Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Jah Live! (Filming and Frenzying in London)"

September 2, 2008

Halifax to London

Red eye flight awaits, we are stuck on the tarmac and I am squished in the smallest seats legal on international flights. My legs are too long, this is the last trip, well not really, the second to last trip for the Vision series, it’s been a long run but man has it been a lot of fun. I have learned that I am happier at home these days however, I have had years of great travel, and I am really ready to stop, unless its with my woman…

It was nice to have 3 days off, we flew in from a crazy night in Frisco as the “beats” call the bay area city. I flew straight to Halifax, woke up the next morning and Jess and I raced to Saint John, a 4 hour drive, just in time to make our friends Monica and Steve’s amazing wedding. Monica is one of my oldest friends and lived on the other side of “the path” from me when I was much younger. Monica’s house was the ultimate community center and party spot in junior high and high school. Man so many memories of that era, but those will have to wait for another blog post at some point.

Their wedding was amazing, it was beside a lake on the Kingston Peninsula at Adaire’s Cabins, my good friend Joel LeBlanc from Hot Toddy played sweet jazz guitar with another bass player lake side, the wedding was great all seated on hay bails. Dinner was fantastic, all Mexican made by Monicas mom who is an incredible woman in the community. The night crusied along and our favorite DJ Kurt Frank spun the wheels of styeel under the umbrella of the forest and Chinese lanterns as we dance partied our way through the night, my wedding close got destroyed as a result of a breakdance competition Chris Lloyd and I had on the muddy ground, but hey when the beats are pumpin, what can 2 guys dressed nicely do other than lay it down???

Jessica, Jay MacLean and I ended the night at this stunning cabin on the Saint John River that Jay has been taking care of…this place was so inspiring and beautiful. Waking up to the river and the beautiful end of summer air was so refreshing. I wanted to go for a swim but I didn’t, I haven’t really swam all summer? This summer has crusied by faster than any other summer of my life. I do remember when shooting and editing Planet Luxury, we had similar feelings, but this is what we do!

Jess and I drove home that night and worked all of Monday, trying to catch up, life really is getting ahead of us as we focus on our careers, something we are both very conscious of keeping in control. Spare time is a luxury. The next day I hopped on this plane that I am writing this post on. I will try to sleep as it is the red eye, but sleeping on uncomfortable and crammed plane seats is not the easiest thing to do in the world you know…hardly any room even for the laptop. Off to England, I will be jet legged, then we will film some more Chaos Majik and also some more “Life on Other Planets” people.

September 8, 2008

Heathrow to Halifax

What a week! I feel we could have probably filmed everything we needed in a day but here I am flying home after a 5 day trip to London, or was it 6? We landed and sure enough I had one of the worst flights of my life, or most uncomfortable anyway, I didn’t have a chance to do any work, “I kinda was sitting there in limbo, waiting for the tide to flow, sitting here in limbo knowing that I have to go, while they are putting up resistance, but I know my faith will take me home”…whoa…sorry, I am listening to the soundtrack Jamaica’s first domestically produce film “The Harder They Come” and Jimmy Cliff is singing “Sitting in Limbo” such a great tune…man there is big significance and relevance in all of this, but I will get to it shortly…”you can get it if you really want, but you have to try, try, try, and you will succeed at last”.

We checked into our Hotel the Imperial at Russell Square just outside of SOHO. The hotel was as the British say “Shite” but it had enough character that it was perfect, despite no toilet seat that actually attached to the toilet, a shower that only worked if you used one hand holding the hose and the other the bar of soap, the bed bugs, the “One Flew Over the Coo Coo’s Nest” groove, no not the Shining…the Shining hotel was far to prestigious…REDRUM! No, this place was very institutional, but it had a weird but great little bar called the Night Day Bar, truly at midnight you thought it was still day as they pump the lights to full blast, anyway I digress.

We are flying over the Atlantic, finally heading home, I’m ready. The airplane bar man just hooked me up with some nectar of the vine, hold on I must pour me a glass…or a plastic I should stay…talk amongst yourselves…

I’m Backsville.

After a great nap at the beautiful Imperial we headed to a fantastic English pub, lots of old wood, green upholstery, dim lights and Guinness on tap, “Buy you a bitter mate?”. I think my favorite part of travelling is meeting new people and seeing new places of course, but even more so eating and drinking local delights. I know I’m not in Ireland, but come on!…GUINESS, WARM GUINESS ON TAP…it’s the time and place…yes I. The rivers of Babylon, where we sat down, and their we wait when we remember Zion. Melodians? Alpha Blondie?

We shot out and about around London, headed down to Millenium Bridege and got a fantastic and illegal, or permit free I should say, shot of Jeremy our magician host walking with the holy St. Peter’s Cathedral filling the background in its slightly out of focus Letus 35mm adapter-actioned depth of fielded glory. England is weird, they have a shite load of cameras ALL OVER THE CITY, this city is the most camera covered city on earth, CCTV, or Big Brother 1984 is always watching, I felt I should be careful even in my own room, who knows eh? Who knows! Saying “Eh” is something I do a lot, why? Well because I think I am Canadian, well I know I am Canadian, but I think that’s why I say it. It is a great transition into this next little story of our trip, the MAPLE LEAF bar in Covent Garden…London’s (supposedly) only “tru-dat” Canadian pub. Ha, what a joke. You walk in and it’s a log cabin, but they are playing uninspired pop music, British pop music at that. Anyway I went their with Al, my friend Heather and Stu last time I was here for Planet Luxury and we had a good time, you know, jerseys of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Canadians, Tragically hip on the box, But this time Mike Macdonald and I decided to go in it was different, it was disappointing? Why because the bar staff where less than cordial.

