Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It has been a busy time...

Business had been good. I have been working on just a load of interesting stuff. I am in post production on a series of instructional videos for a company called Marsulex. The videos deal with the safe handling when unloading dangerous chemicals such as Sulfuric Acid, Aqua Ammonia and the likes. Okay it has been very dry but I met some interesting people and that is always a good thing.

Next we just finished two days of shooting for Shell Canada, actually for their London, England office. We had to shoot b-roll and some dramatics leading up to a bad truck crash that happened a couple years ago...I was totally blown away by the mad effect skills of master DP Wes Doyle.

Next I am writing a series of videos that we will be shooting at the end of the month for Alberta Education. Did you know that a lot of new teachers quit the profession in the first 5 years. The videos outline some programs that have been implemented to keep these teachers around.

Then I am starting to work on a series of videos that will become part of an installation piece at Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump. This is a grand job, I am so interesting in aboriginal stuff.

I am also about to launch a series of screenings throughout Saskatchewan and Alberta of my new documentary film "For the Record Featuring Bill Bourne" it is available for purchase on my website so please feel free to check it out.

As you can see busy times...I am also in development on my first feature film "Stella's Dead and in the Back of the Truck" and I think I am going to do another short in the very near future.

Enough talk, have a great day all.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bill Bourne releases his new album today

So' Bill Bourne is releasing his new album today, "free radio dance Band". It is a great album. One of my greatest joys to date was being there while Bill and his band recorded the album. It was a tres cool experience and I feel fortunate. The music is incredible so make sure you check it out.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

So yeah I turned 50...

But you know what is great...I am now old enough to have a friend running for office. I have a friend who is running for the mayor of Calgary. Her name is Barb Higgins and she is a great lady. She is smart, she knows the city, she looks great...serious when is the last time you saw a mayor that was a babe. Barb is all of this and more. The thing I admire most is her integrity. She was interviewed on BT in Calgary by a reporter named Mike McCourt (I use the term reporter loosely). I couldn't believe the questions he asked. But Barb in true fashion I think handily put him in his place.

I will admit I wish I lived in Calgary so I could vote for her. If you live in Calgary, check her out I think you will be pleasantly surprised. She would be great for the city. Sort of like Ralph Klein before he went insane.

Anyway, check out this goofball McCourt (his parents might have been cousins) and on Monday vote Barb Higgins for Mayor!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hey, did you know?

I have talked about making films, documentaries and music videos. It is very rewarding but not a great way to make a living. So how do I survive? I do corporate video and commercials. For example, something you may have seen...did you know I created and wrote, produced and directed those great (If I do say so myself) 92.5 JoeFM stick man animation commercials. They were fun and I mention it because I am told they were very memorable. Anyway not to take up to much of your time. I have added my commercial/corporate demo reel on my website. I wrote and directed everything you see in the demo. Let me know what you think.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Canadian Film is Shit...

All films from Canada are horrible, badly done, low budget. Ummm I have heard these comments so often and I say BULLSHIT! Canadian film is where it's at. A good Canadian film can't be beat. The unfortunate part is many Canadians do dis the films being created by Canadian filmmakers. I have a theory, its my opinion but I think it makes sense. The theory is that we make as many good films as the US, based on population. So for every ten Canadian films there is one good one and 9 not so good ones...In the US I use 100 films...and there are 10 good ones and 90 bad the percentage is the same. The problem is we tend to only get the 10 good ones and everyone only remembers the 9 bad Canadian ones!

So how do we change this perception? I suggest creating "Hug an Independent Canadian Filmmaker Day" So we pick a day, for example...February 23rd and call it "Hug an Independent Canadian Filmmaker Day" . So on February 23rd across the country, participating communities organize the local filmmakers and present the films they made to their community and let them view the films for free. The problem is that our films don't get played anywhere so how do we make sure that Canadians get to see these great films? By doing something like this we allow everybody to experience the creative power that is Independent Canadian Film. Who is with me on this one? I am totally in. I would even help organize it...I can't be in charge of organizing it because I am really unorganized...but hey, I will help and I have a few films I wouldn't mind getting seen.

Well there you have it..."Hug and Independent Canadian Filmmaker Day".

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I am all a Twitter

I did it...I got back on that Twitter horse. I have been told by quite few people now that Twitter truly is a marketing bonanza. Perhaps I will find out. I have been exploring this whole concept of social media and it is quite exhilirating. So new, so fresh, so outside my scope of knowledge. Are you ever to old to learn? I don't think so.

Anyway why don't you follow my tweets and will follow yours. Is tha how that works?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Indie Film Fun

Yup it's fall and the ideas are flowing. I have a lot going on. Working on two major corporate projects that will keep me busy till Christmas. And then who knows how I will make a living. I could become an assassin, a hit man and well the corporate name kind of works. Anybody out there need someone rubbed out.

My new film "For the Record Featuring Bill Bourne" seems to be doing really well and you can buy your copy on my very own website. You should check it is the perfect stocking stuffer...yeah I said it...why not all the stores do it. Order "For the Record Featuring Bill Bourne" now and ensure you get it in time for Christmas.

I now have a producing team together to make my first feature film. Its a comedy and a road movie titled "Stella's Dead and in the Back of the Truck". The producers are as follows:
1) Executive Producers: Jerry Krepakavich & Ben Babchishin
2) Producers: Diana Davis, Susanne Hunka and Elaine Elrod

The hope is to be shooting this late next summer or early fall.

I also want to do another short and just not sure which way to go. I have an idea for a 7 part web series and I would also like to do a musical in the vein of "Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog" so not sure which way I will go but I will do something before Christmas. Hopefully there are some folks out there wanting to get involved.

Well I guess that is all I will talk about at this point. Time to get on with the day and hopefully get something done.

Ciao all, have yourself a great week!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I love Alberta, but sometime...?

