Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Riversongs and Melting Lands press release"

2 fun press releases!

Hello friends, family, and all of the incredible people! Next week is a fun week for Hemmings House Pictures and I would love for you to be a part of it! Following are two press releases

1) Riversongs - Our latest TV output for CBC's Land and Sea, airing this Sunday at 12:30 pm...hope you can watch and be reminded of how incredible the St. John River is!

2) Melting Lands Screening
- Hon. Hédard Albert, Minister of Wellness, Culture & Sport, and the Hon. Edward Doherty, Minister for Supply and Services, and New Brunswick Film are stepping up to help us share our film Melting Lands. Check the trailer here. We will be screening this at the Imperial Theater in Saint John Thursday Night October 29th. Proceeds to go to Romero House. Social gathering after the film to be held at Happinez Wine Bar. If you miss this screening you can check it at this year's Silver Wave Film Festival in Fredericton Sunday Nov. 8, 2:00pm at the Charlotte Street Arts Center. Check the festival here. Please read on, we would love for you to all watch our show on Sunday and come to our screening on Thursday!

If you could do us the favor of passing this along to anyone who you feel would be interested, add it to your Facebooks, Twitter it, get a megaphone and yell it, whatever it takes! ha ha.
Have an AMAZING week! I just moved back with the family to Saint John for 4 month, I'm stoked to be back! Greg and Hemmings House Pictures team.

“River Songs” (for CBC Land and Sea) Saint John, New Brunswick, October 19, 2009 Hemmings House Pictures in association with CBC Land and Sea is proud to present their Land and Sea episode, “River Songs”. Singer/songwriter Brent Mason takes a journey down the Saint John River to reconnect with the people and places that inspired his album 'River Songs'. Through a compelling fusion of music, stunning scenery and lively conversations, the Saint John River is brought to life. Brent's journey begins at the banks of the Saint Mary's Reservation in Fredericton, continues on to the Black Loyalist settlement of Elm Hill then winds downstream to Evandale, home of one of New Brunswick's cherished cable ferries. From here, he continues his canoe trip to Indiantown in the north end of the city of Saint John, following a historical portage route which leads him into the heart of the downtown. Throughout this journey, music is the connecting thread with songs such as Elm Hill Blues, Woolastook and The Angel of Acadie, spotlighting the lives of the the many generations of people who have lived along the banks of the Saint John River. Executive Producer Greg Hemmings is excited that 'River Songs' will be the first show kicking off the new season of Land and Sea. This is the first year that Land and Sea has outsourced production to outside production companies, so to have the lead off position is an honour and we are thrilled to have had the opportunity to contribute to such a well respected and loved show. River Songs can be watched on CBC Atlantic on the following date: Oct. 25 12:30 (AT) CBC main network

SCREENING SERIES Hon. Hédard Albert, Minister of Wellness, Culture & Sport, and the Hon. Edward Doherty, Minister for Supply and Services cordially invite you to attend the screening of New Brunswick’s Hemmings House Pictures Inc. “Papikatuk” (5 min.) and “Melting Lands” (52 min.) Thursday, October 29 @ 7:00 p.m. Imperial Theatre 24 King Square South Saint John, New Brunswick In lieu of an admissions fee, cash donations to Romero House welcome. Greg Hemmings, a Saint John film-maker, won First Prize in this year’s Commonwealth Vision Awards at a ceremony held at the Commonwealth Club in London. The Vision Awards, open to filmmakers under 35, across the 53 member states of the Commonwealth, is now in its eighth year. This year’s prize was presented by Lord David Puttnam, the Academy Award winning filmmaker. Hemmings’ entry “Papikatuk,” looks at the effects of climate change and cultural transformation in a small community in the Canadian Arctic region of Nunavik. It is narrated by a young Inuit boy named Papikatuk. “Melting Lands” is a documentary that explores the affects of Global Warming to Inuit peoples of the Canadian northern Nunavik community named Kangiqsujuaq. The documentary revolves around Inuit villagers; hunters, elders, and fishermen and even takes the cameras under the sea ice at low tide filming the tradition of under ice mussel picking. Check the trailer here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Postcards from Greg Hemmings #26" Avontuur - 4 Parts

My Adventures on the Avontuur
In memory of Captain Paul Whalen

August, 2004

Sail Away Captain Paul


It all started at the Tidal Pool in Saint Andrews in 2001. To make a legendary story very short, I met a wonderful woman dancing beside me at a Hot Toddy show named Charlene. After having some conversations with her as Tom and Joel laid down their sweet danceable blues rhythms, she told me about a good friend who was a Dutch sailing captain that lives in the Caribbean. Captain Paul Whalen was his name, and he was one of the very last independent sailing cargo ships in the world, his ship was called “Avontuur”, such a fitting name considering the global adventures she would have experienced in her lifetime being sailed to all corners of the world. She was a steel hulled 120 foot gaffed rigged schooner.

