Posts in category "Video"

Trapped in NYC

A few weeks ago, an anony­mous per­son very thought­ful­ly sent me a track called NYC by Brolin. This per­son must know me quite well, cause the song is to my taste exact­ly. Not only that, but I’d been mean­ing to make a short film about my trip to New York (as well as the extend­ed stay due to Hurricane Sandy), and Brolin’s min­i­mal­is­tic sound space and ghost­ly vocals gave me an atmos­phere of warmth and won­der that matched my footage per­fect­ly.

Personally, I don’t think I could ever cre­ate any­thing and name it NYC. It’s a city with too much depth and com­plex­i­ty to try encap­su­lat­ing in a verse or song or mov­ing image, then tie it up with three sim­ple let­ters. I can’t wait to go back again some day to cap­ture as much as I can.

makeshift wings

I’m ready for the win­ter. To be reborn with the first snow­fall that cov­ers the grass, awash in muf­fled seren­i­ty.

Time is mea­sured in weeks, not by the cycle of day and night, and this makes every­thing pass at a blis­ter­ing pace. The good weeks involve bacon break­fasts and peo­ple bring­ing me food and new projects and Magic nights. The bad ones involve bat­tles with my old arch neme­sis, acne, and his side-kick, scar­ring-on-my-fuck­ing-nose.

I’ve been deal­ing with this over­whelm­ing sense that any­thing can change. So much has left me feel­ing like there’s no cer­tain­ty any­more. Maybe that’s why I’ve stopped dream­ing. I have no idea what to expect from the future, and I don’t know if that scares me or gives me hope.

To stop myself from think­ing about it too much, I dis­tract with all the right things and few of the wrong ones. It’s a frag­ile form of sta­bil­i­ty. Some days, the strings, they don’t do enough.

Singhouse Studios — Sparkle

Singhouse Studios is a voice and per­for­mance school for peo­ple of all ages, and one night every year the stu­dents per­form in a big show. This year, the show — titled Sparkle — was celebri­ty-themed, com­plete with a melange of hits from the last five decades, a red car­pet run­way for all the stars, and even Ottawa’s local pop heart­throb, Alex Lacasse1.

Music by Five Stripe Studios. Adrian and I worked close­ly to make sure the music had the right kind of play­ful ener­gy to focus on the school’s main demo­graph­ic.

I was asked to cre­ate a pro­mo­tion­al video for the stu­dio, so I fol­lowed the per­form­ers to tell the sto­ry of their day, from the back­stage to the main stage. I felt it was as impor­tant to see all the prepa­ra­tion as much as the per­for­mances them­selves, which is why I includ­ed footage of warm-up rou­tines, prac­tice rit­u­als, and dress rehearsals. I love to see the focus so many of the young per­form­ers have, and much of that comes out before they even step into the spot­light.

  1. Who’s been a stu­dent at the stu­dio for years now. []

a million distractions to keep me warm

Two hours lat­er, I woke up with­out any sense of direc­tion.

Now I’m try­ing to fig­ure out how to stay awake so I can be tired enough to fall asleep again. The fatigue isn’t enough to keep me down. I had a big break­fast, some­thing I haven’t done in as long as I can remem­ber, owing to the fact that they used to be the rit­u­al of a per­son with week­ends and a need for rit­u­als.

At some point along the way, I real­ized it’s eas­i­er to take care of my friends and help them fix their prob­lems. I can’t fig­ure out why I’ve avoid­ed deal­ing with my own, but I decid­ed that as long as my dis­trac­tions are ful­fill­ing and healthy in them­selves, there’s noth­ing wrong with that. Sometimes, there’s noth­ing else one can do.

In turn, they’re help­ing me through this odd pas­sage of time, where I find myself unsure of what to do or feel. I’ve had to open myself up to give them a chance to help me. It always leaves me vul­ner­a­ble at first, but when they lis­ten and under­stand and sup­port me, all my inse­cu­ri­ties go away. It’s a tan­gi­ble love that goes far beyond words and inten­tions.


I’m very pleased to say that I’m now work­ing with Five Stripe Studios, a tal­ent­ed bou­tique music com­po­si­tion stu­dio, to score my films. Music is one of the most impor­tant parts of any film, and the right music can make great footage look even bet­ter.

Choosing the right music also hap­pens to be one of the most dif­fi­cult parts of the sto­ry­telling process. For one wed­ding, I spent a week look­ing for the per­fect song. When I dis­cov­ered it had an inap­pro­pri­ate line (noth­ing vul­gar, just very unfit­ting for a wed­ding), I spent anoth­er week try­ing to find a replace­ment, but even­tu­al­ly went with my orig­i­nal choice, using audio soft­ware to take the line out.

Kyden’s First was a small project we worked on to make sure we were able to com­mu­ni­cate effec­tive­ly at dif­fer­ent stages of the scor­ing process.

It made sense to find a more capa­ble per­son to han­dle this respon­si­bil­i­ty, and I just hap­pened to come in con­tact with the right per­son at the right time. Adrian is the cre­ative direc­tor of Five Stripe Studios, and not only does he write the music, he sings, plays, and records it as well. I met him in Australia when we were much younger1, and he con­tact­ed me after com­ing across my work many years lat­er.

This not only gives me total con­trol over the music, allow­ing me to choose the right instru­ments, tone, pace, and mood, but I have more options with the footage as well, as I some­times found myself leav­ing out a great scene out to match anoth­er scene with a cer­tain part of a song. Adrian is also a very dynam­ic com­pos­er, and can give me wide­ly vary­ing styles and gen­res; exact­ly what I need when work­ing with all the dif­fer­ent things I film.

  1. I still remem­ber us play­ing NHL Hockey on the NES, which would have meant I was in my ear­ly teens. []