That is the first time I have ever used that word, none the less…Mike, Alana; our production coordinator, and I decided to check it out, hey we are Canadian, anyway Mike made a joke saying “hey, if we are Canadian can we get a free pint?” Ok, we all know it was a dumb joke but it is exactly the type of dumb comment I would make so I took great offense when the barman said sarcastically “As if I haven’t heard that before…wanker!” then when Mike turned around behind his back the barman gave the ole hand to mouth phallic innuendo…grow up buddy. I think if you accept a job at a place called THE MAPLE LEAF you should come to expect people like us, deal with it, or go work at Starbucks instead. We left and didn’t buy our daily pint or two from them and tip like rock stars as we do, too bad for the barman at the Maple Leaf Canadian Pub in Covent Garden. When we left I told Mike what he did behind his back, Mike turned around and started heading back in to settle the score, but in the end we realized that we where Canadian and we don’t deal with situations that way. Ha ha. We went to a great underground cellar type of English style restaurant instead, English pies are good for the belly.

Did we shoot that day? No we didn’t, the next day we met with Peter Mastin the head of the European (?)…maybe he was the head of the British Order of the Illuminates of Thanateros (Thanat (t) = Death (d), Eros (e) = Sex (s), therefore, d+S= Chaos Majik (cm)). We interviewed Peter in the park, he was a very interesting character, he has a great piercing in his nose where typically a long bone like thing goes through, at the same time a very distinguished English gentleman with a great bowtie etc. We talked about Chaos Magik, sex and death etc. He was getting ready for the Colors of Chaos event that was attracting the Illuminates from around the globe, first public gathering they have had in 15 years. I dint go but Jeremy did. We also interviewed 2 other Illuminates, one being a healer of sorts. They where nice people. A lot of people are nice people. The people at the Maple Leaf at Covent Garden are not nice people though.

Besides these interviews and a very interesting interview at another pub with a fellow named Nick Pope who used to work for the British government taking care of UFO interests (that was for the Life on other Planets episode), we didn’t shoot too much more. Steve and I had a fun time, as Jeremey and I had the day before, riding the great London Taxis around town getting some B roll of the London Eye, Buckingham, Thames, and beat-boxing in front of the London Tower.

The highlights of this trip.

1) Stuart Wood

2) Musicals

3) England vs. The World soccer match at Wembley


It’s been so long since Planet Luxury, I can’t remember if I wrote about Stuart…I am sure I did, but I will re-brief you. A few years ago I shot a documentary in China about trade opportunities between New Brunswick and its’ sister cities in China. We had a blast there at Karaoke. After a lot of nice banners, handshakes, red carpets, tours and one on one meetings I said goodbye to the rest of the crew I was travelling with (slightly embarrassed that I didn’t film the great wall of China part of the trip because of some unforeseen issues that happened the night before involving the forgetting of the process of battery charging for video cameras after a late night of strange Karaoke). Anyhow, I hit the airport and flew 5 Billion miles South to Singapore to meet with some folks about another show I was trying to develop with a Singaporean company at the time called “Eco 4 The World”. To avoid repeating a story that I already wrote about, I will summarize it with me hopping onto a boat and heading to Indonesia and getting my beard trimmed in a hut with no floors with a straight razor during Ramadan. That was an interest night filled with Halal food and hair dressers and life threatening environments and little ole me with no communication skills.

This was an Island called Bintam I think. Later I found a more relaxing island called Batam (the two names may be mixed up, who’s to tell anyway?). I rented a cabana thatched hut on the beach and met another dude who was there for another reason….sadly his other reason didn’t show up because she was from a country that has a nasty past with Indonesia so she wasn’t allowed into the country. So Stu, the fellow who I met who is still a very good friend of mine, and I hung out on the beach together. That adventure has a lot of cool memories attached to it like hula hooping 14 hoops at a Singaporean Hooters, and meeting 2 American lassies who hosted me for a night at their Singaporean apartment (they where teachers). I will see if I have already written about all of this, if I have I will not continue with these memories but encourage you to read back to the beginning of this blog. Anyway Stu came to meet us at the prestigious Imperial Hotel on Russell Square. It was great seeing him.

Previous to seeing him we just got back from a great meal at a restaurant called “Mr. Jerk” this fantastic I-Tal Jamaican restaurant with pictures of Bob everywhere, Red Stripe, fancy rum and my favorite, Akie, saltfish, dumplings…the true health foods of the world. Jamaica Jamaica! I have such a heart and spirit for that country, the culture, the food and certainly the soul filling music…AHHH. Why me? Why am I such a slave to the blessed rhythms of reggae to the point of tears?

Ok, so we filmed, we filmed and we filmed around London. I am totally exaggerating, we actually shopped, I got some sweet shoes and a stylish Jacket.

