Dean Karr (’88 Fine Arts) has lived in L.A. making music videos and shooting photos for many years. We asked him for some Los Angeles favorites.
Music venues: “I like the little venues where I can go see punk rock. The Fonda (Theatre) always has good music. The Regent downtown, they book a lot of punk rock there. The Greek Theatre is always great, especially how they light up the trees. It’s really beautiful. It’s like a smaller Hollywood Bowl.”
Museums: Petersen Automotive Museum and the Museum of Death. “Some people can’t handle the content and have to get out in two minutes!”
Shopping: Necromance on Melrose Avenue.
Beach: “I don’t go to Southern California beaches much; they make me miss the beaches of the Pacific Northwest.”
Restaurant: The Musso and Frank Grill.
Cocktails: See above.
Hollywood dive: The Frolic Room. “It hasn’t changed from day one. They stayed true to who they are. What a great place.”
Tacos: “Al pastor from the street taco trucks.”
Mexican food: El Coyote Mexican Café.
Chinese food: Yang Chow. “The Slippery Shrimp is my favorite.”
Chinese buffet: King Buffet on Western Avenue. “It’s total quality awesomeness. And it just goes on and on and on.”
In-N-Out Burger or Fatburger: “My favorite burger is Fatburger. I’m all about Fatburger.”
Canter’s or Langer’s: “Canter’s and Langer’s. I love them both.” This is what he orders: “pastrami dips with barbecue sauce and potato pancakes.”
Those were the days: “Downtown used to be so fun because you could drive into to the L.A. River and race like in ‘Grease.’”
Weekend getaway: “I like to go to Ventura. The Hong Kong Inn for karaoke. The restaurants and bars on Main Street always keep it interesting.”
Wheels: 1970 Dodge Challenger in “sublime” green.
Canon or Nikon: Nikon. However, his first camera was a Canon. “I was shooting all these concerts for fun, and my grandfather gave me a Canon AE1. It was my first professional camera. I was 15. Actually, I still have it.”
On-set must-haves: Beef jerky, hazelnut coffee creamer, sour candy, gummy bears.
Photographer and film producer Arthur Gorson on Dean Karr: “During my producing career I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with some to the top directors in the industry. Of them all, Dean Karr’s work stands out. He is a total original; a visualist with a bold sense of color, content and imaging. His signature photographic style sets him apart from all the rest. Dean has shaped and defined the look of music videos and commercials, while bringing an artist’s eye to his subject matter. And, he is a fantastic guy to know!”
The Fonda Theatre (Courtesy The Daily Bruin), Regent Theater (Courtesy Los Angeles Conservancy), Greek Theatre (Wikimedia Commons), Petersen Automotive Museum (Wikimedia Commons)
Museum of Death (Courtesy Atlas Obscura), Necromance (Courtesy Atlas Obscura), Musso & Frank Grill (Courtesy NPR), Frolic Room (Courtesy Yelp)
Courtesy Leo’s Taco Truck, Yang Chow Restaurant (Courtesy Yelp), Original Fatburger location (Courtesy Fatburger Inc.), Canter’s Pastrami Dip signature sandwich (Courtesy Yelp)
Courtesy Hong Kong Inn—Ventura, Calif., 1970 Dodge Challenger (Coyote Classics/YouTube), Canon AE1 (Wikimedia Commons), Arthur Gorson (Courtesy IMDB)
Behind the scenes
Take a tour of Dean Karr’s Hollywood Hills home
Watch behind-the-scenes footage of Dean Karr’s shoot for Korn’s “Rotting in Vain” video.
See behind-the-scenes images from Dean Karr’s video shoot with Stevie Nicks.
Listen to Dean Karr talk about the time he hit a deer on his way home to Seattle from WSU — and how that experience inspired a music video. (On “The Red Booth”)