Charlene told me that Captain Paul was looking for crew. The rest of the story is a major part of what has made me who I am today. A few days later I was on a plane to begin an adventure through the Caribbean and South America that would inspire me to become not only the documentary filmmaker I am today, but an adventurous lover of living. Captain Paul recently passed away and has sailed upwind to his next avontuur. I can not think of any other single period of my life that was more self-realizing for me, and more shaping than my time on the Avontuur. I took this picture 3 years after my time sailing with Captain Paul. I was visiting the island of St Maarten, where I had lived for many months as my home port back in 2001. With no surprise the grand ole ship was moored in the Marigot Bay. I saw Paul on the docks. It was like seeing a great uncle who I hadn’t seen in a while. He took me back out for a brief visit on my old home on the water, this was to be the last time I would see Paul and his ship together again.

In honor of Captain Paul I will be submitting 3 more postcards from my adventures with him in the South.

Avontuur Part 2


After a month of getting the Avontuur ready for the next cargo run through the Caribbean islands, and South America, we were finally ready to set sail for my first time since I flew down to St. Maarten. The night I flew in I was picked up by a Dutch pirate who rowed me in his dinghy from the airport out into the Marigot Harbor. What was I doing here? Was this guy a drug runner? Arms sales? Or was he just a regular Dutchman keeping a dying industry alive by ocean currents and wind? I honestly didn’t know, but I was very excited to find out. As it turned out Captain Paul was not in any illegal trade business, he - now we - were in the business of using the wind to transport tones of goods around the Southern seas.

Paul has been sailing cargo on the Avontuur for well over 30 years all around the world. The crew was my good friend Jayme Fougiere from Hampton, Charlene Hamley from St. Andrews, and a crew drifter from Holland named Marcus. Jamie took this picture of Marcus and I on the bowsprit as we de-rigged the jib sails before entering the port on the volcanic island of Montserrat. We were delivering salt cod, freezers and believe it or not, a pick up truck on this trip. When we landed and unloaded, Jayme and I explored the island and I got a great photo of the volcano that in 1995 buried their city of Plymouth under a lonely expanse of harden lava. This was the beginning of a great adventure!

Avontuur Part 3

Suriname Sail”

It took us a little over a week to sail from St. Maarten, passed Barbados, East of Trinidad, Venezuela and Guyana, until we reached the great Paramaribo River; the front door of the country of Suriname. It was amazing to me the morning we arrived how the crystal clear green water so quickly turned deep brown as we approached the outflow of the muddy river into the warm South American Atlantic. We sailed up river until we found a mooring just outside the tropical jungle city of Paramaribo. We were here to load a very special and selectively cut wood from a mill that custom cut planks for wooden boat builders in New England.

After a long day of loading tones of wood, my good friend and crew mate Jayme and I found ourselves on a rickety old cargo truck that was filled with women and children who would sell their produce in the city. It was the end of the day so they were all getting rides back up to the mountains where their villages sat. Jayme and I had no idea where we were headed, but 4 hours later we were dropped off at the end of the mud road line. We were told that there would be no other way back out of the jungle until the morning. We hiked up a mountain, then at nightfall found an old bus that we found shelter in for the night before we found a way to get back to Paramaribo where Captain Paul would no doubt be wondering where we disappeared to. The sounds of jungle animals and critters make it difficult to have a peaceful sleep. The screeches of monkeys and the buzz of bats were soon drowned out by the sound of a small generator coming from a shack in the distance with a single light bulb and a group of musicians jamming reggae tunes in the distance brought peace to me knowing that where ever I am, there’s a probable chance that there are good people close by.

