i want to write in this more, but it is hard.
where do i start, what should i share
oaks - news, and blog
i want to write in this more, but it is hard.
where do i start, what should i share
i feel quite thankful to have premiered my film in alberta at the calgary international film festival.
it was small, and that was okay. the film festival was a film festival for the filmmakers, i enjoyed and appreciated that.
first off, they took care of me. they flew me to the festival, and put me up in a hotel right downtown and somewhat central to the venues. when i arrived at the airport, i landed maybe 20ish minutes before my executive producer joe mckeough so i waited. my phone rang, it was an alberta number so i answered it. it was a fucking car waiting for me at the airport to take us to the hotel. wild. i was ready to get into a cab and here they are sending a car. that was really nice of them.
went to go check out our comped tickets, and an error of mine was assuming that i would get a ticket - which was fine, i would have bought one (i wouldn't have needed to because the theatre wasn't packed but thats besides the point). we wound up chatting with a girl we went to high school with who had been working at the festival, which was quite nice.
the screening went well, the first screening. there were a lot of family and friends there, some strangers. friends came from all over AB to scope it out and i'm super thankful for that. after the film we wanted to go out and celebrate, and we wound up at a karaoke event, which if you know me is lol, because i hate that shit. but when i was there i got to meet a lot of the staff, they approached me and told me how much they liked my film. it was crazy. it felt genuine. after that we walked to our hotel and wound up partying in someone elses room until 5am.
my biggest knock is that calgary wasn't a breakfast town. it was a struggle to get breakfast in the morning.
did i mention we wound up taking home the 'best canadian narrative feature' prize? let that sink in for a moment, it still kind of hasn't for me. a lot of the films at viff were also in calgary. never steady never still, entanglement, indian horse, hollow in the land.. these guys thought my film was best. wow. i fucking loved hollow in the land, i thought it was such a great film, and there was no way in hell i was going to top that to the judges. but i did.
we were at the awards gala, and they had just given a shout out to my homie daniel leo for his work on 'man proposes, god disposes' as an honorable mention. it was his first ever film, shot in poland and brazil. its a great film, he killed it for his first project ever. and then they were talking about the award winner:
For its authenticity of story and performance, uncompromising commitment to detail, carefully calibrated aesthetic and ultimately for its freshness of character and situation, the jury unanimously awards the award for Best Canadian Narrative Feature to
Cody Bown for GREGOIRE.
what? i couldn't fucking believe it. i was shocked. i had no words. i still dont. it's been 3 weeks. i still dont have words for this. unanimously?! what? it was such high fucking praise, i could not believe it. i can't believe it.
calgary was an absolute trip. the whole festival was top notch from top to bottom. brenda lieberman, elaine weryshko, gillian mckercher, jeff turner, taylor lang, cole binder, brennan tilley, samantha koroluk, sean garrity - thank you. thank you thank you thank you.
because of all of you, i left calgary feeling on top of the world, ready to create again. it's been 3 years working on this project where i've given my everything for it and you just validated my hard work, my struggle, my passion, the way i do things.
i am really annoyed and tired of empty gestures.
you know the ones where people reach out to you 'lets meet up for beers' or 'would be great to see you' or 'i'd love to work with you' but never do as they say when you call them on it.
i was recently in new york. it was a birthday present to me and we were there for 6 days. which i already knew wasn't going to be enough time to do everything we wanted to do. and it wasn't. i have friends in new york, but i never made an effort to see any of them. mainly because the trip was going to be packed and busy of experiences i have only dreamed about at this point. naturally i posted instagram pics of my trip, and then those friends in new york hit me up. "you in town?", "whoa we should hang out!", "would have been nice to see you".
the last one annoys me the most, for a couple reasons. i haven't seen this dude in 10 years. he comes to vancouver, almost every single year, and has not once hit me up to hang. which is fine. the last 5 times we talked over the past 6 years, have all been initiated by me - checking in and saying hey..
so i don't get the point of reaching out like that.. what would we do? dinner and drinks? sure, what would we talk about. we've summed up our relationship into one conversation every 1.3 years, what could we possibly talk about in real life that would make me want to put something else on hold.