NUMBER 2 HIGHLIGHT, The Harder They Come

I will try to keep this highlight short, it will be hard for me to put this into words, hmm, am I getting over emotional in my pre-middle age years? I can’t tell you how ridiculously emotional music has made me lately, specifically like I said in the last paragraph, reggae and Bob Marley. The Spirit talks to me through this music, it lifts me up, and sheds light, it is light. So rewinding to a long time ago when I lived on the Avontuur sailboat shopoting my first documentary EVER (which I still haven’t edited yet!) with my bro Jamie Fougiere and Captain Paul Whalen on the island of St. Maarten. The two of us worked our asses off for months on that ship, but every once in a while we would treat our self to a night of live reggae on the beach, full moon bonfires, Rasta’s, dreadlocks, warm water, Careb and Red Stripe, “You don’t haffe dread to be Rasta”, “Africa Unite”, and “The Harder They Come” vibrating through the warm Caribbean full moon nights with Jamie and I dancing our little white asses off understanding for the first time the true spirit of music and letting go. Man there is so much to write here about God and music and love and life. Should I write more about the business of television? Maybe, but not right now….

…where am I? Oh yeah, I’m in England with my ole pal Stuart from my adventure in Indonesia and Singapore. Him, my friend Alana and I decide to go to London’s lower West side to the theater district. I have never been interested in musicals you know...maybe because my mom and my aunt used to be quite fanatical about Les Miserables and Phantom that I heard so much of it that I automatically though musicals where something to be avoided. I’m glad I am here, because I know have a whole new outlook! Why? Because the Spirit led me to see the musical adaptation of Jamaica’s first fully domestically produced film back in the early 70s that I mentioned at the top of this post… The Harder They Come. I own this movie on DVD, it is a great story of a Jamaican kid from the country side who wants to make it big as a star and moves to Kingston, but gets wound up in the wrong things and you know the rest of the story, lots of ganj, guns, and I-n-I. The movie wasn’t that good but it is one of my favs, all shot on old 16mm film with a fantastic soundtrack from Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals etc. By “The Rivers of Babylon”, “The Harder They Come”, and “You Can Get it if You Really Want it!” all became famous because of this movie. Jah Live.

Anyway they made a musical of it, it was so tight, the band was ridiculous…I don’t think Stuart and Alana realized how touched I was watching it, I had tears the whole way through, it felt better than any drug could possibly make me feel, the spirit of music is straight from heaven. Ok sorry, I am going on a bit too much, but I really feel it. Music, besides the love I have for my family friends and faith, is the most important thing in the world to me. I think this is why I was amazed when I read the blogs of my guys at Hemmings House Pictures; they all have deep roots and love for music. Is this why we all get along so well as more of a family then a group of employed filmmakers? Not sure, maybe?

At the end of the musical, well for the last 3 songs, the whole theater was up dancing and singing, I’d say 90% of the crowd where Jamaican and of course like me, knew all the words, they could just break it down better! Ha ha, the energy was so positive, I just wish I could have bottled that sober experience, I was high as a kite on nothing more than a combination of different frequencies leaving the strings of the bass and the guitars, the electrical pulses from the Hammond B3, the percussive rhythm from stick hitting snare, through the theater into my chest, through my heart and up to my eye balls.

Ok, so whatever, I’m a hug musical fan now, so a little secret, I kind of needed to go to another musical as soon as possible, so the next day after I said bye to my man Stuart, I snuck away by myself to see The Lion King…WHOA!!! WHAT THE???? “He’s in you! He’s in me!!!” YEAH I KNOW! That musical is ridiculously amazing, hey the movie was wild, but this just blew my mind, AFRICAN MUSIC!!! The songs, the music, the sets, the incredible performances, dance and voice, once again kind of brought me to man-tears (those are the ones that you try not to let out because you have been taught all your life by society that guys can’t shed tears, even if they are alone at a Lion King, or Harder They Come musical).

So to wrap this up, I’m sold, I’m a full on musical nut, I want to go se Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat next, hey I loved Jesus Christ Superstar, man that was a film! Hippy apostles! Mary singing “I don’t know how to love him! He’s just a man”, “What’s That Buzz Tell Me What’s Happenin”…takes me back to Saint John High School coffee houses.

There is a lot to write about here, but I feel like I am too stoked to write anything that makes any sense, I feel that the last two days have really re-connected me to my reggae roots, and to my music listening roots. I popped Bob on my I-pod the other day on the plane and listened to Three Little Birds as he sings “Don’t worry, about a thing…cause every little thing, is gonna be alright”. I need to hear that.

We ended our UK trip at a fantastic trip to Wembley Stadium for the best football match ever, it was England vs. the World with chef Gordon Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen captaining The World team, too funny! It was a celebrity UNICEF fund raiser and it was jammed packed! Jeremy Steve and I went and ate chilly dogs and drank dark beers and did the wave 8 times in a row in a stadium that holds close to 100,000 people…Jeremy has pictures, I’ll have to get them from him. We also cheered like lunatics if either side got goals, we are so Canadian…

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Goin Back to Cali..."

August 28, 2008

San Francisco – Toronto – Halifax

Its very cool flying over the desert. We left San Fran airport about 45 minutes ago and the dry brown rugged terrain is all I see. The dried up lakes are very apocalyptic, how long ago was it that these dried salt pits were filled with water, fish and leeches? Like I mentioned earlier, the aerial views inspire me, it is the only part of the flying experience I enjoy, well that and getting bumped to first class from time to time!

