Saturday, July 1, 2023

Haidawood animations available with French subtitles

Over the years we've had requests to make the Haidawood animations available with French subtitles. These are now available on the Haidawood YouTube channel here.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Haidawood German Premiere in Freiburg

I am pleased to announce that Nuu, Taaw, and Yaani K'uuka will be featured in an upcoming exhibit entitled 'Myths' at the Museum Natur und Mensch in Freiburg, Germany, starting on the 7th of May. The exhibit features a wide range of objects from Oceania, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The Haidawood animations will be featured in a display on the Pacific Northwest an an example of a modern approach to preserving and sharing cultural stories and language. The animations will be in Xaad Kil with German subtitles. You can find the Museum Natur und Mensch on Facebook.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Kinnie Starr's Haida Raid 3 named one of the Best New Music Videos by CBC!/blogs/2014/12/Kinnie-Starr-Owen-Pallett-Bahamas-and-more-best-new-music-videos 
Haida Raid 3 has been named one of the best new music videos by the CBC, along with new videos by Owen Pallett, Bahamas and more.  

"Starr’s song is an incredible call to action, and the stop-motion animation music video, directed by Amanda Strong, is a beautifully rendered and thought-provoking part indictment, part wake-up call."

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Haida Raid 3 reaches the CBC
Woohoo! A big Haw'aa to Kim Wheeler at the CBC for the coverage of Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters. It's great to see Haida Raid 3 getting out there... and, if you take a look at the comments on the CBC piece, you'll see that there are lots of mainstream folks who don't agree with the Haida perspective. After reviewing some of the comments, I get the impression that mainstream people don't realize how dangerous the Hecate Strait is, and don't understand that there is currently a moratorium on tanker traffic, and that the proposal would bring over 300 tankers a year to these dangerous and unpredictable waters. And reading the comments, it seems like some people don't get that the Haida and other First Nations groups still depend very much on the sea for their food and way of life. Take a look for yourself and leave a comment! And also, don't forget to tell people about Haida Raid 2: A Message to Stephen Harper.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Haidawood Retrospective

I've put together a Sway on Haidawood, that pulls together all the animations in one place and also gives some back ground on the project. Take a look here.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters released!

Here it is: Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters! Directed by Amanda Strong and featuring the song "Who Will Save Our Waters" by Kinnie Starr, with a cameo by Ja$e El Nino. Haida Raid 3 won Best Music Video at the 2014 ImagiNATIVE Film Festival. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Taaw animation featured on new Naikoon Park webpage

Naikoon Park has built a new interactive webpage full of hidden features. And, they include a link to the Taaw story at the blowhole site. Take a look for yourself and see if you can uncover the Taaw story!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Haida Raid 3 wins Best Music Video at ImagiNATIVE

Happy to report that Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters won Best Aboriginal Music Video at the 2014 ImagiNATIVE Film Festival. We've had a lot of challenges with this production, including working with limited funds, limited time, and dealing with a hard drive crash that lost us a lot of footage. Kudos to director Amanda Strong for pulling together what we had to make a winning video!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters premieres at ImagiNATIVE

We premiered Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters yesterday at the ImagiNATIVE Film Festival in Toronto. The animation was screened with a series of documentaries on water. Amanda Strong and I were both in attendance and we did a short Q & A at the end of the session. HR3 was well received and it was a nice contrast to the documentaries. Amanda has a few more small tweaks to do in post production and I expect we'll be uploading the completed animation some time soon. We are also exploring the possibility of having the animation broadcast on television.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I am pleased to announce that we've just released the Nuu (Octopus) story online today (as it happens, the day after Indigenous Peoples Day). Nuu was a real labour of love and I am thankful to my many collaborators for their help in bringing the project to completion. I'd like to say a special Haw'aa to Jaalen and Gwaai Edenshaw, Danny Dee, and Shannon Reynolds for their respective roles in the production. Nuu won an honourable mention at last year's ImagiNATIVE Film Festival. This year, we will be premiering Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters at ImagiNATIVE on Oct. 24th.

In the meantime, please sit down and relax and watch the Nuu (Octopus) story. And, if you are a Haida language learner, you may want to watch the version with Xaad Kil subtitles. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

We are pleased to announce that Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters will be premiering at the 2014 ImagiNATIVE Film Festival on Friday Oct. 24th at 12:30 pm in Toronto. We will upload HR3 to the Haidawood YouTube channel shortly after the premiere. Haw'aa for your patience!

It's taken longer than anticipated to bring Haida Raid 3 to closure. The Indiegogo campaign was more work that any of us expected. And, during the first production shoot in June we had a hard drive fail and lost some scenes. In the end, we had to ship many of the sets and puppets from Masset down to Vancouver to complete the shooting. This is our first time working with Metis director Amanda Strong, aka, Spotted Fawn. I have been impressed with her perseverance, in spite of the obstacles the production has faced. I am looking forward to being in Toronto for the big day!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Welcome to Waterloo

After 3.5 years living on Haida Gwaii, I have now moved back to Waterloo Ontario, to be closer to my aging parents. And, I've brought my partner, the lady Shannon, and 2 young boys, Journey and Phoenix, with me.

