Tuesday, June 3, 2008

MAY, 2008 - Halifax to Vancouver

MAY, 2008

Halifax to Vancouver

Ok, where am I? right…I am flying from Halifax (my new home) to Vancouver to film almost the last bits of the coaches documentary. I will be picked up at the airport by Mark Busse from Full Spectrum Coaching and rushed over to the Vancouver Aquarium to film some interviews, then the next morning back on a plane up to the BC interior to a place called Trail BC…wow, is there such a place? IF so I think I want to live there! Something like Forest City, population 11, on the New Brunswick / Maine border, truly one of my favorite get away secret places I have, FOREST CITY, NB, TRAIL, BC…come on! Anyway love the names…lots of adventures with great friends in Forest City from Hot Toddy Jams on Skiff Lake, to all night 80’s dance parties at my dear friends Tracy and Carstan’s straw bail home to intriguing visits and hula hoops at one of my favorite people in the world Anne’s place on the St. Croix River…literally a stone throw from the great United States of America…these borders are not secure…trust me! Hopefully Trail will produce some fond memories as well, man I’ll have to do a doc about cool names for towns and the interesting people and bizarre going ons in the village limits! Love it.

The last couple weeks where crazy as usual, I got back from Italy to see my lovely Jess for a whopping 2 days, we went to St. Andrews and checked out this amazing Inn called the Rossmont, perfect meal, great stay, New Brunswick is an amazingly beautiful place with such rich experiences if you take the time to adventure out of your immediate locale. Jess them said goodbye and hopped on the bus to go around the province with the 21 inc leader’s tour for 10 days. Again a big honor for her, yes she will be a leader in the New Brunswick, in fact Canadian medical scene very soon, in fact she already is. Cool thing is Jess is super creative and is coming up with great TV shows all the time, she is stoked to work with us soon, a doctor in Hemmings House Pictures...wow, sounds good.

I used the time to pack up Acamac, kind of sad actually, I love that neighborhood and I love that house, the nature, the campfires, the hot tub, the wild parties, the live bands, the basement production office, the “hotel” and “hostel” nature…anyway an era has been closed. Time to move on, it’s a good thing. Life brings changes and I welcome it with open arms. Just need to find someone to rent the place. I had a few nights of gatherings at the house, hot tub was kickin' in fine form. It was a good transition week to help me physically and mentally move out of Acamac, that place is the phattest neighborhood I have ever lived in, yes I used the word phat…man, I need to hop on tour again, if I’m using words that start with PH and am listening to Phish and String Cheese, and the Dead more often than ever…wow, means I am either getting nostalgic or I need to get back on the road and catch some more music! In fact in a couple weekends I’m heading down to Portland to meet up with my old partner in crime / Southern rocker / Trucker / pencil poking bearded, NyQuil and rye whisky drinkin’ friend Chris Gorman (a.k.a “Red Deer”) to hop on our Harley’s and cruise into the mountains to check out Mountain Jam…the lineup is sick this year. Anyway Chris has a new Hog, I’ll be renting as my little GS 550 won’t cut it…I’ll write more about that when the time comes, yes Red Dear and Labrador are hitting the road again…lest time we where on bikes was in the Caribbean, we kind of got stuck in the middle of a parade in the Dutch side of the island of St. Maarten…um…we looked like we belonged. Ha-ha…maybe I should start adding pictures to this blog, too funny, picture 2 very long haired, long bearded dudes with Rasta hats on each driving a 3 wheel scooter in the middle of a Carnival parade…yeah, maybe you shouldn’t see the pictures…for my sake of course, oh ask me sometime about how we almost literally got killed that day by a bunch of thugs, and how it resulted in a chase to beaches and eventually up to the top of a rain forest mountain which resulted in a treasure score 2 years later…I will leave it at that.

Sorry for the tangent…Jessica and I moved all of our stuff to our new home in Halifax, what a cool and cozy little place we got! We are right in the midst of what other people consider the sketchy part of town, we absolutely love it. We are walking distance from anything we need, the Lebanese bakery, the laundry mat, the commons, the Hydro stone Market, everything you need is there, even if there is a guy faithfully asking for change outside our door every morning, and even though there are crack houses in our backyard, we love it! Haha…honestly! Man I love cool diverse communities; Halifax’s North End is a real hip spot with every type of wonderful human you can imagine!

