As a fan of photography I’ve always been intrigued by the artistry captured in a single still.
For the past few years, I have noticed some exciting shots taken by an incredible photographer and filmmaker named James Marcus Haney. We first met at a Little Green Cars show at McCabe’s a few years back and since I have admired his work.
Marcus’ background is extremely interesting; a USC film school student who forged his career by sneaking into music festivals (sometimes even onstage) to photograph the different bands and artists performing
His first festival was Coachella back in 2010, and ever since he has been on a festival-shooting spree, capturing great moments to share with those who cannot attend.
Now, four years later, Marcus has collected all of his photographic evidence from sneaking in and combined them into a full length feature film.
I recently had the chance to catch up with Marcus to discuss the upcoming film, “No Cameras Allowed”.
Marcus never intended his film and photography to turn into a movie, saying “when I snuck in, it wasn’t to be shooting anything. I used the cameras as a prop, as a decoy.” Little did he know, it would turn into something special.
I asked him if he planned to have ‘characters’ while shooting the film. He said he was shooting what was around him, including his friends, and “unknowingly I was really setting up epic characters for this movie.”
Also, the music is amazing throughout the film. It features songs from Mumford and Sons. Edward Sharpe, Young the Giant, Naked and Famous, Grouplove and so many more artists.
To Marcus, “No Cameras Allowed”, is more than just a music documentary, it’s a personal account of his life, and his interactions with friends and family that develop throughout the film.
“One issue that music documentaries face is only reaching the audience of those bands and we put a lot of universal themes in the documentary. That’s why, for some of the screenings, we have old people and 12 year olds — because you don’t have to be a music fan to enjoy the film. It’s a real story about a real dude who experienced real stuff.”
The film follows the incredible passionate journey of this young photographer and I highly recommend you see it this Wednesday, July 23, when it premieres at the Wiltern in Hollywood. It will have a wider release this summer.
— Jason Kramer