Today I just registered to attend the 2014 ImagiNATIVE Film Festival in Toronto in October. I am excited to be going. I am interested in using the Haidawood methodology with indigenous communities here in Ontario. And, I am also exploring ways to connect with Waterloo's community of intellectuals and entrepreneurs. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Haidawood at IACCP meeting in Reims France

I am here in Reims France, where the International Association for Cross Cultural Psychology (IACCP) meeting has just wrapped up. I've been coming to these meetings for years now with my mum, Dr. Josephine Naidoo. My mum is now professor emeritus in cross cultural psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. For the past decade, I've been coming with her to IACCP meetings around the globe, mostly to help her carry her bags and help her walk around (it is getting harder and harder for her to walk around). So far, I've gone with her to IACCP meetings in China, Germany, South Africa, and now France.

The IACCP meeting is truly international, with diverse participants from around the world. This year, I met researchers from Russia, China, Japan, India, USA, Australia, Georgia, Columbia, South Africa, Nigeria, to name just a few of the countries represented.

This year, I presented 2 posters. One on Haidawood, shown here, and one on the Health Enrichment through the Arts (HEARTs) project that I conducted with my sister Dr. Michele Leslie, up on Haida Gwaii. I had a lot of interest in both posters, and I am hoping this might lead to new possibilities to enhance Haidawood and/or apply the Community Animation approach to other indigenous communities worldwide.  

Saturday, June 7, 2014

36 Hours Left in HR3:SOW Indiegogo Campaign

There are just 36 hours left in the Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters Indiegogo Campaign. So far, we've raised $10,360 in contributions, which gets us to 67% of our goal of $15,555. Although it looks unlikely that we will meet our target, we have raised a substantial portion of the production budget and we've benefited by the fact that many people have made contributions without requesting a perk in return.

We are currently animating Haida Raid 3. You can see pictures on the Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters Facebook Page. I am delighted to be working with filmmaker Amanda Strong, aka Spotted Fawn, who brings a wide range of directing, animating, and production experience. Combine this with the collaboration with music producer and singer Kinnie Starr and you have the makings of a truly remarkable collaboration. A big Haw'aa to filmmaker Helen Haig-Brown who has facilitated the participation of 3 youth with support from Access to Media Education Society (AMES).

Our plan is to animated Haida Raid 3 over the next 5 days of intense shooting, before Amanda has to return to Vancouver. Wish us luck!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Production of Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters begins

The Haida Raid 3 Indiegogo continues to move along. So far we are at 45% of our goal with 13 more days to go. We've posted pictures of the bronze cast perks and have started to reach out to allied organizations re: possible sponsorship. I've also fine-tuned the Haidawood channel and added a clickable link to Haida Gwaii CoASt website in the Haida Raid 2 YouTube video.

Alida Kinnie Starr has come on board to do the musical production for HR3 featuring her song/anthem "Who Will Save Our Waters?" Haw'aa to Alida for this video endorsement...

If you want to stay posted on the progress of our campaign, then please LIKE and SHARE the Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters Facebook Page

The Haidawood studio is set-up in Masset, and I expect we'll start making sets once we finalize the storyboard this weekend. Come and join us at the studio if you are interested in making sets and pushing puppets! We'll be there until the end of May.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

HR3 Update: 1 week into Indiegogo campaign

We are just over one week into the "Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters" Indiegogo campaign. So far, we've raised $3,355 from 43 different contributors. I am happy to announce that veteran hip hop star and Mohawk activist Alida Kinnie Starr has officially joined the project. Her song "Water" will be featured in HR3, and she will be doing the musical production for the animation. There's also a write-up in this week's QCI Observer. You can read the article here. Please help us get the word out about this project, make a donation, and help us make "Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters" a reality!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters

Today we launched our Indiegogo campaign to raise $15,555 to make Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters. It took a lot of work and coordination to pull the campaign together, and it will be running until May 15th. Please do take a look, donate, and share. We've come up with lots of great perks to make it fun and rewarding to contribute. Please check out our campaign page!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Haidawood featured in Langscape

I am delighted to report that Haidawood is featured in the latest issue of Langscape, Terralingua's biocultural diversity magazine (issue 13 volume 2). The article includes a full videography of the Haidawood animations, including links to short trailers for the new Taaw and Nuu animations. You can download a free pdf of the magazine online.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

ImgaiNATIVE and more

Haidawood's Nuu story was featured in the 2013 ImagiNATIVE Youth Shorts Program. Haaw'a to everyone who attended the screening. As a result, we've just gotten an invitation to show Nuu and other Haidawood stories at the REELKids Film Festival in Peterborough.

In other news, Taaw (the Tow Hill story) was shown at Montreal's 2013 First People's Film Festival. And the Nuu story is also being featured in the Pushing Boundaries exhibit at the CityScape Community Art Space in North Vancouver.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I am on Salt Spring Island right now with JJ and Shannon. I've arranged to screen the new Haidawood animations at the Salt Spring Island Public Library. If you are on Salt Spring, then please come and learn what Haidawood is all about!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Heading to Vancouver and Victoria

Dr. Ken and his family will be heading down from Haida Gwaii to Vancouver and Victoria at the end of June. If you want to connect with him, buy a Haidawood DVD, or learn more about the project, please to contact him at

Monday, June 10, 2013

Thanks but No Tanks now open!