I had an incredible week of meeting with other producers, setting up future gigs, possible co-productions, possible investments, 3 actual job offers! I love the idea of having a regular salary, and a good one at that, but I am too entrepreneurially stubborn at this point to accept, though I am honored that the needs in Halifax are deemed to be satisfied through me…wow, cool thought…that’s all it is though! Ha ha. Why do I write my laughs in my journal? Hope it doesn’t bug you the reader too much, it’s kind of how I speak anyway. Loving Halifax, see a big future here for Jess and I, for Hemmings House Pictures, and for the future of the universe. Jess and I checked out the Halifax Vineyard on Sunday as well, pretty cool spot. Will be going back again, maybe they are looking for a drummer or a bass player…we shall see!

Today is the anniversary (5 years I believe) of the death of my dear friend Robin Mathieson, one of the most beautiful and creative people I have known. As Jess and I where walking down one of the North End streets where she used to live we saw the spray painted stenciled birds that she painted weeks before her passing. Makes you think about the value of your life and how long are you really remembered for? A generation? Two generations? Little did my beautiful friend know that the birds that she decorated the sidewalk with would be a symbol and reminder of her life, so symbolic as her name is that of a bird and she is now free very much like one as well. I will not forget you Robin, we had a lot of fun adventures together from grade 7 up to your passing, thanks for your friendship!

While I am thinking of it when I was home my friend Leanne and I went to visit our other dear friend who is not with us any more, Leslie’s grave. We went with her parents and it was very sad, but also because her spirit is very present it was inspiring to remember her and hang with her for a few minutes at Fern Hill cemetery. We need to appreciate life and live it to the fullest and love each other and love each other to the fullest. I must remind myself of this every day.

Almost in Vancouver…I will write more on my flight home….

…Ok, I’m back, 4 days have lapsed since the last sentence. I am back on the plane heading east again. It was a pretty cool few days in BC. When I arrived I was picked up by my friend Mark Busse who is one of the owners of Full Spectrum Coaching along with her husband Dave and Carollyne Connlin, these are the fine folks who have hired me to come out and film for this segment of the coaches documentary. It is interesting because I want to base this documentary after this journal, I keep calling it the “Coached” but it is actually named the same as this journal “Airplane Journals” because I feel that this blog represents me and my company quite well In fact today on the flight I need to start mapping out the structure of the documentary, how I am going to edit it together etc, I will be using this blog as the guide.

Anyway Marj picked me up she had already picked up the rented camera gear for me to save time as we where to film at the Vancouver Aquarium 20 minutes after my arrival, wow, tight timeline. We drove through downtown Vancouver, past Hastings and Main, then down towards the beaches and then into the beautiful Stanley Park where we drove through the lush jungle that was so damaged a few back with the monsoon, then arrived to the Aquarium. Mark coached the employees here, and this includes everyone from senior management to Janitors. Everyone there has adopted the coaching culture. This is very cool to see within a large organization working so well…truly inspiring actually. I interviewed a couple of wonderful people there about how coaching has affected the workplace and how they feel differently has a valued employee now that the coaching culture has been implemented. My other inspiration was filming the beautiful dolphins, seal lions and Beluga! The Sea Lions where very cool, HUGE animals, the Beluga where graceful and beautiful, kind of took me back to when I was in the arctic recently when I ate some Beluga…wow there is a small vegetarian inside me somewhere, when I have these experiences the little veggie voice seems to be heard! Ha ha. Anyway they are a beautiful beautiful animal. The dolphins are so freakin sociable and smart and cute…we where in an under water glassed in executive board room where the dolphins swim right up to the window and have little conversations with you through the glass.

