I’ve been enviously following the progress of Patrick Ecclesine’s Faces of Sunset Boulevard project since I first heard about it a couple years ago, in large part because he was living what I’d only once dreamed of doing with the help of a high school classmate and a Super-8 movie camera waaaaay back in the day: document one of the city’s most iconic and diverse/disparate thoroughfares from one end to the other.
My pal Hovik and I didn’t get very far. With a working title of “Sunrise To Sunset” we got downtown one early Saturday dawn to start the journey — driven by his dad. But the opening shot we wanted of day breaking from behind Union Station was thwarted by overcast skies and after several minutes of standing around bummed that we’d have to get up way too early and come back on another hopefully clearer-skied Saturday, we adjourned to breakfast and the realization that we’d vastly underestimated the scope of the project. There was just no way a couple punks like us had all that was needed to do the boulevard justice.
Ecclesine had what was needed — and it took him four years to paint a portrait of Los Angeles via one of its longest and windingest roads that my buddy and I foolishly figured we’d be able to do in a day. Beginning with small street-corner shoots involving willing passersby, Ecclesine’s projects evolved into full-scale productions with elaborate lighting, street closures, and the occasional celebrity.
The result is awesome and can be found in a new 208-page 9″ x 12″ hardbound volume ($39.95) from Santa Monica Press that to me perfectly captures what Los Angeles is all about and would make a perfect gift this holiday season for the angeleno who has everything or the non-native who wants greater insight into what this place is all about. I got mine at Amazon for $26, and it’s also available online at Barnes & Noble and Borders. PS. Ecclesine states that his personal profit from the book will benefit the Surfrider Foundation.