Thursday, March 31, 2016
My second music video for Teresa Peterson. I hope you enjoy.
Discover Teresa's EP on iTunes at http://apple.co/1UV7XVf
Teresa Peterson, James Shackelford, and Peter-John Campbell
Producers: Peter-John Campbell and Joash Bloom
Director/Editor: Peter-John Campbell
Steadicam Operator: Chris Baldwin (http://www.grahamriver.com)
Grip: Jon Krus
Production Assistant: Merleen Campbell
Touch Up and Color Consultant: Nate Caltrider
Special Thanks to: Andres Uhl,
The Schipper Group (http://www.schippergroup.com)
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Thursday, June 4, 2015
The War of the Dandelions
By Peter-John Campbell
"A weed is just a plant you don’t want,” the old codger said to me. He took a sip from a small glass half-filled with some kind of brown liquor and ice.
I could see my effort to defuse the brewing situation was not going well. Chuck, the neighborhood torment, sat in a rocking chair on his porch. I, on the bottom step, stood anxious, having crossed the dreaded 30 feet into a yard that none on the block dared to go.
Chuck bore a striking resemblance to Jack Nicholson, which I personally believe he reveled in; I noticed it in his cadence and the deliberate way he spoke. “What’s it to you anyway?”
“I just thought if it was too much for you to handle,” I looked out over the yard, and then reluctantly turned back, “I would be happy give you a hand if you needed it.”
“The fact is, Johnny,” Chuck said, pulling his amber tinted sunglasses down to look me straight in the eye. “I like the weeds.”
Chuck’s yard was the neighborhood eyesore, an overgrown menagerie of towering dandelions, vines, thistles, and countless other species. From the look of it, he had let his yard go years before and had been the bane of the block ever since.
I was new to the neighborhood, and admittedly foolish. I wrongfully assumed that confronting the problem head on and talking to Chuck as a reasonable human being would resolve the matter. The others had warned me that it was no use, but I, being the ever optimist, felt I would give it a try. Standing on the bottom step of Chuck’s porch, I regretted my naïveté.
“Listen, Johnny,” he said. I’m not entirely sure why he calls me Johnny. That isn’t my name. “You can tell old Mrs. McCready, Sparks, and the Three Stooges down the street that you gave it a valiant effort.” He leaned over and picked up a bottle of brown liquor with a faded label marked Snake Oil. “And I will kindly take my leave of you. Good day.” With that he refilled is glass.
I stood there a moment, and looked at Chuck, then his yard, and across the street to mine. My yard isn’t a prizewinner by any means, but it was mowed and kept, like the others in the neighborhood. Frustrated, I was ready to admit defeat and go home. But the wind blew just then, and the breeze wafting over Chuck’s yard lifted thousands of little white parachutes, which drifted towards my lawn. This ignited my indignation once more. I turned back. “But you’re destroying my yard.”
“Are you still here?” he looked up.
“You’re destroying my yard.” I repeated.
“So what if I am?” He mused callously.
I took a step up. “And that doesn’t bother you?”
“Not in the least.” The ice clinked as he drained his glass again. “I tolerate the way you keep your yard, I only ask that you tolerate mine.”
“I can’t do that.”
“You can’t?” he refilled his glass again.
“No.” I stood firm.
“You know, I used to be a prick just like you.” Chuck sat forward. I stood back. “Always worrying about everyone else’s problems, telling them how to live their life. And in the end I found it all so -” he paused staring at me for an uncomfortable moment. “- pointless. People are going to do what they want to do, Johnny, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
I thought on this damning statement. Chuck was right; people will do what they want regardless of the consequences. Such is the way of all men. Still, that’s no excuse. “But your yard is infesting mine.” I finally said.
“I believe a man has the right to do whatever he wants in the privacy of his own yard.” He declared, sitting back in his squeaky chair and examining the contents in his glass. Clearly, he felt he had the moral high ground with this argument.
I looked over his yard again. In the middle, covered deep within the thick weeds and vines, was the rusty handle of a push mower.
“I see you every weekend,” he pressed. “Picking and pruning, mowing and weeding. Only to come back the next week and do it all over again. I ask you, why? Aren’t you tired? Wouldn’t it be easier to just give in?”
“And live reckless, like you?”
"I can tell from your white shirt and your clean teeth that you’re a church goin’ man,” he said condescendingly. “So I’ll put this in terms that you can understand. It’s when we embrace the old Maker’s curse, and in indifference rest on the other six days, that we discover true freedom from Him. Sure my dandelions might not be as elegant as your tulips, but I don’t have to work for my pops of yellow. I choose to sit here and settle for less. Raising my middle finger in the air and telling Him that what He calls ‘cursed’, I claim beautiful.”
He smiled with a cold ugly smile and took a drink. “From dirt we were created and to dirt we will return, but as for now I AM master of this three-quarter acre of dirt.”
He gritted his teeth at me and I at him. There was nothing left to say. There was no changing this man’s mind, nor mine.
I turned to go and he called to me as I walked away. “The way I see it, eventually you’ll give in, like the others. Either you’ll move or finally see life my way and let your yard go, too. Either way, I win.”
I did not look back as I walked away, but rather to the left at his neighbor Jerry’s yard. I hadn’t noticed before, but the twisting vines in Chuck’s yard has woven themselves in and out of his hedges, slowly, ever slowly, making their way in. To the right, dandelions stretched out over Paul’s yard, hidden by his frequent mowing, but when I looked closely I could see the spiny leaves blowing in the wind.
Later that afternoon, back in my front flower garden, spade in hand, I thought on all these things. The weeds had returned with deep roots, twisted and thorny. So much of life we fight to prune and preserve the little we have, only to do it all over again the next day. Chuck was right; eventually we will succumb to the weeds, through exhaustion, frustration, compromise, or indifference - if we’re not vigilant.
I turned and looked across the street. Through the weeds, I could see Chuck still sitting on his porch, drinking and living life on his terms.
I turned back, looked at my spade, dropped to my knees and dug.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
I found two rolls of 200 35mm Kodak in a box the other day, and I couldn't remember when I would have shot on them. Since I normally develop my film immediately afterwards. To my surprise this is what I found. At least one of these rolls was shot on an old Iloca Quick-A. The discoloration isn't because of Instagram or post processing but because this film sat on my desk and must have been exposed to heat (which is likely). But who cares, this was a fun find.
Here are a few select images from the rolls. To view the fully gallery click here.