Our personal films give us the opportunity to have complete creative freedom to forge, fulfill and build our visions. They give us a channel, to share the stories that we have always wanted to bring to fruition. 

Íon (Scotland 2015)

Íon (Pure) Man. I am stoked to share this. Scotland is an unforgettable place. The people are warm, the mountains wrap you in wind, and out in the country and by the sea, it's easy to feel lost, yet so much at home. Scotland will always hold a place in my heart. My absolute favorite moment from the journey was filming in the base of the Three Sisters mountain range in Glen Coe. There was a Scottish bagpipe player playing amazing grace from the opposite side of this valley, but you could hear the echo of it throughout the whole mountain range. And it was just vastness, beautiful sounds of music and wind, and blue skies up above the mountains. It was divine and surreal. I'm blessed to have been able to trek Scotland up and down this past summer, and to have had a break in between finals to binge-edit this video. It's the little, recreational projects like this one that make me love what I do. I really hope you guys enjoy watching it, and getting to experience a little bit of Scotland, from me to you :) Technical Stuff: - Filmed over ten days, with 75% of the footage being handheld, the rest on Manfrotto monopod or DJI Phantom 2. Cameras used were the Panasonic GH4 and Canon Mark iii. I only brought along three lenses, the Tokina 11-16mm, Canon 24-70mm ii, and Canon 70-200mm IS ii. - I wanted to keep everything really light, as we were only able to stop at each place along the way for about 5-15 minutes at a time. Isles of Skye was particularly hard to film because of the crazy wind speeds making the shots hard to keep steady. I was basically swapping lenses like mad and running from trail to trail to try and grab as many shots as possible, haha. - Editing wise, a huge plus to this videos image grain and stylization is owed to Cinegrain. They produce a fantastic, high quality product and I highly recommend looking into their grains, scratches, textures and looks!


Every summer the Smithsonian Folklife Festival encompasses the National Mall in D.C. and, even if for just two weeks, eclipses the everyday sights and sounds of a bustling city with an open door into a different world. Through the festival, we not only learn about the people who have come to share their culture, we learn about ourselves, what it means to connect. This year Peru brought with it a fire and passion, a liveliness that echoed throughout the grounds and opened the eyes of all who attended. Yet it’s with an open heart that the festival can be most fully understood and enjoyed, and being a witness both in front of and behind the scenes each day, it was apparent to me that all sides present had come open to receive. Breaking down the barriers of language, the Smithsonian was able to bring open communication between the Peruvian participants and all visitors, allowing them to learn, converse and build relationships with people from walks of life that they may never have met apart from there. Throughout the two weeks, two bridges were being built. One spanned, golden braided and hand created across the National Mall, the other could not be seen at all. However, it could be felt. Two people, two sides of the world, two varying ways of life merging in a grounds so full of curiosity. In the words of participant Julie Freundt, “(being here) is like building a bridge, only it’s a different thing to cross it, to see who’s at the other side”. And I saw people cross it. I saw people cross it when they jumped into a circle to dance and sing with the Peruvian musicians, when they watched, completely immersed, at the craftsmanship of the Peruvian artists and bridge builders. I saw it when American and Peruvian alike, the festival’s directors, participants and staff crossed the bridges in the center of the mall. These festivals are what our world needs more of, not only for the experiences they bring, but for the perspectives they birth. To be more daring to reach out to others, to learn about their ways of life, to appreciate their place on this Earth; To take the first step on all bridges you come across. - Albert Tong


With the Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2014 recently completed, we have so much to share from the wonderful two weeks spent with Kenya and China. From the people to the food to the performances, there was so many rich cultural exhibitions for all to see and learn from. Above all the amazing festivities, what is to be most valued from an unique event like this, is the cultural, worldly and human connections created. I had the pleasure and honor of interviewing Kenyan, master artist, Elkana Ong'esa who shared his beautiful thoughts regarding what it means to be "human" and what this festival means to him. This film is a tribute to all the volunteers, staff, participants and visitors who brought this cultural experience to life and contributed in so many ways with their work, talents, curiosity and passion. I hope to have done justice in conveying the sheer excitement, energy and essence of the festival in this piece. No matter who we are or what nationality we represent, the more we have the opportunity to hear each other's stories and the more we are together, the more we will see that we are, simply,"One Village".

This is what it's all about. Hopefully many more films to come.