I've had podcasts before. But this is the first official Above the Cut podcast! In the first episode, I discuss how this new podcast came about, a little background about myself and about Above the Cut, and what to expect moving forward.
I just released an album of synthwave classics on Bandcamp. If you're a fan of the 80s, Blade Runner, John Carpenter music, retro nostalgia, keyboards and electronic music, check it out! I worked really hard on it and it sounds good in the car. It's $10. I'm also selling Gash Order merch at my store.
I've been fielding questions for years about Above the Cut merch, so I finally decided to open an online store! Here you'll find all sorts of specialty ATC swag to rep the brand in your home and on your person. Enjoy the admiration and enthusiasm you're guaranteed to recieve while rocking Above the Cut brand merchandise! Send me a photo of you with your ATC merch and I'll post it on my Instagram!
A short film inspired by Halloween III.
Instagram : http://www.instagram.com/atcwhitney/
An Above the Cut Film
Featuring Kirsten Boyne & Whitney Dinneweth
Written, Directed & Edited by Whitney Dinneweth
Camera Operators: Whitney Dinneweth & Kirsten Boyne
Music by Gash Order
My review of the unfairly-maligned Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
Instagram : http://www.instagram.com/atcwhitney/
Horror Retro Caps: http://www.instagram.com/horrorretrocaps/
FAIR USE is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. My usage of copyrighted clips and sounds are FAIR USE under copyright law. This video is not an infringement on copyright.
It's not 2014 anymore! That means a freelancer like me isn't in the highest demand. I used to pass work off to other freelancers because I simply couldn't keep up with the demand, but nowadays I'd have trouble getting arrested for shooting for a client for money. Granted, I'm still available for hire and still booking work now and then, but certainly not nearly often enough to make any kind of living anymore.
Because of that, I've spent the last few years watching my business go the way of the dinosaur as people use social media and in-house content creators instead of hiring freelancers like me. I even tried working for a couple of companies full-time and even took a job at a coffee shop. I'm simply not the right fit for those types of jobs and they didn't last long. I spent the time marooned in weird jobs thinking of a way to keep Above the Cut alive. After a lot of soul-searching and research, I decided to switch the focus of my business from a freelance model to a Patreon one.
I'm creating content on YouTube: short films, movie reviews, music, vlogs, documentaries and podcasts. I was doing this for free and working odd jobs in between, but I haven't been able to keep my head above water for two years. So if you're looking to watch Above the Cut Films, head on over to my Patreon page and subscribe and help keep me alive, eating, happy and working.
I was lucky enough to be invited to film my friend Nick's surprise birthday party. It was a special day for a special guy and I think this video reflects that. I'm happy he was so happy to see so many friends and family turn out and I'm hoping everyone enjoys reliving that night at Molly Malone's.
Official music video for "Bleed" by post-punk/synthwave/goth act The Dark Season.
A film by Whitney Dinneweth.
I'm about to shoot more drone footage for a client soon so, going thru old drone B-Roll I captured, I decided to put this thing together.
Shot and cut by Whitney Dinneweth.
An Above the Cut film.
Filmed entirely on the DJI Phantom 4 Pro.
Delivered in Cinemascope 2:35:1 aspect ratio.
Been busy creating music to satisfy the goth/punk/metal/prog weirdo in me. Maybe nobody else likes it. Maybe you'd like it with me. Check the album out on Soundcloud and see for yourself. Probably for fans of King Crimson, the Melvins, Rudimentary Peni and Sonic Youth. Or maybe not.
Second EP by Abraxas Horn, featuring weird experimental rock music with metal and prog influences.
Gtr - ATCWhitney
Bass - ATCWhitney
Drums - ATCWhitney
Keys - ATCWhitney
Vox - ATCWhitney
My neighbor Carlos asked me to take photos of him. He's a musician and is building his online presence, starting with these. He's also Brazilian, so I knew we'd have a spicy old time, and I might get some mate, so I said "yes." We connected on a deep symbiotic level due to our mutual love for and fascination with Alejandro Jodorowski and warlock culture and I think the photos reflect that. Click here.
