Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Interview and war canoe

I was interviewed by Christine Leclerc today for her blog, Culture and Energy Research. She was curious to know more about the Haidawood Media Project as well as the impetus for making Haida Raid 2. Check out her blog for a view of the wide range of people involved in the battle against the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.

Things are moving forward for the Nuu (Octopus) story. We still need to put some clothes on a few puppets. I was grateful to have Jenny and Jay helping with puppet construction yesterday, and I am hoping Jess will come in later this afternoon to help for a bit. And, today I am planning to make a large cardboard war canoe for the octopus story. It's Wednesday, and we're going to need to start filming soon!

If you are on Facebook, you can join the Haidawood facebook group here. We could use more volunteers to help bring these 2 new movies to completion. Please have a look!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday roundup

It's Friday and I do feel that we are making progress. I've completed a revised story board using the puppets and sets that we have. The storyboard is being reviewed by XKHS, so we can be sure that we get the details right.

I am now turning my attention to finalizing the storyboard for the Nuu (Octopus) story. We now have a transcript of the Xaad Kil version that we'll be using. It's an interesting challenge to work with a complete story that is told from beginning to end in one telling.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Studio is now at the Family Centre in Old Massett

The Haidawood Studio is now located in the Old Massett Family Centre until the end of October. The plan is to complete both movies here.

I've just made a poster, and included some shots of the puppets to help give people a flavour of what it will look like.

If you are interested in painting sets, making puppets, drawing on cardboard, or moving puppets for the animations, please contact me, or just come by the studio!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

CBC radio + rebooting the studio

I was interviewed on CBC radio for Daybreak North on Tuesday at 6:45 am. The interview included soundbites from both Jason Alsop and Gwaai Edenshaw. We discussed the Haidawood Media Project and also talked about Haida Raid 2. I've noticed a bump views as a result of the piece.

Otherwise, I am slowly getting the studio fully operational here at the house. There are new challenges with working at home, including adequate child care for JJ. Happily, he is on a playdate right now.

Today I will build a light-rig for the set as well as a bluescreen set-up. Then I will shoot an updated storyboard for the Tow Hill story for approval/review, before we animate.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to Work

Shannon, JJ, and I are now back on the Gwaii after a trip to South Africa this summer with my mom. I was there to present on BC Aboriginal Language Revitalization at the IACCP meeting in Stellenbosch, as well as visit with my extended family in Durban. 

We've been back for a few weeks now, and I've been busy running the kidszone at the Edge of the World Music Festival, as well as doing some activities at the recent Gathering Our Nations up on Tow Hill.

And, now it's time to get back to filming the Tow Hill story, followed by the Octopus story. I've set up the studio in one room of the house. Once I've got things up and running, I'll try and recruit some volunteers to help move puppets. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ottawa bound

I am in Ontario for a few days and will be making a trip to Ottawa before returning to Haida Gwaii on August 7th. I've just returned from a trip to South Africa, where I showed Haida Raid 2 to delegates at the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology meeting in Stellenbosch. I was presenting on Aboriginal Language Revitalization in British Columbia. Once I am back on the Gwaii, I will finish shooting the Tow Hill story and the Giant Octopus story. In the meantime, Haida Raid 2 has had over 11,000 views and has been featured on the David Suzuki Foundation's Ocean Stories website. Please have a look and share widely: the Northern Gateway Pipeline is not the right way to create prosperity in Canada.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I just made a new Anti-Enbridge animation in opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project. The animation was made in collaboration with Jaalen Edenshaw and Jason Alsop. Haaw'a to Jason for his rap song "Pipe Dreams." Take a look...

Monday, May 14, 2012

We are still painting sets and making puppets. I am planning to start animating this week! I've managed to arrange to get some help from some of the students from the OMVC Cabinet Making Program. Volunteers are welcome between 10 am and 10 pm this week at the studio!

