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© Claire Lawton

American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, an Amazon Original


American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story draws from unprecedented access to more than 17,000 hours of footage and over 2,600 scrapbooks from Hefner’s personal archives, chronicling the life of an American icon and the history of the brand he created.

[Official Trailer]

Credit: Story Producer, Supervising Post Producer

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Roman Empire: Reign of Blood, a NETFLIX Original


Roman Empire: Reign of Blood is the story of one the greatest and most powerful civilizations in human history as it begins to unravel and descend into an era of chaos from which it will never recover. This stylish mix of documentary and historical epic chronicles the reign of Commodus, the emperor whose rule marked the beginning of Rome’s fall.

[Official Trailer]

Credit: Writer, Supervising Post Producer

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Burn and Dodge: A Field Guide to Photo Manipulation


In May of 1920, hundreds of soldiers gathered in Sverdlov Square in Moscow. They’d been called by the new leaders of the Soviet Union — members of the Bolshevik party that had overthrown the Tsar and seized power to create the first communist country in the world. The soldiers were on their way to the front lines of

The soldiers were on their way to the front lines of war in Poland. But before shipping off, they assembled for a rally given by Vladimir Lenin and his comrade, Leon Trotsky. As Lenin addressed the crowd from a makeshift, an iconic photograph was made, and as the shutter opened and closed, photo paper was exposed to forever encapsulate what would become a historic moment.

Read the rest of the published story (page 90) …

Published: The Issue, a bi-annual photography publication of The Photographers Collective Of Hunter College (May 2016)

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Put a Cactus on It — a Succulent Grows in Brooklyn


To spot the latest cool-kid trend, swing by a bodega in Brooklyn. The small, brightly lit convenience stores are on almost every corner in the U.S. capital of hipsterdom, and the owners keep tabs on their neighborhoods before stocking up on organic condiments, fair trade snack bars, and jars of coconut oil.

On a humid night in July, a trip to a bodega in south Brooklyn yields a four-pack of eco-friendly toilet paper and a small potted cactus. When asked about the new makeshift shelf of cacti in front of the store, the clerk barely looks up.

“We sell so many of these things,” he says, attempting to wrap the cactus in a plastic bag. “I don’t get it.”

Corner bodegas in Brooklyn aren’t the only spots repping desert plants. Across the country, icons of the desert abound. But anyone who’s spent time in the West knows the desert hasn’t always been hot.

Read the rest of the published story …

Published: Phoenix New Times, September 2015

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NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed, a CMT Mini-Series event


Each week millions of NASCAR fans tune in to watch NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events. NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed tells the story of a national spectator sport that was born on America’s back roads behind the wheels of Southern bootleggers.

The six-hour special features archival footage, re-enactments and interviews with NASCAR personalities and experts including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Richard Petty, Tony Stewart and Darrell Waltrip.

[Official Trailer]

Credit: Story Producer, Supervising Post Producer

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Should I Really Go to Brunch?


Originally published on Phoenix New Times’ Chow Bella

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The Making of the Mob, an AMC Mini-Series event


Narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Ray Liotta, Making of the Mob: New York (2015) is an eight-part series that follows the rise of Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and other notorious gangsters from their beginnings as a neighborhood gang of teenagers to murderous entrepreneurs who turned the Mafia into an American institution. Utilizing an immersive blend of dramatic scenes, archival footage and groundbreaking VFX, The Making of the Mob: New York is AMC’s first ever docu-drama.

The series features exclusive interviews with notable names, including former NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Meyer Lansky II, Chazz Palminteri, Drea de Matteo, Joe Mantegna, Frankie Valli, Mob attorney and former Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman, and noted author and historian David Pietrusza, among many others.

[Official trailer]

Credit: Story Producer, Supervising Post Producer

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Am I The Worst Person in This Coffee Shop?


Originally published on Phoenix New Times’ Chow Bella

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WTF Should I Do for Valentine’s Day?


Originally published on Phoenix New Times’ Chow Bella.

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