Dolphins really hold a magic place in my life. I remember spending hours on the cruise ships alone searching the horizon for them, and the days that I saw them, usually in huge groups playing in the wake of the boat, where inspired days. I remember 2 real cool dolphin stories, 1 was sailing out of New York City, there had just been a huge rain storm, but the big black clouds where starting to lift, and the bright red sun was setting over the cityscape making the whole sky and clouds and water blood red. Because of those conditions a massive rainbow arced over the horizon. In our wake played at least 50 dolphins jumping, swimming and playing in the force of the boat’s current. It was one of the most inspiring things I have ever seen! The other time is when I was on watch on the Avontuur somewhere off the coast of Brazil. Because there where only 3 of us crewing the ship we each had to spend 4 hours of the night shift awake alone manning the sails and keeping watch in the blackness of the sometimes moonless, starless, lightless night. These where the nights that where kind of creepy sailing by your self, sometimes there would be no wind so the only sound you heard was you ears ringing, or the slight luff of a sail, or maybe the creek of the mast. Anyway one of these nights I was sitting on the edge of the boat, probably writing in my journal, which I will transcribe sometime and add it into this one, if I can find it…anyhow I was startled when something similar to a missile sped by the boat, fully electric fluorescent green light surrounded its shape and trailed along behind it, then another one and then another one, where we under attack? Ha ha, It was so strange, they where dolphins racing past our boat and playing around it as if to tease it! The green light was that magical phosphorescence that lights up sometimes in the water when agitated…it was a very cool and intense experience. The wonderful part is that they “hung out” with me for a while helping me not to be too lonely! Ha ha, anyway it was cool, ever since then I have been fascinated and excited by dolphins.

After our shoot was finished, Marj and I went back to her townhouse and had a few glasses of wine and I met one of her neighbors Marilyn who is the executive director of the Surrey Food Bank. Very inspiring lady for sure, the responsibility that she has in her community is so huge, so much respect goes to those who give themselves for the needy. Anyhow she was a bit stressed about a fund raising breakfast that they where having on Tuesday because a filmmaker said that he was going to do a video for the breakfast about homelessness but in the end he was unreliable and it didn’t happen. We recently produced a video about homeless in Saint John, Lauchlan did a great job producing, directing, photographing and editing it. So I told her about our video and said that’s he could use it instead, I am keen to hear how it turned out. The video is pretty cool actually, Lauchlan took still images of the faces of many of the homeless people in the area, recorded their voices as they talked about being homeless, then edited the photos to music and the narrative matched the faces that show up on screen. It is very touching, and the message is very clear, homelessness can happen to anyone.

I need to rewind here for a minute…have I mentioned our staff growth lately? Well a few months ago we hired Jon Williams onto the team. He is full support for everything in the company from marketing to shooting to editing to admin. He is kicking ass so far, our team has really come together to share in the common vision. We just need to start pumping out more profitable gigs to support the growth. We have now besides myself, Andrew MacCormack, Steve Foster, Lauchlan Ough, Jon Williams, and a new intern names Steve Belyea. I just though I should add that in while I was thinking of it!

The next day I hopped onto a real small Beachcraft and flew over the Rockies into the BC interior. It was an incredible flight flying closely over the snow covered mountain tops, the Rockies from a plane are very interesting to look at, very ragged and multi layered. I landed in a small town called Trail BC that I mentioned earlier. All I can say is AWESOME…in the truest sense of the word. Awe inspiring maybe? The town is in a valley, 33 degrees when I got in, like a summer day, everything was green and beautiful and there was 7 feet of powder in the mountains that surround the town, one of the sister towns is Rossland BC that sits at the base of a ski mountain which is also home to my friend the Krazy Canadian Dan who is the extreme snowmobiler that I met at the Xtremey Awards last year. I tried to get in touch with Dan but he wasn’t around. I am keen to look into producing a HD snowmobile show, he is the man to talk about it.

