Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Valle Mortis

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
fear no evil, for You are with me...

                                                                    Psalm 23:4

VALLE MORTIS is the Latin translation of "valley of death," which is found in Psalm 23.
To put it simply, it's a film about taking your struggles and using them to face life head on. Instead of allowing them to weigh you down. This was made particularly for my fellow artists. For those of you who may have considered quitting when you were already half way up their uphill battle. The battle will never end, guys.

VALLE MORTIS is my most ambitious film project to date. I didn't exactly intend for it to be that way, 
but as soon as production on the film started, everything began to fall apart. This is incredibly common, if not expected, in the film industry. So this project is no exception to the rule.
It was my first time experiencing it first hand, so I took it very personally. Not to mention we endured many physical, emotional, professional, and personal hardships (to go along with the previous statement).
I put together the following videos to better express the whole story. There's a ton of raw, unseen footage, and a whole lot of behind the scenes bits. If you're someone interested in film, I'd say it's worth a watch despite it being a bit winded.

The documentary:

A few things that these videos don't mention:
 This project took about 10 months to complete. Kindra and I conceived the idea late 2012 or early 2013. I can't quite remember. If it weren't for these videos, I would have no idea what happened. Exhaustion really messed up my memory regarding this project.

The project was also virtually budget-less. We spent some money on food and traveling, otherwise any other expenses were from shipping items back to our generous designer friends. I would estimate between gas, food, a few little supplies, shipping, and other services, we spent about $300-$500. That's pretty damn good for any art project -- especially film.

Also, to add to what it took for us to make this thing ("against all odds"), Kindra and I both had to face a few very personal life events. I won't go into to detail about them -- I just think it's important to know that we pushed on together and made this thing despite what was going on in our lives.

One the many high rocky points of our cliff location in the Columbia Gorge.

Some blood makeup I did on myself on the fourth and second to last shoot of VALLE MORTIS.

The result of the two foot wide rock that fell on my leg. This is it healing a few weeks after it happened. I was really lucky it didn't get my knee cap!

My dad took all of the black and white photos on location while I was filming. I edited them. Thanks, dad!


  1. I kind of lack the words to say how much I love your movie... It's very powerful. You put your heart into this project and it gave this wonderful, wonderful creation, that, dare I say it, touched me very much... It's beautiful, really, and it made me think about what I've been through (and what I will face). I think you nailed that one, and I think you have an incredible talent. I wish you the best!

    1. Thank you so much, Marylou! If I touched you in some way, then this film was really made just for YOU! It warms my heart to know that it had an impact on you. xo

  2. I read a Russian photographers account today of how she chose the ethereally beautiful shots she took of her children with the animals around their property. She explained something about how certain images would affect her in a way she couldn't explain but knew was significant.I largely feel that way about the conceptual aspect of Cassie's work.. there's an element to it that is transcendent but I can't explain how.

    1. Thank you so much, Lindsey! That's a very interesting idea. I think I know what you mean. What partly makes art so alluring is the mystery behind the artist and the mystery of art itself. xo


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