i just don't get it.
more recently, i've just finished my feature. it's sent off to tiff, which is dope and awesome. but the real work begins now. we have all the post things to do. sound, color, deliverables, etc. and i've had so many people message me saying "would love to work on something with you", okay, i need help, lets work together. and instead im met with excuses and bullshit as to why not. one guy told me his rates, and then when i agreed to match them, he made excuses about time. motherfucker, you didn't have any problems two minutes ago, why all of a sudden are you backing out.
i'm ready to shane carruth everything i work on from here on out. fuck everyone else, no one will give a shit about my project as much as me. i can't tell you how many people i've had to add to a 'i'll never work with this person again' list because of the bullshit that has come with working on my film.
i just don't get it man.
i was home for christmas. it was the first time i was allowed in beacon hill and waterways. during the fire, and the following months, you weren't allowed in the neighborhoods unless you lived there - which is fair.
beacon hill was a big part of my childhood. i grew up there, i spent many summers there. its like, all gone. when we were there driving around, large chunks didn't even exist anymore.
places where we filmed. no longer exist.
this is my last piece, now in the store, honoring the fort mcmurray fire. as far as im concerned, abasand, beacon hill, and waterways will never ever ever be the same a again. you can find this hoodie here. it is a limited print, i'm only making 12 of these. get one while it's still hot.
alcohol has been part of my life now for 12 years (legally) and maybe 15 years total. definitely over half of my life. when i was younger, i would have a cooler with my mom in the summer, but i was only allowed to have a glass. eventually i was allowed to have a full one. but only one. i never got drunk though until i was 15, i believe, i stole a bottle of jack daniels from my parents and went to a birthday party. i mixed it with moutain dew, and got fucking stupid drunk. it went down like water and it hit me hard. i've never been able to drink jack daniels ever again.
for my graduation, we partied. for three straight days we partied. i jumped around to disaronno, to rum, to vodka, to whatever. at my grad i polished off a bottle of captain morgans spiced rum, and then had eleven mickeys of spiced rum and regular rum. some straight. i probably should have died that night. i got into a car with a drunk driver, and almost got into several accidents. (this i'll never do again).
now that i am older, lets say for the last 11 years that i have been in vancouver, i've been drinking gin more than anything - but i've preferred to do it alone. i've developed less tolerance for drunk people. i want to enjoy my time when i am drunk, not be a foolish child, slurring about. there is a point of no return for a lot of people, and they get there and they get there quick. for people who have drank alcohol a large portion of their lives, i dont understand why people can't handle their booze better. in some instances in my adult life, i've been the "most sober" (not actually, i just have a night and day change in my attitude when i drink) and i've had to break up fights between friends, be subject to verbal attacks, and generally just get in the middle of things i want no part of. it sucked all the fun out of it for me.
i enjoy a night out, with a drink, with only a small select few people. the company is small. my girlfriend doesn't drink, so now my drinking nights are when she's gone to bed, or on a weekend, and i feel like having a glass of gin. this year has been trying, already. 26 days in. i could really use a drink - and i can't wait to do it alone.
we're 9 days away from bell lets talk. an initiative to promote awareness for mental health and break the stigma that it is not okay to talk about your mental health issues. i know on that day everyone will retweet and do their part to raise awareness, as will i.
if you ever need an ear - hit the contact section, or text me directly 778-899-6143.
april 3rd, 2014. i put a count down to my 30th birthday, which was exactly 1000 days. the plan was, to figure out my life and an overall happiness. i'll be honest. 2013-2014 was really tough for me. when i was younger i could never imagine myself as a 30 year old. quite frankly i always thought i'd die young, but here i am still alive, still surviving. a lot of people asked, at first, what it was all about. but i imagine after that first little wave, no one remembered what it was or what it was all about. to me it was a kept secret of what and why.
i wanted to blog every single day, 1000 entries and evaluate my happiness on my 30th birthday. i went 243 straight days with an entry. at first the entries were blunt, honest, and spared no detail.