I immediately started filming at a conference room. This is where Dave, Carollyne, and another executive coach where coaching the senior management of Kootney Savings, a credit union that is so cutting edge that they have fully embraced coaching within there whole organization. They have bought into it so heavily that this day 6 employees where certified and are now internal coaches for the organization The intention is to build a fully integrated coaching culture through ever strata of the organization. The senior management where also being trained while I was there, it was very cool to film them and realize that they have adopted a management structure that is open to personal growth and also to personal fulfillment. And its working. The employees are all very healthy and loyal and certainly have a strong sense of ownership. This is how I try to manage my company as well. Its cool. Anyway there is nothing much more to write about for this segment of the trip other than it is amazing to see how coaching not only works on a person to person level, but also on a multi tiers corporate level as well. It is also cool to ask the question “Why now?”. Why is coaching being adopted so strongly today and not 10 years ago? The answer varies, but mostly we are realizing that in today’s technology centered world, the personal relationship is being de valued. When the personal relationships, growth and development are put on the back burner, our generation does not tolerate it anymore. We want a healthy environment to work in, we want to be happy, we want to love what we do, we demand respect and the market is so competitive that if an employer doesn’t hop on this bus then retention of employees will be a challenge. Everyone on the world wants respect, which is what coaching is about, respect and humanity.

The next day after some more interviews down by the raging Columbia river, and after my explorations up the mountains to Rossland, and up the very Italian-like zig zagged narrow roads that make their way up the sides of very steep mountains, I hopped back onto the plane and flew back across the Rockies into Vancouver where my good pal Davey Miller picked me up. Dave is a friend of a long time, we have shared a lot of great adventures together. Dave, Mackenzie, Tidby and I spend weeks on the road filming the Useless Facts Travel show together, driving all over the Maritimes documenting as many useless facts as possible, such as Sussex inventing the ice cream cone as we know it and the biggest manmade lobster in Shediac…stuff like that. We also did an episode just on New Brunswick, Mackenzie and Miller where the English host and my friends Roxy and Moe where the French hosts, we all hopped in my motor home and cruised around the province, it was the beginnings of a very fun summer ahead.

Miller also joined Tidby, Natalie and myself on a cruise to Bermuda…back then I was still able to get my friends on for 10 bucks a day, can you imagine? We had a blast, Celebrity Cruises has a reputation for incredible food and its true. We ate and drank and swam and scootered and jumped cliffs and snorkeled and caved…it is an adventure that I will probably have to write more about sometime, next time I’m on a plane I guess…Oh yeah, Miller and his girlfriend Erica also joined us in Grand Cayman for our wedding adventures. So now you know who Miller is. We went to his condo and hit the roof top patio 20 stories up, WHAT A VIEW! The snow covered mountains in one direction, the city in another, Stanley park in another and the Pacific Ocean beach front in an other. Magic hour into evening we spent with a few friends eating cheese and drinking wine. Vancouver I am convinced is the most beautiful city I have ever visited. Having a view like that with a city surrounded by massive snow covered mountains with beautiful beaches right in the city is amazing, Hong Kong was another city that I thought was very beautiful because of the lush green mountains and the very interesting sky scape, but Vancouver is truly where it is at.

The next day which was also yesterday was a jam packed day of urban outdoors experiences, we started with breakfast at an outdoor patio bistro, then rented some bicycles and biked around Stanley Park for 2 hours…what a park! All along the sea wall the three of us biked. There where so many people outside enjoying the weather and the day and physical activity. After our ride we hit the beach for a couple of hours and I stubbornly got pretty sun burnt, but it was so nice to have the first sense of summer, Miller and I even jumped into the ocean and surprisingly it wasn’t that cold! We then drove only 10 minutes out of downtown to a place called Deep Cove, you would think we where in a natural paradise hundreds of miles into the interior, but no we where still in the city. It was so serene and peaceful with huge green mountains surrounding the cove, no view or feeling of the city whatsoever. We rented sea kayaks and had a great paddle for a few hours tucking close along the huge cliff faces that where populated by these beautiful “mansions” stuck to the cliffs. These homes had to no roads to get to them only by boat but they where super high end homes, it was very cool, it was exactly what I want to do with my cliff face properties that I have in the Saint John River. When I bought the property in Acamac for some reason I also thought it would be beneficial to purchase 2 other pieces of seemingly useless lots of land that are essentially cliff faces…what can you build on a cliff face? Well now I know./ In fact I was initially inspired when Jessica and I first arrived to Calgary for her 2 year stint in Alberta. Right after we arrived we bought her Subaru Impreza and had a great road trip across the Rockies to the Sunshine Coast to check out this great music festival called the Bonfire Festival, very cool even, the stage was based around a massive old growth tree, great music and folks, an old friend from the Evolve Festival Jim Dorey was helping to promote this festival so it was good to catch up with him.