So, who read the paper today. I am referring to the Edmonton Journal. The story I am wanting to talk about was written by a guy at the Calgary Herald (I suspect Calgary got it too). It is titled "Province to Review Funding for films". It talks about the fact that the province gave $55,000.00 to a Calgary company to do a documentary about the oil sands called "Dirty Oil". Stelmack was quoted as saying "He was livid that taxpayer dollars funded an anti-Alberta film"

WTF...okay who is as pissed off as I am, I want to hear it... Why the fuck does our government only see this province as oil. I haven't seen the film, I don't know if it is a fair and accurate story but I do know that environmental issues about oil are everywhere. The BP thing off the coast of New Orleans has pushed it to the forefront and now it is an even hotter ticket item. I sorry but if someone was going to do a doc about the Alberta oil sands called "Dirty Oil" wouldn't you rather have it be done by someone from Alberta who doesn't have any other agenda but calling attention to an environmental issue. And why is it that a documentary that could thrash the oil sands (again I haven't seen it and can't say) is considered anti-Alberta. A lot of people are concerned and they are voicing their concerns, we live in a free world and have that right. And now they are going to review how they fund films...does that mean they want to start censoring what they fund? Both Blackett and Stelmach denies this will happen but it is really what they are saying.

The filmmakers stated that $750,000.00 was spent in Alberta on this production from the Alberta Governments $55,000.00 investment. Doesn't seem like that bad of a return. Hmmm methinks it might be time for our great leader and his cronies to pull their heads out of their ass and start looking at other economical opportunities for Alberta outside of oil...I think the days of oil might be limited. Alberta is so much more, great people, incredible vistas, a proud heritage built from a backbone of agriculture and it also has oil...a small part of our identity that the current government considers our only face. Man does this kind of shit piss me off...In my opinion.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Man, am I glad summer is over

I know, your thinking WTF...this goof is glad summer is over. My problem is that during the summer I have no time for anything, including this blog. Its been forever since I updated it. Do I have stuff to say? I think so!

My new film "For the Record Featuring Bill Bourne is now available for sale on my website. Its a 72 minute musical Odyssey that follows Bill as he records his new record "free radio dance Band". Or was it called "See", no that's not right, wasn't it "Home". Funny stuff, there has been three changes to the title since I started a few months ago. Can't keep up. But I will say I am really proud of this film and I hope all of you that BUY it, like it too.

Next up? Not sure, I would like to do another For the Record, as well as a web series and I am still trying to get a feature done. No shortage of projects and I have been Tres busy doing other stuff like training videos and the good summer just not enough time.

I hope to update this blog a little more and maybe we can get that filmmaker dialogue I talked about before, going?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Holy Shit, there is a lot going on!

So "For the Record-Featuring Bill Bourne" is done. Bill, some of the band, Elaine, Wes and a few others popped over to my place last week for an impromptu screening in my basement and everyone seemed to like it. Dropped it off at the duplicators this morning and it will be ready for purchase early next week.

Next, I am a huge fan of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. It is truly a grand, world class event...and this year (this is blowing my mind) my Bill Bourne film will be available for purchase. Yup right there with all the other greats...For crying out loud, Levon Helm is going to be there...Van Morrison and this film will be selling alongside them, Tres Cool! Make sure you pick up a copy, perhaps 3 at 19.99 it will this years must have stocking stuffer. It will be at the CD/DVD tent as of Thursday or you can order it off the Hired Gun Website.

Finally there will be a public screening on August 19Th at the New City Suburbs (tentative). Tickets are 10.00, and you will be able to get an autographed copy of the show plus Bill will perform. Wanna know how to keep up with the updates? Visit the Hired Gun Website and subscribe to the mailing list.

Well that is it for now...ciao dudes! I'm trying a new catch phrase...let me know if you like it?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

So what are we doing? How do we fix our slipping film industry in Alberta...and does anyone really care?

I do, I do desperately. I love being a filmmaker. I love telling stories, I love reaching people with ideas, and I love entertaining audiences. But it is a way of life that is rapidly declining. Alberta is in crisis...True That!

There is all this animosity toward the government. I understand this, and just a little while ago I would have been 100% there. But I am getting to know Edmonton's Film Commissioner Brad Stromberg (you said it Brad so now I own it)and he said something to me that literally made my mind snap completely full circle and it changed my thinking. I was very anti government and wanted them crucified, still do but I now know why I need to tame this anger. Brad simply stated "When you are in an election, you support the person you believe in, campaign for them, vote for them, tell other peoples about them...but the day after the election you have to live with one that won". So what I take that to mean, while the conservatives might easily be the spawns of Satan, we need to work with them and try and get the best we can out of them. Otherwise we will suffer. Look at the comments of Lindsay Blackett. Do you think he is still a supporter, still our Representative looking after our best intersts. I think he is pissed at us, and we are feeling his heat.

I guess my suggestion is that every one chill, try to get along, try to get as good a deal as we can, and then just a bit before the next election lets tell the voters about our industry and why it is worth preserving and see if we can't do what the Alberta Film Industry must totally do to save our way of life and that is make sure Alberta has a change in government.

Perhaps if we did this with a strategic plan in place we would have time to battle the true demon of our industry and that is the lack of support for Canadian Content.

Just some thoughts...please comment, lets see if we can turn this into a sounding board that comes up with some real ideas.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

"For the Record-Featuring Bill Bourne

Our first trailer is out, and I think it is really good. We are calling it a trailer but it is more a music video with a little bit of a pitch. I don't want to make this a commercial thing, but yet I do need to sell them. That is tough balance, when as an artist do you become crass and commercial. You want people to see the work and at the same time you need to make a living. It is definitely a contradiction at times.

I have spent most of my career being pretty low key. Well, that is starting to change somewhat. I now want to have a bit of both. I am really tired of the conventional way of making television and film in Canada and have officially swerved down a different path. I hope people will join me.

I suspect it will be next week, or perhaps the week after...I will relaunch a brand new website for Hired Gun. It will have some of my films you can watch for free, the new trailer, my director's reel and you will be able to download for just $1.49, a documentary I did on power music couple Mae Moore and Lester Quitzau. So stay tuned for more news on the website.

Monday, May 31, 2010

What a week for great music!

True Statement...First off "For the Record-Featuring Bill Bourne" is just soaring ahead...wahoo! The first video and what will be the opening for the documentary is now done and we will be releasing it on YouTube and Facebook and the like on Thursday. I hope you guys like it and hey let me know what you think. I went with a rock and roll grungy kind of style and really dig it.

Next up for the week...Tomorrow Folk Festival tickets are going on sale and I will standing in line...I mean how many chances will there be to see Levon Helm...the lineup is incredible. And then they top it...great lineup, how can it get better...two words VAN MORRISON. He is a god as far as I am concerned.