i woke up today and decided i was going to spend the day out at ubc. i've been having a lot of dreams about school and water, and i figured i should explore what it was kind of about. i woke up, had a little shower and got on the bus. i brought two 35mm cameras with me hoping to snap some pictures. i got on the bus and listened to some music and texted my friend (name withheld) to see if she wanted to get lunch, i felt like i owed her a lunch out at ubc, so what a perfect time. i got there before her and started to explore the campus. eventually i started walking as far west as i could to the ocean, but i couldn't get to it from there. i had to loop back north to the beach and take a trail. it was nice, i mean i hate the water, but it was almost serene to me. just me, some rocks and this water. i took some pictures, which i didn't think were very good, artistically, and it bummed me out. so i took some selfies with my phone and carried on. i walked down the beach more and the tide was so low i could walk out into the middle of the ocean and still be on sand. it was wild. i took a trail back to ubc and (name withheld) was too busy at work so i came home and played playstation with the boys before i went out on a date. to be honest i wasn't really looking forward to it because, it just seems to be one meaningless date after another. but i went anyway. the girl was really nice, but i didn't think she was feeling me, nor i was her. we went to a bar i like, but it was packed so we went to the pint. i had a bunch of double gins and went home. i got some pizza on my way home and spilled ranch sauce on my jeans and hoodie. but because i have really one pair of jeans in circulation, im going to have to wear these for at least another week - great. when i got home i was texting a co-worker who gave me her number. things got interesting. she was actually very aggressive about it, and i dont play that shit so i didn't advance on it.
then as time went on, i stopped caring.
went to get kfc. hung out at home.
eventually i gave up. what's the point. what was the point. if i was writing down every single detail, was it to remember? was it to build up experiences that maybe weren't that much to begin with. i gave up writing down everything because i thought i'd remember the important things anyway.
now that the 1000th day passed, and that i am 30. i went back and read all 243 entries. its sad. i remember most of the events, even the minuscule 'ate kfc, hung out at home'. my timer is counted down to zero and displays 'event : : passed'. a reminder of what once was.
i was never scared for my 30's. it's just, where i'm from you have a house, kids, by your mid 20's or earlier. i could never imagine myself in these positions. working, with a career, and a house, responsibilities, etc, i just tried to keep everything carefree. it hurt me in the long run, not preparing for future, but i guess i have some experiences under my belt worth mentioning, worth holding on to. so i'll stick around for another 1000 days and see what is up then, and get back to you. a lot can happen in 1000 days. a lot did happen in 1000 days. i guess i'm glad i got to see all of them.
i need $2,000 for a new short film i want to do. but i'm in this weird in between of how to acquire my budget.
crowdfunding is a well i've visited and drank from, but i'm afraid if i pull the bucket up, it'll all be mud. i used my one, maybe two good opportunities to use crowdfunding as a reliable tool for acquiring my budget. together, between two projects maybe i've raised around $20,000? which is great, which is tremendous. it was a lot of work, a lot of hard work, a lot of nagging my friends and being 'that guy', but i have two films to show for it. i don't know if i could successfully do another crowdfunding project, even for such a small budget.
$2,000 is a terribly small budget. people laugh at you when you talk budgets. i was at a tiff party and told a financier my shooting budget for my feature was $40,000 and he laughed in my face. it seems $10,000 is the gold standard for a short film, or at least that is what they tell you. it's a good number, it gets people paid, it allows you certain luxuries. but unless you're doing a sci-fi or something its unnecessary. having worked with adrian now on two films, where the budgets have been less than $10k, i've learned the value of a dollar, the value of the right team, and the value of cutting out the bullshit.
homesick was a $10,000 film. i had a crew of 20 people who were on set, and i'll never forget, that we were pressed for time, and someone complained "im not too stoked being here for 14 hours" but earlier in the day, when we needed something moved he said "that's not my job". and sure, he is right, it isn't his job to move a piece of gear not in his department, but at the same time giving a hand where it's needed surely helps things. i'll never work with a crew this big ever again, especially for a short. which has gotten me excited to do this new project, for only a few thousand dollars.
