In Conversation with Actor/Director Don McKellar & Bob Martin
I sat in on a great conversation yesterday with Don McKellar and writer Bob Martin for the Victoria Film Festival, speaking about their new 6 part TV series for Movie Central, staring Vancouver Island’s own Kim Cattrall (former Sex and the City alumni).
Kim is lead in the series Sensitive Skin, adapted from a UK TV series, and shot in Toronto, the show centres around a woman going through a midlife crisis.
Don McKellar who directs and also plays Cattrall’s husband in the show, gave the audience a sneak peek of the series, that is still in post production (hence the timecode on the clips). Sensitive Skin looks fantastic: witty, raw and just a little bit disturbed. I can’t wait to see it when it hits Movie Central later this year.
Empire of Dirt - Canadian Opening Gala
A fantastic opening gala at the Victoria Film Festival tonight, with the Canadian film Empire of Dirt. Actress Cara Gee (who is incredible in the film) along with writer Shannon Masters were on hand for Q&A.
Here’s hoping Empire of Dirt opens nation-wide. It’s a super well-done Canadian feature, featuring some REAL talent, and was shot in just 15 days. Impressive!
A Conversation with Director Atom Egoyan
The 2014 Victoria Film Festival has begun. It was pretty surreal spending the morning listening to Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan in a talk with Joanne Roberts (CBC) about his work—including his latest film Devil’s Knot—which screened today.
Atom’s work had a major influence on me when I was just getting into filmmaking in the 90s. Canadian feature films were few and far between back then, and the boldness of pieces like Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter left a major imprint. Cool guy, inspiring discussion.
"You’ve got to take control of your own art, no one is going to do it for you." words to live by from Canadian Writer/Director/Producer Carl Bessai at today’s directing intensive workshop.
The Year 2013: Personal Highlights
Thinking back on the year 2013, it was a major year of ups and downs. Some of the high points for me included…
Sound Production with Ed Novick
Spending an 1hr 1/2 in Atlanta with Sound Production Guru and Academy Award winner Ed Novick, as he deconstructed scenes from Inception, The Prestige, Spider-man, The Dark Knight, Money Ball and Life of Pi. I’ve been shooting video for many years, but it wasn’t until Ed’s talk that I realized how much sound theory goes into the placement of microphones and the type of microphones used on set. I’ll never shoot a scene again without thinking about whether the sound captured will match where it’s supposed to be resonating from.
RED Camera Training in Hollywood
A major highlight in 2013 for me spawned from a trip to LA for RED camera training in West Hollywood. Not only was it the coolest thing ever–learning about the cameras and post workflow from the people who built them–but being on a studio backlot, in the sound stages where so many great moments were captured on film was ‘epic.’ It was also a cool moment seeing footage of myself shot in 5K, shown on a 4K projector.
New Girls on the Block
After losing one of my precious girls (chihuahuas) in 2012, joy was injected back into the house when my girls Madison and Maya walked in the door.
Colour Correction 101
When Patrick Inhofer broke down the colour correction workflow, saying he attacks the grade with a sledgehammer first and a scalpel second, it made perfect sense. A few workshops with him and I walked away with a solid understanding of how to use colour wheels, properly use an RGB histogram, work with gamma, contrast, colour temperature and create a succinct DaVinci Resolve workflow. What I learned from Patrick I will be applying to all my grades from here on out, so obviously, I’m thankful.
Just Being There
Some moments in life can’t be captured on camera. Driving 13 hours from my home to the heart of a remote valley to breath, create and sit silently, was incredible. Nature is the almighty leveller.
The City Lights
There are places that when encountered, change you for life. Atlanta was that place for me, what an unexpected experience.
To an even better 2014. Happy New Year!
Street Art, Atlanta
When you discover a city by foot, you have a chance to stop and see things you might otherwise miss. Throughout my stay in Atlanta I came across some very interesting street art, including an original advertisement for gold dust laundry soap.
Home of Coca Cola, I wasn’t surprised to see advertisements for the drink, painted along brick buildings. Beth Malone’s piece “Y’all Gotta See This” is one installation of a few throughout Atlanta, highlighting vacant buildings the city has abandoned, but have potential. The neon signs light-up at 7pm every night.
Martin Luther King Jr.
To hear his voice over the loud speaker while standing at his gravesite was surreal. Not just his voice, but the speech he delivered the night before he was assassinated. King was a passionate, caring person who left an incredible impact on the world, the national historic site solidified just how much of an impact he had on Atlanta. From partaking in a church service, to wandering by his childhood home, my trip to the Martin Luther King Jr.’s site was a highlight of my trip.
Atlanta by Day
Hip hop in the park. Neighbourhoods ravaged by poverty. Bullet holes in building placards. Wrap-around porches, with rocking chairs to curl up and drink ice tea in (when can I move in?). People who see me with my camera and ask: “take my picture.” Atlanta by foot is a diverse and remarkable.
Good Eats in Atlanta
It was dinner time on the West Coast, but I was still thinking about dinner in Atlanta. Southern food at it’s finest, with some tasty Mexican dishes from Alma Cocina enjoyed in the mix. I drank the drink “The Colour Purple” at Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint and had the best collard greens and crispy fried chicken at Mary Mac’s Tea Room. Cajun prawns with cornbread, tuna tataki from Ray’s in the City. Georgia peach cobbler, a run-in with a tequila bar, plus the BEST customer service around. I wish I was still on the East Coast.
Atlanta at Night
Part 2 of my excursion through the streets of downtown and midtown Atlanta, including a walk past the Federal Reserve and a stop at a bar specializing in all types of tequila. My first flight of tequila was had tonight and it was the good stuff: super smooth.