1. Welcome to the Freedom Barbershop at the Veterans Affairs campus in West LA. To many Veterans, this little trailer shop something akin to an island oasis in the thrashing sea. It is a place where personal burdens, internal pressures and anxieties gathered from life experience willingly recede, for here is the forgiving company and calming presence of a fellow comrade. Sit in the chair and receive a shave, a haircut, or a few shared jokes. And for the ones who need it, gentle advice flows from a man who dedicates his time to serve to Veterans who proudly served us, but now walk all paths of life. Some of their spirits are still proud, others broken.

    Dreamer, they call him, is himself a Veteran, and has an effortlessly strong and tranquil presence that seems to give him the ability to gently wash away his customers’ thoughts of the world’s troubles. Dreamer believes it’s important to give this back to the men and women who served their country. It may seem a little thing, to give a haircut for free or for whatever the customer can afford. From time to time, Dreamer might be paid with a few rumpled bills found in a jacket pocket or with the gift of a rubber band ball. But he has a good heart, and he offers his time and his service while he listens to his customers’ stories of past and present day.

    At night, Dreamer goes out onto the streets, talking, living and surviving the darker hours of the day with fellow Veterans who live on the streets of West LA. Dreamer has amassed memories of many men their stories, which he shares so willingly, so compassionately, and empathetically you’d think they were his own. We highly recommend a visit to meet Dreamer, and the other brave men sharing a few relaxed moments in his little barbershop on any given day.

    More portraits @ iamlosangeles.com

    # vimeo.com/33418932 Uploaded 11.6K Plays 4 Comments
  2. Produced and directed by Ben Wu and David Usui,
    of Lost & Found Films (lostfoundfilms.com).

    Prime Burger Restaurant, in Midtown Manhattan
    For many of the guys that work here, the restaurant is like a second home - some of them have been slinging burgers, making shakes, and waiting on customers at this location for decades. Opened in 1938, the place hasn't been altered since the early '60s, and it looks all the better for it.

    Here the waiters and workers of Prime Burger discuss their views on their chosen profession, and the unique nature of the place itself.

    THIS MUST BE THE PLACE

    There's no place like home. It's where we live, work and dream. It's our sanctuary and our refuge. We can love them or hate them. It can be just for the night or for the rest of our lives. But whoever we may be, we all have a place we call home.

    THIS MUST BE THE PLACE is a series of short films that explore the idea of home, or places that function as home - workplaces, hang out spots, etc. We want to figure out what makes them, how they represent us, why we need them.

    We're always on the lookout for dwellings of all sorts. If you've come across any curious or eccentric homes or other curious places, feel free to send them along.

    thismustbetheplace.tv
    mail@thismustbetheplace.tv

    Music Credits:

    "Pledging My Love" Johnny Tillotson
    "Sit Down Servant" The Staple Singers
    "Come and Save Us" Spiritual Singers
    "The World is a Cafeteria" Mask Man & The Agents

    # vimeo.com/35965635 Uploaded 251K Plays 80 Comments
  3. Produced and directed by Ben Wu and David Usui, of Lost & Found Films (lostfoundfilms.com).

    Allan Hill, Detroit, Michigan

    Allan is the caretaker of one of the few remaining structures that still stand at the old Packard Plant. Years of neglect have resulted in massive decay in this Albert Kahn designed factory. But, it has its own kind of beauty and for Allan is the place he calls home.

    THIS MUST BE THE PLACE

    There's no place like home. It's where we live, work and dream. It's our sanctuary and our refuge. We can love them or hate them. It can be just for the night or for the rest of our lives. But whoever we may be, we all have a place we call home.

    THIS MUST BE THE PLACE is a series of short films that explore the idea of home; what makes them, how they represent us, why we need them.

    We're always on the lookout for dwellings of all sorts. If you've come across any curious or eccentric homes, feel free to send them along.

    thismustbetheplace.tv
    mail@thismustbetheplace.tv

    Music Credits:

    "This Could Be It" Yo La Tengo
    "Concerto in D Major" Maureen Tucker
    "God Be With Us" Furry Lewis
    "Around Gods Throne" Northington Singers
    "Crawlspace" Calexico
    "Detroit City" Bobby Bare

    # vimeo.com/39346092 Uploaded 598K Plays 42 Comments
  4. "In life it’s our choice whether we laugh or cry – and I chose to laugh”

    One Step Beyond takes us behind the scenes for a close up look at the lives of people
    involved in extreme sports.

    Géraldine Fasnacht, world-renowned snowboarder and base jumper, invites us into the small and close-knit community of today’s real life supermen - wingsuit flyers...
    We join her on a rollercoaster ride across the full spectrum of human emotions, catapulting from total euphoria to devastating loss, living life at full force and in glorious technicolour.
    Until one day, out of nowhere, a dramatic event changes the course of Géraldine’s life and forces her to reconsider her chosen path. In the face of tragedy, she decides to pick herself up and get back on the ride, to be swept up in a whirlwind of adrenaline.
    This bare bones, honest account gives us a window into the lives of ordinary men and women who have chosen to take an extraordinary path in life.

    Fasten your seat belts, we hope you enjoy your trip!

    This full length documentary will be available on my blog from march, 8th sebmontaz.com

    More about Géraldine: facebook.com/profile.php?id=717415498

    Thanks for your precious help:
    Matthieu, Original Music: facebook.com/MattOuaki
    Antoine, Motion Design: hardy-antoine.fr/
    Florent, Sound design: zikali.com

    Director/Editor: Sébastien Montaz-Rosset

    You can access more informations about the film: facebook.com/pages/Seb-Montaz-Video-blog/149892381710213

    BEST VIEWED IN HD AND FULLSCREEN (with scaling off)

    Uploaded 274K Plays 71 Comments
  5. Deep in the desert of southern California sits one of the worst environmental sites in America—a former tourist destination that has turned into a toxic soup: the Salton Sea.

    The sea was born by accident 100 years ago, when the Colorado River breached an irrigation canal; for the next two years the entire volume of the river flowed into the Salton Sink, one of the lowest places on Earth. The new lake became a major tourist attraction, with resort towns springing up along its shores. Yet with no outflow, and with agricultural runoff serving as its only inflow, the sea’s waters grew increasingly toxic. Farm chemicals and ever-increasing salinity caused massive fish and bird die-offs. Use of the sea for recreational activities plummeted, and by the 1980s its tourist towns were all but abandoned.

    The skeletons of these structures are still there; ghost towns encrusted in salt. California officials acknowledge that if billions of dollars are not spent to save it, the sea could shrink another 60 percent in the next 20 years, exposing soil contaminated with arsenic and other cancerous chemicals to strong winds. Should that dust become airborne, it would blow across much of southern California, creating an environmental calamity.

    # vimeo.com/21347521 Uploaded 129K Plays 52 Comments

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