i am not a grant writer, and i don't want/need someone to tell me i can/cannot make a film, so this is out for me. not even an option. it's going to come down to just saving money, putting it aside and banging it out in the spring, which is my goal. i'll have more details on it later as it emerges, and develops - or i wont, and it'll crash and burn in ideas phase.
lets take a second to talk about the cannes short film corner.
it means absolutely nothing.
i went to cannes, in 2013 because homesick got into the short film corner. i was fucking ecstatic. i submitted my film, i got an email saying it was in. holy shit my film is going to cannes! i'll never forget it, i was living in coquitlam at the time and i was just on my way to work, walking to the skytrain and i got the email on my phone. i called my parents immediately and told them. my mom was so excited, my dad was so excited, he said "i'm very proud of you". my dad is an old school east coast been-working-since-he-was-12 kind of guy, who doesn't appreciate sports, or art, let alone films that aren't police academy or american pie. my dad is just a very hard working blue collar dude. i've always said it - no body works harder than my parents. my dad's schedule at work was 7 on 7 off, 12 hour days, and during his 7 off, he'd work 4 or 5 overtime. that's how hard he works. so for him to step out of that realm and tell me he's proud of me for this was a major achievement. this meant a lot to me that he understood the scope of what just happened.
while i was in cannes, i experienced this whole trip with collaborator, then stranger adrian st. louis. when you show up to a festival, you are on your own so i was very thankful to have someone to go with. previously i went to palm springs international short film festival alone and learned a little bit. but this was cannes! on our first day we went and got our credentials and poked around. we heard at the short film corner there was a happy hour where you get free drinks at 5, every day! wow they sure know how to treat us. we got a swag bag with a book of all the films at cannes, turn to a certain page - there is my name with my film, immortalized in the book. pages and pages of films who were also there for the short film corner, i wonder when my film screens? i wonder if it's a non stop thing where they just screen short after short after short and you have to be at the right place right time to see your film.
so we made our way to the short film corner for happy hour, to get those free drinks, and when we were at the area, clearly marked 'short film corner', it was essentially a hallway. at the end of it, a room filled with computers. this was the short film corner - and our films weren't screening, they were just on a database. there was a pamphlet laying around saying that you could rent a screening room, that seats 5 for 1300€. okay, maybe my film isn't as special as i had originally thought.
when everyone got wind of the happy hour, the short film corner was fucking packed to the tits. elbow to elbow people walking around literally saying "go see my movie" without making eye contact, bouncing person to person. it was clear to adrian and i that, this wasn't the place for us and that we were duped. one thing i learned from going to palm springs was that you should bring with you postcards, to advertise your film. every day onward we would go to the short film corner to lay out postcards, and leave to go see films, have lunch, relax in cannes, explore the town, etc. you get statistics sent to you from how many people watch your films, and for how long so why be down there anyway. how do i stand out among thousands of other films - by being in your face about it. no thanks that's not me. i put my postcards up, and copies of the film i had on dvd, and let that do the work for me. my website got a lot of hits that weekend, and i was thankful people even bothered to explore it.
at the time, i wanted to come clean to everyone what this exactly was. but it's hard, when no one else knows - unless you go. everyone will like your status on facebook not knowing what exactly you went to - but they do know you went to cannes. there's more to it than that. i have a hard time, now, years later seeing people (not necessarily friends) on my facebook posting about getting into the short film corner. so badly i want to say 'relax, this means literally nothing and you aint shit'. i hope they go into it and seeing what it actually is, but 9 times out of 10 they don't. they come home and keep up the illusion, and its truly sad. i went back 2 years later, and they dont even let you promote your postcards anymore - probably because daily thousands were being thrown into the trash. so many people were obnoxious and worse running up to me, trying to give me the elevator pitch. and now when i hear people say "so many people saw my film" i can't help but think of these assholes who were relentless and sad trying to shove their film down your throat no matter who you were.