Thirdly I have decided I really enjoy creating music videos and have decided to start pursuing new clients aggressivley. I have designed the Starter Music Video Package. It is a production of a performance style video that will be perfect for YouTube, Vimeo, Much Music, MTV, CMT and like. The best part is that you can get this package for literally 1/4 of its true value. So if your interested in hearing more contact me at

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Deep Dark Woods"

Just finished, tonight...the first music video from my new documentary series "For the Record Featuring Bill Bourne". It is a song from Bill's new album called "Deep Dark Woods". Personally I think it is a kick ass piece.

It will be released on YouTube, and I will spread the link on June 3rd. It is Bill Bourne Rock and Roll, and it is hot.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I've been away in Saskatchewan. There was no cell service or internet and I couldn't post to my blog. So sorry for the delay but now I am back.

Wow, whirl wind trip, Edmonton-Saskatchewan and back in 6 days. Visiting family. Really old people I needed to touch base with. It was good. It was strange. It seems weird going back to one's roots. I was in my hometown and I tried to place myself there and couldn't. If I could go back in time and look at me now I would probably just walk by because I don't believe my younger self would recognize who I have become. I guess the question to ask is "Am I not recognizing myself because I exceeded my expectations or...not? Man this is getting maudlin.

Enough, the first music video/trailer for "For the Record-Featuring Bill Bourne" is almost done and we will be releasing it soon. Yeah, it looks grand. Lisa Read is one heck of an editor. Okay everyone did a great job...but she finished it and consequently gets all the credit...well no, that isn't true, I get all the credit. After all I did pick these people. Enough for the trailer and watch for the launch of my new website.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Canada's struggling film industry

I talked about it before and I will talk about again and I am going to talk about it now. I am dumbfounded by the Alberta Government's lack of respect for the film and television industry. When I say lack of respect I mean their inability to recognize the economic impact that film can have on a province. I kind of worry that this lack of respect is rampant through the entire conservative world, provincially and federally. I fear that the issues facing this industry will never be solved or even really addressed and then last night my fears were lessened.

Watching TV like I usually do at night. I love satellite being able to watch the different time zones...Last night I was in Saskatchewan when an NDP provincial party ad came on. I guess they are close to an election (Who Knew?) any way to make a long story slightly longer one of the things the ad said was that if elected they would work on more incentives for the film industry.

This is to me is big news. This tells me that someone in government is starting to listen and respond. I know they are after our vote, but now they have become relevant to me and I would vote accordingly. Basically my vote can be bought. I don't worry about health care or education, taxes are what they are...all that matters to me is how your going to deal with the film industry. True That!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Upcoming film projects!

It is becoming an increasingly busy year. First off I am completing the first of what I hope will be a series of documentaries called "For the Record-Featuring...". It follows the singer/songwriter in the process of recording a new album. First up is blues folk legend Bill Bourne. This film will be available to purchase in January.

I am also looking for a an executive producer to help me with a feature film. It is a comedy, a road movie and perhaps a cult film titled "Stella's Dead and in the Back of the Truck". I will be mixing live action with animation.

Then there is a dog whisper type of show, a reality program dealing with the legal system and a bunch of corporate/training films. This should keep me busy for the next little while. Although I am still available for hire for a variety of projects so that don't let my work load scare you off. If you haven't seen my short don't forget too visit the Hired Gun website 26 minutes long and it is free.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's been a long time since I put something on my blog.

I just never know what to write about when there isn't alot going on. Well last week they announced the finalists for this year's Alberta Film and Television Awards. I got three nods so that is great. "Honest You Won't Get Hooked" is up for best drama under 60 minutes and it is up against some major contenders from Francis Damberger and Prairie Dog Productions.

I was also a finalist in the Best PSA category for one I did for the ASPCA and I am a finalist for a corporate video I did with Fresh Frame Media last year.

All in all it has been a good year. Changes to my website are coming and I will be releasing another short film "Is the Lady of the House In" and I will be selling downloads of a great little documentary I did on Pop star Mae Moore and her husband blues guitarist Lester Quitzau.

So keep an eye and visit the Hired Gun Website.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll"

Okay, perhaps there was no sex, at least none that I saw...last time we wrapped production on the new documentary "For the Record featuring Bill Bourne". What better way to finishing shooting then with a house party. Bill and his band of merry players were nestled in the basement of this south Edmonton location. The cement walls, ratty rugs, and silver duct work created the ambiance that could be described as steamy. The basement was packed with the Band, Fans and Amps. The music was loud and trippy, or maybe it was just the lingering scents of rock concerts past that made it all trippy.

I think this new Bill Bourne record is going to surprise many fans. We have all become use to the many incarnations that is Bill Bourne...but never like this. I suspect fans might experience a bit of what it might have been like at Newport in 1965 when Dylan flicked on the switch. Bill recently told me and I paraphrase, "Rock & Roll is revolutionary and I am, from time to time living the whole Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll lifestyle". When asked, Bill chose notto elaborate, but that conjures up a whole pile of ideas.

What next you might ask? We now move into the difficult task of post production. The hardest part will be to decide what to leave out and what to leave in.

Stay in the loop join the fan page..."For the Record".

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

For the Record-Featuring Bill Bourne

So far, today has been an interesting day. I have spent most of it interviewing Bill Bourne for my upcoming documentary. It was truly a profound experience. We shot in one of Bill's favorite places, the coffee shop cafe "Naked On Jasper".

I was there two days ago to talk to a photographer and today I ran into another photographer. There are beautiful photos on the wall, computers for hire, great coffee and some instruments at the back hinting of open stages. This is a place that artists come too. The decor is unique, stylish, hip and original. The atompshere chillaxed, much like Bill.

Tonight we are shooting Bill playing at a Faux House Party. Faux in that he will have to play some of the songs a few times...oh well the people there are fans and now can say they did there part in the very first documentary of a series that will become as famous and long lasting as that great television show "Austin City Limits". Ah yes, like the song says..."Dream never dies, just the dreamer".


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Is anyone else sick of this Rahim Jaffer thing?

Okay I have to speak. There is so much in the news and online, all over actually about Rahim Jaffer getting off on his drunk driving/Cocaine possession thing. It was bad, it was wrong, he shouldn't have gotten off...or should he?