I was at the opening of Thanks but No Tanks art exhibit on Friday night. The show is playing at the Haida Heritage Centre all summer, and it includes Haida Raid 2, as well as a display of the puppets and set and the Stephen Harper puppet head. If you are in Skidegate, then be sure and check it out!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On my way to White River Indie Films

I'm just in New York City right now, visiting my sister, who lives in Harlem in NYC. Tomorrow I'll be taking the train up to White River Junction Vermont for the US premiere of the Nuu (Octopus) story at White River Indie Films. I am looking forward to seeing my old friends in the Upper Valley, and sharing my latest animation with them. It'll be good to get their perspective on Haidawood.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Haida Raid 2 in Thanks but No Tanks

Puppets from Haida Raid 2, including the giant Stephen Harper head, will be featured in the upcoming "Thanks but No Tanks" exhibit this summer at the Haida Gwaii Museum in Skidegate. If you are on-island, then be sure and come and check it out!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Haidawood Screening in Prince Rupert

Plans are underway to screen the latest Haidawood movies in Prince Rupert, at the NWCC campus there. We are coordinating with Prof. Judy Thompson who teaches FSNT 120: First Nations Language Revitalization. Please come to the Multi-purpose room at the NWCC on Tuesday March 26th, to see the latest movies and also learn about a diversity of approaches to First Nations language revitalization!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Haidawood DVD: Our Stories Animated

This past weekend we premiered the new Haidawood movies, including Haida Raid 2, and the Nuu (Octopus) story as told by the recently passed Sk'ad'ada Leeyga, Tsinni Stephen Brown; and Taaw, the Tow Hill Story. The movies were well received in both Old Massett and Skidegate this past weekend. Haaw'a to all the festival crew, filmmakers, and audience who helped make the festival a success.

I've also received our first batch of Haidawood DVDs, entitled "Haidawood: Out Stories Animated." They are available for sale, at a retail price of $20 each. Contact me if you want a copy or if you would like to order some wholesale.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

This is a big weekend for the Haidawood Media Project. We'll be launching our two latests movies: the Nuu (Octopus) Story, and the Taaw (Tow Hill) Story. Come and check out these new movies, as well as Haida Raid 2, at the Haida Gwaii Film Festival this weekend!

We've also arranged for a new DVD of all the traditional Haidawood stories, called "Our Stories Animated". The DVDs have been burned and are in the process of being shipped up to Haida Gwaii. I am hoping that they'll arrive tomorrow, so we can show them off at the premiere.

A big Haaw'a to everyone who has helped with the productions.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Haida Gwaii Film Festival March 1, 2, 3

I just submitted the Taaw, Nuu, and Haida Raid 2 stories to the Haida Gwaii Film Festival. I am looking forward to islanders enjoying these new movies. Come and check out the festival for yourself on March 1, 2, and 3.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Almost done! Spot the rainbow...

I am pleased to write that the two new Haidawood movies, the Tow Hill (Taaw) story and the Octopus (Nuu) story, are almost done. A big Haaw'a to Daniil Danzig for his help animating the Nuu story. And haaw'a to all the musicians who helped record the sound track. Right now we are just completing some last few sound effects. In the meantime, enjoy these two rainbows...

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.

Friday, July 15, 2011

On the Gwaii

It's been a while since I've posted. I am now working for Northwest Community College in the capacity of Director of Education for Haida Gwaii. I've been in the position for about 6 months, learning about how the College operates, and working on translating ideas into real world programs. NWCC has 3 small campuses on Haida Gwaii: my home campus at the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate, a campus in the Queen Charlotte Community Centre, and a campus in Masset near the old hospital. I am especially interested in finding ways for the College to help support the Haida language effort here. NWCC has developed a Haida language curriculum, and I have secured some funds to adapt that curriculum for the Skidegate dialect. My hope is to offer a Haida language course in the Spring of 2012 in the Skidegate dialect here at the Haida Heritage Centre. In Masset they have a strong language group, but there is a great need for Haida language curriculum here in Skidegate, and my hope is that the College can help meet that need.

Last year I applied for funds from the Canada Council to make another set of movies in partnership with Xaad Kihlgaa Hl Suu.u (the Haida language group in Masset). That application was successful. It's been a challenge to find time to make the movies now that I have got a very busy, fun, and challenging job. I have been looking for ways to bring the project within the College (so I can work on it as part of my job, and leverage the resources of the College to support the language effort here on-island), possibly by running the project as a course through NWCC's school of Workforce Training and Continuing Studies. If successful, the course could eventually be moved through the Education Council and become a university credit course within the First Nation Studies Program. This would allow students to get university credit for learning to make Aboriginal language movies. It would also mean that other Aboriginal communities within NWCC's service area (including the Tlingit, Tahltan, Nisga'a, Gitxsan, Tsimshian, Wet'suwet'en, and Haisla people) would have an opportunity to learn to make their own language movies in support of their own efforts to preserve and promote their language and culture.

There are some other interesting language efforts happening here on Haida Gwaii. On July 29th, there will be a book launch of a book of photography entitled "That Which Makes Us Haida: The Haida Language". The book features photos of prominent Haida community members involved in the language effort. The pictures were taken by Farah Nosh, whom I've met a few times back in the day up in Masset. Another interesting project is the Skidegate Education Council's decision to fund a Haida language App for the iPad. I very much appreciate their efforts to use technology to engage youth and make the language accessible. One day I'd like to make a Haida language movie here in Skidegate. In the meantime, there are tentative plans for the Skidegate Haida Immersion Program (SHIP) to dub the existing Haidawood movies into the Skidegate dialect.