Two nights ago we checked into this kickin resort in San Jose California. We where once again blessed with a sweet pool, hot tub, mini put and palm trees. I suck at golf, but had a great game with Jen as Steve practiced his double back flip twisters into the pool. That night Mike, Steve and I cruised downtown San Jose and rocked a Sake bar, mmmmm, then we checked out a brew pub and sampled 15 varieties which led us to a seedy bar with a real loud and not so good band playing. Despite their lack of musical genius it was a great show, we had fun, the band was having fun, and I took pictures.

Sometimes when I write these posts I realize I am not really writing anything important, just minute by minute accounts of my day, wow, how exciting…but alas, I am sure there is some value in documenting some of this stuff, because I sure as heck can’t remember where I’ve been even a few days later after I have been, you know what I’m saying? My brain just can’t keep up to my physical…weird.

Anyway, next morning we chilled poolside and in the hot tub. Great way to start any day I would say, hey that’s kinda rhymes. We drove to Mountain View California, Silicone Valley baby! This is where we met Seth Shostak, lead Astronomer for the SETI institute. SETI is the organization that has been broadcasting radio signals into space for the last half century hoping intelligent life from outer space will receive and transmit back. Seth has a sweet Porsche…I want to be an astronomer. I figured Tidby would be jealous of this interview because he is a big SETI fan, in fact he loaded the SETI program onto my computer that helps process data for the SETI institute, millions of computers running this program helps Seth and the gang dish out the good vibrations into the great beyond. I took it off my computer because I just didn’t get it. I just didn’t get it. I get it now though, I met the guy, I saw all of their cool scientific things, Seth was a real cool fella, really enjoyed these interviews actually, extremely informative.

After leaving SETI we dropped our rental van off at the airport in San Francisco (why did we do that? Dunno…) and cabbed it to our downtown hotel, killer place. They had free wine at 5:30, we got to meet a bunch of cool guests that way. You know it doesn’t cost much to give customers a good experience like that, how novel? Have free wine, people are happy, they get to know each other, they write about it in their blogs. I met a French woman who lives in Cannes, I’m sure we will meet for a drink in October, I met 2 guys from my old stomping grounds in Niagara, one of them was a MMA trainer (when using an acronym like MMA instead of MIXED MARTIAL ARTS, do you use an “A” or an “AN” before it? The phonetic of the letter “M” starts with a vowel, but of course the word MARTIAL starts with a consonant), cool guys, just here to party.

Mac Tonnies (Knife), Mike and I hit the cab and headed to the pilgrimage of Haight Ashbury St. It is the iconic street corner that represents so many of my interests, musically and culturally. We looked all over for the Grateful Dead house but to no avail. I’m sure we walked pat it many times, I can only imagine what legendary happenings went down on this strip back in the 60s. The street was nothing like what I had imagined it to look like. We were tourists so we unashamedly took the pictures of the street signs. We hung out with a few homeless cats. I sat with one of them outside a bar and chatted for 15 minutes, nice enough guy. Sad to see so much homelessness in our society though. It could be me? Why am I so blessed to have supportive people and love around me? I am thankful for this.

We ended the night drinking Sangrias with a couple of lassies from Ireland. Haight Ashbury was good times. The airport was great this morning because they had a massage studio and I got hooked up by this guy named Sam who lives in the hood in Oakland and is 33 years old with 8 kids! The guy was a fantastic guy and an even more amazing massage therapist! He was telling me that Akon and Rhianna came in for a message last week, oh and he also told me Flavor Flav was in as well, the guy was flying standby!!! YEAH BOY! Base to the face! 911’s a joke! What would I do with out Flavor Flav? Man, he is still wearing his clocks, The Rhyme animal, the unbeatable, B..Public Enemy Number 1. Golden Gate bridge looks cool from the air. Casey Jones in playing in my mind driving that train from San Fran to Halifax…peace.

"Tucson's life from other planets"

August 26, 2008

Tucson – San Fran

Security hooked us up with a full search through; it was a great time, as usual. Steve on one end of the long stainless steel banquette table, me on the other, having every piece of cable and lens and boom muff inspected for Anthrax, Napalm, or a shrubbery. They didn’t find anything, but we had a great laugh, Steve and I know how to butter up the Homeland Security ladies, poor folks, can you imagine standing all day dealing with idiots every 1.5 minutes? No wonder most of them are bitter sour apples; anyway we like to bring a bit of life to their seemingly mundane day…its all good.

Tucson…a place I have always wanted to visit. Firstly flying in was magical, we left Denver airport and flew relatively low the whole way down to Southern Arizona, the best part was flying between 2 layers of clouds with openings revealing mountain tops and shots of clouds whizzing passed the window, man that’s my favorite part of flying, it is truly a work of art…clouds, clouds, clouds. When we approached Tucson it was one of the coolest landings I have ever seen, the towering rock formations, the massive mountain ranges and the browness of desert threw me right back to the road runner, this is the Arizona I always imagined watching western films and cartoons. The sun was setting behind the rugged landscape, the cacti where backlit begging for a time-lapse, a new landscape for me, similar to Nevada, but certainly unique enough that I felt lucky to see something brand new!