After spending a few inspiring days on the Sunshine Coast we went to Vancouver to visit our old friend and my old motor home room mate in film school. Sarah Hedar. Sarah is an excellent editor working in Vancouver and we have years of friendship behind us, we lived together in leaky trailer for a year on a vineyard 45 minutes away from school together. We decided to buy this motor home when we realized rent was so expensive, we got it for 500 bucks each and we parked in literally in an ice wine vineyard and peach orchard. We lived in the Garden of Eden it seemed. Getting to school via hitch hiking and bumming rides everyday was a bit of a pain in the ass at times, but ma what a spread! We plugged the motor home into this little farming shack that during the summer the Mexican vineyard workers stay in, now 3 of my friends lived in there, it was a one room house, 3 other duded, myself and Sarah…a bit too much, so we bough our home named Ethel and lived our own little bohemian life with a propane heater that hardly worked and a roof that dripped like and open Fawcett. Yes we roughed it but that’s what you do when you are a poor student with no student loans. Man do I ever go on tangents…while we where there Jess and I went to the Granville Island Brewing Company for a tour of the brewery and a taste of the fine micro…loved it. The island is very cool, in fact we came to the same place last night to have dinner, up on an outdoor patio looking over the water, directly under this huge bridge, very hip spot…anyway Jess and I walked around the area and saw a community of floating homes. I was immediately energized…I was thinking about how my dad’s pre-fab homes could manufacture these floating homes, I wanted to change my career! Ha ha. Anyway that is why I bought the land on the river because with it comes a little cove and I thought it would be so cool to build a floating home community so the rest is history, I have still not done anything with this land but I had a chat with my old friends Monica and Steve, they are eco-conscious architects. They are always looking for an interesting environment to design a house for. This could be it! Paddling along these homes and then later that night revisiting Granville island with Miller and Erica stoked me up to start planning on developing these properties and floating homes again.

This morning Erica and Miller drove me to the airport, I just walked through the first class pods…I miss them! Ha ha, I’m a sucker. Now I have to start to think about the Airplane Journals and how I am going to lay it out. Till next time! When is next time anyway? Oh yes, Jessica and I will be flying back to BC to go on our Alaskan Honeymoon cruise…Talk to you then!

APRIL 22, 2008 - Cannes, Torino

APRIL 22, 2008

Cannes, Torino

I am flying over Spain right now, a few minutes ago I was over the green Mediterranean. It is always so interesting to me to look at the land below, then compare it with the flight map that appears on the plane screens to pinpoint exactly where I am. I have had quite a time the last few weeks. Truly a contrast from the peaceful serenity of the North.

I left the arctic via Montreal 2 weeks ago. I flew into Paris. I was fortunate to have one of those new “pods” in business class on the way over, it was amazing, the airplane seat lowered into a bed, I have never had such a comfy flight! Ha ha. I spent the flight drinking red wine (mistake?), watching some fantastic Canadian films, and read the Monty Lewis Story. Monty of course was one of Gene MacLellan’s good friends back in the day when Gene was involved with the prison ministries. Oh by the way, the Gene episode will be on CBC tonight, and her I am flying over the Atlantic, anyway I hope it goes well. The Gene story has been very inspiring. I must say though we have never had such tight deadlines, like the Kerouac episode we where at the 11th hour not knowing if we where to get our E&O insurance. There is always something blocking the clear path to making television easy. This insurance bit is a total scam as well, may I vent?

