Monthly Archives: March 2013

Heather + Dave — Wedding Day

Shot at a Jewish sleep-away camp at the side of the Ottawa River on a per­fect day.

This film is one of the high­lights of my 2012 wed­ding sea­son. I had to end it on a scene dur­ing the first look, when Dave’s face reveals how anx­ious he is to see Heather in her dress; those are the moments that speak for all the years in a rela­tion­ship. They’ve known each other since grade 7, along with most of the wed­ding party. You can eas­ily tell how close every­one is from the way they touch and dance and embrace.

I worked very closely with Adrian from Five Stripe Studios in scor­ing this film. The wooden build­ings and out­door set­ting made me think of sum­mer camp, so I wanted the first sec­tion to sound like an old tape you’d find in your dad’s glove com­part­ment as he’s dri­ving you there, the rib­bon warped from heat. Adrian did an amaz­ing job of cre­at­ing that mood, the care­ful melod­ica being a very nice touch. There were also impor­tant details I asked for, like the slide gui­tar going from note to note exactly when the focus zooms from a leaf to the sun1, which he inge­niously built into a repeat­ing theme.

Having com­plete con­trol over the music is great for per­fec­tion­ists like me, but the best thing about work­ing with such a tal­ented com­poser is being able to give each cou­ple a set of songs that have been cre­ated just for them, some­thing that makes each film par­tic­u­larly unique.

  1. At 1:45. []

moulting

Holy shit how did this song find me in the mid­dle of blan­ket­ing white snow­fall, instead of sum­mer? I’ll take it either way1. I’ve needed a new addic­tion after too many maudlin jazz albums, too often fuelled by hard-living and a woman. This means I’m ready for a taste of warm weather. I miss the wind through my clothes and the smell of girls’ skin when it’s been touched by sweat and sunlight.

cat close-up

Guizmo.

I’m in the process of sim­pli­fy­ing, which has meant fig­ur­ing out my pri­or­i­ties, and truly let­ting go of the things I don’t need, whether it’s a bad habit or rela­tion­ship or thought. Maybe this is why I haven’t been feel­ing my age; it feels like I’m con­stantly start­ing over in var­i­ous parts of my life.

This hasn’t made writ­ing any eas­ier. I’m always wait­ing for a feel­ing to last, but it tends to pass before I have a chance to get it down on paper. Maybe the insta­bil­ity is what I should be writ­ing about. Not about who I am, but how much things are changing.

Audra recently wrote about how frus­trat­ing it is when she can’t get into a state of per­ma­nence. She said it par­tic­u­larly well here: “I know it is not real­is­tic for all progress to be lin­ear, or for things to be able to become con­stant once they become good. But I sure do day­dream about it.” It makes me feel so val­i­dated when some­one is able to put into words the things I’ve been going through with­out hav­ing talked about it with them.

Chinese dinner

My dad asks if I want to get a pic­ture before we start, Lisa says he must know me very well.

In between: Chris finally kisses Angie. It’s a good­night kiss while her creepy col­league is asleep in the same room, yet some­how man­ages to be the sweet­est first-kiss ever. I start to grow my hair out and wear it down, out of bore­dom. People say it fits me. Byron brings me his toys so I’ll toss them again, and I begin to won­der who’s train­ing who. Lisa meets my dad. We finally watch True Romance and Gary Oldman becomes my new favourite actor. I rack up over 150 hours played in Awesomenauts this year, and I’ve made online friends (it’s weird). Assad loses another gen­eral to the rebels, there’s still no end in sight after three years of fight­ing, and oth­er­wise I remain bliss­fully igno­rant to the world.

  1. Also comes in a highly enter­tain­ing music video ver­sion. []

in the arms of men

My wit and my elo­quence are not at their best at this par­tic­u­lar moment, which is why I have no quick riposte to your rib­bing. All my humour is dry and self-deprecating any­way. It’s mak­ing me won­der if you think I can’t take an Asian joke or two. The truth is, I don’t know how to make fun of any­one but myself.

