Sartre on Story

You seem to start from the beginning… and, in reality, you have started at the end.

…everything changes when you tell about life… things happen one way and we tell about them in the opposite sense. You seem to start from the beginning: “It was a fine autumn evening in 1922. I was a notary’s clerk in Maromme.” And, in reality, you have started at the end…

The end is there, transforming everything. For us, the man is already the hero of the story… we feel that the hero has lived all the details of this night like annunciations, promises, or even that he lived only those that were promises, blind and deaf to all that did not herald adventure.

We forget that the future was not yet there; the man was walking in a night without forethought, a night which offered him a choice of dull, rich prizes, and he did not make his choice.

— Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea

Rwanda: Hope Rises DVD Release

Rwanda DVD Release

It’s hard to believe that almost five years ago, five friends started planning for a trip to Rwanda. Our plan was to shoot a documentary in two weeks, spend a month in hard-core editing, and have it ready to watch by the summer of 2005.

I was so naive, in so many ways. I had shot several documentaries by this point, but nothing on this scale. The process has been intense, difficult, and there was more than once that the whole thing almost didn’t happen. But here we are… the film is ready for the world to see on DVD.

You can get your copy here: Hope Rises Store. There is more info and trailers on the website as well as a Facebook fan page.

Thanks for all of your support over the years to get this thing made.

Bulembu Promo

In August 2008 I travelled to Bulembu, my second trip to this small town in Swaziland, Africa. I had been a few months previously, on a photography assignment (you can see some here and here). This time, I was directing a film of the Canadian Tenors as part of the Voices for Bulembu campaign. The eventual result was this promotional video, and a mini-documentary of the Tenor’s experiences (see it here). Both films were shown as part of a series of gala events to raise money for the work of the Bulembu Foundation. It was a great success, with almost one million dollars raised over a single weekend.

Through my involvement in Bulembu I’ve gained many lifelong friends, and become part of a significant effort to transform this struggling nation. It has been a great privilege.

Many thanks to those involved. Post-production on the videos was by Jon at EXE Productions. Cinematography was by the talented Jonny Beecher. Special thanks to Kelly Walker for producing both trips and to the team at the Bulembu Foundation for their transformative work.