Come on people...I don't like the conservatives, I suspect Rahim probably wasn't all that good, but, doesn't mean the man should be condemned. He goes to court and the judge looks at him, sees his job history, sees his criminal history and decides that there is absolutely no reason to ruin this man's life for what might be a once in a lifetime mistake. They let him off and I think that is good judgement. There are criminals and there are non criminal's. Who knows what Rahim is capable of and who knows what kind of impact a criminal charge would have. Everyone deserves a break or two in their lives, it is tough enough to get along in this world. How are people expected to grow without being able to make a mistakes to learn from.

Now did Rahim use his influence to get the court decision he got...perhaps, but if you were in his position wouldn't you. This is a fucked up charge that could have done him a lot of damage. I know if I was in that boat I would use whatever I could to try and make it better.

It is sort of like the Tiger Woods thing...yeah, it looks like he has a problem with commitment but, but...definitely not my business!

Friday, April 9, 2010

"It all began on the side of a hill with 4,000 other people and a set of warpipes"

1991, I had just moved to Edmonton. I was the new Creative Director at CFRN Television. Everyone kept tell me, "You have to check out the Edmonton Folk Music Festival". To this point folk music to me was Joan Baez and those dudes who sang if I had a hammer...The kind of music that would make you vomit if you actually listened to it. But the argument, folk music isn't just that, it is so much more. So I did it...took the plunge, bought tickets.

I am on a side of the hill, the sun is going down Edmonton is in the background there is about 4,000 people. On stage this tall man, really long hair wearing a top hat, beside him a guy in a kilt holding a set of war pipes (If you don't know war pipes are a type of bagpipe). This booming voice yells out..."Let's Dance and Celebrate" and I have been hooked ever since on folk music and on Bill Bourne the writer of "Dance and Celebrate".

So to say I am excited about my new film is an understatement. In case you don't know I am doing a documentary series titled "For the Record". It's about singer/songwriters preparing to record a new album. The first episode is about Bill Bourne and his new record. The documentary should be available for Sale sometime in July. You will find it online and in Megatunes here in Edmonton and Calgary.

With that said please join the "For the Record" fan page on Facebook!/fortherecord.BillBourne.rootsmusic?ref=ts

Thank you!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Forgot to add the link

Independent, Gurella Cinema...don't you just love it?

I got a wonderful review for my film "Honest You Won't Get Hooked" in the U of A publication "Gateway" if your interested just click on the link by Sarah Stead and read it.

If you haven't seen the film yet or want to see it again visit my website.

For the Record-Featuring Bill Bourne, 3rd day down.

Imagine a small room jammed packed with instruments, five musicians, a cinematographer, camera assistant, me and occasionally a recording engineer named Kevin. Any idea what that equals...a music doc that's cookin!

Yeah, okay I spent to many years writing bad ad copy. But I do have to say, watching an album being created has been an incredible experience for me. Everyone is so diggin the music that is happening. Wes (DP) hasn't smiled so much, Crystal (Camera assist) is updating Facebook with the thrill of it all...and Jerry (sound) is constantly bopping.

We shoot more on Wednesday the 14Th including a house party. Bill and Band will perform. If anyone who is reading this is interested they are all welcome to come. It is free all that is required is that you must sign a release form allowing us to shoot you for this documentary. The event starts at 8pm and the house is located at 9906-81 Avenue

Another first...last night I got to meet another fav of mine...Gaye Delorme. I love hanging with musicians...Does that make me a groupie? Hey I'm not going to sleep with them...Ummm, I wonder, could I be a singer?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Independent Film: The shoot-Day One

Wow, I just finished Day 1 of shooting the first documentary in my series "For the Record". In case you didn't know its about singer/songwriters who are preparing to record. The first episode is about blues/roots performer Bill Bourne as he prepares and records his new album tentatively titled "See".

Yesterday we shot at Beta Sound, one of the recording studios in Edmonton. It was mind boggling the incredible music that is being produced. I am in complete awe of these mind numbing performers. First up on electric guitar is Bill's son Patrick Bourne. This is the first time they have a recorded together and they have only played together a couple of times. The chemistry between Dad and Son is quite amazing. Next is Edmonton Bass Player Moses Gregg, who you might know from the band "The Swifty's". All drummers are definitely not created equal. I now know this now, listening to Chilean percussionist Miguel Ferrer. And finally, while everyone is excellent the one fellow that is blowing my mind is guitarist Peter Oppong "Pa Joe". Peter is from Ghana and plays with the African Guitar Summit.They recently won a Juno for one of their albums. Watching his fingers travel down the frets is mesmerizing. I am gushing like teenage school girl after meeting her pop star fantasy...eeew did I just say that.

Anyway I am digging the music, I like the people. Wes Doyle is shooting so you know, not only will it sound good but it is going to look great.

There will be Facebook fan page soon so, everyone can make sure they get all the info on the show. Or you can visit my website which will be getting revamped in the next little while.

Ciao! I am just feeling so worldly.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Its April already…and there is so much going on. A new film is about to be born!

I start shooting my newest piece tomorrow. I have talked about it before, a documentary series called “For the Record”. It’s about singer/songwriters as they prepare to record a new album. The first episode of “For the Record” is about a friend of mine, the blues/folk/roots great Bill Bourne . Cool dude, incredibly talented and his music is always a trip. This is his first time ever doing an all out, full band, rock and roll blues album. This is interesting enough on its own, but the fact that he will be recording also for the first time with his son, Pat Bourne who will play guitar adds to the magic of this film. “For the Record- featuring Bill Bourne” will be available on DVD in July. His new album tentatively titled “See” will be available in the fall.

I like music a lot and I really have enjoyed the few music-based films I have done. A few years back I did a documentary about Canadian pop sensation Mae Moore and her bluesman husband Lester Quitzau. It originally aired on Bravo Canada. It will be available in the near future for purchase as a download at my website. I will keep you all informed about the online release date.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Gurella Filmmaking-Things I learned doing no budget films-Part 5

So the continuing saga. How to make the concept of no budget work for you. First off, one of the big things I battle with when there isn't a budget, are the constraints of time. You just can't stretch it out over too many days. I have determined that I can get a good crew and cast for no more then 3 days. 3 days isn't a lot of time but you make due.

Today we talk the location hunt. In low or no budget filmmaking the locations becoming doubly important...not only do you need the right set, but you also need it to be conveniently located. I did a film a couple of years ago that was a multi location shoot. We found a house that was enormous and shot if as follows:

Living Room, Location #1
Family Room, Location #2
Kitchen dining room, Location #3
Kitchen, Location #4
Counter table-Kitchen, Location #5
Dining Room, Location #6
Basement rumpus room, Location #6

So we spent 2 of the 3 days there but it served as 6 separate locations...this was a gold mine time wise. I know these are small things, but they add up and contribute to the overall film. Time is money or in this case time is a couple extra takes needed to get the right performance, to make your film look as be as good as it can.

