Here's some pics from this past summer, where some adventures were had.
Here's some pics from this past summer, where some adventures were had.
It's just about 2017, and a lot has happened this year, to say the least. In fact, I'd rather not say anything and just upload some of my favourite pics from this year. Let's do it!
See ya, 2016.
Ju and I recently packed up the car and headed off on our first road trip ever for our honeymoon thing. We left without much of a plan, except to start driving towards Jasper, Alberta and make as many pitstops along the way as we wanted. We ended up stopping a million times because we kept passing the most beautiful places and had to check them out. We spent 5 days on the road exploring the Rockies, and it was so cool!
Out in Jasper there are a bunch of dark sky reserves, meaning there can't be lights on at night - so we spent one night in one of these areas and were lucky enough to see an incredible display of the aurora borealis. In the morning we got to get up close and personal with a group of elk that were chilling and eating grass by a river. After that we made our way to Banff and Julie lived out a life-long dream - breakfast in bed.
After hundreds of miles, multiple hotels, glaciers, wildlife sightings, hikes and coffee breaks, we've both decided it was one hell of an adventure worth having.
Last year I had the pleasure of co-producing a short film with a good friend of mine, Kris Nielsen. He had previously (foolishly) agreed to star in a couple shorts of mine when I was still in school, and then asked if I would help shoot a script he had been developing. The result is Fall of Night and it has been a big collaborative effort between a very talented cast and crew - and I'm excited to finally get to share some of it! Check out the trailer below for some dark criminal mischief and mayhem.
The film was shot in Vancouver, BC and stars Garrett Black, Emma Barratt, Neemish Parekh, Kristopher Nielsen and Dean Barrett.
This past weekend, I got to marry the love of my life. After 3 years of being engaged and avoiding calling each other "fiancée" we tied the knot amongst our closest friends and family that could make it all the way out to BC. It was so fun seeing everyone all dressed up and mingling, meeting new people and dancing like crazy. I don't think we could have asked for anything more.
I'm in love and I plan on staying that way for a long while. Deal with it!
Thank-you to everyone who helped with the prep, running of the day and tear-down, and just for being there and celebrating with us. I will post more photos (and maybe a video, too!) sometime down the line.
And for those we missed back in Ontario, we'll see you in a couple weeks!
Planning a wedding and working on a 100+ hour documentary series is a real challenge. Luckily, there are these things called long weekends which are there to help. We took Haku and met up with some lovely people for some BBQ'in and swimming at Buntzen Lake. We got there super early and invaded our favourite spot to claim it for our own. There was also a giant pineapple.
Ah, good times. Now, back to work.
Yeah, dogs celebrate their birthdays. It's cool.
Don't know how we lived without him. Here's to many more fun years to come.
It's pretty much the summer now, right? We got a BBQ and Ju knows how to make amazing mojitos so our lives are pretty much set. Here's some summer-y pics with a few random ones from my last business trip to San Fran.
I checked out VanCAF this year with some friends, and it was really cool! I didn't really know if I'd be too interested in going at first, but they had some really amazing artwork on display. We ended up picking up a few larger prints, and a friend of mine from ECUAD was selling her graphic novel there as well, so I picked that up, too.
I'm sitting in my freshly (re)designed office space, and I am quite pleased. It's gonna be great for the coming weeks, because I have a hard drive filled to the brim with work that needs to be put together.
I was in New York last week on assignment, and it was a really cool experience. My boss and I hit up multiple places over several days to film interviews and cover a conference event. Most notably, we got to interview Meryl Streep to help promote the film India's Daughter. Oh and on the plane over, I was sitting right behind Peter Dinklage, so that was cool.
I got a chance to wander around one night and do the tourist thing. I checked out Times Square, Central Park, and whatever random neighbourhoods I found after that. Lightning and rain may have been coming from above, but near the ground the massive advertisements were shining bright - and a two-storey red M&M was staring into my soul.
Hope to see ya again, NYC.
Thought I would share some stills from some recent projects I've been working on; Some finished, some not. If a picture of Haku got in there somehow, that must've been a glitch.
One of the big projects I'm doing is a short called Fall of Night, which was shot on the Digital Bolex. I've been learning a ton more about working with RAW footage in terms of color correction and grading, and the visuals are really starting to pop (to me, at least). I've been sitting down with Kris Nielsen, the writer/director of the short, to work on the edit together. It's been a fun collaboration, even when he points out one of my many mistakes -- "It's a rough cut!"
With the rainy season not letting up, Ju and I haven't been on many day trips lately which has instead turned our attention once more to fixing up our place. We're working on the bedroom/office area, and first thing she did was buy me a new office chair! It's so comfy, and now I can work for hours every day not sitting on a solid wood plank. Pippin is a fan as well.