when i got home, i didn't have the heart to really tell my parents what the experience really was. to them, i just went to one of the largest film festivals in the world, and to me i was duped by the tourism board of cannes. i actually felt like i let them down. as absurd as that is. afterwards, to friends, peers, coworkers, whoever, i kept my mouth shut and never mentioned 'going to the short film corner' as anything of prestige if they asked. it wasn't all bad though, you see, when the festival shut down for the night, the parties started. literally every bar was overflowing into the streets with filmmakers. it was fun. i met some telefilm people, and since then have screened (actually screened) in cannes for the last three years (entertainment, wool, vehicular romanticide) and i honestly wouldn't have made that connection if it weren't for being there. i guess the experience is what you make of it, just like everything.
i realized something the other day. over the years, people have called me an artist, and for some reason it never sat well with me, i didn't feel like i earned it. i am not creating art, how can i be called an artist. right now, i'm a storyteller, and i'm happy with that title.
nothing i have ever made, is artistic, it's just me telling a story. i'm thankful for this revelation. mostly because i think i needed to get to a time and space where i could make art, instead of making something, assuming it is art, and being pretentious about it. maybe that's why critiques don't bother me - because i'm just telling a story, and i'm getting what i wanted out of it. nothing else matters to me.
i have ideas, for artistic short films. and i will make them, one day. i'm glad i didn't do it when i was younger, and less educated about what i wanted to do. everything we do is pretentious at some level, but god damn our youthful arrogance multiplies it. i imagine, if i had made some of the things i wanted to when i was in film school, how badly i'd cringe at it now.
i look back throughout my films, and although i realize where i've made mistakes, the story, the message i originally intended to tell is still there - so how can i be bummed. it's all growth, it's all progression.
a director friend and myself were talking about actors, and what it was like to work with them. shortly we started talking about what the actor means to us, as directors. the conversation was really good and it got me thinking about vancouver and this industry and the people i've worked with. it's phenomenal some of the talent i've gotten to direct. the people who have believed in the story i was trying to tell and how they would do anything for the part.
on the flip side though, working with people - you learn really quickly whether or not you'd work with someone ever again. the casting process shows you the character and the character only. you rarely get to look at someone as a human being, who they are when the camera cuts. casting is a dangerous game. you have to base your decision on someone based on three minutes of meeting them and maybe a call back. for the most part it worked out. but, sometimes it doesn't. i've had the pleasure of directing 27 actors across my films, and to be fair the line is drawn at 17. that means 18-27 i'd never work with ever again for one reason or another.
#1 - the best actor i've ever worked with brought everything to the table. pre production, production, casting - they were completely professional. and more than anything else - they wanted it more than anyone else. they knew when to be in character, and how to shut off real life and get in the zone at the snap of a finger. it was truly amazing to watch and direct.
#2 - at a close second, the other actor oozed potential when we first met after casting. i genuinely felt they were going to be the next biggest thing out of vancouver. when you go into casting, or, when i go into casting, your resume means nothing to me. i don't give a shit if you've been on tv shows, or big movies, i care about what you bring to the character. and this person wanted to be everything this character was meant to be. they did homework going into shooting, called me all the time, really developed the character outside of the film and brought it on set, 200% invested. it's a shame their career hasn't taken off as i had predicted, they could have been one of the greats. i have my own ideas as to why it never worked out for them, but regardless, it's sad they're not killing it right now.
#3 - finally, i'm only going to do a top 3. this actor was the most experienced and professional i had ever gotten to work with, and i'd love to work with them again, and i will, i'm sure of it. no one has understood a character more than this actor. when the camera rolled, we didn't have to burn takes, we didn't have to waste time, it was strictly business, and they nailed the character. i got the pleasure of directing this performance and it was the least director i've had to be.
#25 - this actor was cast because they were the best option. not because they brought anything to the character or anything like that. they were okay on set but didn't have the range in performance i was hoping for. i dont think they're acting anymore.
#26 - when i met this actor before production it was clear we were going to have a problem. they weren't cast as the lead and were grudgingly on board as a different character. the time we met up they spent the entire meeting trying to tell me why i was wrong about casting someone else.
