Wednesday, June 2, 2010

General Update

Why hello all!!!

Its been quite some time, but do not worry the project is still alive and well. It's been nearly a year since Marc and I first started our voyage along the northcoast. I felt its time though to give everyone an update on the latest. This post is more or less to inform everyone that the so-called 'pilot,' is still in development. I felt, though, it is necessary to let everyone know what is happening behind the scenes.

I'll admit, I foresaw this portion of the Green Traveller as being the most time intensive of the entire process. If, though, I knew it would have taken this much time I likely would have brought in a little more help. Anyway, as it stands we will likely miss our key June deadline. There are a variety of reasons... but the good news is we've cut away more than 60 hours of tape, and are working with the final bits to construct the final product. My script is all but done. Marc assures me the 2nd 'build' will be ready in the coming weeks.

It's been a difficult year for sure. I've moved into a new job... Marc has since moved twice and is kickstarting his production business. Despite the setbacks, nothing could prepare us for what happened last February. I had flown to Vancouver to edit by Marc's side... but days prior to my arrival, Marc was hospitalized in serious condition. He would spend many days in intensive care, and since then his life has changed dramatically. Understandably, the Green Traveller project was put on hold... and is a key reason behind our delay.

Regardless, we're back on track, and will get this done. That is my personal guarantee.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Well its been so long!!!

Well, where do I begin. I have a few updates coming, but I thought I'd share a touching story. During the Green Traveller shoot on Haida Gwaii, I was fortunate to cross paths with someone whom I likely would never had met had i not done this pilot. Our paths intertwined right about the time I got to the northern part of the island.

Mark, Dafne and I were hoping to find a place to stay for the evening, as it had been raining like crazy. Luckily enough, Dafne knew a number of folks who lived near Towhill, and so finding lodging was fairly easy. Anyway, we stayed at the owner of the Trouthouse Restaurant and Bakery. She not only provided us with a nice place to stay, she also would invite us to shoot a specially made meal at her restaurant later that week.

Little did I know at that time, I was about to meet someone whom I would never forget. I first learned about Kimiko through Dafne and Kelli (Trouthouse Owner) that night at the house as we all gathered around a table, having a few drinks (non-alcoholic for me). I was told Kimiko was this well known lady who unfortunately had received a cancer diagnosis and had spent the last few months in Vancouver for treatment. Even sadder, she was declared terminal, and did not have much time to live. Despite undergoing severe radiation treatment, she was losing her battle, and her outlook was bleak. She lost a fair bit of weight, and could no longer walk. In fact she had spent one week subsisting solely on ice-chips and remained on an I-V.

Bottom line, the story goes, she was sent back to Haida Gwaii to die. This is where things get interesting. So she comes home, and decides to no longer pursue cancer treatment, but instead finds solace in more traditional healing. Slowly over that short period of time, she begins to get her appetite back. Not only that, I learn that her friends gathered by her side, sang to her, and beat drums. She drummed with them, and for the first time in ages, she gathered her strength and walked.

Even more amazing. After a few weeks, she had decided she would 'marry' the love of her live Andrew Von Boetticher in a union ceremony the VERY week I was on Haida Gwaii.

So here I was. Working on the Green Traveller, but I had this chance to conduct an interview of this amazing women. It didn't take long before we decided we just had to speak with her. So, guerilla-style, we brought our video camera to the Trouthouse with a boom mic, and I sat down and recorded an interview with Kimiki (who by the way was slurping back a bowl of soup).

She would share her story, her struggles and most importantly the most intimate details of her love for Andrew.

The original story aired in August of 2009. She and Andrew would be united, and be married into 2010. Sadly, in late January, she passed away. Her story I will never forget. She is a truly brave, wonderful human being. I'm told she was surrounded by those who loved her as she made her final transition.

Thanks Kimiko for sharing your story with me.

Kimiko Von Boetticher

Green Traveller taking a little pitstop to do a little CBC work

Marc and Kelli at the Trouthouse

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Where we are at in 2010

Welcome to 2010!!!

Hopefully its the year of the Green Traveller!!!

So here we are in the final stretch. I'm getting many questions about where Marc and I are in terms of the Green Traveller, so I thought I'd give an update here in the blog.

