(based on a true story) SOLD OUT!

layout and design: Bryan Harvey
concept and producer: Eva-Maria Kunz
coordinator: Diego Orlando
production: Andrea Barbato, Michael Courvoisier, Candy Pilar Godoy


(based on a true story)


David Alan Harvey

Some of my friends have asked why I didn’t talk about my book here. I just cannot do that. The book is the book and I hope somebody likes it. But putting this video here by Bryan is as far as I can go. However, what I can do is I think legit. Published below is a letter from Sam Harris, (Postcards From Home), who managed to get a hold of the first signed copy. So he is, as far as I know, the only person here on Burn to have actually seen the book.

So Sam writes:


BASED ON A TRUE STORY… This book is simply amazing!!! AMAZING!! You have to hold it, feel it, pour over it, get inside it, take it apart, rebuild it, live it, smell it, caress it and then it all makes sense… FRESH, SENSUAL, SEXY, KILLER, DOPE… DAH leads by example, he could just sit back and talk about past glories, but that’s not David’s style… he’s out there doing it, living it. Now, right now… Ideas happen… ‘based on a true story’ is the living proof ; )) This book is an absolute classic. dah’s best yet! And the very best thing about ‘based on a true story’ IS the PHOTOGRAPHY.



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for the “making of”, visit: www.theriobook.com


(more information here)


427 Responses to “(based on a true story) SOLD OUT!”

  • Just added (based on a …) to my paypal shopping cart. Has the price gone up as copies dwindle, or am I hallucinating?

  • Just got home; the BOOK was on the doorstep. It sits, still unopened. I prefer my gratifications delayed, so I should curse Eva and Panos for being so damned efficient. Instead I’m delirious!

    Thanks, Eva; thanks, Panos.

    I believe I’ve “cracked the nut” with regard to what happened that night in Rio. It is just a working theory, and I’ll keep it to myself for now. If I’m wrong, well, that’s just par for the course…my assumptions usually are. If I’m right, then I wouldn’t want to spoil it for everyone else. Regardless, once the book has been distributed and we’ve had a chance to fully digest, I hope we’ll have an opportunity to discuss it.

    Tear it apart, just as Godfather wants us to. Literally and figuratively.

    Really, I’m delirious.

    Thanks, David.

  • This is alink to “Ardeo” the student exhibition, photographs taken by two TAFE students Sharon and Katie as part of an assigned student task…………… http://www.foxphotographyanddesign.com.au/homepage/2012/05/22/head-on-mlc-exhibition/


    nobody has gotten more out of the Rio experience than have you Jeff… you tracked us throughout and asked questions and totally participated….you really like to dissect stuff…so i honestly hope you like the result…you will have some questions for sure….and for sure i will answer…

    anyway you are the “perfect audience” …you look carefully , you think before writing, you listen, you ask, you respond, you engage….all good…for sure you are not the only one, but you do stand out…i know for sure i could get a small textbook just out of my responses to your questions….

    you come down to Look3? a good one if you can make it…

    cheers, david

  • DQ

    sorry i missed your question on my first look at comments…the short answer is yes…the price went up after 100 books…and will go up again after 400 books…the last 200 will be fair market price…i study this market carefully…

    honestly, our own wires got crossed and we announced the book for sale a bit prematurely..the video accidentally went public, at the same time people were clamoring for pre-order, and we were in Sydney with exhibit opening and such…so we never got the official page published about the book…this should show up tomorrow on Burn….the 10% discount for those who followed me in Rio on http://www.theriobook.com is in effect for all sales for the first time buy…those followers have been given a discount code already…

    in any case, before we could even think, we sold the first 100 books on the first day or two before we could even open the store doors…we always had the first 100 at the lower price and we always had the price jump due to the limited number of copies in this first edition of 600…we do also have 50 collector boxes (hand made work of art with print) which will be announced a bit later….

    even with the price jump, we think we are still way under market value…i produce a few books, but i buy many…i am more of a buyer than a seller , so i know what is out there, by whom, and i choose very carefully premium books…i made this book as if i were the buyer…and in Sydney i was able to watch people with the book…the last 8 copies we had with us in Sydney sold for $150. each in about two minutes of being offered and a fight almost broke out between two buyers to get those last copies…now granted, i was there, and could sign, so this was not a typical selling situation, but i think i see the way this will go…those that bought the first 100 have already made a good investment if they were to sell….