I myself still only know a few words of Haida, mostly in the Masset dialect. Now that I've got a baby (Journey James, who is now one and a half), a partner (the lady Shannon) and a busy job, it seems to be more challenging than ever to learn the language. I am hoping to take a course. The good news is that the language is written phonetically, so in principle, once you know how to sound out the syllables, it should be possible to access the written material that seems to be available (including a phrase book put out by SHIP). I guess we'll see.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Visited Lil'Wat land

Kúkwstumckacw to the Lil'Wat Cultural Centre in Mount Currie for meeting with me around the possibility of making some movies up there in the Lil'Wat language (Ucmalmicwts). Together, we have a grant in to the Canada Council to make some animated language movies. I got to show some of the Haidawood movies, and also got to see some examples of Lil'Wat art and weaving. While I was up there, I also visited the Squamish-Lil'Wat Cultural Centre in Whistler. There they have a beautiful world-class facility, including a beautiful theatre space.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Looking for work and teaching animation course

Well, I am disappointed to report that the Canada Council grant to make some movies with the kwakwaka'wakw people did not come through. So, I am now looking for other gigs in the Victoria area. I have arranged to teach a weekly animation course at the Paint Box in Fernwood. And, I am going to need to string together some other gigs to help make ends meet this summer. Please contact me if you have any leads!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Blue Card

I got a blue card on our application to the Canada Council to make two movies with the Kwakwaka'wakw people of Fort Rupert. The grant was submitted under the auspices of the Constant Arts Society. The blue card is good sign. Now we'll have to wait to hear if we have the funding or not to do the project. I'm hoping we'll get to go up there for May and June.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Had a nice showing of the two most recent Haidawood movies here in Victoria at the Event Centre. The evening was organized by Megan Hetherington of Set Monkey Productions... I enjoyed the movies I got to watch, and got some nice compliments on the Haidawood movies and some good discussion too.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Haidawood Movies on Isuma TV

I just posted the latest Haidawood movies on Isuma TV. You can watch Yaanii K'uuka here and The Golden Spruce here. Please go and leave a comment! Note that it helps to have Isuma in the high-bandwidth mode. Also, you can download the movies as a podcast for your iPod.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Workshop Results

Today I lead a workshop on using animation to help record and celebrate First Nation languages. I was up late making puppets, and we used them to good effect today. Here is the result of our labours: a short movie with one line of Giksan dialog. The movie is called "Honey I'm Home."

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Heading to Vancouver tomorrow

Tomorrow I am headed to Vancouver to participate in a First Nations Language Conference sponsored by the First Peoples' Heritage Language and Cultural Council and the First Nations Education Steering Committee. Lucy Bell and I will be co-hosting a workshop entitled "Celebrating Your Language in the Modern World." I plan to focus on the different steps in creating an animated movie in a traditional language, and give participants a chance to actually animate something.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yaanii K'uuka

This is the story of a little girl who won't eat her food, and who doesn't listen to he parents. Her mother warns her "Yaanii K'uuka will get you!" but she doesn't listen. Then, one day, a beautiful stranger arrives...

Based on the traditional Haida story. The movie was made in the summer of 2008 up in Masset.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Animation workshop at First Nations Language Conference

Lucy and I will be hosting an animation workshop at the upcoming First Nations Language Conference in Vancouver, July 5-6, put on by the First Nations Educational Steering Committee. The theme of the conference is "Bringing Language to Life" and of course animation is a perfect way to bring stories to life in traditional languages. The title of the workshop is "1A: Celebrating Your Language in the Modern World" and it's a two part session, with time for some hands-on animation by participants. This workshop is on Sunday July 5th.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Applied to the Knowledge Network

On Monday I sent off a proposal to make some movies with the Knowledge Network as part of their First Voices project. Mainly, I focused on making another two movies up in Haida Gwaii. I also suggested that we could make other movies with other First Nations groups, including the Kwagiulth, Gitxsan, Stolo, Squamish, Musquem, and Hesquiat First Nations. I am hoping that they will want to support us.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Haida Legends Website Launched!

The Haida Legends website has launched! You can watch both Yaanii K'uuka and The Golden Spruce there. Check it out!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hoopla on Shaw TV in Quesnel

Big Thanks to Heather, who worked as one of the cinematographers on Hoopla!. She just told me that Hoopla! aired on Shaw TV over in Quesnel. I am glad that the movies are getting out there.

It sounds like work is progressing on the Haida Legends website. Yaanii K'uuka and the Golden Spruce are both scheduled to debut online on the Haida Legends Website. I will post a link here as soon as I have one!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Haidawood at HGFF this weekend!

Tonight is the opening of the Haida Gwaii Film Festival. Yaanii K'uukaa is scheduled to play on Sunday at 1:30 pm, and The Golden Spruce is going to play at the Gala Closing on Sunday night at 8:30 pm at the Haida Heritage Centre at Kaay Llnagaay. If you are on the islands, be sure and check it out! You can download the entire program here: HGFF 2009 Catalogue

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Haidawood in Midforms Festival

I am excited to announce that Yaanii K'uukaa will play in the upcoming Midforms Festival here in Vancouver. The Midforms Festival 09 (MFF) is a 3-day Digital Culture Festival co-produced by the New Forms Media Society and presented as part of the Cultural Olympiad. MFF facilitates a curatorial design that encourages artists and participants alike to engage and discover the trans-disciplinary genres new media art has to offer. Yaanii K'uukaa will be on rotation for the duration of the festival.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Flight of the Hummingbird

I just watched this video by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. Really cool stuff. I'd like to work with him! Check it out!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Applying for funds from FPHLCC

Christine Germano, from the Constant Arts Society, and I are working on applying for funds form the First Peoples' Heritage Language and Culture Council. Christine was one of the photographers and community activists in this year's Talking Stick Festival. I was especially impressed by her pictures from the potlaches of Alert Bay. She has a lot of experience applying for grants to do a variety of community art projects, including carving a canoe from one of the trees that fell in Stanley Park. Our current plan is to apply for funds to make a trip up to Haida Gwaii in the Fall to make two new Haidawood animated movies: one in Masset and one in Skidegate.