All broadcasters have Errors and Omissions insurance, this protects them from being sued as a result of a program that they air. This makes sense. However, some broadcasters like the CBC requires the producer to purchase the E&O. The ONLY way to get E&O insurance is to have the entertainment lawyer go through the whole show and pinpoint every single possible liability. If releases aren’t covered for every possible issue, then we get no insurance, which means we have no sure, and we break the contract with CBC which means we are in a position for a lawsuit all over again. What does this mean for a producer and a director? It means if you don’t get the proper paper work and legal stuff taken care of as you are shooting, then forget about having creative control. The Insurance business makes me sick. Why is it even legal to treat small business like this anyway? So I guess the irony of it all to me is that if the lawyer makes the show E&O ready, then that means theoretically we won’t be sued because every liability will be covered, BUT WE STILL NEED TO PAY THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR INSURANCE. Someday there will be equilibrium I hope.

Anyway to wrap up the Grave Concerns story, the Kerouac episode aired on CBC totally out of sync, quite a disappointment after all the work and money we put into making it broadcast ready, but it was out of our hands and we delivered a great show, that is what I will have to hold onto. After this week’s Gene episode will be the Fighting Fishermen Yvon Durell. I can’t wait to see the final edit of this episode. My friend Colin Thornton directed this episode for me, this is exciting for me as it is the first time I have hired someone else outside of my company to direct one of my shows. I’m sure I will write more about how it went when I travel to BC in a few weeks, I have a few more days of shooting for the Coaches documentary to shoot in Victoria and in Trail BC. Should be interesting.

I am listening to Sound Tribe Sector 9 right now, I’ve been trying to stop listening to Sigur Ros but I can’t, so I am going to take a 30 second break and change my I tunes back to my Icelandic heroes…Ok I’m back now.

As a result of my red wine consumption in my pod, when I arrived in Paris I had a bit of an ill feeling in my brain…when will I learn? Ha ha. But all was well because when I got onto the TVG bullet train, I had a full row of seats to shut my eyes and wonder off into anti-jet leg, anti-hangover la la land! I had a 5 hour train ride from Paris to Cannes, and was it ever beautiful. Europe is such a special area, so beautiful with the rolling hills and vineyards, to the snow covered Alps, to the white sands and cliffs of the Mediterranean…I saw it all on the train. What a great way to travel, longer than flying, but way more comfy and scenic! My grandfather Thomas was the ultimate “train guy”. Grampy had a train set in his basement that was the size of the whole basement, man it was HUGE! Great memories of playing with the electronic remotes watching the trains go through the tunnels and hills that Grampy built. I have one major regret in my life, when Grampy was dying of Alzheimer’s he wanted one of the 4 grandkids to take the train set. I was living at my parents home at the time and I had no room for it. None of the grandkids wanted it. When Grampy passed away the whole train set went a fellow from the church, I am guessing it is either all packed in boxes or has been sold off. So sad. But I do have great memories of Grampy taking me on the train from Saint John to Fredericton Junction, or him and Nanny taking my cousin Craig and I to Hillsborough train museum to check out the steam operated trains. What a cool hobby looking back on it that he had, trains, steam engines, rails, travel…I owe a lot of who I am today to my grandfather.

Funny enough many years later one of my first CBC drama’s I worked on was shot in Hillsborough. The production company didn’t have enough money to put me up in a hotel as a camera trainee, so I brought my motorbike and my tent. Can you imagine? I was always pretty hard core for getting work! Anyway they put my friend Swanny and I in the old steam train for a week, it was our hotel! It was perfect! That was so long ago, the show was called Paradise Siding, part of a series of CBC short dramas I worked on. I learned a lot on those shoots. After the motorbike I ended up buying my motorhomes and not only would I go to work on films in other cities living in the motorhome, I would rent it out to production as well as the camera vehicle! Always an entrepreneur I guess. I remember Starhunter very well, the Sci-Fi series that I worked on for months in Minto, it was always a treat to retire to my motorhome after work instead of driving 45 minutes to Fredericton like everyone else had to do. More on that experience in another blog entry I’m sure.