Avontuur Part 4

“Homeward Bound”

July, 2002

Simon & Garfunkel wrote the beautiful song Homeward Bound which played continuously in my head during the last week as crew on the Avontuur. It’s not that I was excited to leave this wholesome life of hard work on the seas, I was just excited to get back home after being away for months. My friend and crew mate Jayme took this picture of me the day after we outsailed a hurricane that hit the Grenadine islands pretty hard. We were sailing north from Suriname to Martha’s Vineyard to deliver another load of wood for a New England wooden boat builder (this was a regular delivery route for the Avontuur). The plan was to drop me off on the island of St. Vincent where I would say goodbye to the Avontuur and crew, and say hello to my best girl who was doing a Crossroads International term on the island assisting at medical clinics. Of course that girl was Jessica, now my wife.

We had no communication on the Avontuur, the last message Jessica received from me was from an internet café in Paramarabo many days earlier. Jessica was expecting me right in the middle of a mmuch anticipated hurricane. The storm hit, and there was a lot of damage on the island. I never showed up. Captain Paul made the decision that we had to sail through the storm and keep on track to drop me off at a safer port where I would have to get a flight back to Canada. I wasn’t going to be able to see Jessica, and I couldn’t get a hold of her to tell her I was safe. Jessica, as I found out later, entertained the worst of scenarios.

Looking at this picture I can still feel the mixed feelings I was having that day; the adventure of a lifetime was coming to a close, we just got out of a major adrenaline-inducing storm, I was about to say goodbye to my crew and captain, and Jessica not only wasn’t going to see me, she had no way of knowing that I was ok. Three days after this picture Captain Paul dropped me off on the island of St. Maarten. I said goodbye and flew home to start a series of lifelong adventures. My time on the Avontuur, though extremely hard physically and mentally, was probably the single most important time of transition in my life which has led me to be who I am today. Thanks Captain Paul, your legacy will continue to stay alive in my life as I avontuur around this amazing world we live in, much like you did!

"Postcards from Greg Hemmings #25" Kite Flyer

July 10, 2009

“Kite Flyer”

Photo Credit: Greg Hemmings

My brother Mark and I climbed to the top of a large hill to take pictures of the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. The view is spectacular over the body of water that crashes against the rugged cliffs of Ile du Havre-Aubert, Quebec. The wind was very powerful, the view was awe-inspiring, and the sunset was one of the most vivid I have seen in a long time. Mark brought a small kite with him up the hill to show me his new talents, and I must say after a day of practice he has become a pro kite flyer! I took this picture as I experimented with different setting on my new Nikon D-90. I didn’t manipulate the picture in Photoshop at all, the colors I caught with Mark’s kite flying silhouette are as close to the real view as a camera could capture. Capturing moments in time, like this quick slice of my brother playing with the wind, is what makes photography so magical.

"Postcards from Greg Hemmings #24" Very Expensive Scotch

“28k Scotch” - Bologna Italy

July 28th, 2007

I must apologize for the poor quality of this photo, it was taken with my cell phone and is the only proof that this incredible story actually happened! Tonight we are dining at a country side family restaurant, about an hour drive outside of Bologna. Italy. My camera man Al and I are sipping on one of the world’s most expensive scotch whiskies. The bottle comes from a batch that was produced specifically as a gift for Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981. The batch was comprised of a blend of the 1948 and the 1961 MaCallans. (1948 is Charles’ birth year, and Diana’s was 1961).

This morning Al and I where filming an episode of Planet Luxury. Our assignment was to film as much as we could about a Whisky collector named Guiseppe, who lives (and drinks) in Bologna. Guiseppe showed us his collection of 9000 bottles of fine and rare Scotches…I am sure not one bottle was a penny less than a thousand dollars. In his back warehouse he has another 40,000 bottles of whiskies that he trades so he can grow is collection…yes my mouth was watering all day!

After a laborious day of filming what many would consider a fine-drinker’s paradise, Guiseppe turned the key to his limited edition red Ferrari Super-America. Al and I hopped in our Fiat rental and attempted to keep up with Guiseppe as he drove like a madman through the winding and narrow Italian country side roads. This is where he brings us to where we are right now…living the true Italian experience at one of Giuseppe’s mafia-like family restaurants. Dinner was compliments of the chef. I never in my lifetime would have imagined that a plate full of North Italian, $1000 per ounce truffles would ever end up on a plate in front of me!