Here is a good tip, if someone let you shoot in their home and you need another house location in your film, ask them how well they know their neighbours and if they think they would have a location that could be used.

My last film, "Honest you won't get hooked" required 3 separate house locations...we found them all on the same block. Nothing kills your shoot faster then having to relocate.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bad things happen in threes...baloney, it's not true

So I was talking earlier about having a pissy day...and I was worried that bad luck happens in 3s...well not true. I decide to have a positive attitude, and things worked out. The city came out, discovered my plumbing problems were actually theirs and it didn't cost me anything.

It actually is cheaper to call the city then a plumber when your sewer backs up...if it is your problem you will be billed $200.00, if it is a city issue the problem is fixed for nothing. The catch is you will be hard pressed to get a regular plumber out to fix anything for less then $200.00. Its a no lose situation. You got sewer problems, the city is always the first call.

There you go...Ben's homeowner tip #1. If you know me, giving home owner tips is the ultimate in irony. Anyway I am off for the night..."I love the smell of sewer in the evening" didn't that come from a movie?

I'm having a pissy day!

Ever have one of those days where you think, why did I get out of bed? My keys are locked inside my garage, so I ended up missing a couple of appointments, because one of the keys that is locked inside the garage is the key that opens the door to the garage.

Next up a plumber is coming over. My laundry room flooded. This happens every 6 months (friggine tree roots0 and the plumbing guy has to come out and clean this up...well, he did 3 weeks ago and now its plugged again. The plumber guarantees their work but have informed me that they cleaned out the main line and the plug is now just in the drain in my laundry room so that qualifies as a new problem outside of my guarantee which happened three weeks ago. Okay its probably my worry, but this coupled with the locked garage... you now know why the pissy mood.

The thing that worries me the most is the thought that bad things happen in threes...ummm, maybe I will go back to bed. Or, maybe I stand up to superstition and say no to the nasty threes and stay up. Am a bit sleepy though.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gurella Filmmaking-Things I learned doing no budget films-Part 4

So you're doing a film. You have a script, shoot dates, a crew and all roles have been cast. What do you do in pre-production. Well right off, since you don't have a budget you know rehearsal is going to be difficult. I start with a table read. This is an extremely important time for me. The actors have had time to look at their character and then bring something to the table. I am big on helping the actor find their voice. I always design back story for all the larger roles. I think it's important that the person know what I was thinking when I wrote it. I always tell them that I am open to their interpretation, but at least they now have a starting point. The round table is a little bit about actors, but more for me. It is the first time I hear the whole film from start to finish. I find it a good place to find problems with pacing, dialogue and scenes that just don't work. Which means rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. I am always changing things right up to the day of the shoot, and would probably still be writing during the shoot if I didn't have other things to do.

I also give my actor plenty of flexibility. I am usually not in love with the words so I always tell the actors that they should feel free to change it up and use things that are more comfortable for them. As long as story isn't compromised I have always gotten stronger performances when the actor is able to make the part their own.

I wasn't always like this. When I first started doing films I found I was fiercely protective of every word and wouldn't let anything change. It was an insecurity and a need to own everything. It almost always fucks up the film and it ensures that your movie will not be the best that it can be.

So again the round table is a crucial part of my post production. From here I decide what scenes need work and try to schedule rehearsals. I also try and not book rehearsals to close to the shoot dates. Actors seem to do better after a little bit of time between rehearsal and shoot and I think it's because they need the time to internalize the role and in a sense put their game face on.

So there it is part 4. These again are based on experiences I have had and have found that I am starting to get better at the whole filmmaking thang when I practise what I have learned. I would love some of you to share your ideas on filmmaking as well. An open forum is a good way to learn and share ideas.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Independent film on the web

So, I am very excited about my next project. It is going to be the first of what I hope will be a series of web based documentaries. It will only be available for download. The series is called "For the Record". It will follow singer/songwriters as they prepare to record a new album, or I guess technically it would be a CD. The first edition will be about Bill Bourne as he prepares to record his new album "See". I think it should be an interesting doc. Principal Photography begins April 5 with a release date for the show sometime in July. The album will be coming out in the fall.

So now the project is to figure out where to make the documentary available for download. At only 1.99 per download it will be extremely affordable. If anybody has any info on good sites for this (if I understand correctly you need a distributor to get onto Itunes) please let me know. Or if you have had experiences good or bad on the process I would also like to know about it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gurella Filmmaking-Things I learned doing no budget films-Part 3

The real part 3. So your doing a low budget or no budget film. Doesn't matter if its a short or a feature the same rules apply. When you have a budget it takes for ever to get something going...there is a very long planning period. When you don't have a budget or a small one the length of planning (before pre-production) is even longer. You need to give cast and crew as much time as possible to plan for shoot dates and the post production cycle. Even if your not paying there still needs to be something in in for the person participating. Respecting their contribution by giving them plenty of notice is one of the first things you do to establish that respect.

Its a short tip today...I will next discuss what I do in pre-production.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"My Mind is Just a Twitter"

I have been overwhelmed lately by this whole concept of Social Media. The marketing of the future is now...So lets start, you all of a sudden, have something that needs to be know, a product that has to be seen, information that must be shared...Post it on your blog, add photos and video...and a link to Facebook, which in turn links to YouTube, with a way to connect to your website, which sends you e-mails on every hit. But how will people know you do all this? Simple, you tweet them. They in turn will hopefully retweet your stuff to their list of friends who will hopefully then re-re tweet and so on and so on...Its truly amazing, its mind numbing, it is original and wait, hmmm isn't it just word of mouth?

Could Social Media be just that simple, or am I missing something? "I am slowly twittering away the hours"...the new adage for 2010.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Gurella Filmmaking-Things I learned doing no budget films-Part 3

Okay so it won't be part 3, because I am in a totally bitchy mood. Ever get there? You know, where you really don't want to be part of the human race. I have lost the desire to communicate in anyway with any other living creature. But yet they keep calling, and they keep e-mailing, and they say hi on the streets, my text alarm doesn't seem to stop...My friends, I do love them...but today I don't want to communicate with any of them. This happens to me once every few years...I need to stop, shut down, and recharge. I guess a lot people might say this is what they do on their vacation. I don't really do vacations, so I must be due. Can't afford to go anywhere so I will imagine by holiday.

