I learn the most about people when I befriend a group, and just hang out with them for a few weeks.
I became interested in vaping when my cousin Jamie took a job at a vape store in Richmond. She talks about it like it's more than an alternative to smoking - to her and her friends, it's a subculture. I wanted to learn more about what makes it feel like a subculture to the people who are inside of it. This short film is just a glimpse through the cracks -- a peek beyond the billowing facade -- to show the authentic crowd, the people who see vaping as a way of taking their lives back from cigarettes, as an ice breaker that leads to meaningful friendships, and as a outlet for tinkering, creating, and goofing around.
A few months after making this film, "vape" was announced as Oxford's 2014 Word of the Year (for reference, "selfie" was the word of the year in 2013). It's no longer just a subculture. It's an cultural shift that's defining our generation.
Viewing note: The video is 10 minutes long. If you're short on time, just play the first 2 minutes, then skip to photos and quotes below.