It was a pleasure and a grind to film this piece with George Skoutakis at Sportsnet. We had a limited package and a lot of travel. Fortunately we had so many wonderful experiences and support along the way. Charlie and his entire family are a wonderful group of people, they made the entire shoot such a rich experience. Combined with beautiful and inspiring locations, and an incredibly engaging story, I'm incredibly proud of Charlie Monotyo: Nino de Oro, and excited to have it recognized with the CSA.
I've been filming Opening Elements and Teases for TSN for many years now. It's exciting to come up with a set design, and work out the elements to help define a big event. Continuing my work with Craig Chambers, we were recognized for the second time with our CFL opening Tease in 2017. For this tease we decided with our limited budget to build our set using a new technology at the time in Astera AX-1 tubes. They are a RGWA strip in a 180 degree bulb that is battery powered and can be controlled wirelessly. They have since been adopted by many productions as a staple in the lighting kit. and personally in mine as well.
This piece was tough for many reasons. We traveled to Kenora after flying into Winnpeg not having a full idea of what we were heading into. The initial story we were heading in to understand, quickly gave way to a much more complicated one. For me having empathy and compassion are some of the most important traits we can employ in documentary film making, and being confronted with the difficulty of filming Joe Murphy's current situation was not an easy one. It's a difficult watch, but opens a lot of questions about where life can go sideways and the lack of support for people who suffer with life changing incidents.
This was my first time getting to see Iceland without just stopping through. It is easily one of the most stunning places I've travelled to. Knowing this job was coming up, I worked with RED to receive one of the first GEMINI bodies in Canada. I knew we would be trying to capture landscapes in late light and in dark bars, so the dual ISO of this new camera was very exciting. It was also my first real foray into Drone work myself. I had brought a DJI Phantom Pro to help us capture more of the iconic scenery of Iceland and the remote places we would be going to. It was a wonderful experience visually to capture the story of the underdog football team in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but it came at a cost. Our first day of filming in Iceland, I received a call from my friend and co-producer that our dear friend Jonathan Pitre had passed the night before from complications during his blood and marrow transplant. We had been filming with him for a couple years leading up to this moment and he was family. I always watch this piece with a sadness in my heart, but appreciative that it was recognized for the cinematography, and can look at it as a tribute to the beauty Jonthan shared with us while he was here.
It was a really enjoyable experience filming Harrison Browne's story. He is a wonderful human, and sharing his story for the world to see was a very brave way to share a difficult journey to expressing his truest self. Nothing but admiration for his dedication to not only self, but delaying his transition so he could affect more lives through the sport he loves. Very grateful that after missing the difficult cut for the CSA Award adjuication process, it was accepted into the RTDNA Awards and proved it was a journey worthy of accolade.
Over the years I've been fortunate to spend a few shoots in Indigenous communities across Canada. This was my first time up 13hrs north of Winnipeg ina beautiful palce, Cross Lake. I was here with Matt Dorman of TSN to highlight David Muswagan and his softball team the Thunder. It's hard to talk about the success of the team without shedding light on the great darkness that swept through the community amongst their rise. The team was not just a way for these young men to avoid some of the pitfalls of being in such a remote area, it was a way to keep each other accountable to one another, and provide a beacon of hope and resilience for the community. They are an incredible group of players and people, and David is nothing short of a local hero. Of the many pieces I've been able to film, this piece and this community is one that is continually a part of my life.
The Butterfly Child has easily been the most important piece I've been a part of to date. Upon meeting this incredible young man, his Mother and family I was immediately taken back by their humbleness, and openess. Lensing Jonathan's story really stuck with me and has informed so much of my life and career. It was important for me to share his story with the delicate care he deserved, which led to many late nights after filming with the family, with my Director/Producer Ross Rheaume about how to approach the next day, what we could do better, capture more intimately. It is the piece I'm most proud of, and it was an amazing life experience to be awarded for it, along with a nomination for Best Cinematography - Documentary at the 2016 Canadian Society of Cinematographer Awards.