My mom was born in Hollywood in 1943. She knows a Hollywood I'll never know. Here, she tells her story about growing up in Hollywood, what it was like living near the end of the golden age of movies, celebrity anecdotes, having show business parents, and more.
Directed by Whitney Dinneweth
Made in Hollywood in October 2018
Two Bats, aka Whitney and K, aka WD45 J Carpenter Quality Earth Dinner Sausage and K Underscore Underscore B.A.T.T. review the new film, Suspiria, which opens in wide release on November 2 2018 (in the United States).
We saw an early screening, because we live in LA and cool things like that happen here, of Suspiria at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.
We provide both spoiler-free and spoiler discussion of the film by Luca Guadagnino and written by David Kajganich, based on the 1977 film directed by Dario Argento. It stars Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper and Chloë Grace Moretz.
Subscribe to the Whitney & K Youtube Channel:
A film 28 years in the making!
In less than 15 minutes, I explain Twin Peaks better than anyone has online, as far as I’ve seen.
While I’ve read, heard, and watched theories that were interesting and entertaining, I’ve never found anything that quite broke Twin Peaks down the way that seemed possible to me after The Return.
I’ve watched Twin Peaks since the air date of the first episode of Season 1 on network television. Ever since, I’ve been thinking about Twin Peaks and it’s mysteries and, while The Return certainly adds new ones, I think it holds the key to crack open the case of the whole mythology.
I’m primarily doing this to entertain and have a sense of humor about my favorite show.
I’m secondarily doing this to explain how Twin Peaks isn’t just random nonsense, which is the criticism I’ve heard from every single person who doesn’t like it. These 15 minutes show that if you think the show is just “weird for weird’s sake,” “has no story,” “doesn’t make sense,” or “is boring,” then I made this specifically for you, to tell you why you’re an idiot.
Thirdly, I’m doing this for fans, like me, who have poured over everything related even remotely to Twin Peaks in a concerted effort to continually relive their favorite show. I thought I’d give you more content to enjoy along with all the rest.
If you disagree with any of the theories presented in my movie, David Lynch’s thoughts on product placement should summarize my response.
David Lynch’s thoughts on product placement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4wh_m...
Lost Highway - Renegade Cut: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Snz87...
Poster Artist: http://crisvector.myportfolio.com/fea...
My review show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEHpju...
An Above the Cut Film.
Mr. Steve Brooks aka Sapphire Steve from the band Torche gets tattooed by MAS from the great state of Texas.
A rockin' good time!
Check out Torche:
MAS Tattoos is on Instagram:
On this episode, we interview Michael Aaron Smith.
He explains what it's like being a tattoo artist and I discuss his body.
Find Michael on Instagram:
Find ATCWhitney on Instagram:
Find Kirsten on Instagram:
My boy MAS tattooed at my birthday.
He tattooed a snake on Kirsten.
It was the biggest tattoo he'd ever done up to that point.
I filmed it.
It's common knowledge: people from San Francisco hate Los Angeles and everything about Los Angeles and everyone from Los Angeles.
But why? I'm from LA and I lived in San Francisco for ten years and I never fully understood it.
It seems like the one socially-acceptable and regionally unique form of bigotry in the country promoted by some of the most self-righteous, professed anti-bigots that exist.
It's not just a "sports-rivalry," either. It's much more virulent and personal. At least for the people in SF. In LA, not so much.
Jack Rudy, another person who's lived in SF and LA besides me, explains his take on this cultural phenomena.
You don't have to agree with it. But then, if you don't, you're wrong.
I started a solo music project.
I'm planning to do nine songs of dark cinematic mood metal.
The Panos Cosmatos film Mandy inspired it. I love that movie.
This is the first track. It's called "VHS."
In the words of David Lynch:
"I'm not a musician, but I love making music."
I took this photo of Kirsten at the Pride Parade in San Francisco in 2015.
Kirsten and I moved to LA soon after.
Kirsten worked for Levi's at the time and Levi's was marching in the parade.
I'd been hired by Levi's to shoot for them for years up to this point.
I was gonna go just to support gay rights. I wasn't working at the parade.
