So Long 2016


This year has been one of the most challenging I’ve had in a long time.  What is it about this year?  Almost everyone I talk to is happy to see the back of 2016 and are ready for a fresh start. I’m not sure about others but I know that for me it’s been an emotional rollercoaster and although it’s been a good ride I’m ready for things to calm down a bit.

Forget world events, natural disasters etc.  I’ve had one of those years where I’ve had work some months and then nothing, not at all unusual in the film business, but the intensity was what got me.  When I had work, I usually had several contracts all at once so I was working 20 hours a day for weeks on end and then nothing. Exhausting.  And then there were all the projects that we thought were going to happen and they fell through at the very last minute.

I make this year sounds like it was pure agony, but actually this year has been a really good one in many respects.

  1. I had more work than ever and several projects that I’ve been working on for three years or more now have finally made their way into the world. i.e. The Human Face of Big Data, CRAZYWISE and The Click Effect.  I even managed to fit in a few shorter films that I directed myself for PLU’s MediaLab and the PSESD.
  2. I’ve had more design projects than I’ve ever expected, especially considering I’m not a graphic designer.  Film proposals, websites (, film promotional pieces (posters, invitations, infographics) and more in the works.
  3. I have a beautiful new niece that I can’t wait to see grow up – but not too quickly please!
  4. And the biggest drain on my emotions – I’ve decided to finally move to California (sometime in the Spring after several postponements) and fulfill my lifelong dream to become a surfer… well in actual fact it’s to find more consistent work and take on a new adventure.  The surfing will be a perk if I can ever stand up for more than 0.5 seconds.  Right now I’m really talented at sitting on my board.

And on that more upbeat note, I’m preparing to venture off to meet my family for the holidays.  It’s my favorite time of year because for a week or two, we are all together which is rare for us.  I guess we can’t expect much else when we all live in separate states and/or countries.

As I sign off for the rest of this year, I leave you with this wonderful little piece that makes me smile even if it does seem a little scary in places.  The world really is a big scary place but I can only hope that this next year brings more peace and joy than we’ve witnessed in the last 12 months.

Karni and Saul

Until next year…

Snow Banks and Wet Noses

I really have no excuse for my lack of posting since the beginning of October other than I’ve been busy and this blog took a back seat to everything else.  I’m relieved to see that several of my other favorite blogs have also been slowing down on their posting frequency and it makes me feel a little less guilty… well, sort of.

As per usual, I’m not ready to share what I’ve been working on but will (hopefully) in the near future.  It’s not entirely my fault that I’m not sharing my work at the moment – a lot of it has to do with timing with PR etc. and/or the projects aren’t ready to reveal so I’m afraid you’ll have to have a little more patience if you are dying to see what’s new.

As I’ve completely missed the holiday season, I’m going to jump ahead to one of my favorite things about winter.  Skiing.  If I were a dog, I would hope that I could have a job like this:


If I’m ever in an avalanche or an incident that results in me buried in snow, I hope I’m rescued by one of these puppies.  Heaven forbid I’m ever in that kind of situation.  I’m just saying…

I love the use of slow motion in this little diddy.  What better way to glorify these little superheroes?  It works for humans so why not dogs, right?  Also, the camera motion with the action shots works really well here and for once I’m posting about professional skiers and their stunt reels.  I’m so glad someone has finally made a video about skiing other than a stunt reel!

I haven’t made it up to the mountains since the snow starting piling up but I’m excited to get a few trips up as long as the snow holds out this season.

I know I won’t be posting again in the next few days so I will say it now.  Happy New Year!  See you in 2016.

Man’s Best Friend

Raise your hand if you’ve ever read Garth Stein’s, The Art of Racing in the Rain.  If you have, you’ll know that it’s a story told from the point of view of a dog, Enzo – devoted in every way to his humans and often frustrated with his lack of opposable thumbs and too large tongue preventing him from sharing his observations in a succinct and audible fashion.

If you liked that book, you’ll love this little short about a dog named Denali:


We never had dogs growing up, despite my sister’s ardent pleads and strategies to convince our parents to change their minds.  We had too many allergies and we traveled too much to make it possible.  Somehow you just don’t have the same relationship with your goldfish as you do with a furry canine.

The best part about this video?  The story.  We can all identify with the strength that we get from other’s support and the grief that goes with losing them in one way or another. It’s too bad that dogs have a much shorter life-span than most of their owners because a lot of people would really say that they are their best friend.

Grilling everything in site

With Summer officially here – and having been here for a while, it seems that grilling every food in site seems to be the thing to do.  For one thing, it keeps the heat out of the kitchen and it means more time outside and soaking up every last summer ray possible.

To get us all into the mood for this weekend, the Grilling Everything Burger:

Claire Thomas

Happy Weekend!

Around the Corner?

I’m sure that most of the Northern Hemisphere is ready for Spring to arrive – especially those living in places that have had extremely cold and snowy weather that started last Autumn.  I have a friend in Boston who has given up on finding her car for now.  She knows that it’s under a snow bank, but there isn’t much good digging it out because the next time the snow ploughs come by, it will be wedged in by a new snow bank.  Yuck!  Even those of us with extremely mild winters are ready for Spring to arrive (in full).  The PNW has had plenty of blooming plants for a while now but leaves on the trees would also be nice.

So to encourage that spring foliage to blossom out, here is a little something to entice you:



Short and sweet, this has spring written all over it.  You might still have to wear a coat when out of doors, but the sun is shining and everything is coming to life.

