Sample Videos

Onscreen presentation

How to make talking heads interesting and hold a viewer’s attention? How to present numbers and statistics in an engaging manner? I spend a lot of time thinking about these sorts of things. This is the latest example of trying different approaches to make federal government finances interesting to a Reader’s Digest-type viewer. The title is “Examining the First Trudeau Budget – Part 1 – 20 April 2016” and the description is brief and to the point “Report from Parliament begins examining the first Trudeau Government budget. This report focuses on the main changes to benefits and taxes that affect individuals and families.”


Making economics understandable

Here’s another example of my workshopping different ways to make federal government finances interesting to a Reader’s Digest-type viewer. Here’s the intro text – Let’s look at some of the parameters and politics of the federal government’s soon-to-be-announced deficit and fiscal plan. In the face of a deteriorating economic situation, last year’s election campaign promise by Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of a “responsible” $10 billion deficit is just gotcha politics. All the gory details will be in the Liberal Government’s first budget, to be announced just before Parliament’s Easter recess.

Making a video about sensitive issues

Police across North America feel under attack for racial profiling. Given this environment, working with the Ottawa Police Service and its volunteer community advisory committee was a halting and protracted process. The delicate issue of racial profiling was blowing up in the media so everyone’s instinct was to keep their head down. It took more than a year to get all internal and external stakeholders comfortable and willing to participate. In the end, the video was completed, and everyone seems satisfied and, yes, even happy to have it.

The famous Harperman music video

This music video became a social media phenomenon in August 2015, notorious because the folksinger who wrote and performed the song, Tony Turner, was suspended from his job in the federal public service. The subject is clearly political, and I am fascinated by the ability of music and art to engage in political debate. My goal was to create a “joyful” song of protest, to show people having fun while they sang about serious stuff. I think this video reaches the audience because music moves people and, like literature, gives a voice to feelings and anxieties that are difficult to admit or express. The process as a film maker is pretty straightforward. It’s all about showing faces. You create space with light. Get the singers familiar with the material and encourage them to shed their inhibitions so there’s lots of energy. The result is a fun video.

Quick and dirty production

This short video is about a week-long working camp for young people held in August 2014 at the Casa Cuna daycare and preschool in Puebla, Mexico. This is a good example of the quality and type of production that I can deliver using minimal gear. When necessary, I work alone and use a small camcorder. The chief advantage is it is less intrusive and this sometimes matters.

Animated theatrical intro & trailer

These are the brand screens created for a one-time event, a screening of 3 locally-produced documentaries at a neighbourhod rep cinema on downtown Bank Street in Ottawa. These are the introductory and intermission slides used to brand the event, helping create the event identity – “thinking globally, created locally to make a positive change.” This is a good example of the quality and type of production that I can deliver after a day of design work.

Musician and artist Jesse Stewart, who is featured in the Turning the Page film, pulled the evening together, and hosted the afterparty across the street at House of Targ.

The following is the theatrical trailer created for this event. It includes roughly about 90 seconds from each of the 3 main features – the Ganges River, war veterans, and adults with disabilities creating a musical performance.

H’Art of Ottawa is the the subject of one of the documentaries at the above screening. (Probably explains my involvement in promoting the screening event on March 4.)

H’Art is an art and creative writing studio for artists with disabilities. The video was mostly filmed during the rehearsals in the H’Art studio in the Bronson Centre. This was a 4-month long process that ended with the performance at the National Arts Centre on April 30. This video includes about 7 minutes from the final 40-minute performance.

Consumer show promotion

This video was created at the first day of the 2014 Saltscapes Expo show in Halifax, a 3-day home, garden, cottage, travel and culinary show held at the end of every April. This video was shot Friday afternoon and edited Friday evening for delivery Saturday morning.

The challenge was how to film a spontaneous and very diverse event, then turn it around in editing and produce a 5-minute product, all within one day from start to finish (yes, a very long day). The video was then posted to advertise the remaining days of the event.

This was also an opportunity to mentor a new recruit and show him my process in run-and-gun video shooting.


Architecture Video

A video about the architecture of the Bank of Canada’s headquarters in Ottawa, a modern heritage building designed by Arthur Eriksen. I shot about half of the footage, directed the other shoots with freelance cameramen, conducted the interviews and edited the video.

School Video

I wrote, produced and directed this video about counterfeit detection for a Grade 10 civics module, and hired and supervised the camera crews, video editor and sound designer. This is a mashup of the French and English versions of the final videos. The biggest challenges were (1) finding competent presenters who 15 year olds could relate to, and (2) negotiating the script approval with all the internal stakeholders.

Corporate Video

I managed three major revisions to the Bank of Canada’s corporate video during my 16 years at the Bank. That means I was the producer, writer and director, and hired and supervised freelance camera crews, a video editor and a sound designer. This is a mashup of the French and English versions.

Infographic version 1

I co-wrote, directed, shot and edited this short presentation about the Bank of Canada’s role in how interest rates are set. Aimed at a high school audience, the technique is a mix of stop-action animation and video.

Non-profit promotion

This is a web promo for the 10th anniversary of a small non-profit, H’art of Ottawa, an art and literacy workshop for adults with disabilities that operates in downtown Ottawa. I did the entire process – writing, filming, editing and setting the music. The filming took several visits over a week period. The editing took less than a day.

Non-profit promotion 2

This is another video I created for H’Art of Ottawa, for an art exhibition they were featured in at Gallery 101, a local Ottawa art gallery. The video promotes a musical performance that the artists were preparing for.

Music Festival Documentary

I shot, edited and co-wrote this 2-hour documentary about a small summer music festival, the Blue Skies Music Festival, held out in the woods near Ottawa every August long weekend. This 10-year old video shows my stylistic and ethical preference to let a story tell itself, and to let people tell their own stories. This was a personal project that took 5 years of borrowed cameras, building 2 computers for video editing along the way, plus many other stops and starts before it finally came together. I made lots of mistakes and hopefully learned a few things!