Palomino surfing off Golden Beach, FL, 1993

When I started making films in the late 1980s, people would say to me, “You can’t make films, Bruce. You’re a photographer.” “Yes,” I’d respond, always with a smile. “But I want to make films like a photographer. Like who I am.” And so I did. I started out making home movies, just like my dad used to do, starring my friends and members of my family. Eventually, they got bigger and longer, until one day I realized I might be on to something. Like most of my long-term projects, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to let it out into the world. It’s like when you don’t want your kids to go off to college yet. You want them to stay home with you forever. I’m that kind of a parent, I guess. I like knowing they’re safe and happy in the back yard.

Hud, a nephew of True, from Wolf Island, Canada, 2010
Palomino celebrating after the premier of A Letter to True at the Toronto Film Festival. He continued the celebration for a whole year, 2004

When I’m working on a film, I always take pictures of the crew, the people I’m making the film about, and the location. When I go back to being a photographer, I like to think I’m bringing some of their magic back into the studio. In terms of my aesthetic, I always liked the parts in movies when people hardly move and don’t even talk. They just kind of stare at each other and you go, “Is this a movie or a photograph?” It may sound counterintuitive, but film, for me, is a way to make time stand still.

We’re like a repertoire company, my team and I, picking up players as we go, and casting on the fly. In each of the four films discussed on the following pages, characters overlap and change roles, both onscreen and off. They were not released chronologically, and were never intended to be. That was very much the case for Broken Noses and Let’s Get Lost. When I met Andy Minsker, the star of Broken Noses, I was making Let’s Get Lost starring Chet Baker. Chet recorded a song for Broken Noses, which came out a year earlier, because he loved boxing and he really liked Andy. I dedicated Broken Noses to Chet because I wanted to pay homage.

True’s favorite car - my 1959 El Camino. He insisted on being filmed in it. Montauk, 2003

When we finished filming A Letter To True, my golden retriever, True, got depressed. Like most committed actors, he loved being on set, close to the action. After A Letter To True, I made another short home movie for him called True, The Dog Of A Million Kisses, to cheer him up. Like all cinephiles, he was hooked on the magic. Just like his dad. — Bruce Weber, 2014

True with his girlfriend Tai in my backyard in Montauk, 2003


Andy Minsker and his team of boxers from the Mt. Scott Boxing Club – Oregon State Champs, 1986
Andy Minsker – Flyweight boxer. 1/2 Chet Baker, 1/2 Jack Palance, 1987
Andy as the toast of The Cannes Film Festival, 1987
Andy always wore underwear in the ring with his girlfriend’s face printed on it. He won our hearts. Colorado Sports Festival, 1983


I told Chet in Cannes when we were interviewing him to sit in front of the film poster of Belmondo in Breathless – but I didn’t say to sit right where the gun is, 1987
Harlem, NYC, 1987
Chet’s favorite sport was deep sea diving. If the sun was out, Chet would say, “It’s a nice day for a kite.”
No one was ever so well-dressed going to jail. Italy, 1960.
At film festivals people would come up to us and say that Chet was the best babysitter their kids ever had. L.A., 1950s.
This is our film poster for Let’s Get Lost when we showed it at Toronto and Cannes. The rips in the photograph are like our broken hearts when we lost Chet.


When Peter Johnson first came to New York City everyone wanted to have dinner with him. I thought the most appropriate dinner date was a chimp, 1997
Peter was always a farm boy from Wisconsin so he wasn’t afraid of dirt.The Gravel Pits, Miami, FL, 1999
Peter is a perfect dad. Golden Beach, FL, 1999
Peter posing with an original drawing of a sailor by Tom of Finland
There wasn’t a sport Peter didn’t play well, and he was even good at ballet. Adirondack Park, NY, 1999.
My dog Skye wearing a hat especially made for him by Philip Treacy to celebrate the film opening in NYC for Chop Suey, 2001

My Film Family over 20 years

Producers: Nan Bush, Itaka Schlubach-Hicks, Emie Amemiya, Karen Arikian, Eva Lindemann

Cinematographers: Jeff Preiss, Jim Fealy, Evan Estern, Lance Acord, Douglas Cooper, Theo Stanley, Frank Stanley, Pete Zuccarini, Shane Sigler, Joseph DiGiovanna

Composer: John Leftwich

Art Director: Sam Shahid

Set Designer: Dimitri Levas

Editors: Phyllis Famiglietti, Angelo Corrao, Marty Levenstein, Chad Sipkin

Production: Chris and Terry Lawrence, Jeannette Shaheen

Personal Barber of the Mount Scott Boxing Club: Didier Malige