Hang in there.  Spring is almost here!

Ohana :: Family Feast

What’s my favorite part about the holidays?  Well, if you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s about being with loved ones.  Decorations from the great out doors (I love the smell of fir trees) and hot cups of peppermint tea are also pretty awesome, so of course, this video jumped out at me straight away:


I love the simplicity of this video.  It’s short, sweet, gets the message across and it gives me a calming feeling even with all of the hubbub of the festivities happening practically every day right now.  As much fun as all of the parties and last minute shopping is (or isn’t) my favorite time of the day is sitting down with a good book next to the fire and letting the calm wash over me.

I wish you all a relaxed and enjoyable rest of the the year.  I myself am checking out for the next few weeks and will return in January – yes, I’m actually taking some time off.  Until then, Happy Holidays!

Ohana :: On Ice

It always amazes me where we find our families, biological or otherwise, even if it’s only for a few hours a week, a week here and there, or everyday.  One such place for me has been with my teammates.

Teammates is a very broad term as I’ve found “family” with teams of people that I have worked with (even if the project is a short one), on a sports team or with people at school. I don’t always keep in touch with all of them, usually those that are most important to me, but the memories of those times with them have a special place in my heart.

Tony Franklin

I love this film because of the ebb and flow of the family unit.  They accept new members and lose others but for one day a week, they are a family even if they don’t know each other’s names.  That’s the cool thing about family – there are some things that just don’t matter.

Ohana :: Roots

Our roots are sometimes buried so deep that we don’t always realize that they are there even if they are an integral part of who we are.  The little clues that we get from remnant notes and family heirlooms can help us discover those unknown roots and sometimes reveal something about our family’s past that we would have never known.  Sometimes, it sharing a special place or a special relic.  And sometimes it brings us closer to knowing ourselves a little bit better.

[vimeo w=640&h=360]

Free People

I love this video, even if it’s for a clothing company, because it reminds me that there is so much to our pasts that we may never know, but there are always little clues that guide us through life.

The holidays always seem to bring out some family memories (the good and the bad) but I hope that this year brings only the good ones.

It’s what month?

Somehow, and I’m not quite sure how, it’s already December.  I’m pretty sure I’ve been in a fog the last few months, I’m finally coming too and I can’t quite figure out how it’s time to start wrapping up the year.  Now that I’ve survived making Thanksgiving dinner for 15 people and I’m working ridiculously long hours – for which I am very grateful for even if I am feeling very sleep deprived, I’m very excited that it’s finally December.

I’m usually not a big fan of the holidays season because of the holidays themselves (sorry, not trying to sound like the Grinch, but the holidays usually include a lot of stress).  In fact I could probably skip them all together except for the fact that it signifies a time when I feel like no matter what, I can take some time off.  This year, that means seeing my family for several weeks and believe it or not, I am elated.  So many avoid their parents like the plague.  I on the other hand can’t wait to see mine.  No work and having mom and dad pamper me for a few weeks sounds heavenly right now.

Plus, this is the first year in a long time that I’m excited about the idea of decorating the Christmas tree, baking cookies and wrapping presents.  It must be that holiday air… and that I’m pretty excited about the gifts that I’m slowly collecting to give to my favorite people.

Like last year, I’m dedicating this month to:


I know it’s cliche but to me, this is the best part of the holidays.  So wherever you are and whatever your beliefs, I hope you can take some time now that we are wrapping up yet another year, and appreciate the relationships that we have with those we call family.

Ode to those behind the scenes

As cliche as it is to designate November the theme of

thanksgiving14I can’t help it.  It just seems to come with the territory as we are thrown into a string of family holidays which, for the most part, make us feel thankful for various aspects of the holiday season.  I’m not sure if I’m all that thankful for the extra stress that it brings with menu planning, new work projects and upcoming travel BUT I am thankful for the opportunities that it brings. I’m still trying to figure out how to make this time of year less stressful as it all seems to culminate into one large stress fest, but so far I am at a loss.  Anyone have any ideas here?  I suppose I could just say “screw it all” and forget about a lot of it but that wouldn’t be in my nature.  Darn myself and my over commitment!

To prevent myself from digging myself into a rant, I’m going to list a few things that I’m grateful for, which in many ways can reconsidered a work update:

  1. Since leaving film school almost two years ago, I’ve worked on four major projects, each with their own international distribution/broadcast deals.  (The Human Face of Big Data, The Breach, Wall of Fire: A ChefSteps Story and Out of Print)  Not too shabby if I do say so myself.
  2. In the last three months, I’ve picked up two new projects and there are several others pending.  One being a film called Crazywise (click here for more info) and another that I will share more about in the near future.
  3. And last of all… there are more announcements to come but I’m going to wait a little bit longer before I share them.

Despite their warnings, seasoned filmmakers can never really prepare you for the slog that is getting your foot in door to this industry.  I have been extremely fortunate to have met some incredible mentors along the way and I am extremely grateful for their guidance and jobs in the last few years.  Their lessons and support have been invaluable.  I have a long way to go before I’m going to feel more comfortable with where I am in my career, but for now I’m grateful for all that has come my way.

My theme of giving thanks though is not just giving thanks for the various aspects in my own life, but I want to focus on others who are doing amazing things out there but with hardly any recognition.  There are so many of us that work in the stage wings and are hardly ever seen – even if we like this covert role it is nice to have the occasional moment in the limelight. So here you are – just a few remarkable people who are doing their part to make the world a better place.