Videographer/Image Maker Patrick de Warren Named Let’s Rethink This “Impact Artist” for September 2022
It is with great personal pleasure and that of Let’s Rethink This to announce our September’s Impact Artist as videographer and image maker Patrick de Warren. This French-born expatriate to the U.S. arrived on these shores in 1988 wanting to experience a new adventure and step into the unknown.”
Patrick started working as a Fashion Photographer when he first picked up a camera in 1991 to in 2000 becoming a Creative Director for New York’s Pier 59 Studios. A move down to Miami to become an art Director for the Opium Group in Miami and then a move back to NYC to be invited by Sotheby’s to work as a Collections and Work of Art Photographer where he worked on a project by project basis on and off for seven years.
Tucking that safely away into his resume, he proceeded to satisfy his wanderlust by making a transatlantic crossing of the Atlantic ocean on a 32 ft Sailing Boat, sailing from Westport CT to Sagres, Portugal. “Passing by Bermuda and the Azores and sailing three weeks without seeing land was a transformative personal experience,” Patrick describes it.
Patrick flew back to the U.S. and NYC in 2011 just in time to walk into Zuccotti Park to film a once-in-a-lifetime event that shifted America’s conversation and awareness about its internal ills – Occupy Wall Street. At first it was filming “out of curiosity” but it turned into something bigger. “I captured some remarkable footage – everything needed to make a meaningful black and white film, sharing the story as I experience it,” he says.
Patrick and I met at the Bernie Sanders rally down on Washington Square park in 2016 (where I was covering the event for my Huffington Post blog) and our conversations served to shift his attention America’s healthcare debacle. Coming from a country where healthcare debt is of little concern, he felt compelled to turn his attention to my work.
A tale and trail of mutual interest
Patrick de Warren and Jerry Ashton, NYC
As co-founder of RIP Medical Debt and needing someone to help chronicle our work which started in 2014, I invited Patrick to film not only the general mood of Americans awakening to the outrage being done to our citizens – that fact that one can lose a home or go bankrupt simply by getting hurt or sick – but to record the pioneering work our charity was doing to right a portion of these wrongs. Specifically, abolishing that medical debt.
This led to Patrick covering some of RIP’s early organizing meetings, two of our first-ever summits on medical debt, an End Medical Debt evening in Washington DC and numerous other mini happenings.
When I retired to the RIP Board in late 2020 to start Let’s Rethink This, I invited Patrick into accepting a role as our Director of Photography and Film to cover my new focus of activism – to record and illuminate the trials and tribulations of America’s warriors, our veterans.
LRT is now involved in a two-fold campaign. The first is to see that some $6 billion in unpaid medical debt burdening our vets be made available by the VA system for full and complete forgiveness – no strings attached. Visit #EndVetMedDebt where you will find Patrick’s filmed interviews with veterans and learn more about this important effort.
The second is to reduce the horrific quantity and rate of veteran suicide – ranging by estimates from 17 to 30 per day! Here, we have formed a veteran-civilian collaboration in a year-end campaign – to which we invite our reader to join – we call Mission Possible located at MediaIgnite.
Patrick’s personal stake – his Great Aunt’s World War II experience.
“In World War II, my great aunt was a nun in the monastery of Jouarre in France at the time and hiding an American Nurse being hunted by the gestapo. The city was liberated by General Patton with whom they developed a friendship, and this became a treasured part of our family lore. To this day, Patrick’s family maintains a friendship with members the Patton family.
“The work I am doing now with today’s American veterans is in a way an homage to that Legacy. Sharing veteran’s stories is part of my current film project as I work to help raise awareness about their issues,” he adds. “The goal of these years of work is to make a film with a different view about U.S. approaches to healthcare, the environment, economics, politics and social justice and connect the dots as filmed through the lens of the Occupy Wall Street movement.”
Patrick’s larger motivation? To tie all his Occupy/RIP/LRT/Activist work together in a film which will share the stories without trying to tell the viewers what’s right or wrong – “just let them decide for themselves.”