I met with a research team I've been a member of for the past few years where we create videos on the subject of First Nations end of life care. This may seem quite distant from the other film and video work I tend to be involved with, and I suppose it is. It all started about five years ago when I was contacted by Dr. Angelina Baydala who had just joined the Psychology Department at the U of Regina, coming from Edmonton where her husband, Pete, had been friends with my wife's cousin John Bessai, who is a filmmaker in Toronto with his company Cinefocus. I've worked for John and his company a couple of times including, coincidentally, as animator of another First Nations health care film "The Story of Turtle from Turtle Island". So apparently Angie, Pete, and John all got together in Edmonton sometime before Angie and Pete moved here and it was suggested that she contact me, so I got a call. We sat down over a coffee and she told me about this project she wanted to do but how impractical it was seeming. You see, if you are not a filmmaker but you need a filmmaker to work for you, they are hugely expensive. If you have a filmmaker friend, they are often extremely economical. I think I get into more projects through friendships than any other way. I will either work with people I like, or I'll work alone. Working with/for people I can't communicate well with is almost never worth the trouble (for more about trouble, skip to the end of this blog). Given that my income over the past two decades has been through teaching, animating, or personal grants, I have been able to maintain this as a reality for a long time. Thus it came to pass that I got myself involved in a series of documentary/instructional films that has been able to attract funding and have expanded in scale and scope in surprising ways. The people involved are quite good hearted and I enjoy meeting with them. The videos are made by committee, which I've previously only seen fail, but with much of the heavy lifting of shooting and editing being done my a number of keen students, and with a group that seems to have significant mutual respect, the projects take shape. Today's meeting was regarding the video to document and contextualize a one day conference we will be hosting in mid-September. The video will assist other research teams to understand the process of doing sensitive research involving First Nations people.
Theremin is coming along fine. I started the wiring but am missing four of the quarter inch sockets, so will need to pick them up before I finish it.
It was extremely hot today so we ate on the back deck and played Trouble afterwards. In the photo below, you will see that William (green) won the game, Paul (yellow) did very well, even though he'd had a very rough patch, I did very well (blue) with my last peg only one space from the end, and that Margaret (red) had all four of her pieces still in the beginning base. I've never seen such luck.