Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Whistler's ArtWalk in Vancouver Sun

For all you art lovers within driving distance to Whistler, BC, this one's for you....

It appeared in the Vancouver Sun and The Province...

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Hockey Inspiration

If you set a goal, and work hard, you can achieve anything...

I decided I wanted to learn how to play hockey at the end of last year, so I signed up for a class in January. When I started, I could barely skate forwards and had only been on hockey skates once, when I refereed for the Longest Game 4 CF.  

It was not pretty, but each Sunday, I laced up and learned something new, each class getting faster, more agile, a wee bit better. When I struggled, I thought about the Longest Game 4 CF, and what those women did—playing for 10 straight days with bloody ankles and injuries to break the world record and raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. I was lucky enough to get a jersey from the CF event, so it's what I wear in each class/during each game as inspiration.

Now, some five months, three classes and one concussion later, I can actually play hockey, skate pretty darn well and hit a slap shot! While I've still got a long way to go, I've enjoyed my love affair with this sport (through the years as a fan) and will now forever be a player.

If there is something you want to do, no matter how hard or how old you are, do it. As Goethe once said, "What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

Well said, Johann.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Nike Hits the Heart Bullseye... Again

I love this new ad for Nike.  They always inspire, don't they?

In honour of the anniversary of Title IX...

Monday, 11 June 2012

HPS Season 3 :: Day Three

Yesterday was my last day of filming at OUTtv.  Got four more in the can!  The episodes we shot were all about fresh talent.  We watched and discussed the films that were created through Hot Pink Shorts ancillary contest "The Making Of Hot Pink Shorts," which yours truly won a couple years ago.  We watched my short, TIL DEATH DO US TOBY, along with great work by the five other winners.

It was enlightening to discuss TOBY, which was a collaboration with my girlfriend (and really ultimately a collaboration with Mick Krizaj and Magali Gillon because they graciously gave so much of themselves throughout the process).  Jonny asked me what my biggest lesson was in hindsight.  My answer—centred on story, which is the indisputable foundation of a film—was and is:

I had an aha moment last year when I was reading the great book A Writer's Journey as it relates to Toby and other stories I've written/am working on.  Here is what it said:

There is only so much focus available in a given work, and it seems the more elements you take out of the composition, the more focus is poured into those that remain. Cutting lines, pauses, entires scenes sharpened the focus on the elements that were left, as if a large number of diffuse spotlights had been concentrated into a few bright beams aimed at select important points.

Brilliant nugget and it heartily applies to the lessons learned in doing my first short film. We tried to do too much in 10 minutes.  What started out as simply a story about a neurotic dog who thinks his family is trying to kill him, and his pursuit to escape, turned into a pugish-dominatrix-ciggie-smoking-secret-hiding-missing-panties explosion!  As a novelist, I am used to layering on story after story—because you have a whole book to tell and resolve each storyline.

That simply isn't true in a 10 minute short.  The scriptwriting mentor tried to warn me in development, but we ran out of time before I really got it and instead of pulling focus on the pug solely, which we should have done, the spotlights hit too many points and the entire film lost its focus.  I'm so grateful for this lesson and am glad it happened with my first short and NOT my first feature.

After we wrapped HPS, I just had enough time to make it to hockey!  From heels to blades in under an hour... Only in Canada!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

HPS Season 3 :: Day Two

I didn't think it was possible, but it was even more fun hosting with another soul. Especially one as articulate, clever and entertaining as Jonny.  We got four more episodes in the can today.  My two favourites were Why Does God Hate Me (written/directed by Joel Ashton Mccarthy) and Ben Voyons, Camille (written/directed by Carole Ducharme).

I couldn't' find Why Does God Hate Me online, but I did find Ben Voyons, Camille.  It's an adorable, true-life story about a girl who gets her period and tries to hide it because she a) doesn't want to grow up, b) lives in a house of fools.  Check it out.

Some snapshots captured throughout the day...

Friday, 8 June 2012

Hot Pink Shorts (HPS) Season 3 :: Day One

I had such a blast filming the first few episodes of Hot Pink Shorts Season 3 today at OUTtv.

In case you don't know, Hot Pink Shorts is a TV program showcasing the best of queer short films and yours truly is one of this year's hosts.  Tomorrow I'll be joined by uber styling' Jonny Staub for a little banter and fun.

I hosted all three of today's episodes solo, as they were just for the ladies. "For the Girls - Take 1, 2, 3."

My two favourite films today were Cosa Bella and Brazil's Pages of a Girl.

Warming up.

Prepping for my soundbites, while munching the prop corn.

Watch Pages of a Girl:

Watch Cosa Bella's trailer:

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

25 Most Commonly Misspelled Words

How is your spelling?  Give this tricky spelling quiz a try and test your spelling ability for the most commonly misspelled words.  I got 17 right.  Thank god for spellcheck!!

Take quiz.