Category Archives: Personal

Doing It Yourself

Rail Glide

From GoPros attached to quadcopters to gimmicky iPhone lens clips, Rafferty Baker and I are always talking about what gear we need to get a great shot.

About a month ago we went out and bought some cheap skateboard wheels and ball-bearings. The plan was to build track dollies for those sweet “unchained” shots.

For the longest time, I was unsure how to tackle the design of the dolly until I saw two old fridge door handles at work. I decided to shelf the track dolly plan for a relatively smaller rail-glider. The two handles were  screwed together to create a seamless five foot rail.

After consulting various DIY walkthroughs and hours in Home Depot, I spent most of the day constructing this rail-glider chassis.

It’s far from perfect but it’s a start in the right direction.

 

Image

#DeadToMe

Dead to Me:

  1. Llamas
  2. The Mariana Trench
  3. Des Moines, Iowa
  4. Duck lips
  5. Small communities making national headlines
  6. Black Forrest cake
  7. Pan-Flutes
  8. Honey Boo-Boo
  9. Fish as pets
  10. Brazzer promo videos

On Notice: 

  1. 3D movies
  2. Nosey moms
  3. Red skinny jeans
  4. Unimaginative bumper-stickers
  5. Legitimate rape
  6. The Hobbit
  7. Autoerotic- asphyxiation
  8. People that do not know how to use the Internet
  9. Sociology
  10. Nostalgia

One Small Space

It says that it’s day 25 on the revolutionary calendar but days are no longer measured in hours. Everything has merged into an everlasting block of memory. I cannot tell you what happened yesterday because, in order to do so, I’d have to start from the beginning.

The truth is that I’m embedded with the Occupy Vancouver movement and I’ve been anchored on the frontline.

I’ve learned more about this organized occupation than all the regular everyday-folks with their reactionary opinions rife with misinformation. After 25 days of hearing propagated half-truths, I’ve done my best to inform the public and correct the spreading of sloppy journalism.  I’ve even had to correct a news station during an interview on air.


But, live reporting is not why I’m down there. Rafferty Baker and I are knee-deep in the filming of our documentary The Occupation. Essentially, it follows the rise of Vancouver’s interpretation of the #OccupyWallStreet movement.

The documentary follows the relationships and interactions of the occupiers within the encampment as they deal with the city, weather and unexpected tragedies. The Occupation is an intimate look at one of the most talked about events of the year. The documentary will humanize the movement like no one has shown before.

Lately, the encampment has been on edge because the increasing threats from the city have been getting louder and louder.

Now, there’s information spreading that says city workers and VPD officers will roll in to dismantle the tent-city tomorrow (November 10). With so much information being passed around, it’s no wonder that the occupiers are on edge and at times involved in militant rhetoric.

All I can do is wait with my camera ready to roll.

Riverside teaser-trailer

This is the second little project that I’ve worked on for Clearbrook Entertainment and this product looks better than the first proposal piece.

The video below is a concept teaser trailer for Joel Ross’ movie Riverside. I am told that he is going to rush that down to L.A. and show it to the people involved in getting this project going.

I am not going to give any of it away, mainly because I don’t know what the real story is all about, but I encourage you to watch the trailer and pass it on.

“We’ll do it live…”

The first rotation is finally over.

A small group of us were involved in making the weekly student lead television news program BCIT Magazine. The experience was intense and I ended up doing some things I thought I’d never do.

Anchoring was the main event. I didn’t want to have anything to do with the deed but I got my fair share of face time during the past three weeks.

For those of you who don’t know me very well, let me take a minute to tell you a little bit about myself:

I sweat a lot. I am like a blowfish, in the sense that I have a unique self-defense mechanism. Instead of spines pushing out from my skin, I have copious amounts of sweat streaming from my face. It’s an uncomfortable affliction that keeps things awkward most of the time.

My hyperhydrosis is not ideal for doing things that require performing in front of an audience. I have never liked presentations nor the pressure of being calm and serious on camera. Anchoring has never interested me but somehow I ended up anchoring two casts and also delivering a brief weather stand up.

Yes, there were screw-ups. But, keep in mind, this is not my thing. I only wanted a little fun.

I’m sure someone will ask “was it worth it?”

And I’ll answer, “yes, yes it was.”

Making a promotional video for a reality-TV show about making a horror flick…

Confused? because I still don’t know what I’ve done.

Nearly a month ago my friend Michaela Ross asked if I would be interested in filming and editing a short promotional video. I was given a brief rundown on the purpose of the video but I never really knew what to expect. I was told to film and that’s what I did.

Check out their Facebook page to learn more about the project: http://www.facebook.com/ClearbrookENT?ref=ts
Now they want me to film again to put together a little teaser trailer for their horror proposed horror flick.

Yikes…

Seattle Remembers 9/11

The United States is still picking up the pieces after the attack on the World Trade Centre ten years ago.

Citizens of Seattle still remember the tragic events of 9/11, even ten years after. Many people walking around the city would run into visual reminders of the historic day. Flags were at half-mast and small memorials littered city parks spent the Sunday immersed in various activities.

In the shadow of the Space Needle, a group of 9/11 Truthers handing out pamphlets and encouraging passersby to question the government.

Across the park, there was another group of people assembled to promote peace and harmony at Memorial Field. The ONE Festival had guest speakers recalling the fateful day ten years ago. Local artists also preformed for the small crowd gathered at the Seattle stadium.