Here is a picture of Lady Shannon helping out with JJ and Haana on Saturday. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I am now in the middle of puppet creation. Here is a picture of a large cardboard octopus, along with two heros and Raven. The heros' faces were carved by Gwaai Edenshaw, and the Raven by his brother Jaalen Edenshaw. As you can see from the picture, there is still a lot to do, including putting some kinds of skins on the puppets. My research online suggests that the pros use foam latex to make their puppets. I would like to learn this technique, but that's not in the cards for this round of stories. In the meantime, I've been using some DIY cardboard tech engineering. I am here at the studio tonight until 1 am. And I am planning to work in the studio tomorrow from 1 pm to 1 am. It's time to get this bird off the ground! If you are interested in getting involved in the project, please join the Haidawood Media Project facebook group. You can find updates there, as well as details on how to help.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Software, puppets, and supplies

Today has been a slow day so far, and there is so much to do! I did grab a bunch of supplies, including food, glue for papier mache, and paints for the sets. No volunteers today, but I'll make some calls to get the volunteers here.

Today I called Kagi and asked for a refund on iStopmotion Pro. Basically, the software doesn't support live preview with the Canon Rebel T3i that we'll be using. I've been happy with iStopmotion in the past, and, I am prepared to take some risks in order to improve the final look and feel of our movies. I've ordered a copy of DragonFrame, so we'll see how that works. The software is a download, but there is a keypad and a lens that will need to be shipped from California. Packages are notoriously slow getting here to the islands, so fingers crossed.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Storyboard, etc.

I've finished a first draft of a storyboard, and I've had a chance to run it by XKHS and Marriane Ignace. I am making some revisions, and I figure we'll start making sets on Monday, and perhaps the puppets this weekend... Busy times!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Research for story board and more

Well, I am just in the process of completing a first draft of the Tow Hill storyboard. There are a number of details that I need to clarify with locals, elders, and other cultural experts.

In the meantime, I came across this short that a young person has done online...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Info Sessions this Thursday and Friday

We are starting to recruit volunteers and helpers for the next set of Haidawood movies. If you are interested in participating in some way, e.g., drawing on cardboard, helping make sets, and moving puppets, then please come to one of the info sessions on Thursday and Friday of this week!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tow Hill Story

I was looking today at Gwaai Edenshaw's drawings of the Tow Hill story. You can read the story there too. It's on the XKHS Haida Legends website.

I've had a chance to discuss with Gwaai, Jaalen, and others. It's fun to feel things start to move and come together... the story is beginning to take shape!

I've been pulling together info on Tow Hill... this is from Vancouver

"A prominent landmark on North Beach, at 109 metres (357 ft) in height, is Tow Hill, a huge outcrop of basalt columns formed when volcanic rock solidified into faceted basalt pillars about 2 million years ago. Tow Hill rises from the flat bogs of the Argonaut Plain at the mouth of the Hiellen River as the second highest point in the park, after Argonaut Hill (150 metres/492 ft). Enjoy the spectacular view along the curve of sun-drenched North Beach.

It is from Tow Hill that legend says the cruel Tow threw boulders to slay the Haida warrior Hopi. At North Beach on the northern border of the park, according to Haida legend, raven first brought people into the world by coaxing them out of a clam shell, making North Beach the site of creation."

This is the first time I've heard Tow described as cruel. I will learn more!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Gearing up and other news

We are gearing up for another Haidawood Media Project cycle. The plan is to make two movies, one in April and one in May. I am setting up the studio at the apartment below Jaalen Edenshaw's place in Masset. I will make some posters soon!

In other news, LOVE (Leave Out Violence) is coming up to Haida Gwaii from April 19-21 in collaboration with Swan Bay Rediscovery. Hopefully we'll figure out a way to allow youth from the North to participate. See:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tow Hill story and more

Well, my gig with NWCC ended at the end of January of this year. I am now back to being a free agent. I've met with the Lucy Bell from the Haida Language group, and I've been working with Jaalen Edenshaw in preparation for making another two Haidawood movies. We are scheduled to start on Monday April 2nd.

The first story we will be telling is the Tow Hill story, which tells how the iconic Tow Hill came to be. I am living on Tow Hill these days with Lady Shannon and JJ, so this is an especially relevant story for me. It is an honour to be able to help tell it!

We still haven't decided on the second story, but we can figure that out later in April.