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"Our grasp of creativity is impoverished because we fail to recognize the vital roles that partnerships, collaborations, friendships, and communities play in our thinking, learning and understanding."
- Vera John-Steiner
Whether a story is spoken, written or depicted in film, the art of storytelling has been around since the beginning of time, and the elements of telling a story remain the same throughout the ages. Despite our decreasing attention span and profusion of content, we still hunger for compelling stories that resonate with us on a visceral level.
Self-taught photographer, stylist and producer, Courtney Ellzey feeds that hunger. Her visual stories--whether supplied in stills, video, collage or an Instagram quilt--provide the fundamental components of good storytelling, and then more. Ellzey's passion for architecture, styling, interior decor, music, and fashion infuse everything she produces almost effortlessly which makes her work the more captivating.
The video *
Her most recent project with the Compton Cowboys was nothing short of an undertaking. The entire production from direction, styling, lighting, shooting and composing, was planned, orchestrated and executed with Ellzey at the helm. "I wanted to tell a story of grit and strength and survival, and slowly reveal the beauty and raw optimism that lies within it--a story that is relatable to everyone," she says. "This video is the culmination of that vision."
She admits the project expanded her sense of what's possible, pushed her creative boundaries, and ultimately resulted in bringing to life a deeply evocative and dramatic visual story. The video represents an ever-evolving tale comprising history, architecture, design, photography and cinematography--elements that Ellzey has honed over the years and beautifully weaved together into a tapestry that is quickly gaining her notoriety.
The music *
In the singer/songwriter's words: BABY BLUE
"It is an ode to succumbing to defeat and feeling at peace with it. I always associate the old wild western aesthetic to telling stories through song! I wanted my own version of the Wild West days, running to and from dangerous situations of love, life and death, and Baby Blue is telling that story for me." -Kat
This song, Baby Blue can be found on Kat's album ..
TO CALL THE CALM ..
Which can be found here:
released June 27, 2016
Kat Khaleel: vocals, acoustic guitar
Chris Bruce: electric and acoustic guitar, banjo
Jay Bellerose: drums, percussion
Jennifer Condos: bass
Jebin Bruni: piano, keyboards
Eric Heywood: pedal steel
tracks 2, 3, & 4 recorded by Lynne Earls
tracks 2, 3, & 4 mixed by Pete Min
tracks 1 & 5 recorded and mixed by S. Husky Hoskulds
All tracks mastered by S. Husky Hoskulds
Album artwork by Joe McKay
All songs written by Kat Khaleel
all rights reserved
INSTA | @katikhal
FACEBOOK | facebook.com/kat.khaleel
The woman behind the production ~ Courtney Ellzey is the sole creator, designer, stylist, photographer and storyteller behind Vanner Hats and C-Word Productions. She started the brand Vanner Hats three years ago with the intention to design hats that appeal and empower women and men alike. Vanner Hats has since evolved into a lifestyle brand promoting new products like the Vanner Gun, a custom designed surfboard, and the Vanner bareback, a rugged yet fashionable denim apron. In tandem, Ellzey also owns and runs C-Word Productions, the company responsible for the epic Vanner Hats/Compton Cowboys production, including this video.
"Vanner and C-Word Productions are conduits for bridging the gap through artistic collaborations; it's about conversation, seeing the world through others' eyes and sharing their stories. It takes a village." says Ellzey.
WORDS by the talented artist and writer,
Find her works here:
EVERY DAY BUDDHA
INSTA | @everydaybuddha
For more information on Vanner Hats products visit:
INSTA | @vannerhats
For inquiries about photography and video production, please inquire at:
INSTA | @ellzeycourtney
For more information on the Compton Cowboys:
INSTA | @comptoncowboys
FACEBOOK | facebook.com/comptoncowboys/
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