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.
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!
Another year, another reel.
Mixing cereals of varying species is like playing god, resulting in combinations of flavours and textures never experienced before by the human tongue. Breakfast has never been so exhilarating.
Anyway, I made another video. I went around doing some lens tests and then played around with the footage in post for a while. The images produced by mirroring the frame looked really interesting to me so I kept that aesthetic throughout.
I always grade the hell out of footage, but the images that come straight out of the Digital Bolex always looks so damn great, like it was shot on film. You can see below, with the pictures of the public art pieces, these are just some of the RAW files untouched. That sort of saturated, bloomy look has that nostalgia that comes with 16mm film. I've got to try making a video without doing any grading at all; I think that would look pretty awesome.
That's it for now. School's coming to a close, some big projects are wrapping up and our backyard is getting an overhaul (can you say BBQ/lounging/hen-occupied paradise?). Lots to do, and that cereal's not gonna mix itself!
This is an update on the post-production of my grad film, The Character Study.
Now that I have a picture-lock, I've been nailing down the colour-grade. I still keep jumping back and forth between a natural, correct look versus a more surreal, purple tone. This is something I plan on deciding on this weekend, and sticking with it.
I have a completed trailer and poster, and still have to make a director's headshot.
The main hurdle is still the sound design; I'm looking forward to our workshop on putting sound in 3D space, which will give the film a much stronger atmosphere. I found a musician on FMA.com whose work I love, and I'm using two of their tracks in the film. The music is ambient and driving, but not distractingly so, and fit the mood of the story well.
Since I'm making my presentation this week, I'm hoping to screen the film and get any last feedback from people who haven't seen it before/ in a while. Any suggestions on sound design and colour in particular would be helpful.
My camera kit has done some expanding lately, and I now have two more vintage lenses to play with on the Digital Bolex. I've only had a fixed prime that I've shot with, a Carl Zeiss 25mm. New to the table is a Bell & Howell - Angenieux 10mm and a Pentax 50mm. I'm looking forward to seeing what this glass looks like on the camera, and I have a good excuse to put them to work since they'll be used on a documentary project that's currently being, well, documented.
Working from home is weird. You're always near the fridge, the cat is always on your lap and the dog is always watching you eat. Intently.
Did you know that if you carry a mason jar around with you on your travels, you can bring it into your favourite food establishments and they'll put anything in there for you? Coffee, lemonade, energy bars, croissants - if it in any way will sit inside, it will be done.
If you're a fan of Arcade Fire, you might want to check out Will Butler's new solo album, Policy. Been listening to the Anna track on repeat on bike rides.
While Ju and I were out swimming one night at an indoor pool off Cambie, our good friend Stie had dropped in to look after the dogs and cook us lasagna. Just to clarify, we came home to freshly made lasagna. Yeah.
Please enjoy the latest dump of photos from my phone.
Also, I just uploaded the trailer for The Character Study that's on track for the grad show in May. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out! Crime and swish-pans abound.
*This is the third seminar update on the post-production work of my grad film, The Character Study.
The main challenge I've been working on is the trailer for the film, which I believe I have now completed. I went through several versions before coming to a version that I feel good about. I showed the work-in-progress trailers to a few different people, including Kris Nielsen, the lead in the film. He suggested we shoot some new footage for the trailer to avoid showing too much of the film, while allowing us to be more creative in our approach to "marketing" the film.
I found it very freeing to create a trailer in this way, as you can take shots that specifically function to give the mood of the film without having to worry about spoiling the entire plot of the film.
Presently, I'm working on finishing up my current production binder and poster design, which is nearing completion as well. I'm looking forward to the demonstration on sound design, specifically on creating a soundscape in surround. Sound design is what needs to be worked on the most, and is my main focus in the editing room right now.