I am in Spain. I don't speak any Spanish but it's been really good, most people will make an effort to figure things out. We have a flat 1/2 a block from the beach. If you climb to the top floor, get on the roof, you see this beautiful sea ahead of you...turn around and it is the city scape known as Barcelona. Which way to the topless beaches?

Okay I have never been there, but it's my vacation so it will damn well be what I want it to be...There it is again, that bitchy alter ego (I know a lot of you who know me are thinking-alter, what is so alter about Ben being bitchy) I must keep it in check.

Enough talk, I need to go ly down. I will be back another day with either more Guerrilla Film making Tips, or some slides from my trip to Spain.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Gurella Filmmaking-Things I learned making no budget films Part 2"

So my last blog listed the three most important key roles on my crew. Well I must have been drunk because there really is four. The fourth person, just as important, is the sound guy. You can have shitty pictures and still make a movie, but if you sound is're FUCKED!

So next you need to find the best cast you can. Auditioning can be a very difficult process for me. You have no budget and sometimes it is hard to get around that. I have done 10 short films and in those films I was able to access ACTRA talent twice and that was only because the actors in question really wanted to do the role. But with that said I am fortunate that I live in a place that has an incredible theatre community and really good actors are everywhere you just need to look for them. I have an actor friend Andy Northrup who is really well connected. He has been in all my when I have a role and I am not seeing anyone I like, I call Andy and he usually has a suggestion. As well by mentioning Andy's name I can more easily convince the person to do the role for no money.

I don't want this to sound sleezy, I think I make good films and a lot people seem to like them. So yeah, I haven't had budgets but at least most people who become involved with one of my projects realize that their is a big chance that what they do will be good for their demo reel.It is important that you create an environment where there is something for everyone. Maybe a 1st Assistant wants to work with a certain DP who is shooting the film, then the shoot becomes very valuable to them. An actor has never done film just theatre, here is an opportunity for them.

Every film I have done I have almost always made at least one casting error. Just remember no role is to small to worry about. I always get nailed with the stragglers, roles that are always the hardest to cast and there aren't a lot of options. They are in large part small roles, that add color and texture to the story so are important. Something to watch for...I have been snowed by enthusiasm. An actor is so excited about the project, which in turn gets me excited about them and I have confused their enthusiasm with ability. This is really easy to do when you can't seem to find someone for a role, the shoot date is around the corner and you need to start the rehearsal process. You don't have a budget so the casting call can't go on that long, and your options can be limited. But you live and learn. The problem with no budget is that you can very rarely afford to re-shoot with someone new. But one of the things I love about film acting is editing. Not that I mean to diss the talents of film actors but if someone does a crap job and if the role is small enough their is a strong possibility that the problems can be fixed in editing...the cliche "We'll fix it in post" is alive an well in Guerrilla Filmmaking. But to wrap this segment when you are looking for actors, look everywhere. Ask friends, write down names when you see really good plays or look at every day people that seem to have that knack. Your cast is important...and one thing I never accept when I do a film is someone with the attitude you get what you pay for. When I work with someone on one of my films they know the parameters, they know what they are getting from the job...if they commit I expect 110%...there is no money to throw at this so everyone better be there.

Finally, I am writing this blog because I feel I have some info that could help others...but at the same time everyone reading this should also feel comfortable in adding to it...lets turn this into a learning tool for everyone.

Friday, March 5, 2010

"Gurella Filmmaking-Things I learned making no budget films"

I just recently finished my 10th short film. What is important to know about this is that I have done all 10 films with absolutely no budget. Okay, not nothing...this last film I did buy pizza for the cast and crew while shooting. It isn't easy doing this type of thing with no budget. It isn't easy getting the right crew, cast and making sure your film looks alright. Over the next few blogs I will share with you the things I learned. I made plenty of mistakes and I made a few right decisions.

The very first thing I want to talk about is crew. It is important that you find the best people you can for the job. It isn't easy, so you need at the very least to concentrate on getting experience in the key areas. For me, there are three crucial positions. You get the right people here and you can get it done.
1) DOP
2) Editor
3) Music Composer

The first two are obvious, but you will notice on low budget or no budget films one of the weak links always seems to be music. Yet music sets the whole tone of your film. To me it is an extremely important element. I have been lucky with the music composers I have worked with. You can see the improvement in soundtracks as my filmography grows. You can't help getting better the more you do.

Anyway these are tips I think important, others may not. Remember the most important thing to know about filmmaking is that you just need to go out and do it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Vanity-Friend or Foe?

So I did something weird today. I started a fan page on Facebook. I have been working with Elaine Elrod, from Often Seen New Media and she has beenn Social Marketing for the Filmmaker put on by the NFB and NSI. Its a bold new world where the entire globe is at your fingertips. Is it the future, our destiny, or our ruin...who knows, questions for another day.

So this fan page was very difficult because it feels very vain. I am really not a vain person. Off coure I am creatively brilliant, but I don't like telling people that they need to discover my greatness on their own. All kidding aside it feels weird tooting your own horn. I suspect many artists out there (yeah I consider myself an artist) have problems with this aspect of their career. When does self promotion become to indulgent and obnoxious. Umm a question I suspect I may discover the answer to if I continue down the path I have started.

So lets add it up a Facebook fan page, this blog, I am on twitter and I have a website and lets not forget I recently took up a bit of acting. Well there you go, I am becoming a marketing machine. Let's see what becomes of it.

Oh yeah, don't forget to join the Hired Gun Productions fan page.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The screening is over...

And it appeared to go well. Everyone either liked it or lied to me. Either way I am good. Glad it is over and now I hope those who have seen it and those who haven't will go to my website and watch it again for free. Believe it or not the quality is way better then at the screening.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

What if it works?

So over the past few months I have been dabbling in Social Media. As some of you know, I just completed my new film, "Honest You Won't Get Hooked". Elaine Elrod Of Often Seen Media has been helping me market the film screening (Feb 27/New City Suburbs) using Social Media, IE: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and this blog. My fear was what if after all this time and effort, what if it doesn't work. Today I had a realization...what I am actually afraid off is not what if doesn't work but rather what if it does? Up till now my screenings have usually been populated by cast, crew, friends and relatives...a really safe crowd. Now there is a chance my films will be seen by people who don't know me or I them....FUCK!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I have been tres busy

Not enough time to write my blog. Today I thought I had too. So everyone is talking about (okay, not everyone but people I know) the new provincial budget. Cuts everywhere...15% to the arts, whew we dodged a bullet.

