Upon a night of neighborhood research I was browsing the Bushwick hashtag on Instagram when rooftop views and drastic landscapes came up on the account of local photographer and filmmaker Alex Ayer. Feeling inspired to learn more about his work I asked if we could meet up to talk photography and such.
Some days later we were inside of Lot 45, looking out the double garage doors at the vibing sidewalks of Troutman and St. Nicholas where the surrounding warehouse walls were alive with the illustrious murals of The Bushwick Collective. All of this amid a neighborhood where it can be well worth it to meet strangers, ask questions and connect over shared interests.
While talking about one another’s personal histories with photography and finding the perfect ground for inspiration in Bushwick, here’s what I found out from Alex…
In the Fall of 2011, Alex and his writer/director friend Emmanuel Solotareff set off on a cross country road trip that took them from Cayucos in Central California to Navajo Nation in New Mexico, through Montezuma County, Colorado then eventually across the Atlantic to Bretagne, France and finally back to New York.
While driving through forests, parks and desolate back country roads, the duo found themselves so driven by their natural surroundings that what originated as a two-month excursion turned into a grand adventure spanning over three years. They decided to turn their trip into a photo and film shoot, following a script along the way. With Alex recording footage from behind his Canon and Emmanuel taking lead in front of the camera, a story called ONE: The First Myth was created.
From awe-inspiring canyon views in Arizona to setting up camp in the valleys of Utah, scenes from their trip have been covered by The Daily Mail UK and SLR Lounge as well. As seasons changed, the duo captured diverse landscapes from the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountain range to sunlit vistas in Venice Beach. I watched the trailer and as nature is clearly the star of the film, Alex further revealed to me its mythical background and the central concept of man’s relationship and fascination with nature.
There is definitely more to be seen from the story of ONE: The First Myth, and Alex is currently working on completion of the film out of his Bushwick apartment. He launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the post-production costs — it has just 4 days left (ending June 10th) to reach its goal — check it out on his Kickstarter page!
Scenes from Alex Ayer’s ONE: The First Myth
Alex and Emmanuel with Bruce, a Navajo Man who helped their car out of mud near Shiprock, New Mexico
Rock formations captured in Page, Arizona
Setting up camp in the Valley of the Gods in Utah
Alex captures scenes along the Canyonlands National Park, in Utah
Traveling through snow-covered Yosemite National Park in California
Part of their story, the “Goddess of Rock” near the Navajo Nation of Shiprock, New Mexico