This has been a pretty exciting year in our small household. Both Ju and myself got new jobz, and are enjoying them very much. Haku discovered riding in the back of my car is preferable to going for a walk. We also re-grouted the shower, so yeah it's been pretty sweet.
We've actually been doing lots of home-improvement lately, from giving the bathroom an overhaul to snagging some sweet finds off Craigs for the nook - now occupied by the famous shrimp aquarium. We also strung some lights over the living room which I have to say are quite dashing.
Things have been so busy lately I haven't really had a chance to really sit down with the short film I helped make last month and continue the edit. I'm super excited to see it come together, and it'll be nice to have new work to share. I loved shooting with the Digital Bolex again, and now I'm learning about a neat little DSLR - the Sony A7II - that shoots some really nice slow-motion. I'm heading to California tomorrow again so I'm going to try and put it to good use.
Anyway, it's Christmas soon so that's dope. Sleeping in, roaring fires, spicy-veggie pizza - what more do you need?
I'm just gonna go ahead and give a rundown of some random things that've gone down recently between myself and Ju. Here we go:
We built a new piece of furniture - a room divider with a plant-trough on top. We went on a hike with our neighbours, Jared, Servane and baby Myro, to Buntzen Lake and had a delicious picnic. We discovered the Pho place on Broadway and Macdonald St is actually pretty good (almost as good as the one we used to go to in our old 'hood). We saw Darren & Jenny's new place and more importantly ate amazing homemade waffles. I split my work-time between four clients, but still managed plenty of time for Metal Gear Solid V (see below for important write-up). We had a sweater-loving chihuahua stay with us for three days and he was very small. I got a shout-out from one of my favourite video essayers on Vimeo. Ju brought in several more plants into our home, which concerns me. And Haku got stung on the face by bees, twice.
I think that's it. Here are some pics:
This past Monday was my birthday, and Ju and I drove to Deep Cove to rent a canoe. We brought Haku with his little life jacket (which he hated so we took it off after 5 minutes) and took in the beautiful scenery. We docked on a small island for a bit, then headed to a beach across the water. We found lots of starfish and jellyfish floating like little ghosts by the rocks. There was also a seal just chilling and then a seagull came at one point to swallow a tiny starfish whole. Very impressive.
I'm in San Francisco right now, in an old apartment my boss' client is letting us crash in while we shoot some promo videos for this job. It's interesting travelling a bit for work and just dropping in an unfamiliar city to try and make something creative and then peace out.
I've been playing MGSV: The Phantom Pain since it was released on Sept 1st, and I feel the need to express how much I'm enjoying it. I think it's Hideo Kojima's masterpiece, and it really feels like it's near-perfected the stealth action template. It's situation after situation of planning, utilizing a wide array of tools depending on what the objective is, and it's so fun! It looks beautiful, the voice acting is good and the music (licensed 80s and original score) is amazing. Also, there's Diamond Dog that goes with you into the field and you can pet him at any time. I reiterate: It's a masterpiece.
I also suck at it, but that's fun, too. Now I just need to get the hell out of San Fran to get back to it...
We went with our friends to Cypress mountain to watch the stars away from the city lights. The Perseid meteor shower is happening right now, so we were able to see lots of shooting stars zip across the sky. I tried taking some long-exposure shots with my camera, with some cool results.
Ju and I also went back to Buntzen Lake last week and set up camp in a nice little secluded part of the lake. The water was so nice! There's nothing like swimming in a lake, it's so warm and clean. There were all these fish that would come up to your feet and start to clean you if you stayed still. Feels like little mouths gumming at your toes.
Now I'm going to go clean all the fluff Haku ripped out of his toys that's covering every inch of the floor...
I just spent the last week in Windsor, Ontario with Ju and the dog. We thought it would be nice to see some friends and family since it's been about three years since we've been back there. It's sort of a funny feeling being back in the suburbs where we grew up. And humid, too.
We did our best to hit up some of our favourite places we remembered, like the Back Road Cafe, Ojibway Park, Dr. Disc and Slinky's Ice Cream. Some of the other places we wanted to see had sadly closed or have been changed into something else (like a barren parking lot). I think Haku had a fun time travelling around and meeting our families. He especially had fun running around like a psycho with Ben, my parents' massive golden doodle.
So great to see everyone from both of our families. I got to meet Ju's five-year-old nephew Tony for the first time. We had some fun taking him to a splash pad for some play-time in the sun. Then there's Matt Houlahan, the biggest badass this side of the country; Glad he was still available for hanging out like no time has passed whatsoever.
The corn there, by the way - Creamy, juicy and sold around every corner. Too good. Worth moving back for? Tempting...
All in all, it was a nice trip. Everyday was pretty much spent driving around trying to see everyone that we could, but it was worth the effort. Until next time!
