Rejuvenation :: Putting it on Paper

There are two things that I’ve found that help when I’m stressed.  1) Working out any frustration with rigorous exercise and 2) writing it down.  Just getting whatever is bothering me off my chest and taking a few minutes for myself makes all the difference.

Now this is going to sounds silly, but the notebook or journal that I write in makes all the difference as to how much I like to write and how it makes me feel when I do it.  Paper quality is a huge thing.  No one likes to write on rough paper that makes the process even more difficult than it needs to be – because if you’re like me, I can’t seem to write fast enough sometimes.  I need smooth paper for quick pen action.

Another thing is if the paper has lines on the page versus a plain sheet.  If the lines are spaced too far apart of too close together, I have no desire to read write on that kind of page.  The page color, the pocket in the back for storing small moments and even the  cover changes the way that I write and the inspiration can be gone in a second if I don’t like my notebook.

My favorite notebook in a long time has smooth plain pages, perfect for sketches, notes and a nice big pocket on the back cover.  It even has a nice elastic band for keeping the pages together when the additional pieces of paper get too much for the spine.  Recently, it’s been something like these notebooks:

Enrico Mazzanti

I love the diversity of locations that people take these notebooks and that the can inspire so much creativity.  They say that Hemingway used these notebooks when penning his latest work.  This video inspires me to go somewhere new and note my observations.  Perhaps the whole point of Moleskine notebooks?

What inspires you to get your stresses out?

For the Foodie :: BBQ Bible

As the days grow shorter we lose our precious after hours time out in the sunshine and with that, our ability to barbecue without a trusty assistant holding a flashlight.  For those with the right set up, with a nice well ventilated covered area with outdoor lighting to prolong the outdoor grilling season, there are couple months ahead before it will be too cold for parts of the Northern Hemisphere to cook their food outside.

Whether we are heading slowly towards winter or entering the summer season, this video can only make you want to start warming the coals:



Books have many wonderful features but I believe this one beats them all.  It’s probably the most interactive book that I’ve seen and it doesn’t even sing, light up or have moving images.  It literally creates an event to remember!

The filmmaking is very nice, but I don’t know if there is anything extraordinary about it.  I am going to take a moment to say that I really like the graphics and that the lighting is beautiful.  Food is deceptively harder to light when photographing than one would think.  What really steals the show is the book and trying to figure out as a viewer how the book is going to provide an essential barbecue tool with the next turn of the page.

This video just proves that books can not only share ideas, but be interactive as well.  Who knew that food could interact so well with a volume of pages.

Art Meditations :: The Great War

For those living in the US, the Great War is something that we generally skim over in history class- we generally focus on WWII.  For those living in Western Europe, it’s a very different story.  You study WWI for years at a time, at least you do in England, and if you’ve studied it in the last 15 years, you’ve probably gone on field trips to the battlefields.  You’ve stood in the trenches, in crater holes blasted out by bombs and seen the remnant shells stacked up along farmers’ fields- those shells that were never cleared away after the end of the war.  At least that’s my experience of studying the war.  You almost fell guilty for not doing your part even though it happened decades before you were born.

There are reminders of the sacrifices made during that time all over Europe, intertwined with the memories of WWII.  It’s a part of the land and something that you can’t ignore.  There really isn’t anything to compare it with in the US – even Civil War battle grounds aren’t the same.

I found this video a few months ago and in the end, bought the book for my dad as a Father’s Day gift:

ww Norton


Most of my studies have come from books, some from old newsreels etc. but this book gives the Battle of the Somme a whole new light.  It makes it into something visual and puts across the magnitude much better than any other source that I’ve seen.  It actually gives the numbers a human element and not just statistics on the page.  This beautiful book is art and fact all combined into one and I love it for that.

I don’t see this book as being about tragedy, although it does encompass that.  I see it as a chance to truly understand something that is beyond our reality and to take in something that is one of the largest world conflicts in history.

Pictures really are worth a thousand words.

Travel :: On the Map

I’m just going to say it.  I’m a nerd, I love books and there is nothing you can do to make me feel otherwise.  I like to peruse book stores, spend hours with my nose in a book, and get lost in the narrative.  I’m veering away from film for a day to talk about a book about maps.  Yeah, I said it, a book about maps.  Who woulda thought?

My best friend gave me this book for my birthday: On the Map: A mind expanding exploration of the way the world looks

simon Garfield

Continue reading

And… Action!

I suppose ‘action’ isn’t a word that you commonly hear when making a documentary, but I do more than just documentary.  I have been known to create brand films, photograph for billboards and work on PR campaigns.

I took a few high school film classes and a college study abroad class where we had to make a video diary.  Next thing I knew, I was recruited into a freelance group at my university and promptly put on the video team (even though I interviewed for a PR position) and here I am today.

It’s not really the technology that fascinates me, although it is an important part of video production today. It’s the research of topics that I never thought I would get to study and the people that I get to meet.  Plus, I get to be creative and make something that I hope will make a difference to someone.

At the moment, I’m finishing up my latest film, ‘Out of Print’, a film about the way that the Internet is changing the way that we access the written word.  As someone who loves stories, books are of course a great love of mine.  This has been a great change of pace for me from my last few large projects- there were no prisons, construction sites or security clearances to worry about.  I’ve really enjoyed spending time researching something fun, as we witness one of the biggest changes in publishing since Gutenberg’s printing press.

What’s next, who knows.  Stay tuned for screening dates!