    every book that Burn has distributed so far (Yakuza,01,02) has increased in collector value within weeks of publication..again, i study this market with all photographers, galleries, and collectors…because of the internet and the plethora of imagery online that is just not tangible, speciality books are becoming more valuable by the minute…not mass produced books to sell many, but limited editions for the discriminating buyer…

    at Burn i think you know we plan to publish any book we see that makes sense to publish as a special edition…we are looking at several of our readers book projects now…our book publishing will work just the way everything works here…bring the audience into it..from time to time i will publish my own work…but just as here on Burn, 90% of what gets seen is the work of this audience….if somebody here does an amazing body of work, it will receive amazing treatment by us…

    in any case DQ, always a pleasure to have your thoughts right here…i cannot always be around, but i try my best…

    cheers, david

  • Thanks for sharing that link imants….looks awesome! It really does!

  • it is plastic …
    it is outside …
    you rip it open, you cut the wrap off…

    you see the pattern…
    you see the writing…
    you open the box… carefully…
    it smells like book…
    it is a little smaller than I thought…
    you take it out the second box ..
    it is thicker than I thought…
    …you know the movie .. you saw only a few pictures.


    Civi, let’s dance!

  • I can’t dance.
    Have to look pictures.

  • definitely not a book, I’ll take to my work…

  • I never saw a book, which was so well designed and thought through, from packaging to the pages layout.
    consistency, creativity and LOVE in every EVERY angle.

    Thank you for creating this book.

    This goes way beyond one would expect.


    (I have to finish here, because I’ll meet a friend – and I have to show this book around, and look and watch and play..)


  • Question for the community:

    I want to create a hand-bound book for my family, bit of a front porch compilation of photos taken over the years at family gatherings on the farm (a few of which have appeared here). I have a high end inkjet photo printer so I’m looking for the “perfect” paper that both prints well and works well as a book page. I’m doing my research and I’ve got a few sample packages of paper on the way but I’m sure folks here could provide some insights. (and this seemed like an appropriate thread ;)) Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Hope you don’t mind the minor diversion David.

  • *sigh*

    Hello, everyone.

    I obviously have some catching up to do.

    First question – after poking around and reading, I can find no link to order the Rio book – I guess I am too late?

    good light, all

  • Jeff.. Paul.. Thomas..

    As Civi says: thanks for reporting :)

    Such a nice feel to read your comments.. many many hours of work pay off.. great!


    Paper.. there are many nice papers out there, paper has been a major issue we have researched.. it depends what you need, and what you like. Surface, colour, touch, thickness.. matt or lucid or in between.. Tatami is very nice, smooth surface, or Dolce Vita, a bit of texture.. also Fedrigoni has many cool papers.. how many will you make?

  • andrew..

    scroll up a bit, there’s a button right in the post up here, right place, right time :)

  • Thanks Eva! Not sure how I missed that. Duh.

    Burn crew who go to LOOK3 – will there be any there, I’d rather give the $10 in shipping to Burn than to the shippers…

  • Tom Hyde:

    Will you be at Look3? Still want to talk about getting a print….

  • You know, I wouldn’t mind watching two guys beating each other senseless over a book. It’d be like a return to the good old days of the Thirty Years War, except with better pictures in the book.

  • Thank you for taking the time to reply, David. I am buying the book, and have no qualms about the price, though of course it would have been a bit of a savings to have bought it right away. Looking forward to finally holding it in my hands after following the exciting escapades noted in the RIO blog.

    I have a quite a few books in my collection which seem to be valued at a few hundred dollars, or more, but there’s a difference between what the value might seem to be and what one can actually SELL the book for… or even buy another copy of something… anyway…

    You might want to put one of your interns to work on your own library, if just for insurance purposes. There’s a great piece of mac-based software (for ALL of you burnians reading): http://www.bruji.com/bookpedia/ — which catalogs and finds the value of each book.

    Rio’s printed, OBX done, NatGeo Rio around the corner. What adventure is next on the DAH Docket?

