Thursday, January 19, 2012

Travel Show

It's time for me to get out! Out of the United States, that is. 2012 is the year I put together my travel show.  

What travel show, you ask? The one I had in mind when I took busses and taxis and trains through 10 countries in Africa. Everywhere I went, I met people who were working on creative projects that provided them with a sustainable income AND made a positive impact in their communities.  

I had a camera with me and made several short videos about the people I met. Sometimes there was someone I could ask to hold the camera, sometimes it was my arm and a gorilla pod trying to get the camera as far away from my head as possible. Pardon my big head. I have short arms.

You can see the results in the video below:

I'm happy with what I did but I know there are more fascinating people out there and, since the time I created these videos 5 years ago, my skills have improved. Not only that, I hear there have been some advances in technology. Can anyone say HD?

All this to say my plan for 2012 is to upgrade my equipment, identify a new place in the world, make a plan and get out there. A little process we call pre-production.

I'm open to suggestions on where to go - anyone have friends with a couch in faraway places?  I'm also going to need a title for this show. Get your brains out and let the storm begin.

As for Slamdance - we leave tomorrow!  Our film, The Magic Man, will screen twice as part of the Anarchy Shorts program.  I'll do my best to send updates from the road.  Expect a full report when I'm back at the end of the month.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Do You Have a Dream?

Much like the beginning of the year, Martin Luther King Day puts me in a reflective mood. We've all heard or read his speech and know that he had a dream but what about you? Or me?

In 2007, I left a job in the corporate world, took a video camera and went to Africa to document people working on projects that had a positive impact in their communities. While I was traveling, I was also one of the subjects of a documentary film about people following their dreams.  It screened at the Santa Fe Film Festival in 2009, which was fabulous! (If you haven't seen the trailer, you can see it here: Dream)

After returning to San Francisco, I made some efforts towards making my dream a reality but not as many as I would have liked. Well, that's about to change. 2012 is the year that I get back on track. I've upgraded my skills, now it's time to upgrade my equipment and head back out on the road!

When, where, how - these are all questions that still need answers but questions I intend to answer by the end of February. Ha! Stay tuned for updates here. You see what you can get done on a day with no mail delivery?

What's your dream? What steps will you take in 2012 to make it happen?

Countdown to Slamdance: 5 days!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Behind The Bush - Watch it Now!

My New Year's Resolution #276 (or was that #267?) is to update this blog on a more regular basis and to fix it up. What will help me make this a reality is knowing that there are people out there reading it, commenting on it, and dare I say subscribing to it? In return I vow to provide you with informative, entertaining updates that will make you so glad you're reading this blog.*

One of the first updates I'm happy to share is the link to the film I made with Alison Hawkes, "Behind the Bush". It takes a look into the lives of the three men known as "Bushman" who each earn a living scaring the tourists of Fisherman's Wharf.

This was filmed in the summer of 2010 and screened in the Spring of 2011 at the Castro Theatre in the Scary Cow Film Festival. It won prize money there AND made it into the Sonoma International Film Festival in April of 2011. Fantastic!

Since then, Lou's is closed and under construction and Hooters is closed for good. I ran into Greg, my favorite Bushman, a few days ago and was going to ask him where he hangs out now that all his favorite haunts are closed but I didn't get a chance. He showed me a big, black eye and said that on New Year's Eve someone snuck up behind him, hit him with a baseball bat and stole all his money.

The only things I know for sure are that Greg has a black eye, he's still down at the Wharf (as is David) and he still likes to ride the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus in his spare time.

So, enjoy the video, share it with your friends. Come back to the blog for updates on my preparations for Slamdance in a few weeks, and of course, reports from the festival itself.

Thanks for helping my keep my resolution. Now you, um turn the TV off, put that cookie down and go to the gym! See, it's mutual!

*On occasion, blog may be of no interest to you, which is good since you should really get back to work anyway.

One last note: all these photos were taken by the fabulous and talented, Aida Daay.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year, Happy New News

After typing that title, I realize that all news is new. I suppose that's why it has the word new in it. In any case, I have news!

First, I am recommitting to updating this blog on a more regular basis. Given my recent track record, if I can manage more than once a quarter I'm on the pig's back, as my friend Danny would say. You will have to ask him what is so great about being on a pig's back.

Now on to the more exciting news...

The Magic Man, a film I produced back in late 2009, early 2010 was accepted into the Slamdance Film Festival! It happens the same time as Sundance, it is also in Park City, Utah and I'm going! It will be an epic road trip (EPIC, I say!) with the director and the director of photography. I am ordering business cards and online shopping for warm clothes even as I type - I'm that good.

But wait, there's more. Another film I produced last summer, Ketheron's Bucket-Mending & Hymen Emporium, was accepted to not one but TWO film festivals in Australia! The Mardi Gras Film Festival in Sydney and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival in, you guessed it, Melbourne. Don't know that I can swing going to Oz in February but I'm keeping all doors open.

That's it for now but do stay tuned for regular, that's right I said regular, updates.

May 2012 be fabulous for all of us! Happy New Year!