BUSINESS IS THE BRAND, AND THE BRAND IS THE BUSINESS.”

Check Up

A check up on my final project. I meet with my beautiful dancers on Saturday and we had an amazing recording session. I have some stills of the dance pictured below. The dancers were more than willing to jump in on this dance concept, and made it even better than I imagined it would be. I used scarves that were tied to the right arm and it worked perfectly. I’m very excited to see the final project, and to share it with others. I am trying to edit it before tomorrow so I can present the final project, but there have been some technical difficulties. We will see what happens.

Quick post

Just a quick little post…

This past week was very successful. I shot at Striphouse and Ronnybrook Farm. While I have a very strong body of work already, I am still trying to shoot at one more farm and another restaurant or meat industry. So far, I am having very little luck but I am optimistic and persistent!

If you want to see a few of my images, you can check them out here, on my Instagram.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls For Immediate Halt to Dakota Access Pipeline

Protecting our water is not a partisan political issue—it’s important to all people & living beings

Press Release: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Urges President to Immediately Halt Dakota Access Pipeline December 01, 2016
Washington, DC—In a speech on the House floor Thursday, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) called on President Obama to immediately halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and announced plans to join thousands of veterans from across the country to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota this weekend.

“Growing up in Hawaii, I learned the value of caring for our home, caring for our planet, and the basic principle that we are all connected in a great chain of cause and effect.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a threat to this great balance of life. Despite strong opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux and serious concerns raised by the EPA, the Department of Interior, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and other Federal agencies, the Army Corps of Engineers approved permits to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline without adequately consulting the tribes, and without fully evaluating the potential impacts to neighboring tribal lands, sacred sites, and their water supply. Just one spill near the tribe’s reservation could release thousands of barrels of crude oil, contaminating the tribe’s drinking water.

The impact of the Dakota Access Pipeline is clear. Energy Transfer Partners, the company constructing the Dakota Pipeline, has a history of serious pipeline explosions, which have caused injury, death, and significant property damage in the past decade. The future operator of the planned pipeline, Sunoco Logistics, has had over 200 environmentally damaging oil spills in the last 6 years alone—more than any of its competitors.

Protecting our water is not a partisan political issue—it is an issue that is important to all people and all living beings everywhere. Water is life. We cannot survive without it. Once we allow an aquifer to be polluted, there is very little that can be done about it. This is why it is essential that we prevent water resources from being polluted in the first place.

Our Founding Fathers took great inspiration from Native American forms of governance, and the democratic principles that they were founded on. Their unique form of governance was built on an agreement called the Great Law of Peace, which states that before beginning their deliberations, the council shall be obliged, and I quote, “to express their gratitude to their cousins and greet them, and they shall make an address and offer thanks to the earth where men dwell, to the streams of water, the pools, the springs and the lakes, to the maize and the fruits, to the medicinal herbs and trees, to the forest trees for their usefulness, and to the Great Creator who dwells in the heavens above, who gives all the things useful to men, and who is the source and the ruler of health and life.”

This recognition of our debt to the Creator and our responsibility to be responsible members of this great web of life was there from the beginning of Western democracy.

Freedom is not a buzzword. The freedom of our Founding Fathers was not the freedom to bulldoze wherever you like.

Our freedom is a freedom of mind, a freedom of heart, freedom to worship as we see fit, freedom from tyranny and freedom from terror. That’s the freedom this country was founded on, the freedom cultivated by America’s Native people, and the freedom the Standing Rock Sioux are now exercising.

This weekend I’m joining thousands of veterans from across the country at Standing Rock to stand in solidarity with our Native American brothers and sisters. Together we call on President Obama to immediately halt the construction of this pipeline, respect the sacred lands of the Standing Rock Sioux, and respect their right to clean water. The truth is, whether it’s the threat to essential water sources in this region, the lead contaminated water in Flint, Michigan, or the threat posed to a major Hawaiʻi aquifer by the Red Hill fuel leak, each example underscores the vital importance of protecting our water resources.

We can’t undo history, but we must learn lessons from the past and carry them forward—to encourage cooperation among free people, to protect the sacred, to care for the Earth and for our children, and our children’s children. What’s at stake is our shared heritage of freedom and democracy and our shared future on this Great Turtle Island, our great United States of America.”