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.

The Rhythms of Chiang Mai

From the scooter-bustle of Bali, daytime Chiang Mai contrasts as a place of delivery trucks, local shops, temples, and nomads with heads down in their work. And then in the evening, when the cool air settles down from Suthep and the smoke from nearby rice-patty fires fades, the patio lights come on and the parties begin.

Like Canggu, Chiang Mai opened to me with a string of hangouts and events to meet fellow nomads. I’m staying at In The City, a cozy and helpful co-working space and hostel. It’s a great jumping-off point for getting to know the city.

Chiang Mai has been at the top of my must-visit nomad cities for a long time—not because I’ve had a personal hankering for its temple-lined old city, but because everyone I’ve come across who’s visited the place is effusive about it. Consistently at the top of NomadList’s rankings, I can see why. It’s friendly, fun, easy to get around and meet people, walkable and very affordable. There’s a much higher percentage of long-termers here in Thailand, people who have settled and made Chiang Mai home. It’s incredibly cheap to live here (apartment & coworking space for $150/month? Check!) with many events, hikes, and places to visit.

I’ve only been here a week but I’m loving it so far. A great vibe, great people and a productive space for me.

Design Updates


If you’ve poked around recently, you’ll have noticed some design changes on the site. The main addition is a section listing my recent work. Other changes include a re-vamp to the homepage, and the addition of post thumbnails to make browsing a little more visual. One of my favourite subtle changes is in the typography on the home page (the display font for section headings is in my very own *messy* printing.)

Rwanda Thumbnail The goal overall was to make my work more accessible and easier to browse. I wanted navigation to be clearer for the first time visitor while still maintaining a sense of discovery and journey as you navigate around the site.

You can still flip through posts one at a time on the blog or see a list of all the recent posts in the index. And of course the most recent news, blog post, video & photography is right there on the home page.

Hope you like it! Let me know if you have any comments or suggestions.

Giving Back

A friend in Rwanda is looking for investors in a social-interest company. He’s a solid guy (the main character in my Rwanda film). They grow geranium and sell the oils on the international market. The project is run by widows & orphans in the area, who receive the profits.

He’s looking for investors in the company. Investments will have an immediate, on the ground effect towards a self-sustaining business in the developing world. If you, or anyone you know, is interested in investing in a company like this, drop me a line.

Bulembu to Tel Aviv

I seem to be a fan of these double-ender trips. This spring I went to Rwanda filming a documentary, then travelled on to Swaziland for a photo assignment. This time around, filming in Bulembu wrapped two days ago and I’m now in Tel Aviv ready to shoot another documentary.

The shoot in Bulembu was fantastic. Many memorable moments with the Tenors, and I feel like I was able to capture the beauty, memory and emotion of the place. It’ll be a fun edit – 2TB worth of footage – and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product.

I’m now on to directing 2nd unit for a doc here in Israel. Main unit arrives in a couple days; I’ll be spending the first few days collecting “GV’s” (as the Brits say – General Views) around Tel Aviv.

23 Minutes

That’s how long it took to pack my bags & camera carry-on.

Incidentally, it took 23 minutes because that’s all I had before the taxi arrived.

A string of nights with 3 hours sleep then attempting an all nighter don’t lead to efficient work. Around 4AM I found myself nodding uncontrollably, so I settled in for a short “nap”.

But… I’ve done this a few times now. I only managed to forget a few Clif bars and my book to read. Everything else came out in a flurry, and habit landed most of what I need in my bags in a few minutes.

And with that we’re off to Bulembu. The equipment left yesterday with my DP, Jonny – 9 cases plus a carnet. So I’m travelling nice & light, just a carry-on and a backpack for clothes. It’s three days of transit to Bulembu… I hope to update with some pictures or video once we’re settled on the ground.

… and on to Israel!

YVR-SEA-AMS-JNB; JNB-AMS-TLV; TLV-AMS-LHO; LHO-AMS-SEA-YVR.

That’s the itinerary I just booked, leaving August 22nd and returning September 29th. After Bulembu, I’ll be heading to Israel to shoot 2nd unit for a production there with Jim van Dijk. I’ll be (happily) using the Red camera again, and working with a bigger crew & budget.

And on my way home, a short stopover in Oxford.

Together with Rwanda: Hope Rises being complete before I go, and the trip to Bulembu before heading to Israel, all I have to say is:

Woot.