Someone from Levi's asked me last minute if I'd be willing to shoot the parade for them.
I gave them my rate and they said, "no," and counter-offered me one-tenth.
I was surprised. I hadn't had that happen with them before.
They triggered the dormant punk-rock side of me and I started thinking of Levi's as an evil conglomerate co-opting a grassroots movement, manipulating Pride into an opportunity solely for financial gain to them.
I never thought this way about Levi's before, with regards to their prior community-activism-cum-marketing opportunities that they'd put together and that I'd been involved with.
I didn't see this as cognitive dissonance.
I saw one specific and measurable difference on their part this time.
The difference was that Levi's never tried low-balling me before.
It's not like Levi's was strapped for cash all of a sudden.
Not only did I know that they weren't willing to pay a fair amount for this gig but that accepting the offer anyway would be setting a precedent that it was okay to low-ball every job moving forward.
It reminded me of a saying,
"You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics." -Charles Bukowski
Would it be wrong for me to feel slighted if they weren't willing to save me from missing my rent for the month while working for them?
Especially when I knew enough of how the sausage was made by then to know that there was literally no reason for them to do that, other than just to be greedy assholes?
If Levi's, suddenly and out of character, decided that they wanted me at my lowest possible price, such that my fee, prorated over time, would amount to less than minimum wage, while benefitting themselves at an obscene deal greater than that, would it be wrong for me to lose some faith in their motives and intentions across the board?
Would it follow, then, that if I couldn't trust them to treat me with the respect and dignity I'd earned as a proven colleague, that it might also mean I couldn't believe in the veracity of their performative "cause," as they'd spun it, when it came to Pride?
I said, "no."
Then I showed up with my camera and shot photos.
I was happy to see so many people crowding the streets crying tears of joy. Gay marriage had just passed. It was obviously an especially celebratory occasion.
I got home, edited the photos, and put them on my Flickr account.
Days later, I heard back from the low-baller at Levi's.
They thanked me for coming to Pride, as if Levi's were in charge of the invitations.
They asked if they could see, and possibly share, some of the photos that they saw me taking that day.
They didn't offer to license the photos from me.
They didn't offer anything.
They wanted free work.
I said, "no."
Their immediate response was to act like they were doing me a favor by even talking to me at all.
They blacklisted me quickly afterwards.
No one at the company would tell me why, even when I broke the passive-aggressive code of corporate conduct and called out the unbecoming gaslighting tactics of middle aged people who should know better.
I lost a guaranteed 100,000 dollars a year by sticking with my integrity.
I held onto that and moved to LA.
I brought the best part of Levi's with me.
(See above photo.)
What is goth? Watch and find out!!!
An Above the Cut Film.
The latest installment of my long-running YouTube TV Show, "Hangs With..." is out NOW.
Episode 2 is called, "TOP FIVE REASONS WHY LA IS THE BEST."
We've got Bay Area native and LA resident Jack Rudy, the mayor of all hot-takes in the hot seat here at ATC Studios in Los Feliz discussing not only WHY LA is the greatest, but HOW some of the most seemingly-indefensible qualities of Los Angeles are actually useful and beneficial to the Angeleno.
Written and Hosted by Jack Rudy
Shot, Cut and Directed by Whitney Dinneweth
An Above the Cut Film
The greaser's review and analysis of Blade Runner 2049 (2017.)
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Written by: Hampton Fancher and Michael Green
Director of Photography: Roger Deakins
Music by: Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer
I've had complicated thoughts about Blade Runner 2049 since I first saw it at The Arclight in Hollywood when it came out.
My Citizen Kane is the original Blade Runner from 1982.
In this review, I discuss why I think the new Blade Runner is a great movie, but also not nearly as good as the original Blade Runner.
I also discuss the new film's themes, which run the gamut from existential to political, in my estimation.
I spoil the entire movie, so if you don't want spoilers and the warning at the start of this film doesn't dissuade you, don't watch this.
Let me know what you think about Blade Runner 2049 and how you think it compares to the original Blade Runner.
Greaser Reviews Blade Runner 2049
Written and Produced by Whitney Dinneweth
FAIR USE is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and "transformative" purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work.