PS: Thanks for letting me use your car everyday, Dad :)
It was Ju's birthday this weekend, so I took her (and Haku) on an exploratory drive up towards Whistler. The highway you take to get up there is full of beautiful landscapes to watch pass by and shoulders of the road to stop at to take in the sights. Our favourite thing to do is explore the backcountry wherever we can, and now that we have our own car we can just go, whenever we want. A couple miles down the road we found this fairly secluded beach, where you could see a train moving through the mountains in the distance. We hung out there a while since it was nice but also because Haku made a friend.
We ended up driving past Whistler to the quaint town of Pemberton. We found a nice lake near Nair Falls that has a long boardwalk running through it over the grassy parts. It connects to a trail that goes around the entire lake, but it only took about an hour to walk - stopping for the occasional dog wrestle and picture, of course. When we circled back we decided the water looked too inviting, so we jumped off the docks and plunged in.
After some sushi in Squamish, I drove us back home in the darkness while Ju and Haku slept under a blanket together (awww). Here are a much of pics we took.
Happy birthday, sunshine :)
These last couple days we did something we've always wanted to: we drove over the Lions Gate bridge to find some mountain trails and a water hole to go for a swim. With Haku laying by Ju's feet (and Alfie taking up all the back seats) I ended up driving us to the salmon hatchery where there's lots of nice paths and a fresh-water river that runs all the way through. We've been on hikes in the area before but now that we have access to car-sharing, it's so much more fun - and convenient.
We still had the car the next morning so we got up early and drove to Spanish Banks. The tide is super low at that time so you can walk out pretty far on the sand banks (if you don't mind getting muddy). There are tiny crabs that scurry away from you which every step. Haku kept trying to eat them, naturally.
Overall, not a bad way to spend your two days off. And hopefully soon I'll have my own sweet ride to do this sort of thing whenever we want... !
We got a chance to go back to Jericho beach last weekend, one of my favourite spots to chill out in all of Van. It's scenic, huge... and there's a patch of bushes where dozens of friendly bunnies bounce up to you to eat whatever edibles you might have.... It's the best.
The other morning there were some loud crows in the backyard tree that woke us up around 5:30am. Since we were both pretty awake for some reason, we decided to go for a jog down to the beach. Going down there at that time is so peaceful and quiet; It's like another city. The only things making noise are various bird species squakin' around doing their thing. Haku stayed in bed for this part of the morning, naturally.
I was able to bring on my friend Stie as a sound technician for a company I do work for every now and again. It's nice being able to choose people you trust to be part of a production team. For this job we could pick whatever equipment we felt was needed to get the video done right, which sort of inspired me to start expanding my personal arsenal of equipment a bit. I just purchased a shotgun mic, which I can plug right into my Digital Bolex, among other things. This is a step in the right direction, since I hope to soon be working on another independent short film (we no longer have the convenience of renting out equipment from university, so it's all got to come from our own pockets from now on).
Time to get back to it; I have about 34 interviews to go through and they're not gonna edit themselves...
Last week I graduated from Emily Carr University, ending my four-year film studies. I was lucky enough to be introduced to my current employer during the last semester, so I'm working right out of the gate in media creation - putting the end-of-term-job-hunting stress to rest.
My parents came to Van all the way from Ontario and stayed with Ju and I for a lovely handful of days. We went to the grad films screening and hung out at Joe's, among other things. We also took a drive down the Sea-to-Sky highway to catch some beautiful mountain views and find woodland trails to wander through with Haku.
This weekend Ju and I are going to meet Cassie, a female dog that urgently needs a foster home until she is adopted out. Ju has always wanted to foster dogs that need it, and it will be nice to do what we can to help these poor animals until they find a home. Haku is a super gentle and calm little guy, so he should make quick friends with whomever we have stay in our place. Can't wait to meet her!
Now I'm going to convince my friend Stie to come over and make lasagna...
About a month ago, my cousin Darren and his wife Jenny welcomed their son Otto into the world, and he was the smallest being I've ever had the privilege of holding. And then about three weeks after that, Darren's brother Jared and his wife Servane suddenly had their own baby! Little human Myro, the cutest little man I've ever met. So cool to have all these babies in the 'hood.
I just got back to Vancouver after spending the last few days in San Diego. It was my first ever business trip, and I have to say it was a pretty awesome place to be sent to! I went out there with my boss, Sharad, as my travel companion. His company, Kharé Communications, is always seeking out interviews with the most interesting people working on some of the biggest projects going on in the world, and I'm having fun; Definitely loving this job right now. We shot lots of promo material for a cancer research company, and then got to chill around the city for a bit.
We ran into a smelly pile of seals at one point. That was good.
And now life goes on... Ju and I just got sushi!