Exposed – Based on a True Story

Based on a True Story

David Alan Harvey, Based on a True Story

Love me or hate me.

I’ve been reading so much, giving time and reflecting on the biggest mystery I can recall right now: what makes success? As you might predict,  I’ve encountered a saturation of philosophies, recipes, statements that ironically make your feel better even if you don’t follow a single line of  what Mr. Encouragement tells you to do,  quotes of minds way more eloquent than mine. But my mind  shouldn’t count, it is stubborn and possesses a certain resistance to being convinced, even when plausible, scientific and ancient anthropological theories are thrown into the debate. To compensate, I take some pleasure if I’m proved wrong by some passionate insight. In my world, throw me into a battle of wits and what determines who wins is passion, not intellectual vanity. You can’t fake passion.  If  reluctance seems to tame my pretention,  the mindset’s change happens and I collide with those inspiring minds, I exorcise my demons jumping on your side. No sign  of hesitation. The welcoming pleasure of new perspectives and learning  how to deal with daring realisations: ‘yes…you are right  and I’m wrong’ or the shy ‘Maybe Im not that sure’.

Since I’ve been working with David Alan Harvey on his recent  book, the question is always flying on the wall and defying a precise answer. So, I ended up on the right way to sustain  it, making it a turnaround; a challenging unconventional premise; -And if that’s nature? Is someone born like that, with talent to attract, to overcome, some unexplained theory…  if it is simple like that?  But then, no one likes to be happy with the simple, but look at David…the man is defined by his ambitions and  his success is certainly proportional to the risks he takes. The challenging mirror of a grandeur soul. Totally. Is that enough? Convinced? Certainly not , but still a beginning and I am happy with that for now.

You can still feel me unprepared and nostalgic when someone brings to the table; How did you meet David , how did you end up in his circus?

You must want to listen the story and I definitely want to tell you some details emerged in those crazy corners of life’s providence. If you want call it destiny, I call it attraction. Right timing. Right meeting. Serendipity. Same energy, same passionate eyes, heart and mind to embrace the task, the craziness no one can refute because that’s the speciality of the house and we (David’s circus) live by delivering the wow.  Free will. Free submission. Just hang on there and I’ll be back to this soon , I’ll bring you to this  highway again (for now, I only ask  you to prepare the seat belt) There will be a next post…so stay tuned till then and with me in this one…

Now I’m inviting you to follow an alternative direction. As rules and precaution are never words to be pulled together dealing with DAH,  I’m jumping to chapter 2012 of our story, overwhelmed while being taken along with the enthusiasm of our (‘based on a true story’) baby being delivered around the world. This possibly explains my back to front methodology in this plot… So, again, bear with me.

The truth of the commotion and audience’s expectation around ‘based on a true story’ is straight out there: Everyone wants to be Mick Jagger. The lifestyle pops up, it’s seductive, it’s what everyone wants to know and the fantasy to identify themselves, and if the story to be told has as central figure David’s guidance, that’s a worthwhile journey for your eyes and your imagination. You instinctively allow it. I know that, you know that, David lives that. Not as a play on a stage, or as poser for the signed copy. It’s pure life and this honesty to reinvent himself,  that becomes the drive, and for those around, who happen to venture in his world, there will be a mutual code, chant , a snap on the face of this society’s fraction  that can build  glamour and founded barriers: distance, protocol, reclusion. David is in the other package .  He belongs to the  other group.  He’s close, he’s there at breakfast at 7am sending notes to his mum. I have no f**king idea if Mick Jagger ever woke up that time or if his mother is still alive.

So, David breaks the rule and I come up with a more appropriate alternative parallel pattern: David is to photography what Madonna is to the pop world…a Genius. It doesn’t matter about the exposition and the buzz of a intense personal life, at the end of the day, they are smart committed professionals opening the right doors, some of those forbidden, some never tried before.

That’s ‘based on a true story’. It’s the next innovative step in thinking about a book’s design, how to keep  inspiring the audience,  the metaphors grabbing your senses and interacting with your perception. But above and beyond the known and predictable, for me, as one insider, the magic of this book has to do with overcoming and succeeding 3 challenges, a playground for David’s nature:

  1. To overcome his legacy. Pushing himself into unexplored territories, using what distinguishes him technically and operating  that in a complex environment; the personal one. The conflict, the doubt, to feel human. To forget shadows, to look behind his back, to leave Divided Soul on the shelf, the safety of the name and put himself out there, naked, anxious and free. Could it have become a spectacular well made photo documentary book from the first concept? You can bet on ‘yes’. It certainly would work and that’s what makes ‘based on a true story’ so special…It succeeded against the odds. Nothing is more exciting than an opened game, to hold your cards and trust in your play. He loaded the gun and pulled the trigger. Did that freak him out? All I know is that right now.. David is sleeping like a baby…so does Bryan Harvey, so do the friends, muses, proud faces from all over those pages and  his reality.
  2. To overcome old plans. To take pictures in the same place, same names and give it different moods. National geographic will have the style required, the social geographic documentary cherished by families and the target material justifying the status of best publication still alive. Two years along this road and how to detect, to figure out deliberately a way out where you could find yourself by a different angle, to personalise the clichés, to tell the story not told yet; your own, to work for the most picky, impatient, pushy boss you ever had; yourself. The risks? Met all of them along the way every day, but the wall was full of prints and again he was right…something was there, and as usual, he saw it  first before anyone else.
  3. To overcome David Alan Harvey…to forget the agency, to manage himself, to create his own time, to build the first online workshop, to refuse the term ‘famous’ (who wants this weight?) It’s good to imagine a place in the sun but once you are there, all you remind yourself of … it is everything related to heat and then…you despair. David is open, he’s reachable, he’s an incorrigible person to have a beer with, and you probably listen for the invitation to join his table. How to protect that, how to create a healthy relationship respecting boundaries, to preserve lines, the security of more or less, to advance in equilibrium?That’s the basic truth about David’s ‘true story’. The vulnerability of accepting who you are and to deal with your  weaknesses…But in the end, the music will be loud, the faces smiling and someone is smoking on the terrace, because no one kills the party of the man. If you do, you got to deal with his army and I assure you, you don’t want that.

And then, comes again the questions, how do I feel being a part of it all? I give up trying to find the  perfect line, it doesn’t seem efficient even in my pretentiousness. What I can tell is … if I were writing this book , there would be some kind of introduction to my character such as; no one was luckier, no one was that happy .


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