Too bad you’ve got piss tests com­ing up. We’ve got this bal­cony, the right occa­sion, and I don’t drink any­more. Doesn’t mean I can’t lis­ten to your war sto­ries, or dan­gle in the air when you give out bear hugs. Perhaps I’d be less awk­ward when it comes to such bond­ing if I was in high-school JV foot­ball. Seth made the team one year, and scored a touch­down for guys like us.

downtown Ottawa

I remem­ber you. Iain and I went to buy a $5 hit off your bong 10 years ago, back when we cut our teeth on prairie fires and five-cent wings and I’ll-never-do-that-again. You were danc­ing to jazz by your­self in a beater and per­pet­ual Kangol when we walked in, but you wore no shame on your face. The world is small when our lives are not.

Last time I saw Iain was at the house­warm­ing, but I still think of him every time I use those crys­tal glasses he gave me that day. He would have wanted them filled with some­thing tight-bodied and twelve-years old. Nowadays all I can take is a lit­tle Bailey’s on my Mayan choco­late Häagen-Dazs. Luckily they’re also per­fect for ice cream.

bachelor

I’ve long missed these nights. Breathing fresh air when step­ping out of a stuffy bar. That sud­den calm when com­ing out of the din. Big groups with the chance to change con­ver­sa­tions. Nights that have been replaced by din­ners with nuclear fam­i­lies and one-on-ones. Oddly enough, the only thing in com­mon are sto­ries of how one’s son is learn­ing to play with his dick. The world would have me believe that a man isn’t made by the drinks he orders but by the atten­tion he gives his kids.

If only I didn’t have to go so soon. I’ve never been to the peel­ers in Ottawa, and I can only imag­ine where my bills will end up.

stepping into groundlessness

I can tell I’ve had enough of win­ter when I start to enjoy the days above 0 more than the ones below. Those are the days when the air is clear with­out being frigid, and you’re only cold when sun isn’t on your skin. I know I’ll be okay when such her­alds of warm weather appear. Spring is com­ing just in time this year.

Constant plans and new projects are mak­ing the weeks pass as quickly as ever, only now I mark the time by my days with Lisa. We’ve set aside every other Thursday for each other, and it’s the only com­mit­ment I have in my life now, some­thing I haven’t had the plea­sure of shar­ing with some­one in a while.

chicken hearts

Step one in mak­ing cat food: get over the fact that the souls of a mil­lion chick­ens will even­tu­ally haunt you at night for grind­ing up their hearts.

She recently started help­ing me make my own cat food, which involves her schlep­ping a meat grinder, vit­a­min sup­ple­ments, and giant tub1 to my place every time, but she loves tak­ing care of my cats as much as I do. We can both agree it’s well worth the effort when see­ing how much they appre­ci­ate fresh meat and how healthy it makes them.

The rest of our time is spent with Miley Highrus and Zelda Hitzgerald, shar­ing the things we’ve grown to love by our­selves as much as the things we’ve yet to expe­ri­ence together, watch­ing Skins and learn­ing that I like Chris cause Chris likes Angie and I really like Angie. Some weeks, this is the only time we have off from the rest of our respec­tive lives, and the things we can share only in per­son make it all the more special.

Return to Ravnica draft

Slinging card­board.

I can’t help but ques­tion what I know about love and hap­pi­ness and truth and the world and myself. I’ve been try­ing to let go of the things I under­stand and the way I feel, giv­ing myself time to let every­thing set­tle, but embrac­ing the ground­less­ness hasn’t been easy. It often leaves me feel­ing very much out of my ele­ment no mat­ter what I’m doing, and long­ing for some sem­blance of sta­bil­ity. The most I can do is keep in mind that there’s no pres­sure to be a cer­tain way, and that answers will come in their own time.

  1. I don’t have a sin­gle con­tainer in the house that’s large enough to mix the roughly 10kg of chicken parts required for a two-month batch. []

looping: forever

crotch grab

I’ve been hav­ing a lot of fun mak­ing these lit­tle ani­mated gifs, each one a moment from a wed­ding I shot last sea­son. Not all my footage makes it into the final cut of a film; occa­sion­ally, some­thing has to be sac­ri­ficed for rea­sons of pac­ing or tim­ing or…appropriateness, and it seemed like such a pity that these clips would end up on the cut­ting room floor.

The tricky part is not mak­ing a gif too long, oth­er­wise it becomes a scene, and loses the rep­e­ti­tion that makes us believe the moment goes on forever.

Continue read­ing “loop­ing: forever”…