#27 - this one saddens me a bit because you'd never guess who this was. the experience with this actor was painful. they never understood their character, and frequently flew off the handle and performance varied take after take despite my notes and adjustments to keep everything the same except one thing. my patience was tested heavily working with this actor, and sadly i'll never work with them again. i'll go out of my way to avoid working with this person.
i want it all.
back on my very first short film, like my very very very first one, the one i don't tell people about because of how amateur it was - i made a film with my friends, but i didn't have a producer. my editor suggested someone we went to school with who knew the group. she and i had our disagreements in film school and i wasn't keen on the idea, but i said fuck it why not, bring her on. mistake #1. instead of getting the locations of my dreams and whatever, i was told "this is all we can get, make do." and we did. but that of course would be the last time we'd work together - ever. i have even to yet work with anyone from that crew aside from my VFX guy.
my second film 'homesick' i brought on a fella by the name of luke barlow. an ad who wanted to produce produce produce. i found him through craigslist and met up with him and vibed well with him. he taught me a little bit about producing and working for free, which was something i was open to anyway because i don't believe that you cant create great art without getting paid. so, he came on board and worked on my film. introduced me to a ton of crew, but he left a lot of things up to me. i worried about locations while he did crew and paperwork, and in the end i ended up doing most of the paperwork anyway, which is fine. but i would have worked with him again.
fresh off half producing a film for myself, i was asked if i would be part of the film 'entertainment' it was right on the heels of creating a film production company for myself called 'indien summer', a boutique film production group where i would just produce stuff, projects i wanted to work on with people i wanted to work with - and grow my experiences. entertainment was interesting. i was treated like shit daily by the people who were funding the film, essentially my bosses. first i wanted it to be a co-production, to which they said no. i offered to buy into it because i wanted to be part of it, to which they said no. i eventually backed off my morals and said okay anyway, to build my experience and network a bit. mistake #2. the film did well, it got into cannes and screened with telefilm.
immediately after, like the next weekend we shot entertainment we shot 'flash'. the directing duo came to me and asked me to help, and this is what i wanted out of my experience. to collaborate and make a film. the script, when i read it, oozed potential. we had so many meetings to talk about ideas and i pushed and pushed for this film to be more than it was while still holding on to the message. i brought on people i trusted to work in the crew, and at the end of the day for whatever reason, for them it didn't work out and for me, it didn't work out the way i was hoping. mistake #3. i expected an experience and didn't get it. i expected relationships to build and i didn't get it. i was simply 'hired' because i was free, maybe.
later, when i sent luke the script to 'wool' he was honest and open and up front about it. "i don't like it, i don't get it." fair enough. i decided i would produce this film on my own. i had a few films under my belt, i did want to eventually become self sustaining so i wouldn't have to worry about ever needing or finding someone else. i'm very proud of wool. for what we did, how we did it and what it has achieved.
out of the blue i was asked to produce a film, vehicular romanticide. i followed a guy on twitter for a bit and he hit me up asking me if i would help him do his film, and i read the script and thought 'okay sure', why not. this guy has passion, could be a good collaboration.. but once i signed on i learned there was to be no collaborating. i was there to just do as i was told and make things happen. i actually wasn't too keen on this and didn't want to be part of the film. but my production company was on it, my name was on it, i had to physically CREATE a company that costs me money, to make this film (because we got a grant) and it wasn't worth it. taking on debt for film that isn't even my own and not be appreciated. no thanks. i brought on a friend to take it over while i worked on my feature. she did a good job, she deserves all of the credit for producing the film, and on her behalf i'm actually pretty choked. you see, this short was to springboard a feature for him and we were just a step so he can move on without us. now, sure, whatever i didn't want to be part of the film at a point, but for her, fuck man she bent over backwards and bought into this guys film and now she's not part of your feature? that sucks man. she would have killed it and done a great job. ugh, anyway. *EDIT* so i talked to her about it, if she was even asked. she said no - but she wasn't upset about it. the film shoots in newfoundland, and she has never been there so on her accord, she'd be 'useless out there'. so fair enough. i hope they work together on more shorts because she's a good producer and made his film happen for him.
between entertainment, flash, and vehicular romanticide i realized i didn't get what i wanted out of my producing experience. so i said fuck it, said goodbye to the prodco i created and started a new. it doesn't matter to me now i don't need to work on films. it doesn't serve me at all. i'm in it for me now. i put me first. i will now only work on films i give a shit about for a small circle of people who appreciate the role as i do. i've done my networking, i have my people. i'll always work for free but you have to appreciate me, at the very least. you know?
