Systematic Symbiosis // Life Lessons Through Film


Passion projects are critical in keeping my drive alive with the work I produce. It is a natural break between the corporate grind. From the new locations I am able to visit to the people I meet along the way, it is always a new and exciting adventure.

12308184_10102617404178144_9096226505291358417_oGrowing up you are told, get married, have 2.42 children and then basically live your lives for your kids. Some even say it is the divide between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ and to be honest, it isn’t all false. From such things as tax rates and eligibility for entitlement programs are altered by marital status. So, when I thought of this idea, I wanted to touch on the importance of finding self before trying to bring someone else into your life.

With this film, I wanted to use a ‘less is more’ approach. In this short, the main character uses nature to help re-discover self and through the process, realizes that this transition in his life is one that he has needed for sometime. It is through this experience that he is able to truly live a fulfilled life.

The Process

Over the course of a week, I ventured through Alberta to shoot this film. My focus was to not only reconnect with nature myself, but I wanted to also film a short at the same time. I knew I wanted to focus of the shots to be mainly aerials as I felt it was a good way to connect with nature in a new way. I also wanted to capture these shots at sunrise to capture the idea of new beginnings.

For most of the film, I also wanted to capture it with a one person cast / one person crew — where I filled both these roles. The exception was the scene with my girlfriend, Kristina Frost (no we definitely did not break up in the making of this film :)). This in itself posed many challenges as I had to not only frame up and focus on the subject in the frame, but had to do so without a stand-in. Through this process, I definitely realized the importance of collaboration and teamwork and how it is critical with all the work I produce.




What I Learned

I ventured on this trip to take time for myself. For me, it was a time to disconnect with my routine and plug into nature. What I learned in the process is that a short two week trip isn’t enough to disconnect if you don’t define purpose beyond disconnecting. I wanted to reground myself but didn’t create a plan. I instead ended up producing a film that I wasn’t super proud of and no more recharged than when I left.

I ask myself now, why was I unable to disconnect and the biggest reason as I had work still hanging over my head. I didn’t fully disconnect and didn’t discover why I had went to the mountains in the first place. Through this trip, I learned the importance of working with teams and working on projects that matter – ones that dig deep at the way we think, ones that make us question how we live our lives or ones that question our goals. Through this film and experience, I learned the importance of overcoming challenge and creating game plans – with actionable steps. I am back home now and back into the grind but am now focused on structuring what my 2016 looks like! Oh – and the biggest lesson of all – live for me – no one else. Structure your life around what matters to you, not others.