Haidawood showings

The Golden Spruce will be showing at the Reel2Real International Film Festival for Youth on Thursday Feb. 26th at 12:30 pm in advance of the movie Passage here in Vancouver.

There are also plans to show both The Golden Spruce and Yaanii K'uuka in the upcoming Haida Gwaii Film Festival that runs from March 6th to 8th in Queen Charlotte City up on Haida Gwaii.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Haidawood Premiere

The two latest Haidawood movies, The Golden Spruce and Yaani K'uuka, had their Vancouver premiere tonight at the Talking Stick Festival, at the InGenYous Aboriginal Youth Night tonight. There was a pretty good crowd at the Roundhouse, and people seemed to appreciate the movie. There was a lot of laughter during the poo scene in the Golden Spruce story, which was fun. And I got some nice compliments on the movies.

The movies will show again on Saturday at Have you heard this story?", which will also include a reading by Nicola Campbell and a play by Rob Hunter with Patricia Kostek & Sam Bob and directed by Floyd Favel. That's at the Aboriginal Friendship Center at 12 pm on Saturday. We'll also show both movies at the Aboriginal-Cabaret on Saturday night at 8 pm at the WISE Hall. My thanks to Margo Kane, the Artistic Director of Full Circle, for letting us show the movies at the Talking Stick Festival.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Talking Stick Festival Feb. 9-15

I've been working at Full Circle now for a few months. I've been helping them organize the annual Talking Stick Festival that is coming up in February. We launch the Visual Arts Exhibit on February 1st, followed by a benefit concert with Ferron on February 7th, and then the festival proper, which runs from February 9-15. It's been a good opportunity to connect with the urban First Nations community here in Vancouver, including the Constant Arts Society, and the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, among other groups. It has also been interesting meeting a variety of people in the Arts community here.

We have plans to show some of the Haidawood movies, including "Yaanii K'uuka" and "The Golden Spruce" at the Talking Stick Festival, most probably on the Youth Night, Thursday February 12th, at the Roundhouse, and also possibly at the Ab-Cab on Saturday February 14th. Stay tuned!

In other news, there was a short blurb about the Haidawood movies in the "In Brief" section of November 2008 issue of Haida Laas - the Newsletter of the Haida Nation.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I'm here in "Winterpeg" for the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival. I've already met some French speakers and some Michif Speakers. I've been handing out some DVDs of the 4 Haidawood movies made to date. There is a showing of "Hoopla!" scheduled for noon on Sunday at the Fairmount Hotel, and waffles will be served.

I've been doing some research on the whole issue of language revitalization, which is a prime focus of the Haidawood Media Project. I came across this on Wikipedia:

Steps in reversing language shift

Joshua Fishman's model for reviving threatened (or dead) languages, or for making them sustainable, consists of an eight-stage process. Efforts should be concentrated on the earlier stages of restoration until they have been consolidated before proceeding to the later stages. The eight stages are as follows:

1. Acquisition of the language by adults, who in effect act as language apprentices (recommended where most of the remaining speakers of the language are elderly and socially isolated from other speakers of the language).
2. Create a socially integrated population of active speakers (or users) of the language (at this stage it is usually best to concentrate mainly on the spoken language rather than the written language).
3. In localities where there are a reasonable number of people habitually using the language, encourage the informal use of the language among people of all age groups and within families and bolster its daily use through the establishment of local neighbourhood institutions in which the language is encouraged, protected and (in certain contexts at least) used exclusively.
4. In areas where oral competence in the language has been achieved in all age groups encourage literacy in the language but in a way that does not depend upon assistance from (or goodwill of) the state education system.
5. Where the state permits it, and where numbers warrant, encourage the use of the language in compulsory state education.
6. Where the above stages have been achieved and consolidated, encourage the use of the language in the workplace (lower worksphere).
7. Where the above stages have been achieved and consolidated encourage the use of the language in local government services and mass media.
8. Where the above stages have been achieved and consolidated encourage use of the language in higher education, government etc.

This model of language revival is intended to direct efforts to where they are most effective and to avoid wasting energy trying to achieve the later stages of recovery when the earlier stages have not been achieved. For instance it is probably wasteful of effort to campaign for the use of the language on television or in government services if hardly any families are in the habit of using the language.

At this point, it looks like the best place to put our efforts is on creating content for adults to learn Haida.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nuu-chah-nulth Phrase Book & Dictionary

Apparently there is a Nuu-chah-nulth Phrase Book & Dictionary. It would be nice to develop a similar resource for the Haida language. I'm not sure if this already exists or not. I did find this online Alaskan Haida phrasebook. Here are some of the phrases:

Gyáa'aang uu íijang. It is a totem pole.

Tlúugyaa uu íijang. This is a canoe.

Xakwgyáa uu íijang. This is a halibut.

They have sound files associated with each phrase. Even I can hear some similarities and some differences with the Haida I've heard in Masset.


Well, a lot has happened since we finished work on "Yaani K'uuka" and "The Golden Spruce". I'm now working at Full Circle, a First Nations performance company that puts on original works of theater, trains aboriginal youth in theater, and puts on the Talking Stick Festival (Feb. 9-15 2009 in Vancouver).

