Stephen Dirkes Retrospective at Rabbithole Gallery

Last night I went down to the Rabbithole Gallery in DUMBO to check out the Photoplays by Stephen Dirkes Exhibition.  The exhibition is comprised of stills and photographs selected from many of Dirkes’ “photoplays”, so-called because many of them are composed of individual photographs taken by photographer Tal Shpantzer, which he then edited and transformed into short films and videos.

 Above: A portrait of the filmmaker; a still from one of Stephen’s short films.  

Above: Gallery patrons are treated to a selection of Mr. Dirkes’ and Ms. Shpantzer’s photographs, curated by Caroline Pham.

Above: DJ Vandal(right, in shadows) a long-time collaborator, was on the decks all night long. 

Above: Red velvet-like curtains part to reveal frames from one of Stephen’s short films, in this wonderful shadow box created by Ioana Popescu.  Below: Detail. 

Accompanying the photographs and short-films are some lovely props and sets that were used during production.  

Above:  Artist Ameirinkz created this scale model of Brooklyn, NY, used in one of Mr. Dirkes’ short films.

Above: A set used in Mr. Dirkes’ short film for Langoliers.

Below: A detail of what I like to call “The Spider Lady”, an enchanting and enigmatic figurine created by Pamela Liou.  

At 8 PM we were treated to a 45 minute screening of his collected short films.  These spanned a wide spectrum of technique and editing.  Mr. Dirkes also does almost all of the musical scoring and post-production himself, leading one to think that this enormously talented filmmaker must have little time in his day for anything else. 

Above: In Stephen Dirkes’ kingdom of light and shadows.

As he stated at the conclusion of the screening, his work is the result of a closely-knit group of highly talented artists, artisans and designers, “a truly family affair”.  Many members of this family showed up in full force for the exhibition and screening, including Tal Shpantzer, Peter Bill, Amerinkz, Caroline Pham, Ioana Popescu, Zou Chu, Pamela Liou and Jef Niesen.  Of course, it was a bit difficult to hear what Mr. Dirkes was saying as waves of boisterous applause erupted at the end of the screening.  I highly recommend you check out this exciting and unique exhibition.

Photoplays by Stephen Dirkes Exhibition is running from April 5-April 30th at the Rabbithole Gallery, 33 Washington Street, NY. 

Three D.P.’s and One P.A.

Are you familiar with the work of Stephen Dirkes?  If  you aren’t already, you soon will be.  Stephen, founder of Obscure Object Films, is a gifted filmmaker based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  This past Monday I was lucky enough to be asked by Stephen to help out on a test-shoot he was doing in Chinatown with two superb cinematographers, Adam Jandrup and Raymond Flynn.  This triumvirate of talent worked together last year on Barry Levinson’s latest feature film, which shot on location in Georgetown, South Carolina.  I’ve uploaded some stills I took while they set-up camera positions and worked out their shots.

The purpose of the test-shoot was to work out a sequence similar to the opening credits zoom-shot from the film Limitless.  By combining footage from three cameras of varying focus lengths, the shots will later be manipulated using VFX.

Above, from left to right: Adam Jandrup, Raymond Flynn and Stephen Dirkes.

Making sure the cameras are leveled.


Raymond Flynn, working his camera magic.

Adam Jandrup, cinematographer extraordinaire.



Stephen Dirkes, lining it up, knocking it down.

Thanks for letting me tag along, guys!