I finally made it to Cannes, thankfully I felt great after a long sleep on the train, and I found my apartment. I was sharing with my friend John Wesley Chisholm from Arcadia Entertainment in Halifax. I think after this MIPTV I will be doing a fair bit of work with those guys. John Wesley and I seem to come up with a lot of the same ideas for TV shows, we I think both agree that it might be better to do some of these projects together instead of competing with each other! I won’t go into too much detail about MIP, except that it was wonderful, certainly the most productive markets I have been to yet. Being with the NSI crew again (from Winnipeg) was amazing, it was just real nice to have a team and a home base to work from. Experiences are always more wonderful when shared with others. Sadly one of my NSI colleagues Don got sick the first day and was in the hospital for the whole time, how awful. Heather, Raja, Tyler and I had a great time together, along with NSI leadership Mickey and Suzanne…and also John Wesley! We went out for fantastic French and Italian meals, met up with other old friends, walked the cobblestones, experienced Southern France. We will see what the real results where from this year’s MIP when I get home. I haven’t even had a chance to do my MIP follow-ups, this is only because I have been in mad editing mode in Torino with no time for anything but being in the intense groove of editing a 52 minutes documentary to fine cut in 7 days…read on…

After a fun night on top of Raj’s penthouse rooftop condo, we all said goodbye and I left Cannes and hopped onto a Trenitalia regional train, heading South down the coast into Italy, broke down halfway between the border and Genova, finally got to Torino 9 hours later. I very frustrating travel day with no communication, my Aliant cell phone didn’t work here, my calling card had no time left, credit card calls where 11 Euro per minute (yeah right) and I didn’t have Federica’s number on me, oh and to top it off I needed to get to the internet because at that point Grave Concerns (Kerouac) was about to air in 3 days and we where having MAJOR clearance issues that I needed to deal with. I can’t believe that we pulled everything together with Steve at Hemmings House, Angelika and Cindy taking care of the legal and admin and management of Grave Concerns, MacCormack overseeing the Post Production of Graves, and me trying to make us all a future at MIP and editing together an epic documentary in Torino that we shot in the arctic a week previous. I am, I mean WE are becoming great multitaskers. I am learning a lot though about taking on to much, it is my addiction to experience and challenge I suppose. Things always seem to work out in the end though and I owe that to faith.


After my hellish journey, I was finally settled back into my Italian home away from home, with Federica and Mauro. We spent a week of amazing food every night, and intense editing sessions every day. Matteo and I rocked through the documentary which is now called MELTING LANDS- A CULTURAL CLIMATE CHANGE. It was the most inspiring edit of my life. I wish I could bottle that feeling that I get when I edit music and images and create emotions on screen…I would be a wealthy man! Ha ha. As you know I am pushing to become a successful producer, not an editor, but I must say it is the editing process that really ignites me.

Matteo took me to 2 football games, ma they where nuts, the first one was Juventos vs. Milano (4-3), there where 800 police officers in full riot gear separating the fan entry points at the stadium! The second one was Juventos and Parma, another great match…3 to 0. I am now a committed fan and I know that it is because of me that they won, remember back in 2006 world cup when each country Al and I visited the county won the match? Well there you go, I think the Juventus football club should hire me and fly me down every time there is a match. Haha.

I left Torino this morning after a great night with Federica, Mauro and Matteo and this incredible restaurant with huge columns and ceilings, I’m sure it was a few hundred years ago. I had a week of heavy emotion in the fact that I had some real struggles with somebody who is involved in our project. But I kept a thick skin and edited what I think is the most beautiful documentary I have ever had anything to do with. The footage is beautiful, the sound is great, and the subjects where so humble and wonderful to let us film their lives. My composers Mat and Jon hooked me up with a great soundtrack that we edited too. There is no sense really in talking about this until you see it for yourself. I brought it up to a 52 minute fine cut in record time, audio mix included in 7 days, Federica’s company SGI will be doing the final online and color correct in the next few days, I can’t wait to see it! But most importantly I can’t wait to get home and see Jess, see my family, and my friends. This Saturday night Grand Theft Bus is playing in St Andrews at the annual Paddle Fest that Jamie Steele organizes every year…this is probably the best place for me to resurface!

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