422/129

Outline view in my writing software

I search for the line of the film from amidst a mountain of impressions, annotations and intuitive connections. To get there, each of the best moments receives a digital “3×5 card” with a title, impressions, tags for scene type, songs and characters, and a summary transcript or translation. With just the best material, I have 422 index cards—too much to parse. So I slice further to just the scenes that send shivers down my spine.

I must be easily impressionable because after the latest cull I still have 129 “so great it has to be in the movie!” scenes…

Phase 1 Complete! Begin Phase 2.

Fifty-one weeks after my last day in Argentina the process to organize, import, transcode, sort, log, keyword, transcribe, translate and most importantly review and annotate 128 hours of footage is complete. My bullet-point notes add up to 87000 words, 350 pages of observations and insights. My plan was four months. It took almost eight. It’s a tedious process, and though I learned a lot and experienced some spine-tinglingly-great moments, I’m very glad it’s done.

Now on to the next phase of creative work: to transform a few moments from the mountain into 90 minutes of movie magic.

Wallpaper – Kigali Airport

A desktop wallpaper of the Kigali Airport, on approach.

Here is a fresh wallpaper for you. This was taken on approach to KGL (Kigali International Airport) while filming aerials for Rwanda: Hope Rises in 2008. Click on the photo to download a full-size JPEG.

Waiting to Belong

In this two-minute promo produced by Storyspark, Benjamin (a cool & wise 10-year-old) talks about what it’s like to be adopted.

Waiting to Belong from Storyspark on Vimeo.

Over the past several months I’ve been working with a dedicated group of people who want to see the end of the waiting generation in Canada. More than 30,000 kids in Canada are waiting for adoption – and they aim to change that.

My journey with them began by helping uncover their core story through a process I call “story finding”. We found that, though the number of waiting kids is a daunting challenge, it’s also a great opportunity. This is the first of a series of videos talking about adoption and what it means to those who experience it.

Find out more at waitingtobelong.com.

Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School

Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School.

“… for those who have a sense of poetry. For those who are pilgrims. For those who can tell a story to four year old children and hold their attention. For those who have a fire burning within…”

Some of the discussion points on the about page caught my attention:
“How does music function in film? How do you narrate a story? … How do you sensitize an audience? How is space created and understood by an audience? … How do you create illumination and an ecstasy of truth?”

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.