FORTE 313 | Short Portrait / by Ryan Lee

A short portrait of my friend, FORTE 313, and his experience with graffiti.
Filmed in Brooklyn, New York in 2016.

Several months ago, a friend of mine was talking to me about a large graffiti project he wanted to tackle. Naturally, I asked if I could come along to film him and get to know a bit more about his history with graffiti as well as its culture.

We started around 11PM and finished up around 7:30AM the next day. The overnight shoot in complete darkness and 39°F weather pushed me and even my "lowlight-monster" A7sII. Despite the gruelling conditions, I found this project incredibly refreshing. I had done this during my extremely intensive fundamental narrative film production course at NYU. One thing I've realised is in narrative, you're constantly pouring out and drawing from within yourself; it's a very introspective process. With documentary, there is some of that, but for the most part you're getting to hear and observe people in ways that are new and outside of yourself. When shooting, I'm not asking myself, "How can I get this to better represent what I'm trying to say?" like I am during a narrative shoot, rather "How can I learn more about what I'm hearing and seeing?".

This isn't a perfect piece, and there's so much I wanted to put in but couldn't find a way to fit. Perhaps I'll cut another piece with the footage or revise this one in the future.