But wait, the film fund is way to low to begin with, and now it is even lower? Howw can this be? But on the other hand it's the arts, how can you cut health care and not the arts. True That!

Couple months ago back in the year 2009, in Playback Magazine (Canadian Film and Television magazine) Alberta Cultural Minister Lindsay Blackett said something to the effect that for every dollar the Alberta Government invests in Alberta Film and Television they get 8-10 dollars back in spin off business. I am definitely not a economist. I don't know what is a good return on investment or ROI (I heard that somewhere and wanted to impress) but 8-10 dollars on a buck investment seems to me good business. So why the cuts, could it be because the current government doesn't see much outside of oil, or is that just the remnants of dictators past?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Feeling a bit like a hypocrite

Okay, so I just finished a short film titled "Honest you won't get hooked" and it pokes fun at cigarette smoking. It is an ant-smoking film, and I am quite aggressive.

So, woke up this morning to discover that the coffee pot was broken. My morning went from "Hmmm, I wonder what's in store today" to "Shit, no coffee, what the f@$K am I going to do"? I panicked, my head was swimming and pounding at the same time. I was also very angry. What did I do in life to justify such a catastrophe? Then I started thinking and realized "Oh Yeah, I have done my bit to piss off the Karma Gods". So I then I thought, you know what, it's probably going to be a day of bad Karma so what the hell, went to Satan's Superstore (Walmart) picked up a new pot for only $14.95, grabbed some coffee, picked up a paperback cruised on back home. It's starting to sound like a Jimmy Buffet song. "There's grounds in the coffee pot and soon it will render that steaming concoction that helps me hang on"

Anyway to make a longer story slightly longer I had some coffee and all is better. My wobbly vision has straightened out, my headache is almost gone, and I am not yelling at the walls.

So just remember..."Quit smoking, there is nothing worse then a cigarette addiction".

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wow! So much to talk about

I screened Honest you won't get hooked my new short film, on Saturday night to a couple of the actors...and they really liked that is cool. We also shot the evening as a promo piece and it will become one of our marketing tools that you will soon get to see on our favorite site, You Tube.

Got to run, can't say much more, but watch this blog in the next few days I want to talk about some of the great music I discovered in 2009.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Day After!

Yesterday I did my experiment...the one were I willed myself to have a good day. I only allowed positive thinking, and I forced myself to be happy. It worked. Holy shit, I had a great day.

Today sucked though...Just don't have enough oommp to keep those happy vibes going for two days in a row. Tonight I will wallow in my own misery.

Tomorrow, maybe I will try the happy dance again? Are you seeing a pattern...Hummm, maybe I will write a book, "How to get off the middle aged angst roller coaster"? It would have to be a book of interviews with a variety of people who have accomplished this, cause God knows I sure haven't.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ever have one of those days?

Every have one of those days where everything you touch goes wrong? By the time the evening rolls around you wonder why you bothered getting out of bed? Well, I had one of those days, yesterday. I won't get into the reasons because that will just get me into trouble. But I am sure you all know what I am talking about. I woke this morning just a bit afraid of what lay ahead. I then decided you know what if I will the bad vibes away perhaps, they will go away. So today is going to be an experiment for me...As negativity threatens to engulf me I will WILL it away. Be gone bad karma, be gone nasty thoughts, hello positivity.

God, I am making myself nauseous with positive thoughts. How do happy people get through life? If I was always happy I think I might consider suicide. Anger and angst two ingredients in creating masterful art!

So I am off, wish me luck. I will report my finding tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another day, another screening

Saturday night...big night for me. Saturday night I will be screening my new short film "Honest you won't get hooked" for a handful of the actors who were in the film. On a scale of 1-10 with one being "easy breezy" to 10 being "oh shit I am tense", this screening will be a 1.5. When you show actors a films they very rarely judge the film or anything outside of their performance. Whew, I can relax. But I do plan on doing something different. I am going to videotape this screening, do some interviews, and then release the piece onto YouTube, so that you all can see their reaction. Won't show you the film but will show you the actors reacting to themselves. Ummm could be interesting or it could be dullsville. I guess you will be the judge.

There will also be some other releases soon, all building to the screening on February 27. Hey on another note, good part of the screening one of the film producers will perform. This producer is actually one of Edmonton's leading singer/songwriters Dale Ladouceur. So yeah, she is going to do a set so even if you hate the film you will probably like the music and it will be free.

In case you missed it, below is the link to the shows music video.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I now have a blog. So what does that mean? Do I have to update it daily, weekly, monthly...or once in a blue moon. Do I have a responsibility to the 9 followers. Do they really care what I have to say or are they just really kind friends.

Well, it's Wednesday, I did some grocery shopping, and I have nothing to say. Hmmm, having a blog is kind of like Twitter. Okay, who is with Twitter not the dumbest thing you have ever heard of. I use it and feel terrible. I feel like a narcissist, who constantly must tell people what is going on in my dull, average life. How can I even remotely think someone might be interested by the fact that I just got back from grocery shopping. Okay, I don't do that, I don't use Twitter the way it was meant to be used...but I just don't have that kind of conceit. Or am I a hypocrite as I spout off about all my ideas and thoughts here on my new blog.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Honest you won't get hooked"- The Music Video

So, today marks the release of the music video "Honest you won't get hooked" from the short film of the same name. It was written and performed by two local young ladies; Colleen Nuc and Brittany Black. It will be used as the opening title sequence of the film. Hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Film Screening Hell!

It's over, my first screening with someone who hasn't seen anything of the film. One of the producers and the woman who is doing publicity...and I got the impression they both really liked it. So that is over, the rest will be easier.

Watch for the music video which will be coming to a You Tube near you. Don't panic, you won't have to go look, we will be sending you all links.