Not too much to mention about this adventure except that we had a fantastic resort that we stayed at, palm trees, patios, hot tub, nice pool, it was so relaxing. That thought was just ruined by the voice on the airport sound system saying “Welcome to Tucson International Airport, the Security Threat Level today is relatively high and is at the level Orange”. Ummm, ok? I almost forgot that I am in the country that celebrates their culture of fear. I feel sorry for my American brothers and sisters, poor guys to deal with that fear every day. I shan’t be too overconfident however because anything America does, Canada is quick to follow.

We checked out 4th Avenue which is a pretty hip road, I have never seen so many head shops and thrift stores. We ate and a few at this crazy bar called the Surely Wench Pub, lots of Jukebox action with Janes Addiction, Buzzcocks, The Clash etc. to give the air hockey game that I desperately lost the heavy energy that it called for. The tattooed short banged, vapid, too cool for school, emo bar tender who played the part of the uninterested surely wench resisted all of our efforts to crack her a smile as we sported our Sarongs and Grateful Dead T-shirts. We are over-enthusiastic Canadian hippy filmmakers…so what?

The next day we interviewed Father Corbally, who is the Vatican’s observatory representative in Tucson, this was for the Life on Other Planets episode. It was cool to “almost “ hear his perspectives as a Catholic astronomer, and God’s connection to the universe and life on other planets etc…why was it cool to ALMOST hear his perspectives? Well because we did the interview outside a University door entrance in the middle of a huge thunderstorm with students running in from the rain and traffic honking and fighter jets flying by low altitude, pipe layers welding and dropping metal, and a college band banging the bass drums and trumpets celebrating the first day back to school…um, I can only write about this as it is a HUGE bone of contention within the crew, I think Jenn might explode if she hears us talk about it anymore. Steve just suggested that she would make the hottest kindergarten teacher ever, and sound for speed (LOTS of sound, OUTDOOR SOUND!!!, at least its not the blandness of shooting inside, ha ha, I am being a bit of a shit disturber right now because Jenn Likes to shoot outside, as do I in fact, and Mike likes to shoot inside, its really quite an interesting situation we have here on our hands and feet.)

Last night we where all in a bad mood (save for Steve, Mac Tonnies and I), but after we got our blood sugars up to normal values, and after Steve and I got our hairs cut, we where all in good shape! We went back to the resort, had a few beers poolside, my sarong fell off a bunch of times as I ran around a palm tree, then I retired early to watch the JSB edit (looking kickin!) and also to watch “Burn to Shine”, I bought 2 volumes, Seattle Washington is the one I watched last night, it was inspiring. To get Mac Tonnies, or the Knife’s perspective and see pictures of our trip, go to and click on his blog or his Flickr.


I have been travelling a lot this summer filming a series for Vision TV called “Supernatural Investigators” with Ocean Entertainment out of Halifax. As I sit at the Tucson Arizona airport I have been thinking a lot about Saint John…a lot about New Brunswick…I have been thinking about the backwardness of New Brunswick conservatism, the brilliance of New Brunswick’s risk takers, open and closed mindedness, and all things that inspire me be a proud New Brunswicker, but also things that make me discouraged.

Our company (Hemmings House Pictures) just finished shooting a music video for country legend Chris Cummings in Saint John, and guess what? It inspired me! This production also made me appreciate our economic development organization, Enterprise Saint John even more. ESJ John has to be the most open minded, forward thinking, and supportive organizations in the entire province. They just get it.

When Chris Cummings re-recorded the theme song for Welcome Back Cotter called “Welcome Back”, he related to the song in respects to his recent return back to the Port City. Chris thought it would be a great idea to showcase Saint John and also showcase his “homecoming” in the form of a country music video for CMT…so who did he go to for financial help? Enterprise Saint John’s “Life on Your Terms” coordinator Sara Stashick. ESJ agreed that this would be a creative and effective way to promote Saint John and to encourage expats to move back home, and heck, maybe instill a bit of pride into the little city that could. The whole community was involved, shutting down King Street and filming 500 people march “pied piper” style behind Chris was truly an experience one could only have in Saint John. ESJ took the risk and funded this video, and for that my faith in our city has once again been strengthened.

Why is it important to me that our city is supporting such a unique marketing venture? Because it’s different, its adventurous, it’s exciting and creative. What is even more important? They didn’t hire an out of province company to produce the video. I am honored that our company was hired for this production as we all love our city and province and are doing our best to employ our own, support other local business, and help build a film industry that the province has so much potential for. I would even have been happy if another New Brunswick production company was hired instead of us. Why? Because they would be from the province and I see so much opportunity for our city and province if we trust and celebrate the talent and abilities of local business.

We all speak of population growth, encouraging immigration, trying to pull those who moved West to come back, but what about retention and succession? In my opinion, the only way we are going to be able to remain competitive as a region is if we support our own, keep the money in the province, and keep an open mind. We have been oppressed by the spirit of conservatism for too a little; risk a little, WAKE UP!