Its been understandably a long process. The first major obstacle in post-production has been overcome. Marc was saddled with logging and rendering the tape, which proved to be a massive undertaking. After months of hardwork, he did it, and the footage is now edittable.

Since then, Marc has been busy polishing up a "trailer" of sorts. We hoped to have this done by Christmas, but we are waiting on some graphics that are literally in the mail. Once Marc gets his hands on them, then I imagine the trailer would take mere days. This is super exciting because we'll be able to load it on Facebook, so you guys can get a taste of what we've been up to. It also gives me something to show our potential suitors.

We had been working on a website over the summer. It's safe to say that did not go well. Now Maestro Marc is putting his golden touch on the task, and we hope to have it up soon. I've been creating HTML documents, which he plans to insert. Once its ready, we'll have it up with the trailer, which we hope equates to hits-galore.

The goal is to have a five-hour build done this month. Essentially what that is, is a paring down of the 70 hour of footage that we have to just five hours. It's a huge job, but this is Marc's specialty. I'll then take that footage and start honing down the script. So the meat and potatoes of the whole process begins. It's something I've both delighted in, and dreaded. We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, we've also been busy looking for music to go along with our project. We've found some, and are still looking.

I've received word that one of our supporters has taken on a HUGE task. We recently spoke with editor Shannon Hurst about the special project taken on by "Spirit of the North" magazine. Not only are they working on the third edition of the magazine. Both Ryan and Shannon have also been putting together a very special Olympic issue. Congrats guys, I know this will be absolutley HUGE. Hard work always pays off, and I know it will for the both of you.

I'll be writing the first of two articles on the Green Traveller trek to Haida Gwaii. You can see that in the Spring edition and the subsequent summer edition. I'm a radio guy, so this is a nice stretch for me.

All in all, it will be a VERY busy next three months. On top of that, i've been getting myself back in game shape.............. again..... Damn you fast food!!! Damn you to HECK!!!

On a side note... kali (my baby) is doing well, as is my wife. 2010 should be one heck of a year, and I can't wait.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Enjoy your holidays all!!! I plan on taking this time to relax... I hope you all do the same.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Inspiring... and fun

I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to a grade 10 Prince Rupert class this week. I was dreading it, as I had NEVER spoken in front of a group of teens before. It sounds wierd, but although I'm comfortable speaking to the northern B-C masses every morning on Daybreak... I was terrified of facing off with a grade 10 class.

How did it go?

BRILLIANTLY!!! It was fun, and a lot easier than I thought it would be. The class was actually a "Planning 10" class. I basically shared with them, my story of how the "Green Traveller" came to be. I even shared a fair bit of myself that I had never done before.

I gave the usual intro about myself. THEN, I gave them the REAL intro about who I was. I felt it necessary to show them that I was not by any means anyone special. I consider myself an average dude, who like everyone else has the capacity to do great things (or terrible things). I shared with them the less then proud moments of my life as an alcoholic, smoking, college drop-out loser... before I changed my life for the better. I also told them why I was NOT a good "green" role model, and all the funny nuances along the way as Marc and I filmed over the summer. It sounds like it would have been difficult to have been so transparent in my presentation, but in fact it all came out a lot easier then I thought it would.

Before the class started, the students, did not seem attentative... they were chatting amongst themselves, and I thought "man, they're going to eat me up and spit me out..." but as soon as I started speaking, they were extremely attentative. It was nice. Hopefully they enjoyed it as much as I did.

Another neat update. I had been looking for some more music for our pilot and trailer. I found some. Local musician (Terrace) Brad North has performed in northern British Columbia for years. He's a family friend, and we are going to see if we can implement his tunes in our project. Pretty exciting!!!!

Also, by some wierd coincidence... I self assigned myself some homework over the holidays. That was to locate some archival Haida photos we could draw from, for our project. The very next week, i was booking a guest for our morning radio show to reflect the 'officializing,' of the name Haida Gwaii for the now former "Queen Charlotte Islands." The guest I booked is president of the Bill Reid Foundation. I quickly learned he has access to photos that date back as far as 120 years ago, and we may be able to use some. What LUCK!!!

So all in all, its been a great week. Now back to getting ready for the holidays!!!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Still chugging along.

What a productive weekend!!!

