Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bamboo Shoots Timeline Screen Shot

The producer of Bamboo Shoots Inc. provided me with a Premiere Pro Time-line Screen Shot for social media, predating next week's release as a sneak preview.

Time-Line of Bamboo Shoots Inc.'s Sasktel Max TV film.

The whole point of this exercise is to shine a light on the everyday people of Saskatchewan for the world to see. Bamboo Shoots In. is a socially savvy firm, that routinely shares its television content with the online community. Readers of this blog will recollect that this is is a film that hops in time and space; capturing the image-rich painter's studio, the poignant setting of the dialysis unit and the "magnificent", soaring mural -a feminist manifesto as it turns out- at Sacred Heart Church in Saskatoon.

I'm especially looking forward to watching the "live" chapter reading from Book 1 of "Dancing with Rejection: A Beginner's Guide to Immortality". It will be very interesting to see how the editors deal with that scene, considering I read two chapters: a very gritty one and another that erupts in a bloody mess.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Filming at Sacred Heart Church

This morning, as promised, the producer and cameraman from Bamboo Shoots Inc. met me at the site of my most ambitious mural to date: the massive "March of Trinity" at Sacred Heart Chaldean Catholic Church in Saskatoon. This mural soars almost 50 feet up into the rarefied atmosphere of the church sanctuary. The prominence of this mural, as the center-piece of  the Sacred Space in this instance, is a far cry from the humble beginnings of my "Trinity" design of 1981.

Firing up my original vision of the "Trinity" at age 21, in the Parish Hall of St. Mary's Basilica in Halifax, 1981. While I was committed to my vision of "three interlocking triangles", the project was relegated to an inferior wall at the time.
Even though my original vision of the "Trinity" was relegated to an inferior setting...on the wall of the Parish Hall rather than in the sanctuary, I was determined that someday this concept would be met with a more favorable reception. I hoped that if I played my cards right, that eventually the "stars would align" to catapult me and my artistic vision to a more exalted space.

The mural "March of Trinity" looms large upon entering Sacred Heart Church.
 While it took a full thirty years for this cherished dream of mine to finally manifest, it was well worth the wait. In all of the intervening passage of time between 1981 and 2011, I honed my mural-painting skills on over 60 large works across Canada. I was ready, willing and able by this time to tackle the prominent mural at Sacred Heart.

Bamboo Shoots producer/editor Amanda and cameraman Brandon getting set up to start filming.
I was only too happy to greet Amanda and Brandon this morning at the main entrance of the church. It is always interesting to watch the reactions of people when they see this piece "live" for the first time. No question, it is a very impressive, monumental work of art. While it faithfully echoes the religiosity of my patron Father Sabah's vision, it also offered me a tremendous opportunity to highlight some of my personal beliefs. Considering the scale and impetus of the piece, I felt obligated to be faithful to my own spirituality in emphasizing the power of the Sacred Feminine, on equal footing with the Sacred Masculine.

Brandon asked me to say a few words while he was filming, so I had to be very selective.
I thought very carefully about the message I wanted to portray in my brief spoken contribution to the filming at Sacred Heart. I decided to emphasize the fact that Chaldean Catholic clergy are permitted to marry and also, that Father Sabah and I originally wished to celebrate the male and female aspects of "God/dess" by showing the "Hands of God" as a male and female hand together. This concept was illustrated in the "mock-up", forwarded via the Archbishop of Saskatoon to the Vatican for approval. This was not to be! The Vatican officials responded by saying that this idea was "heretical" and insisted that we show the "Hands of God" as both male.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Blood Intimate Blood

Blood is a very intimate thing, so you can hardly blame me for feeling a bit shy and hesitant about sharing the sight of my  blood with the world. Usually it is unseen inside the body. In the case of hemo-dialysis*, blood must flow outside the body in order to pass through the artificial kidney and then return, cleansed of toxins and fluid overload back into the bloodstream. 

Bamboo Shoots Inc crew on behalf of Sasktel MaxTV at dialysis pod.
Can you blame me for being shy and nervous about showing my blood -outside of my body- to the world? I am concerned...will the sight of this be more traumatic to the viewers as it was at first to me?

Blood having "Out-of-Body Experience".

I had to shed my misgivings before I could go ahead with filming this segment of the documentary. Our producer Amanda Bosiak was so warm and loving that everything flowed effortlessly on set. The "set" was my dialysis pod, at my request to raise more Awareness of Kidney Health. 

*Hemo-dialysis is a technological marvel, invented by Dr. Willim Kolf in 1943, that has come a long way to recreate kidney function. Dialysis sustains the lives of millions of kidney patients every year. Dialysis is the "Gold Standard" for life-saving intervention while hopefully, they await the "Gift of Life". This time of relative "stability" must not be mistaken for "complacency", as it is well known that a certain % of dialysis patients die while waiting for a transplant. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Bamboo Shoots Show up for Second Filming

There's more than one way to spend time on dialysis. Usually, I just plunk away on my latest writing project, or noodle away on Facebook. Today, it was a pleasant (and not THAT nerve-wracking) diversion to entertain the film crew from Bamboo Shoots.

Before filming got underway, I needed to sign a consent form.
Everything was timed like clockwork. About 30 seconds after the crew arrived, the head of Communications from St. Paul's Hospital showed up with a consent form for me to sign. Basically, I was asked to waive my rights to sue the hospital, should the film turn out to be anything less than what I visualized. Somehow, I suspect that Bamboo Shoots will do a bang-up job.

The camera-man and producer flank my dialysis pod.
I wasn't sure how I would feel about being filmed during my dialysis therapy, but decided in the end that it worth the effort to reveal the process for the world to see. After all, the month of March is worldwide "Kidney Awareness Month", so may as well take the plunge. Dialysis is a grim reality for millions of kidney patients across the planet. There's no denying that.

A high-fidelity, high definition TV camera was pressed into service.
In the end, I was quite comfortable conducting this portion of the documentary. It is just another aspect of my life, so why would I want to play it down? The producer requested that I do a "live reading" from Book 1 of the "Dancing with Rejection" trilogy. I was happy to comply. May as well face it head-on, along with the splendid footage of artwork in my studio, as well as some air-time at Sacred Heart. As readers of my blog will remember, this is the home of my most ambitious mural to date. A call for balance and reality, please!

That little wee man reaching out to apply paint on this gigantic wall is yours truly!

I will be happy to see the result of all of this filming. I'm assured by the producer that a link will be made available for sharing, so please, stay tuned to this space.