Saturday, February 24, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Took a train North to a small town called Hudiksvall where I met up with Urban and his wife, L, who is to be my test interview for a possible series on the latest Iraqi exodus.
The train ride from Stockholm was about 5 hours long, going straight North into the snowy landscape, urban architecture giving way to industry and factories, which then gave way to sporadic cabins then finally the forest.
From the train station in the town of Hudiksvall there is a bus (which comes once on Sundays) that winds further North along a country road for an hour until finally it reaches Urban's house.
okay, the images are slightly photoshopped...
Friday, January 12, 2007
Filming in Jordan - Ragadan bus station
Filming in Jordan - Raghadan bus station
So much had happened during my 5 week stay in Jordan, preparing and shooting the experimental short, "Makhrej", that it would be worthy of a few dozen blog entries. But I don't have enough photos to support all the stories, except for this one
The Raghadan bus station, located just east of downtown Amman, is a smorgasbord of ill-tempered bus drivers, cab drivers, tiny shop stalls and swarms of crowds. Besides Abdally, this is one of the most active bus stations in the city, filled with life and colour.
To decide to film here was not easy - it wasn't about getting permission, but more about being able to negotiate with the crowds and vehicles in order to be able to get the shots in the can. The scene was simple enough: man gives letter to woman, woman reacts.
It had to be done quickly and efficiently, since we were invariably going to draw a crowd, which easily snowballs into a bigger crowd, onlookers curious to know why a crowd has gather. That in turn attracts more people. and on.
The picture of the crowd was really only the tip of the iceberg, soon after the middle photo was taken the crowd easily doubled.
We were lucky with the generosity of the crowd, who played ball by not standing around in front of the scene nor looking into the camera.
Majd, the actress, pulled the scene off well, looking natural sitting in her abaya at a makeshift cigarette stall.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Now, one thing that Singapore IS notorious for is the cleanliness of their streets, which they enforce through hefty fines and prison time for multiple offenders, as well as a good dose of 'caning' to the recidivists!
So one thing you'll NOT see a lot of here in Singapore is graffiti. Although after searching far and wide I found two things which can be seen as sub-divisions of graf: Stickers and Stencils.
Second hotel we stayed at was called the 7th Storey hotel, which was quite unique within the singapore landscape because it was a 50+ year old building surrounded by ultra modern, has managed to survive all these years, and has the country's last and only fully functioning manually operated elevator (complete with a projector handle to move up and down). I suppose one of the ways they paid the bilss is that massive billboard you see on the side of the building.
One night I walked around the city late late late, and noticed these little buddha statues tied to a chain link fence. I imagine they're a prayer offering of some kind, but know no details. Anyone?
Last thing: when in Singapore, do remember to try some of the local drinks, especially the"Uncle Djegot Milk Drink". What's so special about Uncle's Milk drink? Well, you will just have to ask the good uncle yourself, but that self-satisfied look on his face kinda says it all, don't it?
Friday, August 18, 2006
I will write little to nothing about the Evil Corporation I was working for on the other side of the world, and focus on the country this 'corpo' was exploiting.
Singapore is truly a land of strange wonders - some of the greatest food from the three ethnic groups that reside there (Indian, Chinese, Malay), and a major shopping hub for the rich and devoid.
The first hotel we stayed, paid for by the E.C., was the Grand Hyatt, full amenities, crazy breakfast buffet with imported aged cheese and organic breads, and two (count 'em : 2) televisions in each suite. Oh yeah, the 'shower' was, ummm, these holes in the ceiling of the stall, to better replicate this 'rainfall' experience they were going for. And I was a tad disappointed that they only had 15 treadmills in their modest gym.
I should also say that great food and shopping usually means great architecture, and there was no shortage on this little island. The parkview entrance, for example is sumptious and elegant - the building rises like a fortress over the city.
After the gig was done, we had to say goodbye to the Hyatt and find a suitably budgeted place to hang out before our return flight 4 days later.
The first hotel was in Singapore's semi notorious red light district, the hotel was called Happy Ending over at the Galang 5 district. I say semi-notorious because the red light district in Singapore is where the locals go, not the tourists. It's for the regular Joe who saves whatever of his $100 a week to release stress, get a little bit of 'home', whatever. Not to be confused with the fully notorious red light districts of Bangkok and Amsterdam.
And here (bottom picture, above) is an innocent view out of my red light district hotel room window down onto the street.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Elvis '68 comeback special
A music video for the über-talented The Dears , forst single off their upcoming album.
The concept was to somewhat emulate the opening number of the famous Elvis 1968 comeback special (there's been a reissue on DVD recently)
And of course, we took liberties :-) Director ( Maxime Giroux ) was not looking for a direct replica, but rather a similar feel.
Shot with the Varicam at 30fps. The red background was lit with 5k skypans, and the red " YOU " sign were a hodgepodge of red household bulbs, ranging from 30 to 60 watts.
Post was done at Ottoblix in Montreal.
Frame grabs are pulled from the compressed quicktime preview, ergo the compressy look
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
...for a TV show called Crash Addicts. Yes, about demolition derby drivers. Driven. Determined. Deranged.
The timelapse interval in the above short film was 20 seconds.
As for the main video cameras, one of the three different varieties being used is the new Panasonic P2 (HVX 200) camera, connected to a 35mm adaptor with a Nikon mount, and a 28-70mm f/2.8 lens ( and no, this rig is not designed for handheld ). Somehow we make it all work, for something that will hopefully make for a unique viewing experience.
Looks to be quite the visceral show!