Phrank is an aspiring photographer. His “thing” is taking shots of ordinary people set against extraordinary backdrops. Couple of tourists peering over the Grand Canyon. Hiker hiking along in front of the San Gabriel Mountains. Soccer mom in David Beckham’s bedroom. He wakes whenever he feels like it – he rationalizes to himself that there is a mood or a rhythm he wants to tap into and it will tell him when to haul his bony butt out of bed.
At noon, Phranks grabs his camera and heads out the door. He takes shots of whatever moves him, especially if it’s one of those ordinary-extraordinary situations. At 4, he meets with a friend of a friend who has a friend who owns an art gallery and might be willing to showcase his work. “Showcase” means that Phrank pays for the 3 foot by 4 foot black and white prints, frames them and signs them – costs him maybe a few hundred bucks (i.e. half a month’s rent), in hope that someone will come to the gallery and pay $1,000 for his picture, “Ode To A Yak,” which is a picture captured perfectly of a now homeless once-Wall-Street trader tasting his breakfast of eggs and whiskey for a second time. The vomit is captured in high def as it comes out and is framed beautifully. Phrank has talent. The only question is… “Does anyone care?” The gallery owner looks over his portfolio and says, “I’ll be in touch.” Translation: “Lose my phone number.”
Phrank heads down to Venice Beach (where “all” of the self-absorbed narcissists in L.A. like to hang out) and sets up a booth, doing his best to sell some of his latest work. “Smog over Santa Ana.” “Dog on Fire.” And “What do you think this is?” He sells a $12 postcard that cost him $7 and two small photos to have put away $60 for this day’s work.
Phrank has to close it up by 5, however, as he is working the night shift at Buddha’s Belly in Santa Monica. He makes pretty good tips - certainly more than he’s making from his photography. But there’s always hope.