My usage of copyrighted clips and sounds are FAIR USE under copyright law.
This film is not an infringement on copyright.
An Above the Cut film.
K Batt explains the top five things you need to know before you move to Los Angeles.
These are direct, practical lessons from an Angeleno with 14 years of real-world experience in the city of Angels, delivered in her signature creepy, histrionic, court-jester-like style.
Like and share if you found this helpful.
Leave a comment and provide you own tips and tricks about moving to LA.
An Above the Cut Film.
Kirsten and I threw a party for my birthday on August 4 2018.
We had some amazing friends over.
MAS Tattoo was tattooing in our kitchen.
I turned 35 so he did $35 tattoos.
An Above the Cut Film.
My friend Mike was kind enough to invite me to a screening of a 35mm print of The Matrix.
It was at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills.
I've been inspired lately by my friend, Hero Bishop, and his YouTube show called "Nerd x Core."
Watching how passionate Hero is about his content got me stoked, so I offered to help him create a little content here and there for Nerd x Core.
After seeing The Matrix at the Academy, which was one of the coolest experiences of my life, my feeling about Hero plus my excitement from seeing The Matrix in 35mm coalesced and I decided to put together this film.
Hope you enjoy.
In 2014, I'd already made literally hundreds of videos for Levi's®.
Most of what I did, I didn't like. Almost none of it was my idea. Of course, to each their own. But, as a fan of my employer, I felt like I had something that just so happened to by my idea, and that also was good for their brand, and that I could execute with greater authenticity than if it came from anyone's mind out of the corporate office.
I became friends with a guy named Ryan, the master tailor appointed by corporate for the brand globally. He lived in New York for a while, but when he came back to SF, I talked him into getting a motorcycle.
I wanted more friends to ride with.
He bought a Harley and became obsessed.
He started tinkering with parts and customization.
My other friend, Laif, had already been doing that, when he wasn't going on auditions or riding with me.
There was a local hangout we used like a coffeeshop. We would all go there almost every day just to hang out. Sometimes, we'd decide to go for a ride from there.
It was a community motorcycle garage called Piston & Chain.
I had this idea suddenly that I could help Levi's® talk to its audience through films and photos, Laif, Ryan, motorcycles, and Piston & Chain.
Levi's® was always talking in the office about "authenticity," the "workers," the "builders," the "individual," and "rugged" lifestyle.
Mind you, most of the people working in the office were the antithesis of all of these things. They were typically uptight, snobby, self-absorbed, prissy, fearful, insulated people who usually came from money and didn't even need their job to survive.
But I believed in the marketing. I was making videos for marketing purposes. I'm a method actor. I got into the mindset.
So I talked to tons of people at the company over a few weeks when I'd pop in for other, more soul-sucking meetings and gigs. There didn't seem to be much interest.
I figured it was dead on arrival. But I wanted to do my best, so I knew it wouldn't be my fault if it didn't go.
So, instead of continuing to talk, or simply dropping the idea altogether, I made this video on a day off.
It was a private link, and I emailed it to tons of people, including the President and the CEO of Levi's®, both of whom I'd never spoken to via email but who were cc'ed at various points on emails I was a part of.
I couldn't try to have my pitch heard any harder than that.
Nothing ever happened.
Besides the fact that I now have this video.
I still like it, even though it feels like a painful reminder of a time when my days, unbeknownst to me, were numbered working for Levi's®.
And, as a reminder of a certain wide-eyed optimism I had then, it makes my stomach turn a bit now in hindsight. (Not only did the video go nowhere and the gigs dry up, but my two friends in the video aren't really in my life anymore either, and I broke up with San Francisco. Long story.)
But none of that matters.
One of the things I love about filmmaking and taking photos is that the truth in films and photos is captured at a time and place, and exists forever in that form.
Even if things change, like they always do in life, there exists somewhere an infinite loop where a story plays over and over again. And nothing can change that. Not even reality.
In a film.
In this film.
In 2012, I was making a living full-time as a filmmaker and photographer.
I was living in San Francisco and freelancing for a bunch of clients, but Levi's® was regularly hiring me. I'd been broke my whole life and suddenly I was making more money than I ever thought I'd make.