I am proud to say that I am from Saint John, and from New Brunswick, I plan on staying and growing my company here. Many hats off to Enterprise Saint John for being so full of life, energy and passion for the city. I would only hope that other organizations, both private and public, will follow suit. If we don’t support local business, local arts, local sports, local community then we can forget about population growth, if we do, then I am exciting to see what the future has for our region when we don’t have to force our future leaders out of province to make a decent living. Thanks Saint John, New Brunswick.


"Pastor Harry and Blogtalk Satan's Rapture"


August 13, 2008

Buffalo, NY

Ok, I ended the last blog with “Here we go again”, but I don’t think that rightfully represents our experience yesterday in the dust filled, darkened residence of Pastor Harry, or as Jen and I both agree, Dee Dee Ramone.

We are currently flying out of Toronto straight to Halifax. This morning was a nice easy morning, slept in a bit, woke up, ate some bacon and sausages and grits and stuff, as I do, got some crayons and colored in the lines of a great Sponge Bob Squarepants place mat at the restaurant, and drank some coffee. IMMEDIATELY after that, Jen, Mike, Steve and got into our ride and headed North up the Niagara River, over Grand Island and into Niagara Falls New York. We walked down to the falls, I have always enjoyed the American falls better than the Canadian. The American has a great green park that you have to walk through, it is really beautiful, the view of the falls is fantastic. What does the Canadian side have? Wax museums and junkies, not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just not my scene. We enjoyed the falls for a few minutes only then hopped back into the car to cross the border. It brought back many memories of me going to school down in Welland, I spent a lot of time at the falls, literally dangling my feet over the edge of the falls with my room mate, now brother of my sister in law Sue who my brother married.

It was a very successful crossing, man it’s always good to be back in Canada, honestly what a great country we live in, everything seems so clean and right. No offence to our American brothers and sisters, but Canada is truly a fantastic country to live in, even though the conservative morons are just as bad as the Republicans and are slowly and secretly completely destroying our film industry by shutting down programs and incentives like the CIFVF that our TV and film world’s need to exist, in the independent worlds anyway. The Canadian Film and Video Fund actually funded my first documentary, A Head’s Tale, which launched my career. I am saddened to read in an emailer from the CFTPA and the DOC that behind closed doors the government ahs decided to slash the CIFVF completely. I can’t understand the logic. It reminds me of the idiocy of Bill C4 which restricts any “immoral” television production to be funded by tax credit and government equity, WTF??? Who is the Department of Heritage to decide what is moral and what isn’t? Oscar nominated film Juno with Halifax’s own Ellen Page could be considered immoral because it deals with teen pregnancy…according to this bill that was stamped behind quietly closed doors, any film or TV show considered immoral will have to give their tax credits back as well as the equity…are you kidding me? Do you want to shut down a whole industry based on right winged bigoted conservatism? What a joke! That’s not the Canada that I am talking about when I am happy to cross the Niagara Rainbow Bridge. What am I writing about here anyway? Oh yeah, Pastor Harry…oh wait here comes the stewardess with drinks, Steve and I will take a beer break, and then I will continue writing.

*** BEER BREAK ***



I am back, Steve was very amused when I tipped the stewardess 1 American green back. He has never tipped a stewardess before, in turn; I have never tipped a chamber maid before, like he does. He says it’s because the chamber maid doesn’t bring me beer, my excuse is, heck I have never even thought of that before. Well now I have one more person in my life to tip, that’s cool.

OK, Pastor Harry, we show up at his perfectly 1950’s suburban neighborhood, you know, perfect lawns, sprinklers, old dark skinned white men whit no shirts on washing their car, not a neighborhood like Edward Scissorhands, but more like a real dumpy run down Buffalo / Niagara New York quiet, yet filled with stories neighborhood. We pull up in front of Harry’s house, the trees have grown so high that a third of the house is covered by the green and un managed cedar madness. Later Harry told us,

“My neighbors are crazy, they mow their lawns 3 times a week, they want to be dark skinned even though they are white as hell, they call the cops on my all the time because my wife has a disorder and screams a lot and they think we are having domestic disputes and the cops come all the time and my neighbors are disciples of the Antichrist because the are all trying to be tanned, porn star orange is the shade of tan that they want to be, that’s what the Antichrist will look like as well. Did you know that the followers of the Antichrist will all be tanned? The blacks want to be white and the whites want to be black and the middle Easterners and the Asians are right smack dab in the middle, this is why the name of the Antichrist, which I know is Matreaus, will be dark skinned, yet Caucasian and will be exactly 7 foot 6, his name will be Matreaus because that is the name of the Buddhist messiah, and when you punch that name into my Bible Codes calculator that takes the numeric value of every Hebrew word and character and assigns the sum of the number, the name Matreaus adds up to 666. This is why he will be the Antichrist, oh and also he will most likely come from a UFO, unless he comes from the depths of the sea, but most likely he will come from a UFO, not necessarily alien, there’s a good chance the UFO was created already by the area 51 gang, one way or the other, the Antichrist is not George Bush, not Obama, as if the whole world would follow them anyway? Besides, their name doesn’t add up to 666 in the calculator, mine doesn’t either which disproves all the folks that claim that I am the Antichrist, man a lot of people send me hate mail. Mostly from Bible belt hell, which is south of the Dixon line of course, if I ever travelled down South the Baptists and the evangelicals would string me up, why? Because I speak the truth! The TRUTH! Bible belt hell is on the high way to hell, that’s a great ACDC song.”