The highlight of this whole day, and the reason that I am writing this postcard is that Guiseppe just cracked open the Royal bottle of golden dreams. He elegantly poured Al and I a glass…we asked him how much the bottle was worth. Giuseppe purchased the whole remaining collection of this batch of Scotch for $28,000 per bottle! I was speechless. The three of us drank more than half of the bottle (cheers Princess Diana!). Maybe Guiseppe will let me drive his Ferrari home….no wait, according to my math, we each just drank Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty Six dollars at Sixty Seven cents worth of Scotch! I’ll take a cab.

"Postcards from Greg Hemmings #23" Evolving Xavier

July 18, 2009

“Evolving Xavier”

Photo Credit: Greg Hemmings

It amazes me that it has been 10 years that the Evolve Music festival has been bringing good musical vibes to the country side of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. It was also 10 years ago that I was using free internet in the public library of Hamilton Bermuda when I first read online about the first Evolve Festival. Bands like Grand Theft Bus, the Jimmy Swift Band, The Great Balancing Act and Fat Tala would joining many more bands and DJs for 3 days of musical bliss and dancing in the sunshine. I emailed Jimmy Dorey, one of the organizer of the event, that day from the Bermuda library asking him if I could come film the festival, he said yes. A month later my friends Chris Gorman and Randy Cable (RIP) and I packed the trailer with gear and a video camera and went to shoot what would become my very first documentary; REVOLVE. It’s fun and slightly embarrassing watching this documentary now, but it really helps me realize how much I have evolved as a filmmaker, and as a person in the last 10 years. Saturday night I took this picture of Xavier Rudd on the stage at Evolve (moments before I was politely asked to get off the stage!). For those who don’t know Xavier’s music, do your self a favor and check him out (www.xavierrudd.com), he is one of the truest musical artists that embodies the word and spirit of Evolve. I took this picture of Xavier as he was singing

“I want to be free now,
Oh, free to see,
Want to walk away, oh oh
Let me feel my feet
Let me be, free!”

If you want to learn more about my friend Randy's story, check this video we did in his honor.


"Postcards from Greg Hemmings #22" Art of Reflection

June 23, 2009

London, England

“Art of Reflection”

Photo Credit: Greg Hemmings

I am writing this postcard as I fly home from a great week in London, I love that city! I was there as the recipient for the Royal Commonwealth Society’s prestigious Vision Award for one of my short arctic films called “Papikatuk”. The day before the award I was exploring the shops and scenes around Oxford Street when my travel mates Gary and Allen spotted this particular art dealer store front. I was pleasantly surprised to have accidently taken my own reflected portrait as I attempted to capture the little clay people climbing the ladder. I saw the small characters climbing to be set free into the upward universe as they reached the top! I need not to go into detail about my “reflections” of this interesting piece of art, but I will say that after studying it for a few minutes I realized I needed to take a photo to remind me continually to climb life’s ladder until the natural forces allow me to fly!

"Postcards from Greg Hemmings #21" Magdalen Photo Class

July 18th

Magdalene Islands Photo Class

Photo Credit: Mark Hemmings

My brother Mark is the photographer of the family, I am the documentary filmmaker. When we were visiting the Magdalene Islands last month, Mark took me to the top of a grand hill that overlooked the water way and sand bar (the Sandy Hook) that almost connects the Magdalanes to the only English speaking island; Entry Island. Despite its proximity to Prince Edward Island, The Magdalenes are a part of Quebec. This of course means the majority of the population (save for Entry Island) consists of a happy blend of Quebecois and Parisian French. The sandy beaches are some of the best North of the Carolinas, and the wind surfing, kite surfing, and sailing can not be topped in my opinion. I recently purchased the Nikon D90 digital SLR camera. Having a quality camera has inspired me to take photos non stop. Mark showed me some photographic tips that night that changed the way I take pictures. The best part of this story is that as I am entering the world of photography, Mark is entering the world of filmmaking. Two weeks ago his most recent film called “Japan” won viewers choice award at the Prince Edward Island International Film Festival. I reckon I ought to start taking some award winning photos sooner than later!