this website is the product of just that. we have two films currently listed. lower plenty was my second collaboration with adrian (director of entertainment) and the experience was significantly better. and then you have my film, the feature. i produced the thing entirely up until we had to do some re-shoots. i've brought on my pal aaron and he's getting shit done. this is what i've wanted out of a producer for a long time. i hope we build the relationship that has failed to develop over all of the other productions. i'm cautiously optimistic of course, but i've got my fingers cross. if it doesn't work out - oh well, if you want something done right you do it yourself.
we filmed last weekend. inside. so there was no chance rain would fuck us. we got some beautiful shots and i am very happy about the material we got. here is a taste.
so guess what happened. it rained. it rained so hard we had to cancel the shoot. i am fucking devastated.
i have never been so stressed out in my life. yet last night i slept like a baby.
tomorrow we're about to do our pickups, a huge day of filming that will wrap 90% of the talent and leave us with small days to finish off and with an actor who is local for now. it has been over a year since we've filmed and we need everything to go smoothly.
and if you read the first line of this you'll understand that it hasn't been going smoothly. well it has and it hasn't. tomorrow is calling for torrential rain which we can't afford to have show up. it scares me that rain, in vancouver which is no shocker, can show up and destroy everything, waste over $4,000 and push this even further than it should. fuck. i'm stressing out, hard.
thank you aaron, thank you laura for keeping me grounded.
i'm an insanely jealous person. but i'm also an insanely selfless person. it's a stupid mix.
tiff just happened, i wasn't part of it - i also never submitted anything to it - but a friend of mine was with the first short film he's ever made (well finished). i'm envious, absolutely. i don't think the film deserves to be there - at all. my dp worked on it, and it is shot incredibly, but the performances are shit and i can't seem to get over it. he also won a grant for like $100k+ to make his first feature film (before his short was even announced to be at tiff). congratulations pal. i'm jealous - absolutely. i just had to scrap, scrape and pinch to get $40,000 to do my feature, and look at all the troubles i have had making it. i know the product will be amazing in the end and i'm not worried - but fuck me i had to struggle. i didn't apply for this grant because i'm not good at paperwork - so i shouldn't be upset that i didn't ever get money like this, but i'm envious. i don't even know if my story deserves the money had i applied. but this is where i am different. no one is ever going to tell me i can't make a film, you feel. anyways, tiff was supposed to be my target for gregoire, and i am not there. my friends are, and they're thriving. i worked so fucking hard, and although we weren't there for 2016, we will be for 2017.
viff is upcoming. i had bought tickets to see a film, that is really hyped. it stars jared who is in gregoire. on the same day is a basketball game. the golden state warriors are in town vs the raptors, and my girlfriend is taking me. so the movie will have to wait. i've heard rumors in the past that, viff doesn't watch submissions from withoutabox. and if you're a filmmaker that is tragic and heartbreaking because sometimes you feel it's the only way you can get to some festivals. this year feels like no exception. i saw a list of films, shorts, that are part of it, and they're all connected to the curator. he essentially chose his friends' and girlfriends film to be part of this program. are they great films? who knows. but something smells fishy. how upsetting is that. imagine if more people knew this. in my eyes, this is the third, or fourth year now where i've heard shady dealings with viff, and frankly it is off my radar. naturally if my feature goes there i'll let it, but. what a drag.
fort mcmurray international film festival also wrapped up in september. it is where my teaser debuted. i watched all the short films and curated the program, and it was great. i had fun watching over 103 short films and putting together a theme for my home town. this is the first year in many that i haven't been able to go back for it which sucked. but what can you do.
we're finally going to be finishing our film 'gregoire'. i say this, and still i need to knock on wood because you never know what's going to happen, but right now we're scheduled to film october 8th 2016. we've got all the actors booked, most of the crew back, and some locations. this is excellent and i couldn't be more thankful towards aaron mallin & mo barrettfa for getting this project off the ground again.
