This Is My Home: The Backstory

A lot of people have been wondering how exactly we came across Anthony Pisano and his incredible home. Well, take a journey with me, won’t you?

On an unseasonably warm November night while Kelsey and I were walking to get ice cream, we paused on the sidewalk, gazing past the open door of what appeared to be an antique shop. Bright neon sign in the window, Frank Sinatra music blasting, it seemed like a great place to pick up a few odd trinkets. We both shrugged our shoulders and began to walk in.

It was then that an elderly man sitting outside, who we presumed was the shop owner, spoke up – “Hey, ladies first”. He was right, how rude, so we switched our places and once again began entering – “One other thing” he said, “Just so you know, nothing inside is for sale. You can browse all you want, but you can’t buy anything”. What an odd tactic for an antique shop we thought. As we were looking around the first room in this railroad apartment, about half way through we spotted a desk area, but beyond that, the lighting began to fade, and figured the area was off limits. Standing in the middle of this place, suddenly it hit us – “Wait a minute” we thought. “Are we in this guys’ house?”

We made our way back out front and asked him, all he told us that we were unusually quick and implored us to go back in and continue exploring “Go all the way to the back,” he said. “You have to really see everything.” Hesitantly, we walked back inside and started our second look around. This time, as we walked past the desk area and into the shadows, we spotted a bed – yup, it suddenly became clear that this was in fact this man’s home. Past the bed, we were greeted by a friendly cat sitting atop a piano sitting right at the corner of the kitchen. After about 15 minutes we wandered back up front, thanked him for letting us peruse his home and then went on our way down the street to get our ice cream.

What else could we say at this point? We weren’t quite sure what to think. We knew we wanted to know more about this man, but we also had a feeling that it would be extremely selfish to keep it to ourselves, we knew that there must be an incredible story behind this house of wonder. After enjoying our ice cream, we walked back over to the man, who was still sitting outside “So, we have a question” “Yes?” “We’re both filmmakers” “Yes?” “And we find your home fascinating” “Yes?” “And we’d like to kn…” and just then he cut me off. “Just ask me already!” We presented the idea, which he accepted warmly with an excited smile. We set the date for 2 months later, once Kelsey returned to New York and we shot the piece in 4 hours on a much, much colder February night.

It was a wonderful night and we captured many of Anthony’s stories, explored his home more in depth and spent a good 20 minutes trying to find Anthony’s camera shy cat to no avail. After we left Anthony’s house that night, we were both floored. It’s all we could talk about for hours. What a friendly, fascinating man – there’s not a single other person like him in New York. We knew we had captured something really special and couldn’t wait to show it to the world.

As of this writing, less than 2 months after it’s release, the film has 450,000 views. It has been written about in The Huffington Post, Roger Ebert’s blog, Oprah’s blog, and Yahoo Canada. It made it to Front page of Reddit, went viral on Buzzfeed, BoingBoing, Gothamist, New York Magazine, The Daily What, Devour, Flavorpill Blog, Laughing Squid and Vimeo Staff Picks. It will be playing on the in-flight TVs on Virgin America flights, and has 2 scheduled screenings in Australia and 2 more in the UK. We’re absolutely thrilled with the success of this film and have nobody to thank but Anthony. Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined it would have gone this far and we thank you all for watching and sharing it.

We visited with Anthony a few weeks after the release of the film to show it to him and to just catch up. He let us know that people from all over the world, as far as The Netherlands have showed up at his home and told Anthony that they found out about his place by watching our film. When he’s not home, kind notes are left at his door for all the people who missed him, hoping to catch a few seconds with New York’s most heartwarming man.

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

Shot & Edited for
Canon 7D / Canon 17-55mm / FCP

This Is My Home

On an unseasonably warm November night in Manhattan on our way to get ice cream, we stumbled upon what appeared to be a vintage shop, brightly lit display window and all. As we began to walk in, a man sitting out front warned us that we were welcome to explore, but nothing inside was for sale. Our interests piqued, we began to browse through the collections the man out front had built throughout his life. This is a story of a man and his home.

I’d also like to introduce my newest venture, Departure | Arrival Films which I have started with¬†Kelsey Holtaway. I will simultaneously be creating for both Departure | Arrival and Suddenly Tragic – it’s not dead. In fact, look for some rad stuff coming from there soon.

Canon 7D / Canon 17-55mm, Tokina 11-17mm / FCP

Winter/Spring 2012 – What’s Next?

I’ve got a bunch of projects in various stages of completion on the horizon that i’m excited to share with everyone. First, a short documentary called “This Is My Home” which features a man in the Lower East Side of Manhattan who lives in a place most people mistake for an antique shop. You can watch a teaser video for that right here.

Next up, there are two cooking videos I shot for my girlfriend’s blog The recipes include Baked Apple Rings and Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries. They were absolutely delicious and I hope that comes across on the videos. You can watch the one we did for Key Lime Pie a few weeks ago right here.

Lastly, i’m hoping to ramp up production on Playing for Pocket Change again. It’s been over a year since we posted our last episode and i’d really love to produce 10 more of these. Due to scheduling conflicts, this has proven difficult to continue but this is going to start to become a priority for me to push through – so you should expect something soon!

Aside from that, I have a bunch of ideas churning around in my head for other projects i’d like to do. 2011 was kind of a quiet year for me in terms of video production but I promise to come back this year with more content than you can shake a stick at. Seriously, put your sticks away, don’t even bother.

Vimeo Festival + Awards Judge: Gabriel Bisset-Smith

Shot as a promotional tool for the 2012 Vimeo Festival + Awards
Canon 7D / Canon 17-55mm / FCP

Welcome to the new site!

Hey. So, after years of having my stuff scattered all across the internet I decided to finally create a space where all of it can co-exist peacefully. On the site you’ll pretty much see everything i’ve done video-wise, except my earlier stuff which has been omitted for good reason. I didn’t know a thing about copyright laws back then so most of it has been removed from the internet. That being said, the great majority of my video work is now on the site – in the future i’ll add my photography, art and written work which i’m sure you’re all just dying to see. Thanks for stopping by! I’ll update the blog section with news and new videos as they’re released. Cheers!

Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie

Shot & Edited for
Canon 7D / Canon 17-55mm / FCP

Vimeo Profiles: Xavier Ruffin

Filmed at the Vimeo Festival + Awards 2010 and edited to be used for promotion as well as to showcase Vimeo members for the staff blog.
Canon 7D / Canon 17-55mm / FCP

Texas Intern

Shot for Vimeo as a Staff Original video
Canon 7D / Canon 17-55mm / FCP

The Second Floor

Shot as a Vimeo Staff Original video
Canon 7D / Canon 17-55mm / FCP