Monthly Archives: August 2011

You're my big bear

and that means you’d get a big bear hug the next time I see you, but they say you’ve shat­tered your rib cage, lost a pile of teeth, and bro­ken every bone on the right side of your body, save the arm.

I’ve been there man. You know that. That’s why you know I’ll nev­er judge you for what hap­pened. You told me we could always talk cause you were once on the edge of the same blade, so you should have known the same, but you did­n’t pick up when he said maybe there was a bet­ter chance you’d lis­ten to me. All I could do was sit there, try­ing to keep calm, but expect­ing the next call to be about a body.

I should be angry. Not cause you did­n’t call me to say good­bye before you took off, but because you hurt your­self and you’re my broth­er, and that means you hurt my fam­i­ly.

I can’t stay mad cause you’re con­scious now, your vitals are sta­ble, there’s no brain dam­age, and relief has sur­passed anger. They say it’s main­ly injuries to the bones and that bones heal, long as it may take.

Will I rec­og­nize you the next time I see you? Will I cry? Will you ever under­stand how scared I was? I can’t call cause the nurse needs to be by your side, and I can’t vis­it yet cause only imme­di­ate fam­i­ly are allowed for now. Otherwise, I’d be in a car, dri­ving down there with a case of Blue ready for you when you’re out.

I don’t want to wor­ry any­more. I want to see with my own eyes that you’re okay. I want you drunk at my wed­ding with your cap on back­wards, scream­ing your ass off when I walk down the aisle. I want you at every New Year’s par­ty, cause you’re one of the only rea­sons I go any­more. I want you to teach my kids how put some­one in a prop­er choke-hold cause they should know how to take care of them­selves, and you’re smart in all the ways I’m not.

We all need you as much as I do. That’s why you’re still alive, and that’s what I’m going to make you under­stand one day.

Geneviève + James — Wedding Day

Interested in hir­ing me? Check out my port­fo­lio.

Earlier this month, I had the plea­sure of film­ing Geneviève and Jamie on their wed­ding day. It was a beau­ti­ful out­door cer­e­mo­ny in the coun­try with only about 50 peo­ple, and a veg­an din­ner for the recep­tion.

One of the inter­est­ing things I got to see was the sock dance, an old French-Canadian tra­di­tion where the eldest unmar­ried sib­ling has to don a pair of ugly socks (sym­bol­iz­ing their cold feet) and do a sil­ly dance. People throw mon­ey at him or her, which is then col­lect­ed for the new­ly mar­ried cou­ple.

I decid­ed to keep the grad­ing nat­ur­al cause there are so many vibrant colours in each scene — from tat­toos, hair dye, clothes, foliage, and dec­o­ra­tions — that I want­ed to bring out for a light­heart­ed, play­ful mood. Goddammit I love grad­ing; it’s become my favourite part of the process. You can set so many kinds of tones with colour alone.

The colours also led me to decide on using Beirut’s “Postcards from Italy” for the song, as the ukulele and horns empha­size that fes­tive feel­ing won­der­ful­ly.

I also got to work with Liz, a pho­tog­ra­ph­er who’s as fan­tas­tic1 as she is con­sid­er­ate. So far, she’s been the only one to say to me, “Tell me if I get in your way”, before I could say it to her. Guess who I’m refer­ring if any­one asks me for a wed­ding pho­tog­ra­ph­er rec­om­men­da­tion.

Sometimes I study the films of video­g­ra­phers I admire, and I’m inspired by their style but it nev­er feels right when I try to achieve the same for my films. They rely on edit­ing to make their films inter­est­ing, and the films end up look­ing posed or unnat­ur­al. I’ve real­ized that I have to fol­low my own style — telling a sto­ry by cap­tur­ing the beau­ty in the sim­plic­i­ty — because that’s what I’ve been try­ing to do in words and pho­tos my whole life.

  1. She has a pre­view on her blog. []

small world

The dri­ve to Toronto is get­ting eas­i­er. It’s my only chance to real­ly lis­ten to albums nowa­days1, not to men­tion the com­fort of see­ing famil­iar towns on the way, like the names of sub­way stops you can’t help but mem­o­rize as a child on the way home from school. And in a way, so many years lat­er, Toronto still feels like home. Getting there is a jour­ney, but the peo­ple always make it worth it.

My patience tends to wear out about a quar­ter way in, when it becomes hard to main­tain a rea­son­able speed. It’s a test of whether I can dri­ve safe­ly to see how far I’ve grown as a per­son.

I fail every time.

Toronto view

The view from Alex’s down­town apart­ment. You can eas­i­ly tell Yonge Street apart from how bright­ly it’s lit.

Continue read­ing “small world”…

  1. Editors in both direc­tions this time, cause any­thing I lis­ten to nowa­days is Antje rec­om­mend­ed. []

the path of least resistance

on the path of least resis­tance, you dis­cov­er:

  • it is impos­si­ble to explain the appeal of dub­step to some­one who’s nev­er heard it
  • every­thing works out in the end
  • moon­walk­ing is eas­i­er to do with­out pants on
  • just hugs are com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent from hugs after kiss­es
  • no one is ever too old to eat Pocky
  • say­ing we can still be friends is like your mom telling you your dog died and say­ing you can still keep it
  • there is nev­er enough time
  • Dolly will do any­thing for food

cause you're bored and you can doesn't mean you should

I always won­der if I’ll ever reach such a com­plete peace that I’d stop writ­ing com­plete­ly. One of the rea­sons I start­ed this blog was to have a place where I could get things down and sort my thoughts out on a page, but I don’t need to do much of either nowa­days.

I know so many peo­ple who’ve con­tin­ued writ­ing, even after find­ing that kind of hap­pi­ness in their lives. Unfortunately, hap­pi­ness has robbed them of lit­er­ary inspi­ra­tion, and now they have noth­ing inter­est­ing to say. It would­n’t be so bad if they stopped writ­ing, but they post for the sake of post­ing instead of hav­ing some­thing to say or express or vent, and it reeks of des­per­a­tion and inse­cu­ri­ty.

I used to wor­ry that hap­pi­ness would make me a bor­ing per­son too, but now I would­n’t mind as long as I real­ized it and gave up this blog. It’s so embar­rass­ing to write out of a belief that it’ll make you inter­est­ing. Or even worse, to be obliv­i­ous to the fact you’re writ­ing about the most inane things.