  • Andrew, honestly it wont last till Look3

  • Tom,

    we’re in the same boat… don’t really have much time right now, but here is a copy paste from a list I’ve made while looking on the net for the same answer:

    (living in the US is a major plus for being able to order most of these papers without having to mortgage your house for the shipping alone…)


    Potential Papers:





    Tetenal Duo Print Paper:





    Moab Lasal Photo Matte, Double Sided

    Moab Entrada 190 double sided

    Canson Rag Photographique 100% Cotton Rag, Double Sided

  • Normally I don’t shoot my kids’ school events, but the other day, for a convoluted series of reasons I won’t go into, I got stuck for four minutes backstage at my son’s music recital, so I figured, what the hell, I’ve got my walking around point-and-shoot, I’ll do a four minute photo project. Of course the picture quality is pretty much what you’d expect from a four minute photo project, especially given that I thought it was inappropriate to use flash so just set the camera to iso 3200 and said to hell with it, but looking at the results, at least for me, I feel I’ve captured something of the middle school experience, not that this is anything remotely like my own middle school, but nevertheless, I see some universal themes, particularly the boy/girl dynamics, that take me back. Maybe you’ll get something of that too. Here.

  • David:

    To paraphrase the Buddhist Proverb used for the Look3 Workshop motto:

    “When the Master is ready, the student appears.”

    Ticket booked!


    terrific!! see you there…and you got Gilden all over again too…you are a glutton for punishment!! good times coming…

  • Jeff AWESOME!! Great timing! See u in Look3:)

  • sounds like a par tay…..
    can’t wait to meet you jeff…..

  • mw

    Lovely stuff, your schools look WAAAY different than the ones around here!

  • Eva and Thodoris, Many thanks for the leads and thoughts. Will research all of those. Thodoris, I’ve printed on several of those papers, and usually make prints on a heavy baryta fiber paper (love but easily scratched), but none that I’ve used are quite right for a book. Samples of several mentioned are on order and I’ll see if I can get my hands on some of those others. Looking to make no more than a dozen books. Matte might actually do nicely but sharp. The epson ultra premium presentation (matte) is too stiff by the way but the tonal range is amazing. The choices, tradeoffs, questions of protective coatings, etc. are dizzying. Can’t go offset, just can’t go “on-demand”, fun conundrums. Have dreams of someday making a book completely from growing the fiber, and shredding my worn clothes, to make the paper through printing and binding. But that will take years.

    Andrew, would love to be @Look, should be @Look but just can’t afford it right now. I did finally get a great printer so the print I can do (have never been happy with my work printed by anyone other than me). Will email.

  • MW, numbers 2 and 3 are marvelous!

  • a civilian-mass audience


    I am out there working my lazy ass off…ups and downs,lows and highs, everyday is a beautiful day…

    The spirits are UP…nobody can take this away …

    THOMAS,THOMAS…oime,I promised too much and I have not delivered…
    But it feels like you are so close …oime,I better stop the ouzo:) yeah,right!

    AKAKY will you be @ LOOK three times? Will you? Cause if you don’t 300 is mine…!!!

    As EVA says that I say…PLEASE REPORT ASAP :
    Ok…I have more names



  • a civilian-mass audience

    Oups,ANDREWB…you are dismissed …you have reported:)))

  • a civilian-mass audience

    THOMAS…forget the pictures….

    Let’s Dance…

  • Tom..

    I’m still in for that print too!

  • Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey teamed up with his son to create an interactive book that captures the vibrant energy of Rio de Janeiro.

    Harvey considers the city the “perfect Shakespeare stage.” And on that stage, he tells a personal story embedded in a journalistic narrative. Images shot over 2½ years flood the unbound pages.

    Titled “(based on a true story),” Harvey says the book was inspired by the likes of Hunter S. Thompson, David Lynch and the Coen brothers.

    The story is told in pieces, with half of one photograph placed next to half of another. As the pages are turned or slid out, the other part of the image reveals previously unseen details, characters and context.

    “Every time I look through the book – and I look through it a lot – I see new relationships,” said Harvey’s son, Bryan Harvey.

