Cade Martin, Collaboration, and a Mini Film Festival

Cade Martin presents imagery, both moving and stills, giving us a peek into his imagination. He admits that movies inspired him as a child with that fascination and motivation being ever-present today. We wanted to know more about his statement that the lack of boundaries in cinema is what inspires him. Cade has proven that he can tell a tale using motion with three very different projects. We asked him to share the back story of this collection.

What type of films do you draw inspiration from most? Why? Were there some you weren’t allowed to watch as a kid that now inspire you?

I’m an equal-opportunity film buff. At the heart of it, I’m just a guy who loves film. My parents dragged me to movies (good movies, bad movies, all movies) from the time I was small, and nothing seemed to be off-limits. And from each movie I took something – an appreciation of light, the camera work on a close-up, cinematography, costumes and of course, characters – hours in a movie theatre never felt wasted. And those pieces of inspiration collectively form the foundation of my photography career. 

I certainly look at and collect photography books, and take inspiration from great photographers past and present, but I’ve always remained influenced by the movies. To this day I always learn something by watching a film – even a bad one. Movies, their aesthetic, and themes are a big part of who I am. I’m an only child, and like a lot of only children, I grew up surrounded by adults and invented worlds in my head. I’ve always been a bit of a daydreamer, and my school years were often filled with my mind wandering to what I’d found and expanded upon in movies and comic books. A few years later, it’s the same story. Oh, and I love westerns.

Las Pozas Films

Las Pozas is an art museum in Mexico with sprawling grounds and structures throughout. This project looks to be a perfect example of you capturing an adventure, and finding beauty in the unfamiliar. From where did the inspiration hit for this project? What can you share about the post process in making these films?

I have a strong affinity for Mexico – the place, and its people. I have been traveling there since I was a little boy and have returned numerous times for fun, as well as for personal and professional photography projects. 

On one road trip to Mexico, I made a quick visit to Las Pozas with no camera in-hand. Las Pozas is an extraordinary sculpture garden, the creation of Edward James, an eccentric English poet, artist, and patron of the Surrealist movement. To say Las Pozas stuck with me is an understatement – I knew I had to go back, to scratch that itch.

By way of background, my interest in photography is rooted in having creative adventures and in spontaneity. So when a person, place, or story captures my imagination, I want to chase it. One of the biggest challenges for me is finding time for personal projects, which are very important to me, but I have to make them work. With my professional work, which I love and am supremely grateful for, it is sometimes tricky to carve creative and physical space to pursue personal work, so I commit to “assign” myself projects. 

As often happens with a project like this, I allowed location to lead. I photographed Las Pozas and later let myself discover the narratives based on the images created. It was a team effort, an adventure in collaboration, working with Anthony Morrow at Pixel House. Flexibility, comfort level, and openness were the keys to success. We ping-ponged ideas back and forth, settling collaboratively on the right marriage of location and story. As with any great character, you want to know more, what’s next, what will they do, I wanted these images to invoke that same curiosity and sense of adventure. 

Abandoned Mansion

The abandoned Mansion is beautiful, creepy, and mesmerizing at the same time. Was this a personal project? Was there something you were trying to emulate in blending different types of film genres? We noticed you tagged Abandoned America in your IG post, which is all stills. What do you think about that collection?

Who doesn’t love, or isn’t at least intrigued by, abandoned mansions? Back to my only child identity, I was always getting lost in the tales and characters of comic books and movies, interested in not only who they were, but the reveal too. Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, Bermuda Triangle, Lone Ranger, Tarzan, and Zorro – I find it all captivating and mysterious. These are seeds planted by movies and comics; from past lore, it was easy to believe in the extraordinary. 

An abandoned mansion is all potential; it can house any story you can think of, the mystery of it evokes fantasy films, horror, all with a hint of romance. 

Stories, legends, and characters all inspire – one thing always leads to another, the kernel of one inspires and informs the next. Colors, sights, sounds – different artists, different genres, nothing was too outlandish, and anything was possible. The lack of boundaries in movies and comics is freeing and has been very inspirational. My collaboration with Luminous Creative worked to dig into that inspiration and produce something more than I could have even imagined. 

Abandoned Mansion was a personal project. In all of my work, I want the images to invoke curiosity about what happens next, just beyond the captured scene. The intent is for each image to feel like a captured moment in a story, not the whole story.

Abandoned America is a collection I visit from time to time, to be inspired and spark curiosity. That sense of mystery and curiosity draws me in, and I felt like my Abandoned Mansion did the same thing, stirred the same feelings as the images on that feed. 

Dawn of the Undead Films

Judging by the title, and the two short films, the creative juices were flowing courtesy of the Dawn of the Dead movie. Tell us about the Halloween and ’70s twist to these films.

Storytelling is everything – It is simultaneously always there and as well as what I’m chasing. JP –Jean-Pierre Bovie – and I have wanted to work together on a personal project, and the timing was right. Sometimes running with the idea that grabs me means something profound that I travel the globe to find. Sometimes it means playing with puns and having fun on Halloween. I spend a lot of time chasing characters in my photography, and in these short films, I spent time creating them. Creatures of lore, like Zombies, inhabited the comics and movies I’ve watched over the years. And it was great fun to create funky, poppy storytelling around them. I love for the viewer to take away what they take away without me defining what I’ve created; in this case, I hope people took away a few minutes of escape and maybe a laugh. 

Follow Cade on Instagram to see more imagery; the result of Cade chasing characters and stories – finding beauty in the unfamiliar.

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