Pastor Harry also went on to tell us that the Antichrist is alive right now and he has probably been kept in a frozen state and is a clone. It’s all good. The Illuminati and the United Nations are funding the antichrist and probably have his body preparing for release and to fulfill the Revelations. Ok, I could go on for a while explaining the intricate philosophies of Pastor Harry, but I may do injustice, I encourage you to check out and you can dig the groove pastor H is on. To be truthful, his points of view are slightly left of center, but they do make you think, and if any of his end times prophesies are true, then we are in for an interesting near future. Speaking of which I have been tuning in to a podcast by this guy named Todd Bentley, check him out, this cat is supernatural, he lives in the Holy Spirit and has been the vessel of many healings, thousands of blind people seeing, deaf people hearing, broken people put back together. Weird things are happening in today’s age. I check out the Bentley podcasts on ITunes, but it comes from a site called, anyway that site is pretty legit, but they are also professing a gloom near future that has been revealed through visions of modern day prophets, there is a call to prayer for the city of San Francisco right now because according to some modern day prophecies there is a dark age about to over shadow the city, a time of tribulation and destruction. This creeps me out, there is bliss in ignorance sometimes, but anyway, I am writing this now August 23rd, 2008 just to mark a timeline. If something happens to San Fran in the next year, then its time to start believing some of these prophets. I need to end this post now, I’ll wrap it up saying that pastor Harry was a real cool cat with a real freaked out message. Full respect for this guy weather he is misled or not, he is reaching the people and the people are listening He lives in the darkness so he can shed light on anyone who will listen, he looks like Dee Dee Ramone, but teaches like John the Baptist…he is Pastor Harry.

August 23, 2008

“Welcome Back”

Saint John – Toronto – Denver – Tucson

I am currently flying, YES…IN FIRST CLASS!!! (some how got bumped up to first class on this leg, sweet! The rest of the crew hates me right now!). I left Saint John at 5:30 this morning and spent a few hours at the Maple Leaf lounge at Pearson to catch up on a week’s worth of emails as I have been a busy boy for the last 7 days not able to tend to any business. We are flying to Tucson Arizona via Denver, this will be the 3rd Denver stop in a few weeks. We are going to filming a representative of the Vatican at the observatory in Tuscan to discuss the Antichrist Interesting stuff I am sure.

Last night marked the ending of our production of country music legends Chris Cummings’ latest music video; a recreation of John Sebastian’s “Welcome Back Cotter” theme song. More on that in a minute. After production was over at 3 pm, I left the hot hot hot tarmac of the Saint John airport that was the last scene of the video (Chris climbs out of his private jet) I headed over to have a couple beers with friendly competitors Mike and Darryl from Innovative Video Solutions, a great bunch of guys. Then I cruised over to pick up Meaghan Obrien and we drove down to Blacks Harbor area where a fun music festival called the Sunseeker’s Ball took place. We arrived just in time for the last few songs of reggae monsters Dub Antennae. It was our friend Heather’s Birthday so we presented her with a very rudely decorated cake, as we do, and had a few hours of fun, dancing to the Grateful Dead with the Gratefully Deadicated Soundsystem spinning the best of the live dead. Good energy. It was the only festival I got to this summer, and only for a few hours. One of my main boyz Chris Gorman drove his Harley up from Portland, man it was great to see him! I saw a great load for wonderful people in my life who I haven’t seen in a very long time. It was nice. Anyway Meaghan and I stayed until midnightish then we went home. I got to bed around 1:00 am, then had to wake up at 3:30 am to catch this morning’s flight. Gross. I am so freakin tired right now but I am committed to righting this blog, not that anyone read this thing…do they? Hey if you do then right me a comment and say hey, love to hear who is reading! If you are reading this off of my website and you can’t leave a comment, go straight to and search me out!

Over a week ago I arrived back to Halifax on Wednesday night from Pastor Harry’s place. Jessica and my friend Tim Coates from 21 Leaders Inc. was staying at our house for the night, we went out for dinner at Jane’s on the Commons (fantastic place to eat by the way) and chatted politics, chatted leadership, chatted the future of New Brunswick. I have a few different views on where NB is going. But anyway that might be for another post.

It was great to have a weekend with just Jessica, man she is my wife, this life I live makes it hard to spend time with her, I need to slow this train down a bit and take a breath. Jessica is my life’s goal and I have her, and here I am flying across the continent, it can get tiring. Alas, I do love my job. I said goodbye to my sweet inspirational wife early Tuesday morning and made it to Saint John just in time to pick up national country music video director superstar and CMT favorite Warren Sonoda to start our “all day location scout”. We are shooting Chris Cummings’ video fro Welcome Back. It’s a great cover, Chris did a great job on it. Anyway the idea is that after some time of Chris living in Nashville and Alberta he decided to move back to Saint John, and well, here he is! WELCOME BACK CHRIS! We do love and support our heroes in our little port city that could, that’s for sure. Anyway we scouted all the necessary locations from St Martins to the Westfield Ferry. The story is that Chris flies in on his private jet, a bunch of fans show up to welcome him on the tarmac, then a green Bricklin car pulls up and a driver opens the gullwing doors and drives him away from his screaming fans as the police hold them back from engulfing the country star from fanatical Saint John residents. What’s a Bricklin? It’s a sports car that was made in the 70s in Saint John and Minto, looks like the Back to the Future deLorean but even cooler. They didn’t make many of these cars but they are a Saint John staple, you won’t see them anywhere else…look it up online, you’ll freak out, hey Gullwing doors is where its at…right?