I'm scheduled to show "Hoopla!" at the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival on Saturday Nov. 22nd. I'm hoping I'll get to meet some people from APTN, the NFB, the Canada Council, and others who would be interested in funding Haidawood for a few years to help make the project sustainable.

There are also plans to show all the movies at a big Haida Feast at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Center on Friday November 29th here in town.

Tonight I've got plans to go to the Bill Reid Gallery to hear a talk about some of the old Haida villages by George MacDonald.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Golden Spruce and Yaani K'uuka done

Last night was a big night: we finished filming for Yaanii K'uuka literally just in time for a 9 pm screening at the Haida Rose Cafe in Old Masset. We also showed the Golden Spruce story, which we finished animating on Tuesday. Both movies were well received, along with Hoopla!, which we made last year. I still need to add the Haida language dialog to the Yaanii K'uuka story, and I've arranged to get a jam session together tomorrow (Saturday) at 3:30 pm at the Haida Rose Guest House to record the musical soundtracks for both movies. I anticipate that we will have a whole range of singers and drummers there to help with that. I also need to work in the nature sounds at some point... so, a lot to do.

We've booked our ferry ride home, now for Tuesday Sept. 16th, a full 11 days later than planned! And, well, that can happen!

I appreciate all the help from the lady Shannon Reynolds. She's been very patient with all the production delays, and she's been an absolute life saver for all her help taking care of the crew as we've all been working night and day on the project.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Making Progress

IMG_8820.JPGfaces for the golden spruce

So, this week has resulted in some on and off again progress. There's been a lot going on, what with Jaalen and Gwaai's play Sinxii'gangu, as well as the opening of the Kaay Llnagaay Cultural Centre, not to mention having a whole group of Haida foster kids in town, as well as the Rediscovery Camp reunion...

I am glad to report that Leo has carved some great faces for the Golden Spruce story out of Devil's Club. I'm pretty happy with the results. My plan is to spend part of Sunday with Jaalen and get the rest of the faces carved, and get the puppets made, so we can work in earnest on filming next week.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back on Haida Gwaii

I'm back up on Haida Gwaii, and starting work on a short movie about Yaanee Ku'kaa, a witch from Haida legend. I came up with my friend, the lady Shannon, from Shambhala, where we were busy slinging shisha and chai at the Oasis Shisha Lounge. We made the trek up here in Shannon's van, stopping at the half-way hot springs outside of Nakusp, and then the Bob Inn near Williams Lake, for the yearly Bob Inn Daze. So, it was quite the wonderful adventure getting up here (including the choice cabin on the ferry ride here - that was a score).

So, now I find myself surrounded by bionicles and cardboard and other crafting materials. We're just getting started on pulling together the story board and puppets. We've got two weeks to make two movies: one on Yaanee Ku'kaa and another about the golden spruce... I'm also hoping to catch Jaalen and Gwaai's play while I'm up here, not to mention any number of other festivities.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Trip up to Haida Gwaii?

I've been in touch with Jusquan about making a trip back up to Masset to work on another two Haidawood movies. One to make a movie version of a story that was told on the CBC radio program Legends, and another a story about carving a totem pole. I'm hoping to make it up there for the end of August. Jaalen and Gwaai will be performing their play, Sinxii’gangu, at Kaay Llnagaay, the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate on August 23rd. I hoping to be able to catch the play while I am up there.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Well, a lot has happened since my last post. First off, in April, "Hoopla!" was chosen to be in the winner's circle at Isuma TV. You can read a short review called "What's All the Hoopla About?" here.

I also recently submitted "Hoopla!" to the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival. The festival is scheduled for Nov. 19-23.

And, Jusquan and I are having a conversation about me returning to Haida Gwaii at the end of August to work on a whole set of movies. We're still in discussion, so we'll have to see what comes of that. I'd like to get back to the islands and make a few more stopmotion movies. I've also gotten interested in making some muppets, and I think that would make for a fun and quick alternative to stop motion.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hoopla! on Isuma TV

I've uploaded Hoopla! and Haida Raid and Teen Night on Isuma TV. Hopefully this will help get the word out about the project, and maybe help us find some partners who might be interested in next-leveling the project.

Isuma is a new web site featuring a whole range of movies made by First Nations people from around the world. In their own words:

" is an internet video portal for indigenous filmmakers, with unique indigenous-language content available 24/7. Our goal is to help films and filmmakers reach a wider audience; help audiences see themselves in their own languages; help communities connect around common concerns; and help worldwide viewers see indigenous reality from its own point of view. is a FREE service to filmmakers and viewers: a serious, professional, high-quality space to post your films on the internet, in a respectful user-friendly context. is a neutral viewing service only, not a seller or distributor. Filmmakers own their films and upload whatever they want; viewers watch but can't download; to buy a DVD you're directed to the email or web address of the filmmakers or their distributors.

The success of depends on filmmakers using it to serve their own needs, within a powerful collective consciousness, to build a growing audience for indigenous productions, especially in remote communities."

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hoopla! on YouTube

Hoopla! is finally up on YouTube! Tell your friends!

Workshop with Erik the Red

Yesterday I attended a "getting started in film" workshop with Erik Paulsson, of Red Storm Productions. The workshop was very informative, and I learned a lot of useful information about producing documentaries and feature films. I was especially interested in some of Erik's comments about viral marketing.