A final memorial at Alki Beach in West Seattle attracted a larger crowd for a candle light vigil. People gathered to sing songs and look on at the tribute to day of remembrance.

My Local Online Scammer is Actually a Plagiarist…

I was shocked to find a letter in my “junk” email folder. The letter was sent by “Princess Tina Yak” and the subject simply said “Beloved.”

My mind raced through every possibility to make sense of this random letter. I told myself with great confidence that I have never met anyone named “Princess,” Tina* or even Yak.

*This is not entirely true. I know a couple Tina’s, but I was positive this was neither of the Tina’s.

So, logically, I assumed that the message had to be porn related. Being the inquisitive little man I am, I opened the message to find out what was within.

Sadly, this was the contents of the mysterious letter:

This message looks suspicious...

It was 100% pure junk-mail.

This was not the first time I had received the old “send me money” email. In fact, it’s amazing that this scam is still around.

“I am a citizen of Sudan but currently staying in Burkina Faso…”

That’s all it should take for a semi-intelligent human-being to laugh and close their email account for the day.

You’d think that these scammers would deviate from the old, uninspiring and predictable path they’ve ventured down time after time.

Why wouldn’t they create a new character from another impoverished and struggling country? Take the time to make up a cute little character that tugs at the old heart-strings or provides a couple laughs.

It’s easy as one, two, three:

Greetings from afar,

My name is Hridayendra and I’m a real person, look me up on wikipedia. However, since May 28, 2008, I am considered to be nobody special. I was once the second in line to be heir of the former Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal.

My grandfather, the last king of our Hindu nation, dissolved the monarchy to allow democracy to flourish in our little nation.

Unfortunately, I lost something special during the transition of power to the state. My Himalayan kitten, Puuursia, was taken along with my family’s grand palace and Nepalese passports. The elected Maoist Party oppressors have claimed Puuursia as property of the state and she now is held captive in the Kathmandu dungeons beneath the grand palace.  

This is my cat Puuursia. I have not seen her since 2008. I love her very much. XOXO see you soon Puuursia.

I’ve cried every night in exile and I’m hoping that one day I’ll see my beloved kitty-cat again.

I know you Westerners get bizarre letters like this all the time but, as strange as it seems, this one is real. I need your help to get Puuursia back.

All I am asking is that you pay the $58.94 needed to get a traveller’s visa for my Indian passport to send me on my way to rescue my lovely Himalayan cat. 

I’d ask my parents for the money but they would never let me go in on this adventure. I may only be nine years old but I have the tenacity of the kings before me. The Maoists will pay dearly for what they’ve done. The gutters of Kathmandu will trickle crimson with the blood of those red bastards.

Please, Westerner, you’re my only hope.

Namaste,

Prince Hridayendra of Nepal

PS: You can easily send the $58.94 through PayPal

And that’s how you shake up a tired online scamming routine. If you give the reader something to enjoy, like adventure or comedy, they might throw you some coin.

Come on scammers, you’ve got to earn that money. Show us how much you want it…

#summertimezealots

The summer sun slowly sets along the horizon at Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver. A group of #summertimezealots paddle across English Bay.

School’s back and I couldn’t be happier.

I do not particularly enjoy heading back to the drab concrete confines of BCIT nor am I a fan of being a poor student. However, I do get a real satisfaction knowing that most of the #summertimezealots in this city have to face reality and become a prisoner to demands and deadlines.

#summertimezealots are kids (or kidz with a “z”) with free time on their hands. They worship the summer months, dance in the balmy night air and waste hours by the beach. #summertimezealots cry when they do not get their ideal weather conditions and they mope around at the sight of rain.

A young man takes a ride around a bike park by the Burrard Bridge in Vancouver. I'm sure he is a #summertimezealot.

To all those zealots out there;I’m sorry to hear that your cathedrals of sand are shifting with the seasons. It’s time to pick up the pallet, Jack, and face reality…

The sun has set for the #summertimezealots.

Twenty-Six…

Self-Portrait: Twenty-Six Three-Nineteen

I spent most of my twenty-sixth birthday watching “The Last Waltz.”

To be completely honest, I watched the film two-and-a-half times during the a span of 24 hours.

It’s a special documentary that captures The Band’s final performance and pieces the event together with cut-scenes from interviews before and after the event.

On November 25, 1976, The Band hosted their big finale at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. They were joined by a long list of special guests and good friends. Musical geniuses like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Ronnie Wood, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison (to name a few) all performed a couple of songs to give the fans an unequaled final show.

The documentary follows the same formula as “Festival Express” or “The Rolling Stone’s Rock and Roll Circus” but it is not as flamboyant as the latter or as adventurous as the former.

“The Last Waltz” is a simple documentary with a simple message but this message is buried between the music.

What I learned is that a band cannot stand alone and be expected to do great things from their own genius.

A band, very much like the individual, is reliant and susceptible to encounters with other great people.

It felt natural to bide my time watching “The Last Waltz” for a second time at 4AM on Sunday morning.

It’s as simple as this; I’m grateful for my friends and family. I would be a different man without their eternal support, critical judgment, progressive conversation and the creativity of my comrades and kin.

I thank you all and I hope this twenty-sixth year of mine is as rich and productive as my twenty-fifth.