Anyway Chris drives around Saint John, St Martins, Golfs at the Westfield Golf Course, goes over the ferry to check out the Saint John River (yes we shut down the ferry system for our video with no prior clearance or permission, only in Saint John…love that place!), hops on a 50 foot fancy yaught with guitar and beer drinking buddies, bikini (yes that’s singular…Thanks Steph!) and then plays a jam packed Imperial Theater, one of the most beautiful theaters in the world in my opinion. Anyway I write many run-on sentences, I should learn how to write properly instead of write stream of conscious, oh well, maybe I’m a gonzo?!? Maybe I’ve read too much Kerouac. Ok, so here’s the crazy thing, after the concert of 800 people was finished and we got all of our angles, the whole crowd followed Chris pied piper style out of the theater and down King Street, we shut the whole street down for the shot! At the bottom of the street there was a 40 foot lift then raised up as the mass crowd surrounded the base and headed to the Saint John boardwalk for his last performance, man it was wicked…wicked is a word I haven’t used in a while…kind of like Tubular or Rad. Ok, I’ll start using these more often.

BIG PROPS to the most open minded, progressive organization in New Brunswick…Enterprise Saint John. Enterprise Saint John and the Life on Your Terms campaign led by the lovely Sara agreed to fund this video. I think that was rad…RAD!!! Why is this rad? Its rad because the video is all about encouraging people to come back to New Brunswick, better yet, back to Saint John. I’m all over that, I want to see that city rock when I move back in 2 years and Enterprise Saint John is going to make that happen. They have been there from my beginnings, way back in grade 7 when I started my first company called “Yardscape”...cute eh? I mowed lawns. In fact I mowed right into university and in fact paid for all 4 of my years of post secondary from mowing lawns. I never even borrowed money from student loan set ups, or even from my family, save for the thousand bucks my grandmother paid me to cut my long hair that time, but other than that I did it on my own…maybe that’s why I could only afford to live in that motorhome 45 minutes away from school on a vineyard in the Jordon Valley…hmmm, non the less, Enterprise Saint John has been there from the start and this is my opportunity to say thanks to them, especially Lois Vincent, the “ultimate” business mom there is.

Did I ever write about what happened to that motorhome? Maybe I did in the last blog post, I can’t even remember, that’s why I write these things because I cant remember where I was last week…EVER. Am I losing my mind? Or is my hard drive and RAM filled to the max? Whatever…back to this paragraph…the motorhome that my good friend Sara and I bought for 800 bucks (we named the motorhome “Ethel”) ended up being traded by some guy that let us store her on his land for the summer to his drug dealer, no kidding. I went back the next fall to get my motorhome on this guys land and he didn’t live there anymore, but a bunch of skinheads did, and they weren’t impressed when I showed up to pick Ethel up.

“What the hell are you doing on our land?”

“Oh hi there, my name is Greg, that um, er, that motorhome, you k now the one right there with the palm trees and Rheostatics lyrics painted on the side of it? Yeah the one that leaks every time it rains and the one that has a fire hazard propane furnace that makes us pray every night that we wont burn to the ground because it overheats and the cooling fan doesn’t kick in when it should making it very dangerous? Yes that one, anyway, that’s MY MOTORHOME!”

“No it isn’t”

“Um…..ok….whose is it then?”

“Yeah, Brian….you know that punk that used to live here that you trusted your crappy little motorhome with? Well he owes us money for a coke deal he didn’t come through one, so now we live here, and that motorhome is ours, he gave it to us for collateral.”

“oh…you should have said so in the first place! Well why don’t you let me go inside and fetch my snoopy sleeping bag I have had since I was 4 and I’ll just be on my way then…”

Funny thing is when we bought the motorhome I never put it in my name, we drove it with no license plates, registration or insurance from Waterloo down to Niagara, what a sketchy experience that was, we even passed a cop in the old smokey jalopy. That was the first of a long line of motorhome living that I enjoyed in my 20s, most guys in their 20s are into video games and chicks, I was into motorhomes…

I am feeling very sick, tired and week, oh and very hot right now…Steve feels the same way, he is beside me, so is Mac the Knife Tonnies…Steve just said “I feel like I was at rave and everybody has left and it’s the next day”. We are literally at the end of our threads, I am exhausted. We haven’t stopped all summer, its been a wild ride man, its not over yet. I am writing this paragraph in Denver (AGAIN)…we are on our way to Arizona, then to California, then back home for Monica and Steve’s wedding then straight to London England. I feel like I am at the point of collapse. Anyway its been a great few months, the music video is going to be AMAZING, the JSB DVD is looking great, so is the Thick and Thin and the Jessica Rhaye. We are cranking it. Time to make a living.

Note for later to write about, the Bricklin factory I mentioned in Minto is also the same place we shot the TV series Starhunter. I can’t remember if I have written about that insane experience yet or not, I still want to at some point.

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