"Postcards from Greg Hemmings #20" Caraquet Nets

June 28, 2009

“Caraquet Nets”

This year I have the honor of serving on the New Brunswick Arts Board. As an entrepreneur whose business revolves around the art of filmmaking, I want, and need, to support the growth and awareness of all arts in the region. We recently had our board meeting in Caraquet, one of New Brunswick’s best kept secrets. Driving the coastline from Shediac, through Buctouche, across the Mirimichi River, up to Tracadie and then Caraquet makes me wonder why our province is not the tourism destination that it should be. If you want true maritime charm, meet some of the friendliest people in the world, and drive by picture perfect landscapes, then take the time and explore this part of our province. New Brunswick is often overshadowed by the other eastern provinces in many ways, especially in the world of tourism. We as a province can change this, but we first need to know and experience the gems of this province first hand ourselves. I encourage you to plan your next vacation, road trip, or adventure in your own backyard. You will not be disappointed. I took this picture on the fishing warf in Caraquet, a town that drips the true Maritime Province experience!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

" Your Check is in the Mail! - Southern France "

Sept 28th, 2009

Cannes France - Halifax


Sound Track:

Artist – Wilco

Song – “Deep Down”

I am flying somewhere close to Iceland back across the Atlantic after a bit of a cluster F-bomb of a trip to Cannes. Sometimes I wish I could just jump out of the plane and see where I would land, would I land in the ocean? Possibly the Faroe Islands? Reykjavik maybe? Greenland? Newfoundland? Wilco is always a great blogging soundtrack, that reminds me of Quentin Tarantino actually…I was recently listening to the Coffee House channel on Sirius Satellite Radio and Quinton was doing a guest DJ spot playing all the tunes that he listened to while writing his latest screenplay “Inglorious Bastards”. It was funny hearing that one of Quentin’s favorite channels is the Coffee House, its such a chill channel as its name implies. If there is one thing that Tarantino is brilliant at, it is his amazing ability to choose the fucking best soundtracks for his films. I have always appreciated that about his films, however I am not the biggest fan of the ultra violence that he throws up on the screen, but I do respect his work rightfully so. For me, the best part of the editing experience is the marriage of the most divine music to the perfect images. Sometimes when freestyle editing I chose a random song, throw it in and it just works, the pictures is to the rhythm, the emotion is created…that’s divine editing.

Before I go into my random ramblings of my trip to the old world, I have to let you read my latest postcard that I just wrote before this post. I will be posting the postcard itself very soon.

October 3, 2009


“Papikatuk Enroute”

I am currently flying somewhere above the French Alps on the way to Nice France. Typically I use my time while flying writing journal entries for my blog that I appropriately call “The Airplane Journals” (www.greghemmings.com), and when I am not writing I browse through the Air Canada onboard television channels. Today marks a real fun milestone as I was just able to watch one of my own films on the screen. Air Canada has a film festival called Enroute Film Festival that features short films from filmmakers across the country. My short film “Papikatuk” was chosen as one of the finalist so I just had to take a picture of the screen for the novelty of it all. You can check the film out and vote online at www.enroute.com. Once I land in Nice I will take a bus to Cannes where I will be trying to sell my television content. It is a great satisfaction to see my own productions on the air, and as I have just witnessed, the icing on the cake is when I get to see my productions in the air!

So if you want to watch Papikatuk, go to http://enroute.aircanada.com/films/en-index.html and PLEASE vote for it! I may win a lease for 2 years on a car! OOOOOH! Very fun!...Ok, back to my blog…

This was my 6th time to Cannes for MIPCOM. I think it will be the last for a while. It costs me so much money, but it’s a catch 22, the TV industry of the world meets there, and when I’m not there I feel like I am missing out on the world. This of course is not true, the world actually keeps going and I am able to be aware of its direction whether I spend 10K every 6 months or not. To be brutally honest, I just love travelling to the Mediterranean, drinking red wine, swimming, absorbing French culture, great parties, and well yeah I guess the business part id pretty stellar as well. Its not being brutally honest I guess, there is nothing brutal about that, except for the fact that my credit cards seem to bleed every time I get sucked into the MIPCOM vortex. I had a great one this year for businesses, some movements on El Sistema, a sale or two for Melting Lands, and a strong expressed US interest for Kardinal Sinners.

This time Andrew Tidby, Alistair Meux , Cindy D’Orsay, John Wesley Chisholm, his wife Leanne and two kids Emily and Jack and I rented a mansion up in Cannet, a mountain side suburb of Cannes that looks over the city and the bay. When I say mansion, that’s what I mean, this place was sick…the swimming pool was the perfect temperature, yes I felt like I was living the life of Vince and the guys of Entourage (without the half naked women though of course!). It was great.