    Don’t look for text to explain what’s happening or what it all means. Harvey hopes the images will speak for themselves.

    Bryan, who designed the book, said it was created to reflect the immersive nature of the images. Viewers may begin to question their initial impressions when they realize the entire story isn’t told at first glance.

    “It would ruin it to tell what the story really is,” Harvey said, refusing to fully describe the content of the anecdote.

    As a filmmaker, Bryan sees movies as an extension of photography. Contact sheets included in the book show the photos taken before and after the selected images, like the frames of a motion picture.

    While the book shows what someone might experience during a day in Rio, it’s also slightly autobiographical. “There are some personal references,” Harvey said. “Moments that trigger some memory. There’s always a mirror in there.”

    His son describes the book as “more personal and all about blurring the lines between documentary and fantasy.”

    The project was financed in part by daily behind-the-scenes videos shot during Harvey’s last month in Rio and offered for a one-time fee of “a buck 99.” The handcrafted limited-edition book is now available, selling for $120.

    “It was a cool opportunity to do something different that hadn’t been seen in a book before,” Bryan said.

    – Elizabeth I. Johnson, CNN

  • CIVI,

    not sure, if I’ll return to Athens before the Summer. Maybe in October.

  • it might not still be there in October.

  • CIVI, I will not be going to the Look 3 meeting in Charlottesville. I have heard that Look3 is a gathering place for anarchists, leftists, collectors of 14th century Moldovan crabgrass harmonicas, and other political radicals. Since I do not want to be nearby when the FBI breaks up this convention of extremists, preferably with tear gas, tasers, and high-pressure fire hoses, I think it best to remain here in our happy little burg and eat non-organic hamburgers. Eating non-organic hamburgers discourages self-righteousness even as they spackle your arteries with fat, grease, and other forms of unhealthy gook, so in the end everything breaks even, or at least this is what everyone tells me.

    In addition, I’ve looked at the most recent issue of the National Geographic magazine, and while I understand why everyone here is head over heels in love with Our Leader’s photographs of the Outer Banks, the illustration on page 35 is one I find particularly intriguing. I am sure that there are any number of reasons why someone would want to practice acupuncture on a rat; I did this myself once with a pitchfork, for example; but I am not altogether certain what those reasons might be. The scientists studying the rats found that acupuncture reduces the rats’ stress, but it seems to me that they can achieve the same result by serving the rats two or three martinis after lunch or giving them all a big handful of Prozac. If the stuff works on humans, it should work on a bunch of dumb rats.

  • “And the very best thing about ‘based on a true story’ IS the PHOTOGRAPHY.”

    This may be all well and true, but given that there’s nothing in the book but photography doesn’t this beg the question? It’s not like anyone can say that the photos are great but the text bites the big one.

  • @ PANOS:
    Thanks for the CNN link! Tell me when you see DAH with Larry King Live ;-)


  • Patricio bro!!!
    U know what’s the coolest part?
    CNN came to Burn and not vice versa..
    Irrelevant for most maybe but important for me..
    RIO “forces” the mainstream media to pay attention to WHATS COMING!
    RIO is the future , DAH vision million light years ahead,
    and “everyone” starts to ask, seriously:
    What the hell is tha Burn thing???????

    (my answer, humbly: nothing important , just another GARAGE band with a unique sound..
    So we are tuning our instruments here and we are ready to go LIVE.. We are going “RAMONES” all the way…
    Stay tuned! More good organic “music” coming soonest to a laptop/smartphone near you:)

  • AKAKY sounds a bit liker eating live chickens because one is too scared to kill them………….. other than that I figured partially to allow ipad users view my site http://www.etrouko.com/ That was step one viewability as I do really like flash hmmnnn gadddamn apple and adobe and their war on consumers

  • a civilian-mass audience

    THOMAS…I will be here in October…
    Maybe Under a different name
    But you are a German and you can have a free pass…:)))
    Hihiii…I am trying to match Our JOHNYG’S white humor:)))))))))

    The Universe is working only if we believe…

    AKAKY…as PANOS said…YOU nailed it! And We love your nails…!
    Watch me now!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience


  • a civilian-mass audience


  • a civilian-mass audience


  • a civilian-mass audience


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