This video was the result of a one week film workshop I held on the Eden Valley First Nations reserve. People who had previously never acted, never used a camera or a boom mic, came together to shoot a film with guidance from me as first-time director and editor. Sure, the lighting was far from perfect, the direction amateur, but the story has enormous heart particularly from our main actor who sees his life in this film. In anycase, that's what storytelling is for.
A totally amateur production brought to you by a group of aboriginals on Morley reserve taking the employment training program. This film workshop was a way for people to express their stories while learning a few new skills along the way.
A friend approached me to do a music video for the Canadian federal election back in April 2011. I had done one for Nenshi in the municipal campaign.
I had no time, yet that this was one of those spontaneous, creative, socially-engaged projects that was simply impossible to refuse. With only 48 hours to shoot and edit most of it, I’d be done before my anniversary (or so I thought).
In a collaboration between Melissa D’Souza (print shop owner and singer), Pinstripe Creative, and Hidden Story Productions, we put together Rise Up Canada. While we were motivated to do it because of Ignatieff’s Rise Up speech, the song was first written as Rise Up Calgary for the civic election.
However, when we put it out there, people loved the production but were split on the message. In our little world, we thought Ignatieff’s speech was about crossing partisan lines. But of course, it’s hard to convey that when only one party leader is in it.
So after seeing the Twitter and YouTube feeds, we quickly redid the video to remove the speech and instead make a call out for other people to record their own message. Hopefully this will at least get people to think about what they stand for.