I was constantly scared, because I'd managed to scrape my way, after years of trying, out of the minimum wage and service industry worlds, and I never wanted to go back.
But I also felt like it was sure to go away at any moment, so I gladly became an insatiable workaholic.
I'd regularly pull marathons where I'd be working around the clock with no days off for up to a month. That's because I wanted to do all the gigs and all the jobs on all the gigs.
Every time I worked with anybody else, they'd screw up their job over and over until I'd just take over for them and do it myself. I'd pitch, plan, schedule, direct, shoot, run live audio, edit, sound design, take photos, etc.
Generally, when I'd have a day off, I'd get right back into looking for more work.
But, for once, I decided that, after a typical marathon gig, this time I'd go on vacation.
I could have gone anywhere in the world. I'd never had enough money to be able to do that before (and may never again.)
I chose New York.
I wanted to take some video while I was there so I could look back on it, in case, at some point, I lost my career, became broke again, and could never go back.
I wasn't even convinced that I should upgrade to a Canon 5d because I never believed my freelance career would last until the next month for years. So I brought my t3i, which I'd been using to make the videos that paid for that trip (It's the Indian, not the arrow).
I'd never been to New York. Ever since 1991, there were two things that I knew: that I wanted to be a filmmaker and I wanted to live in New York. I didn't know why, but I felt it was true.
When I arrived, I immediately felt at ease. It felt like home. The noise, the traffic, the energy, the smell. It warmed my soul.
It's been six years. I became a filmmaker and did that job for a living for a long time.
The time spent that you see in this video is the closest I've come to living in New York.
Late last year, I had to pick up a second job.
I moved from San Francisco, where my freelancing business was booming for years, to LA, where it stopped dead in the waters of Silverlake.
I arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed in Hollywood in 2015. The prodigal son, who left home penniless, without any direction, and returned, by most accounts, with a pretty impressive self-made business under his belt. Some of the biggest possible clients from around the world. Some high-profile projects. Even LinkedIn references, if you were asking for primary sources.
In 2015, the Silverlake Reservoir had evaporated, and the ensuing barren landscape mirrored my newfound career drought I’d unknowingly walked into.
I pursued my connections from San Francisco and New York, but they only lasted me a handful of months.
I tried establishing new ones in Hollywood but I ran into that famous nepotism wall. The one the white walkers always seem to have such a hard time with.
I tried DTLA but I was too New York for fake-New-York.
I tried Santa Monica but I was too skeptical of the brash start-ups I figured would collapse before sending me my check.
I even tried connections in Silverlake but it was all dried up.
The wall is protecting the privileged of Hollywood from Wildlings: self-made freelancers who are wary of the unions (full disclosure: I’m a member of SAG) and interested in thinking outside the box (or north of the wall, if you will.)
The wall is real. I left Los Angeles the first time because of it. And when I returned with more optimism than an MMA fighter with a burgeoning (but tenuous) potential movie career, I ran head first into it again like I’d never left.
In San Francisco, everything clicked into place.
But I found myself back in Hollywood.
In the middle of a draught.
So, after burning myself out taking freelancing jobs I was way overqualified for while being paid what amounted to less than minimum wage by the hour, six to seven days a week, for months at a time (not to mention, being treated like absolute garbage by that other famous Hollywood cliche: unhinged narcissists), I made a decision I never thought I’d make again: I took a customer service job.
I picked my favorite coffee shop. One that, in an intentionally maudlin gesture, reminded me of San Francisco, and started working, giving up any ideas of continuing my freelancing career.
A few weeks ago, I resigned at my toxic customer service job.
I didn’t know what I was going to do. But I knew that anything was better than staying at that job. Even being homeless. I’ve been homeless before. It was in the Bay Area. It happened only a couple years before I started freelancing full time.
Then, out of nowhere, a friend connected me with someone who offered me a job.
I was to start the day before my last day at the coffee shop.
I’m working on a project, without giving away too much, that’s connected to my favorite director, the one who inspired me in 1990 to pursue the art life.
