Nova Scotia

  • A Good Word For Great Work

    I like to make sure if someone has done great work for me, that I let them know. So today I spent some time setting up a testimonial for the crew at Lotta Digital. That’s the team that put this website together. True professionals in every sense of the word. Generous with their time and knowledge, detail oriented and quick to respond whenever I had a question. The whole HLF team couldn’t be any happier.

    Testimonials are a great add on to any company website. Video testimonials are even better. Seeing someone who is completely satisfied talking about their experience working with a fantastic company speaks to your audience. It reassures them you’re the right choice.  If you’ve done great work and clients would like to recognize you for that, give us a call. We’ll bring the lights, camera, microphones and even a teleprompter if needed.

  • Opening the Vault

    We just wrapped up the Advanced TV Doc workshop at King’s College on Friday. The class had a packed screening along with an in depth Q&A about process, the do’s and don’ts and advice for the next group of hopeful documentarians to pass through the university doors. I am extremely proud of all of them for what they accomplished. I am also sad to see them go.

    With a little time off over the weekend I went back to revisit my final documentary project at Vancouver Film School from 2005. It’s a short doc called “Bleeding Blue Walls” that I co-created with Rosan Sashida Duffour. It’s a historical piece about the history of Canada’s oldest blues bar The Yale. My favourite part is still the narration by the late, great Jack Velker. Enjoy the watch!

  • The Students and Their Stories Part 2

    The Documentary: East Side Till the Grave

    Introspective yet vibrant and provocative, East Side Till The Grave offers a glimpse into the world of 25-year-old African-Nova Scotian rapper MAJE (mah-jay). Through MAJE’s story, the film touches on obstacles within the hip-hop and rap community in Halifax, and the genre’s influence on the city’s culture.

    The Team: Bronwen McKie & Victoria Walton

    Bronwen McKie is a fourth year Journalism and International Development honours student at the University of King’s College. She’s keen about science and nature writing, yoga, hiking and being in the ocean. This is her first documentary and she hopes to explore filmmaking and storytelling into the future.

    Victoria Walton is a fourth year Journalism student at the University of King’s College, with combined honours in International Development studies through Dalhousie. She’s interested in social issues and international reporting, and enjoys exploring new cities. Victoria will graduate this spring and hopes to gain experience in video production. This is her first film.


    The Documentary: Whisper of Freedom
    Love, food and shelter are only a few things that Angela Welburn provides to the sick and senior animals at her rescue centre. She gives them a home and the opportunity to live their last days with dignity.

    The Team: Sofia Ortega & Kieran Leavitt 

    Sofia Ortega is a journalism student from Guadalajara Mexico. She has a degree in marketing and most of her work experience is focused on that field and communications.  Her main passion is the visual story telling and meeting people from all over the world.

    Kieran Leavitt is a student in the one-year baccalaureate of journalism program at the University of King’s College. Even though he has focused heavily on video and documentary film making in school, he will be doing his internship at the Canadian Press in Halifax, N.S. Kieran hopes to one-day work on feature length documentary films.


  • The Students and Their Stories

    Here’s a chance to check out two of the student groups from the Advanced TV Documentary workshop at the University of King’s College in Halifax. Learn a little about them, and the stories they’re telling this Friday, March 24th, at The Big Day.

    The Documentary: Live On

    In 2012, 15-year-old Olivia Jollota passed away from an accidental prescription drug overdose. Her mother, Dale, tells Olivia’s story to illustrate the dangers of experimenting with prescription drugs and to ensure others do not make the same mistake.

    The Team: Jessica Hirtle & Delaney MacKay

    Jessica Hirtle is a fourth year journalism and international development student at the University of King’s College. She is interested in making documentaries about social justice issues. Her story “From print to paywall” is published in J-Source. Hirtle will be interning with filmmaker Teresa MacInnes at Sea to Sea Productions in April.

    Delaney MacKay is a fourth year journalism at the University of King’s College. She enjoys writing stories about cultural and social issues. MacKay’s story “How can journalists regain society’s trust?” is published in J-Source. In April, she will be interning with CTV Atlantic.

    The Documentary: 9-0-2 Dodgeball

    Nova Scotia Dodgeball was founded in 2015. It came to be because there was not a dedicated dodgeball league in Nova Scotia. They play dodgeball because they love the sport, want to stay active, and; in some cases, want to prepare for tournaments. 
    The Team: Mark Moffat & Thomas Cobbett Labonté
    Mark Moffat is a 24 year old student in the one year Bachelor of Journalism program. Before King’s, Moffat graduated from Saint Mary’s University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Political Science. Moffat wants to be a sportscaster after graduation. He first got into sports journalism as a reporter for the Journal, Saint Mary’s student newspaper. Then, he joined the Saint Mary’s Sports Communications department where he reported for multiple varsity sports. At King’s, he had the opportunity to do several sports stories across multiple platforms. After this workshop, Moffat will be doing an internship at Eastlink TV.
    Thomas Cobbett Labonté is a journalism student doing the one year bachelor’s at the University of King’s College. He is originally from Montreal and fully bilingual. He has a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Philosophy from l’Université du Québec à Montréal. He is moving back to Montreal in April to do a one month internship at CBC Montreal. He hopes to continue to do journalism in Montreal and eventually direct a Documentary short by himself.
  • Weekend Watch

    I was looking for some creative inspiration on Vimeo yesterday when I came across “Northbound”. Jørn Nyseth Ranem’s short film about skateboarding the frozen sands of Norway’s Lofoten Islands is beautiful and authentic both in subject matter and execution. The article attached to the short film is a great read about his process. Enjoy something a little different and have a great weekend.

  • Directing Traffic in the Lane

    March in Halifax is cold, grey and dismal. But there is a bright lining. The U Sports Men’s Basketball Championships have come to town. I’ve shot for this eight team tournament a number of times but this year for me is even more exciting. I am working with a great crew of young and eager pros, directing three of the match ups including the bronze medal game.

    Last night I directed the Saint Mary’s, Ryerson game, a 79-70 win for the number one seeded Ryerson Rams. The second game was an exciting come from behind 67-65 win for the number five Dalhousie Tigers against the number four Alberta Golden Bears.  It was an absolute blast to direct the game. I can’t wait to see what Sunday has in store. If you have a chance and want to see some great basketball or come by the production truck to say hi, come on down to the Scotiabank Centre and enjoy yourself this weekend.

  • Staying Sharp


    photo courtesy of Danny Leadley and

    I was in the pool this morning swimming lengths and thinking about the necessity of both the physical and mental parts of what we do as freelance camera operators and production specialists. If you’re like me and shoot a lot of shoulder camera for sports and live concerts you understand how taxing it can be on your body during a three or four day run of work.  Then of course there’s packing and loading gear and hauling endless amounts of cable back to the production truck.

    On the flip side, we spend countless hours researching technology, lighting concepts, editing practices and in my case turning a lot of that research and information into lesson plans for the next generation.  I think for a lot of people, especially people new to the industry it can be quite overwhelming. Here are a few tips I’ve learned over almost twenty years that have helped me stay healthy and sharp.

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