After a week of “bidness” with a touch of late night disco parties and midnight Mediterranean swims, Tidby and I rented a car and hit the mountains like we did last year…only we were missing Matt Webber and Gene Fowler this time. A lot of the Canadian production contingent didn’t go this year, you want to know what’s brutal? Its our Canadian TV industry, its bleak man, no one is buying, I am investing my whole professional life and career in one of the most unstable industries. If you are looking at getting into the TV world in Canada, do yourself a favor and wait a few years…right now it’s a great way to spend your hard earned cash! Things will change I hope. So our road trip up the winding roads was of course breathtaking, the cliff side 17th century towns, the mountains, valleys, rivers, old world culture, it was all there. We ended up driving so far up a mountain and the road got so thin and unworn that we were literally driving on a grassy goat path until the car would not go any further. We ended up at only a few scrappy remains of an old castle. We were hoping to find the castle that we found last year but to no avail, but we did find something almost as cool. Magic hour was upon us and to be honest we were getting a wee bit peckish! We were winding up this mountain that would eventually lead us to Nice, the hopes of finding our last year’s castle were on our minds, we were determined to open a bottle of wine when we found it and live if only for 10 minutes the life of Santiago from the Alchemist, or of Paulo Coehelo’s other brilliant book “The Pilgram” (which I have only gotten through 10 or 11 pages of...I will finish it one day I promise!).

About 15 minutes up the winding road from the town of Roquebilliere-Vieux heading South towards La Tour, I pulled the car over to the side of the road… remember these are French Alp roads that have no guard rails and are so thin that 2 cars can barely share the same paved real estate without one falling hundreds of meters off the Cliffside to a fiery demise (oh so dramatic!). I stopped the car because there was a small sign that said Aubergerie Du Campo. We were hungry so we pulled over, there was a VERY small area where we could park the car, but there was no restaurant in sight. We went over to the sign and realized that there was a long and steep path that led down the cliff face down through lush vegetation to a small building with no other access. So old world. We went down and ate and incredible French meal with great French wine and French cheese that was so old and strong that I can still smell it on my fingers…uggg, yeah.

The view off the terrace where we ate was ridiculous looking over the valley with the raging Riviere St. Jean flowing past mountain cliffs with multiple waterfalls lining its river sides up hundreds of meters. Yes it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever eaten. The topper? When we asked to pay with credit card he said no, then handed us a pre-stamped envelope with 8 Euros change…change for a bill I hadn’t paid for yet! He said he has been feeding people for 17 years and has billed them with an envelope since the beginning with 100% success. Basically if you don’t have cash you go home and when you can afford to pay the meal, a week later, a year later, whatever, you pop in cash in the envelop and mail it to him! CRAZY!!! And he tried to give us change! Ha, I said “no keep the change for a tip for goodness sakes”. I can’t believe how trusting this guys is, he will be getting more than the bill when I send him payment I know that for sure…hey maybe that’s his experiment, I bet he makes more money that way because I do believe that deep down the majority of people on this earth are honest people. What a trip!

As Tidby said as his Facebook status:

Greg and I just had dinner in the French Alps. When it came time to pay, the chef (as he cooks and serves the food), gave us an envelope with the bill, and a mailing address and told us to mail him the money! The reason: "When you eat my food,... I do’nt want you to think of the cost". AMAZING!

So what made this trip so anxious for me? Well I had to leave Jessica and Kaiya alone and Jessica had become a single mom….again. We had some visitors at our house in Halifax when I was gone…unwanted guests of the rodent variety! So in the middle of the night Jess and Kaiya packed up and moved to a hotel for a week, and I was across the ocean feeling horrible. But that’s the risks of being a traveler. Our family travels a lot together, and I want to do that as much as possible because travel is fuel for my soul, but not at the expense of being with Jessica and Kaiya. Lots of stretching life lessons as a new father. I love Southern France. Almost back home now. When I get there Jess and I have 2 days to pack our whole house as we are moving to Saint John for 4 months, after our packing job we drive to Saint John to hit the airport and fly to Vancouver together…ahhh travelling with my girls, that’s way better than red wine and Mediterranean adventures any day!