In 2015 Silverlake was completely barren.
Now, from Los Feliz, I can see a shimmering surface.
This is the "Producer's Cut" of the music video for "All Bad Vibes" by Gimme Danger.
I'm planning both a "Director's Cut" and a "Producer's Cut." The latter is a homage to "Halloween 6" and its famously different versions.
This cut focuses on the band performing entirely and will probably be used as a sales tool for their EPK, I'd imagine.
The "Director's Cut" will focus more on my preferred "narrative" angle, for which filming is not completed.
Unlike the "Bonnie Y Bonnie" project (see previous post), I was given creative control with "All Bad Vibes" as the director, even with this "Producer's Cut," so the distinction is more about my intended audience than delineating the author of the piece.
After this project, I've only got one other obligation that may or may not materialize, and then, a clean slate. So whether this is the penultimate episode for me or not, it's been an amazing ride making films since I was 8 years old and I'm very proud of the work I've done and the voice I've maintained consistently throughout my work.
Here's my Director's Cut of "Bonnie Y Bonnie."
This project started when a former friend asked me to direct from a script that she wrote.
I say "former" because, in the middle of the project, she hijacked the decision-making process, essentially fired me as the director in the most passive-aggressive way possible, and I walked away with my own cut intact.
I took an "Alan Smithee" credit as director on her version but I kept my name on this, my intended cut as the director that she asked me to be.
I post this version here to commemorate not only a bit of work I'm pretty proud of, but also, the work of a handful of friends and collaborators who'd lost hours of work and sleep to do me the favor of donating their valuable time, creativity, and energy to my vision as the director of "Bonnie Y Bonnie." I can't ever repay them so I hope they know how grateful I am.
While I'm very happy with the final product of my Director's Cut, the experience was the worst in a long line of terrible experiences that have led me to question why I even bother being an artist and creating things with other people at all. I've found that I consistently used to find happiness and mutual respect for years working with other people as a filmmaker until recently, when I've been consistently much happier and more respected doing anything BUT making films.
This may be one of the last things I ever make, since the thought of not making things excites me much more than the thought of making them lately. I'd rather be happy than stubbornly pursue a childhood dream that makes me miserable without exception, as has been the case of late.
Here's to something or someone possibly changing my mind at some point in the future!
Before we dated, Kirsten worked at Levi's® Global Headquarters on Battery Street in San Francisco. The first time I met her, we hated each other. I was hired to take photos of upcoming product by somebody else, who then pawned me off onto her. We didn't hit it off at all.
Months later, I was hired to film a training video for Levi's® and unbeknownst to either of us, Kirsten was one of the interviewees. She had had a crush on me since we met, apparently.
You can tell in the above clip from the training video shoot.
If you're a real one, then you fuck with comics and nerd shit.
I fuck with comics and nerd shit, and charisma, gothic boyz, and face tatoos, so I fuck with this fool called "NERD X CORE." He's got it all at the highest level.
I made a new intro for his YouTube videos. Sent it over. He liked it. You should too.
If you real, you'll click the link below and fuck with this nerd.
I don't know if you know this, but one of my biggest inspirations is John Carpenter.
He doesn't just direct (awesome) movies, but he also produces, writes, and scores them.
In addition to sound designing my films and videos myself, I sometimes add score myself.
Besides scoring my films and videos, I make music for music's sake sometimes. Here's a song from a dark hip hop album work-in-progress I'm doing with Micah Ruiz aka "TRIGGER MORTIS" from Oakland, CA.
John Carpenter forever.
One of my biggest accomplishments as a filmmaker or photographer was the Field of Jeans™ project. Levi's® hired me to capture the event visually, so I hired four people to help us deliver photos and a video recap. I served as the Director, Cinematographer, Editor, and as a Photographer, alongside four other Photographers, shooting several days, and getting Levi's® the highest number of engagements of any story pushed globally that year. Check these links:
I'm really proud of this to this day. Almost as proud as I am of this:
Welcome to my blog.
Here I'll post whatever I want. Probably new shit I'm doing or have just finished. Or older work. Have a look! Or look at a cool movie. Drop me a note if you dig!