I've been in touch with Gwaai and Jaalen, and we all agree that it would be worthwhile to release Hoopla out on YouTube. We need to get the word out there, and find ways to connect with relevant partners in order to make the project self-sustaining.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I see that the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival is about to start. It's too late to submit Hoopla for this year, but I'm hoping we might be able to do so for next year. I've been a bit stalled out on Hoopla, as I've been busy trying to finish-up the Lawrence Project. I've agreed to spend January and February in Ontario doing just that. Hopefully we'll be able to make progress on an all-Haida version of the movie in April, when I'm back in Masset. And, I'm hoping we can make another Haidawood movie in the summer.

I got a chance to talk with Gwaai on the phone today. He was contacted by someone from APTN about the YouTube video Haida Raid. Apparently they might be interested in doing something on the show First Talk.

Friday, October 19, 2007

BC to continue with Film Credits

This from the Province of BC website...


NORTH VANCOUVER – The Province intends to extend British Columbia’s successful film tax credits for an additional five years to 2013, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today at a celebration to proclaim Motion Picture Industry Week in B.C.

“The motion picture industry has become a significant part of British Columbia’s economic, artistic and cultural identity, directly employing 20,000 British Columbians and generating $1.2 billion in production expenditures last year,” said Premier Campbell. “Our film tax credits ensure B.C. remains competitive in maintaining the tremendous activity we have seen in this sector. In the upcoming budget, we’ll ask the legislature to extend those credits for an additional five years to help ensure B.C. remains top of mind with producers.”

The tax credits were set to expire in 2008 and the decision to seek an extension to 2013 was made following the Ministry of Finance’s 2007 Film Tax Credit Review. The review involved consultations with domestic and foreign film producers and British Columbia Film.

“An extension was widely supported by industry representatives, who reported the program increased employment and stimulated growth of the industry in British Columbia,” said Finance Minister Carole Taylor. “By announcing our intentions now, we send a clear message that we want British Columbia to remain a location of choice for film and television production.”

B.C. is now home to Canada’s largest and North America’s third-largest film and television service production centre. B.C.’s film and television industry has grown from $211 million and 61 productions in 1992 to $1.2 billion and 230 productions in 2006. The productions completed last year include 53 feature films, 39 television series, 63 movies of the week, 33 documentaries, 18 animation projects, 13 television pilots and 11 short films. The industry generates an estimated 20,000 direct and 15,000 indirect jobs across the province.

If the extension is approved by the Legislative Assembly, British Columbia production companies will continue to benefit from the Film Incentive BC tax credit, which includes:
· A basic credit of 30 per cent of qualified labour costs.
· A regional credit of 12.5 per cent for productions filmed outside the designated Vancouver area.
· A film training tax credit for approved training programs.
· A digital animation or visual effects credit of 15 per cent.

Canadian and international production companies could continue to qualify for the Production Services Tax Credit, which has three components:

· A basic credit of 18 per cent of qualified labour costs.
· A regional credit of six per cent for productions filmed outside the designated Vancouver area.
· A digital animation or visual effects credit of 15 per cent.

This just in...

From the Province of BC's Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation website...


VICTORIA – The Province has provided $250,000 in funding to support the electronic preservation of B.C. First Nations languages, announced Olga Ilich, Minister of Labour and Citizens’ Services.

“The FirstVoices project is vital to ensure that First Nations languages continue to thrive in British Columbia,” said Ilich. “Through digital technology, children will have the opportunity to learn the language of their elders for many generations to come.”

The project provides necessary support to digitally archive First Nations languages, some of which are currently known only among a few First Nations elders. Interactive teaching tools will then be accessed online by First Nations or other persons interested in learning the traditional languages.

“This funding will help us keep our online technology ahead of the growing demand for the archiving and accessing of First Nations languages,” said Tyrone McNeil, chair of the First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Council. “This technology is a very important tool as we support First Nations in documenting and revitalizing their Aboriginal languages.”

FirstVoices will target 18 First Nations communities and provide community-based B.C. First Nations language teams with support, nearly doubling the number of communities benefiting from language renewal.

“This ministry funding is a good example of the partnering that can result from the strategic investments of the New Relationship Trust,” said Cliff Fregin, chief executive officer of the New Relationship Trust. “In this way, we can continue to help enhance the technology of FirstVoices in service to First Nations throughout the province.”

Network BC, a division of Labour and Citizens’ Services dedicated to bridging the digital divide in British Columbia, provided the funding in support of FirstVoices. It was matched by a grant from the New Relationship Trust, which has also designated an additional $250,000 in funding for 2009 and 2010. The New Relationship Trust supports capacity-building for First Nations to effectively participate in land and resource management and social programs for their communities.

Network BC will continue to work with First Nations, federal and community partners to further develop connectivity in First Nations communities and bridge the digital divide.

The Province of British Columbia is building a new relationship with First Nations, founded on the principles of mutual respect, reconciliation and recognition of Aboriginal rights.

Connect the dots

I just came across information for the imagineNative film festival in Toronto, that runs from Oct. 17-21. Maybe there'd be a way to screen Hoopla as one of the shorts there next year? Of course, Hoopla is pretty roughly shot. I like to think of it as accessible art - the kind of art you can do yourself, and yet, it is also pleasing to the eye. I'm hoping to set-up a meeting with the NFB to get their advice on how to move the project forward.

IMG_6320.JPGThe other day, I met with Laurel Wilson Smith, who is the director of the 'Ksan village up here in Hazelton. They have a beautiful facility, as you can see from these photos. The village depends on revenue from their well-stocked gift shop, and they have experienced a short-fall in the past two years due to the sinking of the Queen of the North, as well as landslides that temporarily closed Hwy 16, both of which impacted tourist visits, and consequently gift shop revenue. I'd be interested in working with them on some grants to help make the village more sustainable, and also help realize the full-potential of this marvelous facility, tucked away in the mountains of the North.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What now?

