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.

Back to Bulembu…

Got confirmation an hour ago of another project in Bulembu, Swaziland, this time with moving pictures. I’ll be departing with a crew on August 22nd, just a few weeks away.

chirwas

We’ll be shooting on the Red, filming the Canadian Tenors as part of a storytelling package for a benefit concert at the Orpheum. I’m excited to visit Bulembu again, to share its beauty, see its evolution and renew friendships.

This is the first project of a new venture, Cinesketch. And tomorrow I’ll have some news on where I’m heading after Bulembu…

In Fresno

There’s something satisfying about throwing a passport in a carry-on with a few changes of clothes and heading out the door – no gear, no cameras (well… almost. Does an LX-2 count?), and the work has been done. Now I’m just along for the ride.

A heroic all-nighter by my editor, Steve Plitt had me exiting the door with two freshly burnt copies of Rwanda: Hope Rises in my hands. I caught the gate as they were making last call, and here I am: In Fresno.

This is the first time an audience will see a completed cut of the film, the culmination of three year’s work. And it has turned out better than I imagined. Having a skilled editor see with fresh eyes has brought the story to life again for me, and I’m excited to show it to people. It still has yet to go through the spit & polish of a final mix etc. but I think the three audiences this weekend will enjoy the experience.

If you’re in the Fresno area, get in touch and I’ll let you know the details of the screenings.

Last Day on Sanctuary

Today will be my last day on the set of Sanctuary, the new SciFi Network TV show that airs in October. It’s been fun working with the crew, helping them get up to speed with the RED camera, and seeing a Vancouver show built from the ground up.

Now it’s on to finishing touches of Rwanda: Hope Rises before our first audience screening in Fresno this coming weekend…