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I Am Los Angeles: A New Video Series About Real Angelenos

A Netherlands transplant hopes to capture the essence of L.A. in a series of video portraits ranging from an urban farmer to a shoe shiner.


Angelenos who cringed at their supposed likeness on The Hills will throw their arms around "I Am Los Angeles," a new video series that captures some of L.A.'s most interesting and creative residents. Created by Joris Debeij, a freelance journalist from the Netherlands transplanted to L.A., the series hopes to find the "real" Los Angeles through the lens of a camera. Each week, Debeij will add a new video to the collection, and judging by the topics covered so far, I Am Los Angeles won't disappoint.


This week, Debeij added a story about GOOD's favorite foragers, Fallen Fruit, filled with gorgeous shots of trees heavy with glossy oranges. Last week, it was a story about cyclist Sean Martin, his hot pink fixie rocketing through a rare, cloudy-skied L.A. While centering most on Silver Lake/Echo Park so far, the series is getting more geographically diverse: Debeij has also met Salvador Preciado, a tattoo artist in East L.A.


The subjects of Debeij's films range from semi-celebrities—witness urban farmer Jules Dervaes and his incredible off-the-grid agricultural center in Pasadena—to virtual unknowns, like Andy Waller, a shoe shiner on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. For each portrait, Debeij succeeds in capturing both how a single person can make a difference within the context of a sprawling city, and how each voice is a critical part of the greater picture of L.A.

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