I've been exploring different related websites, including Cradleboard, an educational website developed in part with the help of singer/songwriter and educator, Buffy Sainte-Marie. I've also been taking a look at Reel Youth. They are touring a selection of films made by youth under 19 years, and they also conduct short animation workshops with youth. I'd like to adapt lessons from these different example websites, in order to make the Haidawood project sustainable.

At the moment, I'm sitting on a draft version of the Hoopla movie, that we showed in August, just before I left Masset. An obvious next-step would be to release the movie on YouTube. However, I'd also like to make sure we produce a Haida-language version of the movie. And, there is also the idea of recording a rap soundtrack to the movie with Jaalen and Gwaai's cousin Derek. I've got a little time now to move the project forward, so we'll have to see what happens.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Haidawood Wrapup

full cast shot for final sceneSharmeen and I leave the islands tomorrow, and so we are busy wrapping things up here in Masset. Ernie, Jonathan, Heather, and I ended up working until 5 am, in order to get the movie done in time. You can see some pictures here. Ander was also a big help, coming and helping us animate for most of the day on Wednesday.

On Thursday Heather and I met with Jusquan, and Naani Mary, and Tsiini Stephen. We showed them the movie, and recorded some Haida phrases, which I later incorporated into the script.

sharmeen poursWe had a big premiere for the movie Hoopla! on Thursday night here at the Chateau Hamersley. A lot of people came, I'm guessing maybe 30 people or so. We had a terrific potluck, with a ton of excellent food. People take their potlucks very seriously here on the islands. We showed the movie, and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. You can see some pictures from the premiere here.

Friday I dropped by the Teen Center. Sarah had already showed the movie to the kids a couple of times. I showed the movie to a few of the kids, and talked about how I wanted to get a rap soundtrack for the movie. I guess we'll see what happens. I'd like to improve the sound track that we have now, but realistically, I've got other projects to work on, and I feel that I should post the movie on YouTube some time soon.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wednesday's work...

raven puppetErnie finished the Raven's head today, and we managed to assemble the puppet. We've also made progress shooting, although we still have a lot to do for tomorrow! Tomorrow we're doing a potluck at 8 pm, and we're going to show the film... And, I'm scheduled to meet with the elders tomorrow afternoon to show them the visuals, and work with them to record the soundtrack... So, a lot to do. You can see some pics of today's progress here. I'm about to head back to the Teen Center, to shoot more footage, and see if we've got any teens who want to help out.

Workin' like Mad

Well, we're into the final stretch, and we still have a lot to go, if we're to finish the movie for tomorrow night! Sharmeen and I are planning to host a potluck at Shannon's place on Thursday (tomorrow!) night. The plan is to show the short (5 minute?) movie, and nosh on some yummy food. Also, we're scheduled to meet with the elders tomorrow, to have them provide the sound for the movie.

We've added a giant to the script, and we're waiting for Ernie to deliver the Raven head. The Raven plays a key role in the film. Here's to gettin-r-done on time!

You can see pics from last night's shoot here.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Thursday Crowd Scene

checking out the vidOn Thursday, Heather, Ander, and I shot the crowd scene for the Hoopla movie. It took us a while to get in our groove, but once we did, it was meditative and relaxing: all I had to do was move little bits of paper around. How hard can that be? I was pretty happy with the results, esp. when the crowd stands up and cheers.

Meanwhile, Ernie is working on the Raven puppet. He's going to be important for the overall plot. And Jusquan has arranged for us to meet with the edlers on Thursday, to provide the voiceover for the movie in both English and Haida. How'wa.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Haida Teen Night

Tonight we made a video, which I've called "Haida Teen Night." Basically, Heather, Roy, Sharmeen and I went to the Masset Teen Center for their Wednesday night dinner. When we got there, the teens were watching the movie 300. We watched the movie, and then a few of the teens, including Ben and others, helped us shoot some test video, which we then compiled together into this short. Enjoy!


storyboard pitchWe've got a name for our movie: it's called "Hoopla" and it's about a basketball game. Basketball is big on the islands, and a lot of kids play. We've got a whole story line mapped out - I think it'll be fun. This is a picture of me explaining the storyboard...

We also had a visit today from Owen - he's a photographer who specializes in images from the West, and First Nations peoples in particular. He was very respectful and knowledgeable, and it was nice to have him visit.

Tonight we're going to hang out at the Teen Center, for their usual Wednesday night Teen Night. Hopefully we'll get some new participants!

You can see pics from today here.

Day Two

building bball courtbball

Yesterday, Heather, Ander, Ernie, and I worked on making a basket ball court, as well as two new puppets, and making a crowd for the audience shots. We were supposed to meet with the elders, but that meeting got nixed, and now it looks like we'll be meeting with elders one-on-one, which might be more effective.

Basket Ball is big on the island, and so it seemed like a fun place to start, to develop a story line that would interest young kids... The plan is to actually start animating today, and to come to the Teen Night tonight, and show the kids what's up, and see if we can recruit some new participants.

You can see some pics from yesterday here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007



I met with Masset TV today, and they are going to post an ad on their bulletin board. Also, I've made a poster, which you can see here. Hopefully this will help get some kids to come and participate.

First Day of Haidawood

Well, Monday was our first day on the Haidawood project. We're hoping to build on the original proof-of-concept movie I did back in April, called "Haida Raid" (see above). You can see some pics from our first day here.