Videos; Remember Those?

There is a project being undertaken in my house at the moment. A monumental task of epic proportions that will reverberate in history along with the Gaia creating the Grand Canyon, the Egyptians building the Pyramids, and the porn industry popularising the Internet.

That's right, I'm exaggerating! But it certainly feels that way as we're transferring our vast and varied video collection over to digital. Actually when I'm not at my nine to fiver or doing one of my contracts (the Football people were very happy with their new DVD producer *high five*), I'm not doing very much except watching all our old videos; we have some real gems. Last night I got to watch Big Trouble in Little China;

As if this isn't one of the coolest 80's movies evah; Right up there with it's 1986 counterpart, The Golden Child!

Although they don't really go together as a viewing pair I then followed that with one of the most inspiring films for filmmakers; Baraka. Not seen it? I bet you have. At least parts of it. Still, No? Sheeeeesh! Go! Now! Find! Discover! Oh wait... typically, it's on You-Tube. I don't agree with the way the You-tuber has broken up the film. There's some really distinctive chapters in the film that the digitiser has completely ignored. Those start and end points are really off-putting. Anyway, this is one of my favourite parts in the film. Go and get your relaxing beverage of choice (I'll have a coffee methinks) and sit back and enjoy about ten minutes of Baraka.

Shut up! I know this is a post for the sake of posting... or it has something to do with Earth Day... Yeah, let's pretend it has to do with earth day... don't judge me!


Back to Reality

Of course, I would like to write. And of course, I would like to be making great films... or art... or something much like so many of you are doing out there.

But instead I've been taking video of young girls... errr... that sounds bad, before you call the cops you should know they parents paid me to do it... errr... wait, no really, there's no need to call the police! It's only football (that's soccer for the non-Europeans).

Australian Women's Football Team

It's always surprising in a small film industry like Australia's where the next job comes from. Now, yes, in the past I've filmed Weddings and the like but I hate that type of thing, it's not really filmmaking and I don't do videography unless it's for a really good friend. I don't need the experience, and although the money's quite good I certainly have that covered through other means. So when one of Mooncar's friends approached me to film football development videos for one of the clubs in the NSW Women's State Premier League my first reaction was, No way!

But then I started to think about it in terms of what it offered the players. I was an A Grade level footballer until my foot broke in two during an off season Comp. Occasionally when drunk I'll happily bore my friends with stories of past footballing glories. I also coached an Under 12s team and know what it's like trying to talk to juniors about aspects of the game (and their game... which is a completely different discussion) while still instilling the most important thing, the same genuine love of the game that I've always had. It also has to be said it's very difficult for young women to find a place in football. I coached one girl on my Under 12s team, the only girl in the competition in fact, and playing against the boys meant she had a lot of bench time until the second half when the bigger, faster boys had slowed down a little. Mind you, it was also because she was a great relief half back and could have an impact on the game just when you needed an offence slowed down to take the pressure off.

So, once a fortnight I rock up to the home games. Film three matches on the trot. Which is fine unless you need a bathroom break. I then edit and produce about 30-40 DVD's which I sell back to the clubs coaching staff, players and their parents (You forget how young sports people are at their peak, gosh, they're only children! I was never that young when I played A grade... surely! Okaaaay, I was a baby). Hopefully, as Coaches and Players review the DVD's, they'll come to a better understanding of their game and the higher level leagues, which in this case is only State and National (like the girls above) teams, will end up with better players for it.

A strange thought for me to be doing a job like that. It's even stranger to be doing videography and finding the process really satisfying.



I feel like writing. I mean really writing. You know, the type of writing that contains marvelous inventions of language such as adjectives, such as marvelous. I want to audaciously discover new personal uses for adverbs in my writing until I become concupiscently lost in the meditation of which adverb would be the most appropriate to use for the simple act of one of my characters sitting up.

But writing isn't something you 'feel' like, it's not an interest, nor a hobby. A blog, for instance, is not writing. Don't get me wrong. Some blogs are beautiful designed and worded but in the end it's all finger painting. Colourful words splashed together to give the impression of writing.

No, unfortunately, writing's a protracted engagement with characters, stories, idea's and (hopefully) a lesson. As someone who has spent hours of my days, every day, month after month, scrawling different coloured inks into different shaped notebooks and still hasn't adequately described a characters existence during the period of their life that an audience (myself) would be interested in them, I really have to start wondering.

What on earth am I doing besides marking a variety of perfectly good notebooks? This isn't to say I can't write but merely that I haven't finished a real story. Short Films are easy... I know exactly what they look and sound like in my head and don't bother writing them until the day I have someone saying the lines.

And that's the cusp of it; I can imagine exactly what it has to look like and in putting it down on paper it, well, description is so open to interpretation isn't it? And that baulks me because... Well... Hmmmm...

a) I'm a control freak; (I'm yet to meet a Writer/Director who doesn't suffer this a little.)

b) My descriptive powers inadequately describe what I'm trying to discuss; (I often describe whole stories verbally but when asked if I've written it down I just shrug a no.)

c) Writing is an insular process that requires a lot of dedication and time. Maybe it's not conducive to the process when you live a busy life; work, play, (or my favourite combination of the two) running around from one project to another.

Maybe it's a combination of all three...

Whatever, it is doesn't change that I'm really in the mood to be writing. Shame I wasted half the desire on putting this post together whinging about it.

