Raafi Rivero is a filmmaker and photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. These occasional missives have been posted continuously since 2006 when “moblogging” was a thing. Please explore work and ideas here, elsewhere, or on the social platform of your choice: #72hrsBK
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I’ve been writing the film 72 Hours: a Brooklyn Love Story? for the better part of the year, and will be directing it soon. It’s been a tremendously rewarding journey to start with a few ideas and now find myself working with an amazingly talented cast and crew to bring the project to life. We’ve raised a lot of money so far, and are launching a campaign today to add the last few bells and whistles so we can really do it right. Please take a look, share, and support!

Longtime observers of the dotcom might make the connection from the artwork above to this photo I took nearly two years ago. Because everything really is a process. So, please, become a part of it. Thank you.


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In preparing for The Film, nearly everything else has taken a back seat. Even the consideration that goes into a photo. Mainly it’s been snapshots, on the new, improved phone. Locations, rehearsal, that sort of thing. Ideally all the work unspools in one 90-minute sequence of uninterrupted beauty. But as a hedge, or to see how the sausage gets made there’s a lot of activity going on at #72hrsBK, so please follow Instagram and Twitter. Stay in touch, baby. I’ll keep making it do what it do.

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I took some photos at this years annual Labor Day Caribbean Parade. Like, hundreds of photos. I’ve culled the best ones into a longer visual piece. Below is a video teaser capturing some of the motion not present in the stills.

 


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A few weeks ago my friend Peter asked me to photograph a recent project of his. Designed in concert with his graduate students at RISD, the Disaster Go Bag is made for when the apocalypse strikes and it’s time to peace out. It’s made of a custom textile that filters air, or, you know, disease spores. It also generates power for small electrical devices and contains a bottle with a custom filter top to create potable water from any source, like swamps. The glow-in-the-dark ribbing is for when you need to keep the zombie watch going well past dark. You know, just in case.

 
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I asked my friend Allison to pose and Lilia did the make-up. If you see me rocking a fresh pair of Jordan’s, you’ll know which shoot they came from.

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I designed a baseball cap. And though it can be summed up in five words, the process took about ten months. They’re inspired by some Brooklynites who’ve inspired me: Jackie Robinson and Jean-Michel Basquiat. There’s even a line from a Langston Hughes poem (for whom one of the largest public housing towers in Brooklyn is named) printed on the bias tape underneath the cap. Along with one of the flyest camouflage details you’ve ever seen. (Who has that? Nobody, that’s who!). It’s been some of the most painstaking, detail-oriented work I’ve ever done.

Please buy one, if you wanna look as fresh as me.

And if you don’t wanna look fresh. Well, that’s alright, too.


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Here are a couple pics I shot awhile back with carpet designer Joe Carini. It happens often enough. Either you’re waiting for a specific date when something is published, or approvals, or whatever. And by the time they’re live you forget to tell people anything at all.

Joe has been a great inspiration to me. His work is radical – pushing boundaries everywhere. Many of his carpets are collaborations, many others are inspired by graffiti or the streets. All are expertly crafted, hand-sewn in Nepal. In his office are african masks, a motorcycle, and paintings by famous artists.

We shot this picture in the Gowanus Batcave — location of this music video. Joe saw the video and said, “I have to go there.” So we went. Carrying an incredibly expensive silk rug over barb wire. And made some magic.

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I’ve been searching for an original way to say this, but the basic concept is this: I’m making a movie!

ed note: Thanks to all our many backers for a successful campaign!

 

The film is called 72 Hours: A Brooklyn Love Story? In it, over the course of one weekend, we see love, love lost, and something gained in its place. It’ll be great. I promise.


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The Sasquatch Festival is a three-day explosion of music and bodies in one of the most picturesque concert venues imaginable, the Gorge Amphitheater in eastern Washington. Five stages of madness during the days, and 50,000+ attendees camping on the attached lands at night. Our team was hired by Skype to shoot it, and I managed to grab these stills in the flow.
 

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My favorite sets were probably Chance the Rapper, Tycho, and Rodriguez, but I missed many more than I saw, and there’s no substitute for seeing creative heroes like Outkast and Major Lazer in full bloom. Rodriguez used a pause between songs to say, “we have to stop violence against women.” His voice was strong throughout the show, and I wondered how it felt to be playing such a large venue just a week after the death of the young filmmaker who’d reintroduced him to the world.

In addition to five days camping in an RV — and waking up to 4am sound checks — there was the sheer exhaustion of shooting for hours on end, carrying more equipment than usual, and interacting with hundreds of less-than-sober people daily.

There were quiet moments too, a few of them anyway. I hope to go back. §


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Amish boys watching the fire department after a car accident in Paradise, PA. I took a couple of “real” pictures of this scene, but it came out so much better on the phone/Instagram.


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I recently worked on a short documentary about Rebuild By Design, an architecture competition created by a Presidential task force in response to Hurricane Sandy.

Visually, we were tasked with making a film about hurricane season during the winter months. Though some warm weather shots did make it into the cut, it was a small coup to see such a strong amount of activity on the ocean and rivers during cold weather.