Film and Opportunity

Trip Start Oct 17, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just before we left North America (as some of you may know,) we had left Kelowna for a 2 week adventure to return home by car to Ontario. During this time and after years of waiting, I, Daniel, was finally presented with the oportunity to delve into video editing. I mean, I have always been photo happy and extremely interested in the medium of film and photography... carrying with me a camera or camcorder on any possible sight seeing trip I can remember. When applying a frame around any given scene,  I always felt like I could see the world through the eyes of an artist.... and never felt the bitter shame of guilt when racking up the endless bills of film development after each trip. But did use this expense as an excuse to hold off this passion worth pursuing until I had a little more financial support for it.

But then "Digital film" came along and for any amateur photographer or director, imaging media became an instant and easily attainable skill. Luckily for me, photography came easy. This was probably due to a bit of audio editing experience and creative freedom. The whole editing process of a short film came quite naturally to me.

During that 2 week venture from the west to the east I had the chance to fool around on my lab top mac book and put together some old footage from our time in Nelson. (As well as a day of footage from rock climbing in Nelson that week) It was here, during the editing process that something familiar and exciting came to me. I realized that I love film! I love everything about it. The visual exposure, varying action, contrasts and combinations. Much like photography, but in my opinion, so much more. The scene angles, dialogue order... well basically modern story telling. But the psychology involved is incomprehensible. To create a sophisticated story through film is to paint a picture in a dream....  

I began to look back on a film class I took in high school that hit me hard. It was only a 3 month or so course, but I feel like I can now classify all the movies I've ever seen in my life into 2 categories: The ones I saw before the class and those I saw after..... I think you catch my drift....

And your also probably wondering where I'm going with all this...??.... We'll, as I left, I put out a conscious intention about film. I planted a seed in my mind that "it would be nice to stumble upon more opportunity to create with film."

Now thinking about our initial intention for this trip of permiculture education and experience... along with this film intention.... It would only make sense that one day it would be nice to stumble upon the opportunity to create a FILM about PERMACULTURE?... Right?...

Well, this happened a few days ago...

Here at Tacomepai, the organic farm where Eileen and I are staying... I have found just that opportunity. Sandot, the kind and eccentric Thai owner of this magnificent land approached me with a list of things that needed to be done around here when we first arrived (last week). Among his list was completing a film project: Finishing the editing on a short documentary that was being made on the farm. He told me the title was "Pai-maculture" and from there, he'd need say no more. I knew exactly where he was going with it. A documentary on permiculture, using tacomepai as it's base example!

This was perfect. What a great manifestation. But the problem was he wanted it done in 5 days, to show at his rice harvest festival this week. "Well, it's gonna be no masterpiece, buts its a start and it's a good experience" I thought to myself... and took him up on the offer only to begin the next day.

I'll cut down on the dramatics, and cut to the chase... (sorry), 

So the next morning I went in to look over what the previous editor was working on. Sundot told me he wanted his film to be an hour in length and that the last guy couldn't finish it. So when I went in to work on it I was shocked that all that was complete was about 10 min. of boring "shady" work. I don't mean to be rude, but Eileen and I both thought it would be a disgrace to Tacompai and to the permiculture field to continue on to this monstrosity.
(hehe.. sorry, it wasn't thaaaat bad... just not great ) Basically, we felt like it was a poor representation of this amazing place.

And since I only had 5 days to pull together a 5 month project, I told Sandot I will do what I can with the new footage I would take within 2 days and scan through what I can keep to create something new for him. The final product was aimed to be only 10 min or so due to time. We (Ei & I) agreed to return after December because we will be traveling onwards to Laos in the next few days. It is among our return to tacompai where we can begin to work on the film again. In a months time we will come back and see where it takes us. Maybe we will be in the space to continue this opportunity and create something great for the world to see. Something basic and honest.... Opinionated, yet valid.... Or maybe we find something new worth pursuing. Opening doors, we have found is important....Closing doors just doesn't make sense. And straining yourself to keep them open can be a waste of energy. Live life in the present, and all you need will come through.  

No major commitments just yet, but the option is there for us to return and take this "preview" that will be finished tonight and turn it into a short film.
Speak soon about our Laos Travels...
Much Love,
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alittletpot on

Tao of Dan
Good story hommie,

I especially like the little Tao at the end. You sound a lot like Confucious when you speak with such words.
I wrote a very wordy e mail to you guys a little while ago, I suppose it didn't go through for some reason, hopefully this one gets too you, it's probably for the best, all my writting is comming out in essay form these days, I'll keep this one short for that reason alone.
I hope all is going well in the travels.


ellencowie on

Love to you
Hey Eileen and Dan,

I just want to send my love and hugs and hope you are feeling better each day. I know with my girls, it was three days after their accidents that they felt the worst. How are you feeling now, sweetheart? You are in my prayers and I am sending good thoughts to help you heal faster.

Travel safe, Eileen and Dan.
Aunt Ellen XOXO

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