Now this weird thing... what is it? why is it on my camera? and who took the photo? OK, in reverse; Mooncar took the photo; she snapped it at Taronga Zoo when her dad was in town recently; having now looked at the Zoo's site, it's called a Binturong.

The Binturong (Arctictis binturong), also known as the Asian Bearcat, the Palawan Bearcat, or simply the Bearcat, is a species of the family Viverridae, which includes the civets and genets.

It is neither a bear nor a cat, and the real meaning of the original name is lost, as the local language that gave it is extinct. Its natural habitat is in trees of forest canopy in rainforest of Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Palawan Island.

It is nocturnal and sleeps on branches. It eats primarily fruit, but also has been known to eat eggs, shoots, leaves and small animals, such as rodents or birds. Deforestation has greatly reduced its numbers. When cornered, the Binturong can be vicious. The Binturong can make chuckling sounds when it seems to be happy and utter a high-pitched wail if annoyed. The Binturong can live over 20 years in captivity; one is recorded to have lived almost 26 years.


Kayaking down Dora

This was our Kayak... maybe a little larger than most but we like it none the less. We enjoyed taking it on a dinner cruise every afternoon.

At our first stop we had to negotiate one of the proud local youth, Barry, he acted pretty tough.

But in a white wine and cream sauce mixed with mushrooms and baked pumpkin he was quite tender; particularly the bill which was fried in a Tempura batter.

Ahhh, pelicans! The other white meat. We couldn't eat just one. Poor Barry and his mates.

A very rare and strangely deformed Red Beaky Black Pelican named Ethel. Not good eating at all!

This was Stevo. An even more deformed Pelican... or maybe he was a deformed Penguin. Either way I don't want to know what they're dumping in this lake. Stevo guarded the middle of the lake. A valiant adversary. He tasted like chicken and was served in a sweet piquante pepper sauce with a fresh apricot side dish.

This was Doreen. All sorts of trouble this one. We certainly couldn't persuade her down from the tree. I think it was something to do with the smell of garlic butter sizzling in a nearby pan.

Luckily we fooled her into thinking she had won this house in a BoysTown lottery. Our chef, seen here wearing a tuft of grass as camouflage, quickly had her in the pan with the garlic sauce and lemon and served her on a bed of Jasmine rice. Not much meat on those legs but the crispy skin was delicious.

These were the luckiest locals of the day. James, Barb and Duncan. We were just too full for our Corella chocmint gelato; so we only ate their legs in Lime jello with mini-marshmallows.

And who said bush tucker had to be boring. I'm hungry now. I'm off to get some lunch.



We had the most marvellous weekend. Both relaxing and energising, sleepy and sporty; the perfect balance of pure luxury and down to earth small town fun. But there was something a little weird going on in that town.

We stayed in a little non-touristy town (as is our want) on a beautiful creek, whose name I wont mention here, and filled our days either swanning about in the luxury Bed and Breakfast; or...

fishing the creek with all manner of bird life. On one night we caught about 7 fish, threw back five and kept two for a BBQ by the creek;

or kayaking out on beautiful Lake Macquarie.

But I think in reality we had happened upon a town run by some sort of strange cult. It started with what we thought was some kind of joke, a strange fetish... that's right, some sort of donkey fetish cult!

The afternoon we arrived we noticed this 'logo' was stickered onto the outside of a painting in the reception of the B&B. Strange we thought...

But not as strange as the large donkey surrounded by swirling energies that adorned the window of largest shop in the small main street.

There were donkeys in all the windows of all the shops! This isn't a great photo... but after photographing this donkey in the window of a store the locals started paying close attention to us. This Donkeys speech bubble said something about 'community spirit'.

We thought it prudent to go back to our B&B...

Waiting for us in the shared lounge of the B&B was, you guessed it, a donkey. It was obviously a warning for us not to pry into the donkeys. Notice the strange 'orbs' that circle the donkey.

Over the next few days we tried to snap pictures of the donkeys that adorned every backyard that faced onto the creek. Unfortunately every time we tried to line up a shot the curtains would twitch or someone would walk out onto their back porch. It was almost as if they were expecting us. Needless to say we didn't get a lot of shots. It didn't make any sense to us but with this strangely unspoken threat hanging in the air we knew to start pretending to ignore the ever present donkeys.

The last photo taken here was followed by someone walking out of their back door and, with an aggressive stance, proudly but silently making a sign that can only be described as Donkey Ears. Holding the forearms directly up to the ears and waving the hands in our direction as if to mimic donkey ears... we fled.

On our last day there, not wanting to be in the town, we borrowed some bicycles from the B&B and went for a tour of the local district. And despite the occasional Kookaburra laughing at us it was very pleasant.

But as we came back into town, we were cut off by a large white van. Behind the tinted windows was a man that can only be described as having a piggish white face hidden under a mop of curly brown hair. He quickly rattled off an address followed by that same Donkey Ears gesture. My curiosity peaked, I managed to convince Mooncar to come with me to that address and after having a little trouble finding it we cycled in through the front gate of a large tree lined housing compound. The piggish gentleman walked nervously across the gravelled walkway towards us, and that's when we heard the low hum of an engine...

The strange thing is... there have been no reports of missing aircraft at all.

Needless to say, after the crash that barely missed us as I took the photo and resulted in the demise of this poor fellow, we got back on our bikes and went straight to the train station without collecting our belongings from the B&B. As we rode the first train out of town we considered ourselves very lucky to be alive and resolved never to go back into the Donkey country of the central coast ever again.

It was a fun weekend though, certainly not boring.