So I was sitting contemplating the problems with our industry and realized there are so many where do I start. Well the one bone of contention is funding. The art grants suck. They are not always based on content but many times are judged on how well the application was done and whether or not you made mistakes. Case in point, last year I applied for an AFA grant to for the film I just did. I applied as an individual, that was what the grant was for (I understood this). In the questionnaire, I was asked if I am connected to any production companies and if so what are they called. I wrote down my company name "Hired Gun Productions Inc". So I wait the 4 months to get a letter stating that I have been disqualified because you can't be connected to an Incorporated company...even though I was applying as an individual (I guess if you have a company you no longer matter as a person). What really frosted me,is that they waited 4 months to reject my application when all they needed to do was give me a call to straighten out the issue...but no its easier to knock another one of the list...I said fuck it, and made the film for nothing...thank god they have grants to help with all this. Maybe it's just me, but I think there is a better way and I have the answer...I am sure of it!

First screenings

The hardest part of doing a film is that eventually you have to show it to someone. To date, everyone who has seen it has been involved with it which isn't fair because there is a bias. Today, I am showing one of the producers and the publicist a first view. Sure they are not unbiased either...but I need to ease into the screenings. Next weekend I will show it to a couple of the actors and then I will branch out to the great unwashed.

Sometimes, at least for me you really need to play head games. A film is such a personal part of you there is a hesitation to put it out there. But you have to do it. That is why you did the film to begin with. You wanted to tell a story, deliver a message, communicate a thought. I hope people get the message in my film. I know I will offend some, but that is okay...the people I offend I really wasn't trying to reach.

So far I have had only one bad review, and that came from someone who only saw a rough cut. They may still hate it now that it's done...but at least now it is what was intended to be. I really protect rough cuts from people who don't need to see them. It is very difficult to judge a film from the rough cut, you get an idea if it has a flow, but it is not till it's finished that you really see if it has legs or not.

Oh well time to go, wish me luck...hope the 2 people that see it today enjoy it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"Honest you won't get hooked

So my film is finished. The comedy "Honest you won't get hooked" will be screened on Saturday February 27Th with the location to be confirmed. It will then be available on my website as of March 1st. It was a great project ...I got to work with some incredible actors; Murray Cullen, Linda Grass, Andy Northrup, Laura Rushfeldt and Rick Ash as the voice of Jesus, just to name a few...Definitely some of Edmonton's finest. Watch this blog and the Facebook group for more information, a commercial, and a music video will also be released very soon.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Honest you won't get hooked-Post is almost done.

Color Correction done. Thanks to some great notes from my buddy Mr Doyle it looks even better then before. This afternoon we put in the final audio and add all credits. It will be the first time I see it completed and I am looking forward to it. Some folks are seeing it on Monday and I am bit nervous. The one thing I try to always keep in mind is that if it satisfies my toughest critic (Me) then I have to be okay with some people just not liking it. I have been told that I sometimes have a weird sense of humour...Now that is hard for me to believe.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I want to do a feature film!

I am really wanting to get a feature film of the ground. It's a comedy and I have already written the 1st draft. It is called "Stella's dead and in the back of the Truck". I want to do it really bad. Its a mix of Live action and animation and I think (naturally, why wouldn't I) it will be a winner. So I figure I can do the film for as little as 1.5 million dollars. I know if your not in the business your thinking as little as, what the fuck? That's a lot of dough. It really isn't for a movie. So the plan is that everyone invests...and you get different things depending on the different level of investment.
$1,000.00-I say thank you!
$5,000.00-I send a nice thank you letter!
$10,000.00-I say thank you and send you a nice thank you letter!
$15,000.00-You get a walk on role!
$20,000.00-you get a walk on role and a line!
$25,000.00-you get a secondary character role with a couple of lines!
$50,000.00-you get a secondary role with three recurrences!
$100,000.00-You can have sex with the female or male lead!
$250,000.00-You can have sex with the female or male lead (your choice)!
$500,000.00-Hi Star!
$1,000,000.00-Hi Producer!
$1,500,000.00-Hi Executive Producer!

At for example the $1,000.00 investment...I would only need a thousand investors...I think I can do this.

The film is almost done

Day 3 of my blog. Missed yesterday, too busy. So I am excited, my film "Honest you won't get hooked" is almost done...I saw all the graphics and green screen work today, looks fantastic thanks to Lisa and Susanne. I listened to the audio post yesterday and it sounded incredible...thanks to Jerry Krepakavich from Sonus. Tomorrow I color correct and master and it will be plenty of time for the February 27 screening. I am going to include a link to the facebook group so that if anyone is interested in learning more about this film and watch some of the social engine marketing we hope to experiment with they should join up. I want as many people as possible to be able to attend the screening, it is after all... a free screening only 26 minutes long.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First day of my blog.

and here it is my second post. I figure why not it's January, Tuesday, nothing on TV, well till 8pm anyway and then its "The Good Wife". I want to hate US fare, but it's hard. Its so easily digestible and not hard on the brain. I heard a fellow talk a few months back, he was one of the producers of an American sitcom called "Samantha Who". Well to make a long story, slightly longer he mentioned that the show had a budget of 2.2 million per 22 minute episode. 2.2 million for 22 minutes. In Canada that is two feature films and maybe a documentary or two. Makes you wonder why we bother. But yet it is so crucial to support Canadian film and television. Why? Because believe it or not we are different. We live a different life and we have our own unique stories. Case in point, anyone watch the short lived CBC series "Hatching, Matching and Dispatching"? It was brilliant! Sick, twisted, incredibly funny and completely and totally Canadian like only the east coast can do. But I can't talk much longer..."The Good Wife" is about to start and I need to pour myself a Diet Pepsi before sitting down. Is there such a thing as product placement in a blog? I wonder, can I make some money doing that? I have a few more thoughts on Canadian television and film so if your interested stay posted.

Honest you won't get hooked

Hello, my name is Ben and I am an independent filmmaker living in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. I am just about to complete my 10Th short film titled "Honest you won't get hooked" . Its a dark comedy about the perils of cigarette smoking. A friend recently suggested I start a blog and well, here it is. You will soon realize I am very opinionated and I am not afraid to speak my mind which always seems to get me in trouble with someone. Oh well, such is life...I am who I am.

One of my biggest peeves is the state of the Canadian film industry so you will be hearing a lot about that from me. It is tough being an artist in a country that doesn't really like artists and does very little too support art. It has a lot to do with living next to country that doesn't respect you and living with a government that is too chicken shit to stand up to them. So anyway this is my first contribution to a blog. I hope all who read it find it educational, enjoyable, perhaps offensive and most importantly humorous. Talk to you soon.