"International Polar Year Film Festival & Riversings CBC"

Sept 28th, 2009

Halifax – Ottawa

“International Polar Year Film Festival

Sound Track:

Artist – Phish

Song – “You Enjoy Myself”

I am on the airplane flying from Halifax to Ottawa, You Enjoy Myself (ambient jam) is playing on my headphones, my beautiful wife Jess and sweet baby Kaiya are sitting beside me to join me on my adventure to the capital city of O-Town, it’s a good day. I have been invited to screen our film Melting Lands at the International Polar Year Film Festival. When my Italian partner Federica and I first came up with the idea to shoot a documentary in the arctic we both could never have imagined that not only would we end up finding a way to shoot the film but also that it has been given such an honor at prestigious film festivals like this one, to be held at the Canadian National Archives and Gallery.

When did I travel last? It must have been the trip to Ontario for our road trip, this flight and the one home will be Kaiya’s 6th time on a plane, and she is only 18 months old! More travel for her soon, Vancouver in a few weeks, Chicago, then New York City, I’m sure we will get South at some point as well. This weekend I fly to Southern France after my sessions with the Wallace McCain Institute to hit Cannes for the 6th time in 3 years for MIPCOM. The time has come where I need to start making a proper income in television, sadly you have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to make this happen by attending events like that, oh well, can’t complain too much I guess.

Last week we shot a very cool episode for CBC’s Land and Sea. All about one of my favorite places on Earth, the St. John River. We based this river doc after singer song writer Brent Mason’s album entitled “River Songs” which gives homage to this great and beautiful river. Basically we spent a week on the river with canoe, motorboat, car and ferry to capture the essence and the spirit of this infinitely giving resource. We shot scenes at the St Mary’s First Nation’s reserve as they built birch bark canoes, we filmed at Jemseg where there was an old de-commissioned cable ferry, we hit Queenstown which is one of the most beautiful riverside communities North of the Mississippi, then Elm Hill which was one of Canada’s first black settlements, then down river to Evendale to spend a few nights at the Evendale Inn for live music and rhubarb wine with a cable ferry backdrop, then a paddle past Nerrapis through Grand Bay to Indian Town, then portaged over the Reversing Falls via the Harbor Passage to the mouth of Saint John harbour at Fort Latour. Keep an eye out on CBC and you will be able to see what I’m writing about!

This is a stellar version of You Enjoy Myself….how soon do I forget how incredible the band Phish is…I haven’t seen them in years, I miss the tours, the shows, the campgrounds, the balloons?!? Haha. I have had 3 tickets for this summer’s tour and wasn’t able to make any of them, I must say however its so worth it that I did not get to go on Phish tour because I need and want to spend every spare minute with my sweet Kaiya…gotta have Kaya now (thanks Bob). Since baby has come to bless our lives I have put a lot of stuff on the back burner, and its all good. Having a baby completely changes a man for the better; Kaiya has brought me joys I can’t find words to write.

Back to the bass…(if you wonder why I always say that when trying to focus myself, then look back a few years and get to know the band Fat Tala…the bass the bass the bass….back to the bass…it makes sense and is easy to type. Now that I’m back to the bass I am reminded that this post is about our tip to Ottawa, oh yeah…we landed in Ottawa, got into out sweet suite, invited my main boyz from the old skool Mike and Mike, as well as Mike’s lovely wife Tammy and sweet little baby Madeline, Madeline was born a couple weeks before Kaiya..they will best friends and dangerous together I am sure when they get older!

Had a great night with the extended friend-fam and then went to sleep, dreamt a little bit then woke up, hit the mall of all places then screened my film that night! Melting Lands was the last feature of a 3 day film festival; it was an honor to be there. I introduced the film and had a question answer period after, Mike and Mike showed up, as well as one of my other old skool friends Mary McFarland and my Cruise Ship friend from back in the day Jamie. One of my favorite people and marketing guru Kim Houlahan had lunch with us and also showed up at the screening, its so great to have such supportive friends! Check out Kim’s blog here http://fanaticalsabbatical.blogspot.com. I also met up with some other stellar arctic filmmakers for drinks after, great conversations and great local beer.

My computer battery is about to die..Bouncing Around the Room is surrounding my skull taking me way back to memories of carefree summers! Gotta run!

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter



    yasmin lawyers