Nocturnes: The Paintings of Eric Merrell

January 12, 2016

Rising Los Angeles artist Eric Merrell might be best known for his rigorous approach to landscape painting. For several years Merrell has been working on Nocturnes, a series of abstract desert works that he has painted all over Southern California, each solely by the light of the moon. In our latest documentary short from director Alec Ernest, we take an overnight trip with the artist to Joshua Tree National Park, where night falls and the desert takes on a surreal and mysterious beauty, where edges blur and shapes transform, and solitude takes on a whole new meaning.

To capture what we felt was the closest thing to the sensory experience of a moonlit desert, we needed a good camera, and this video marks the first narrative application of the Sony A7S. Until recently, filming in complete darkness would have been impossible, but thanks to Sony’s new camera line we were really able to do something special.

See more of Eric’s work at


Produced and directed for the Los Angeles Review of Books by Alec Ernest.
Executive Producers – Jerry Gorin, Tom Lutz, Jonathan Hahn
Cinematographer – Ryan Carmody
Editor – Jack Price
Composer – Aaron Stein-Chester
Location Sound and Titles – Jesse Merrell
Colorist – Brandon Chavez
Post Sound – Steve Bucino
Cameras provided by Stray Angel Films
See a behind-the-scenes video here.