it's been over 365 days since we last filmed something, and in that time everyone has been busy and successful and it's been great to see my friends succeed, but it has been a bummer to sit on the sidelines and watch. this film was supposed to do great things in 2016, but we'll have to wait for 2017 and beyond.
in december i met a producer, at the whistler film festival. we gelled. we got along. it was a chance meeting but i felt we started a working relationship. we talked about getting things going in april, had meetings, figured budgets out, shooting schedules - and then nothing. nothing happened. in the mean time this was going on, i also was struggling to find an editor. my guy who i've had for all my films wasn't to be part of the project anymore and it was a total bummer. i tried hiring someone to sync my film, but had no success. nothing was working in favor of this film.
now, i've got a dedicated editor on board. we've cut a teaser and it looks great, almost 1000 plays in the first week. i've got a producer on board, who has been getting shit done in my moments of not being able to. this project has life again, it's breathing. october 8th is 17 days away and anything can happen in this time. so i'm cautious - but i'm also incredibly optimistic. i can't wait.
if you do not respect my time, then you do not respect me.
and i will say goodbye.
don't let anyone tell you your time isn't valuable. don't let anyone waste your time - we have so little of it.
this summer i played in a local baseball league, the east van baseball league. when i first joined i was too late to the party - all the spots had been filled, but i wanted in, to be part of this so bad, that i joined a waiting list, aka the ringers.
over the course of the summer, teams had roster players away and on vacation or injured and i got called to play a couple of games here and there. my first stint was with the vancouver isotopes playing catcher. this was a position i hadn't played for well over thirteen years, and i stopped playing this position because of the damage it put on my knees. i played well. surely i couldn't do it multiple times over but it was fun. we lost the game, but i met people, put my name out there, and played well. my second game came shortly after with the mt. pleasant murder, and i knew some of these guys already - i played an exhibition game with them and played really well (i went 6-6 with 6 singles - but hey it's an exhibition game), again we lost but i put my face out there, played well, met people. all that one could ask for.
shortly after playing a couple of games as a 'call up - ringer' i got asked to join the mt. pleasant murder full time. of course i said yes. of all the teams i played with and against, i knew this group the best. we went on to a 10-2 record. i went through a hitting slump, made an error here and there, and basically did what i could to find my place on this team without disrupting any of the chemistry that had already been established prior to my arrival.
in recorded games during the season, i hit .200, which is under the mendoza line (if you're going on his .215 career average). but i tried to do at least one thing that helped the team win each game. run hard. track down a fly ball. be a nuisance at the plate. anything.
two weekends ago we played in the championship tournament. we lost our first game which meant the next loss spelled the end of our tournament. we went 10-2 in the season, we had a target on our back, everyone was out to take out the top team in the league. over the weekend, we would have had to win 4 straight to win the championship. and we did. saturday night we took out the isotopes which was a bittersweet game because that was my first playing action, jokingly someone in the end game handshake line called me a traitor. sunday, we had to play the east van black sox and it, for my money, was the best game of baseball i have ever been part of. we won 3-2, and i scored the winning run. at the plate, i crushed a single. then, with two outs and me standing on first, a soft ground ball was hit just enough to pull the first baseman off the bag, i was running hard just in case it went through and i could make it to third, but it didn't. the second baseman cut it off - seeing me running hard and about to round the bases, he threw it to third, but the throw was wild and went out of play. i advanced to home on the over throw. it was wild.
that game propelled us to take on the team that beat us in the first place, the railtown spikers. this team has three ringers who advanced full time, so it was kind of bittersweet to play a bunch of guys who wanted to be part of something, just as much as i did. we won the first game 5-4 and then played a winner take all final game, our third must win in a row that day - and we won 16-2. during the playoffs i adjusted my swing, and hit .444 with 3 singles, a double, and 3 RBI. it was so so so much fun.
even had we lost that first game it would have been a fun weekend. i've made so many friends in the EVBL, and feel like i have finally found my community of people. i've been in vancouver for 11 years now, and have never felt like this until this summer. i want to thank every single person involved, from the board, to the teams involved, to the volunteers and the fans. thanks for making a fella feel welcome, and thanks for letting me play baseball. it's all i ever wanted.