It's been a busy Fall/Winter for me so far. Already I've been to Vancouver twice, and Toronto once. All work related. The good news though, is that Marc and I were able to collaborate and get things on track. We now have a rough timeline for our project, with an overall deadline of March 30th 2010.

I can't speak for Marc, but it was quite amazing to relive the experience of this summers adventure. We went through the majority of the logged tape. We also wrote and voiced two trailer bits, which we hope will be posted soon online. At this time we're still working on getting our music together AND also getting our hands on some historical stills. Overall, just reconnecting with Marc made it worth it... just to get that excitement going again.

In the meantime, I'll be speaking to a highschool class next week about my current profession AND what the Green Traveller project was all about. It should be fun.

On another note, I've been bad. Super bad. Slowly, but surely the weight has been coming back on. It is all diet... I can't help myself. I love crappy food SO much, but I need to put a stop to this, or the first season of the Green Traveller will need a wide lens to ensure all of my 400 pounds fit into the screen.

Work life has been great... family life even better. Kali (my little baby) is growing quickly and already crawling all over the place. I have even more time on my hands, as I recently dropped out of my hockey pool (which quite honestly was taking up way too much of my working/family time).

In addition to getting this project together and the trailer, I must say researching the first season has been quite fun. Basically I'm at the 'gathering' stage. Province by province I'm clipping out all the amazing green travel opportunities our country has to offer. It's like planning for the holidays in a way... Some neat quirky travel finds to be seen for sure. I pray this project finds some success. Regardless, this will make for very cool Canada travel in my lifetime.

Anyway, holidays are almost here... and plenty to do. Keep an eye out for the latest Spirit of the North magazine. Its available now. I didn't know what to write, so I just put together a grab-bag of neat winter activities to do in northern BC. The Haida Gwaii chronicles should be out in the Spring.

Til next we speak. Ta Ta!!!


Monday, November 9, 2009

I can't believe its been so long.

Before you get the wrong idea. The Green Traveller is still on its way. After Haida Gwaii, it was back to reality for ol' Rob, and let me tell you, I've been BUSY. Of course I'm now back to work, and that's been fine and dandy. Since my return, I've been to Vancouver for an award benefit (Jack Webster award finalist, not a winner though), and Toronto (for union stuff). On top of that, I've been working full time, and raising my beautiful daughter. So excuses aside, what have I been up to on the Green Traveller front?

Well, last month, I submitted an article for the Spirit of the North magazine. At first i thought my first submission would be a sum up of the BIG adventure. Nope... It's the winter publication, so it just didn't fit. In lieu of that article, I was asked to write something 'wintery.' Being that I'm not green travelling expert, I had to really rack my brain. After weeks of going back and forth, I decided to make up a grab bag list of random fund winter things to do. It was a fun piece, no real hardline focus, or green preaching. Just a mishmash of things to check out or do. When I say mish-mash, I really mean mishmash. It includes an ice fishing destination, ski resort, ice carving festival, winter parade, and a festival of trees. Something for everybody. I'm sure there are a billion things I've missed, but what can you do. So have a looksy, it should be out soon.

I have fallen hard on my bad habits again. Eating out, less active, drinking tonnes of coffee. I did try one new thing, that I think I'm going to keep. Jude (my wife) and I decided to do a non-tech day. Basically we spent a WHOLE day without internet, TV, cell phones, movies, handheld game systems or ipods. I had grown tired of constantly feeling wired in, so we decided to spend a whole Sunday disconnected. It was a rousing success... I made it til 11:30 pm. I think we're going to try doing it once a month. Its not only a great way to enjoy the little things in life... it also cuts down on energy consumption.

My coffee cup experiment has failed.. miserably. I wanted to cut out my coffee cup waste. I'm failing hard... super hard. Anyway, I'll give it an honest go... soon... this week... okay tomorrow.

The next few weeks should see a pickup of sorts. Marc has been tirelessly logging our tape. I'll be meeting with him soon, to start piecing it together. The narrative will happen concurrently. Also, i've been researching cool eco-tourism type things to do IF we get picked up. If it does in fact happen, the first season, I envision, will be a green travel trek across Canada. After that? North America and beyond. I've already dug up things to do in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and recently finished Ontario. Over the next three weeks, I've got to pour over Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, PEI, and Nova Scotia.

So there you go. I'll be back with more VERY soon. Promise.