Chapter One

November 26, 2010

Hi y’all.

Thanks for checking out my blog. My brother once said to me, under his breath as if he was afraid to ask, ‘Isn’t your blog supposed to be a business blog?’  I recall pausing, holding my own breath, and wondering how I was supposed to answer that. But I guess for me, business and my personal life are somewhat intertwined. So I do apologize if you happen to get doses of both when you are actually just wondering how the business is going.

And on that note, well I am still just working on passion projects for the most part these days, although I am getting anxious to sink my teeth into some new video projects.  I enjoy the balance between camera work in the field and editing in the office. Today is cold and rainy and I am quite content here in my little office in the historic Holman building in Summerside. Had my bag of salt free chips (don’t tell Krista or Rachel from FitChic Bootcamp!) and a juicy red delicious apple awaits on the desk. The sun is sinking and it’s only 4:08 but it gives the place a cozy feel. I like it here.

So I had a crazy interesting week. Right now I am attempting to upload for the second time Chapter One of my little drumming film which has become a little drumming web series. I played it on youtube and alas, the sound was outta synch. Not quite sure why, as the file is fine, but anyways it is uploading once again and so you may or may not have a new chapter to watch today! However I have no plans this evening so it could be a long day in my cozy little office.

About Chapter One, well this one is more of a music video than anything else. And it’s too long, and I know that. But the thing is, it is what it is, and I had some fun with it, but I promise Chapter Two will be more succinct and to the point. I was feeling melancholy and missing my kid when I made Chapter One, and so I edited a section at the end that just features one of his original songs. I did it in a way that reveals the odd picture here and there of old College of Piping Band Members, and the thing is it may not mean much to those of you who don’t know the folks represented in the video. I also included some blacks – the point being that Christopher’s memory of his friends is starting to fade. It was an intentional choice. The whole little series is really just a Mom’s way of making a memory for her son and his old friends as she sits here miles and miles away from him and the life he is living in Alberta, making new memories that I am not party to. Or maybe I should just be really honest and say that I am only making this web series for me. Perhaps I am. But it doesn’t have quite the same impact when the sound is outta synch. So I am working on that, for you, for Christopher, and for me. 🙂

So the other part of this crazy week is that I took a little gig handed to me by my agent at Atlantic Talent – it was a role playing military exercise somewhere deeply hidden in the depths of PEI. I signed a confidentiality agreement so can’t too much except this – gulp. It was pretty out there, freezing cold, loud, scary as heck, and probably forever psychologically damaging. After all, I was a hostage. Gulp again. You can see videos of what this company who ran the exercise does if you google Strategic Ops San Diego. It was nuts, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Okay, maybe not the freezing part. Or the bad coffee that tasted like hot water with a little side of cardboard. But the company was terrific, the exercise terrifying and exhilarating, and hopefully the new friends long lasting. The guns in my face…not so cool. I have new respect for actors who have to play such parts day after day. I can’t imagine how they can separate themselves from what they are doing, the people they are playing. That explains Stephen McHattie, ahem. Nothing else to say about that.

Soooo, yeah the other cool thing that happened this week was that I got an email from Maggie, the Purser on the Tall Ship Picton Castle. She had been googling Picton Castle and I guess came across the recently uploaded video that I had made on board the ship. I did actually send her a copy through a local businessman who is friends with the Captain, but it would appear she never got it. Anyways, she did say that she loved it and asked permission to use it in the ship’s online presence. Of course I said yes and am thrilled that she wants to use it. I’ve only been doing this for a short time and so am pleased that my work is starting to get out there, and I am of course hoping that it eventually leads to other work.

One thing to note about putting your work out there – you can’t compare yourself to others. As an artist you will always critique your work, harshly, I expect. Us artists are never done – there is always something else to fix in what we do. And I know for me that I need to either learn such software aps as After Effects (to make cool titles) OR find the money to hire someone to use it for me. My titles suck, and I know that, but it’s not an insurmountable problem. It will get remedied one day. HOWEVER I will note that I always look up the work of others and compare myself, and it only serves to bring me down (although I am always a great admirer of  others’ work). So sometimes one is better served by just accepting that we all do the best we can, we keep learning, and life goes on.

Well, ciao for now – be good to yourself –

Susan 🙂


Oops…honeybees…aka honibe

November 5, 2010

Hi again –

Forgot to explain about the honeybees of the ‘Music and Honeybees’ title in the last post…well in fact, I thought of honeybees because I had a table in the recent Entrepreneurs’ Forum Client Showcase at the Culinary Institute in Charlottetown on Tuesday, and one of the exhibitors was Honibe, a company who just won an International Award for Best New Product (for a honey drop that you can plop into your tea, I think).  So honeybees were on my mind – the Forum was wonderful, although I stuck too close to my table to be able to partake of any of the Culinary delights in the room! Though I did manage two glasses of wine…ummm…I was a bit nervous, after all!

I mostly played my demo reel (also available on youtube under Susan Rodgers Demo Reel 2010) and got such a HUGE kick out of peoples’ reactions to it. One of the films I cam opped featured a sasquatch in 44 degree heat in Surrey, BC, and lordy what fun the business folks in Charlottetown had with that guy! I mean, how often at an upscale business event do you spy a glint in someone’s eye as they politely inquire “Is that a sasquatch?” They really enjoyed the film clips overall, and I think I raised some eyebrows by reminding these folks that indeed very good film can be made here in PEI BY ISLANDERS! Yes, I shot the sasquatch in BC but there are also many Islanders here now who are equally as capable of putting together large and successful beautiful film projects. Since one of my immediate goals is to create an investment plan and seek investors to help me purchase a little more gear and hire an editor and project manager, I believe it is important to get out to the business community with such demo reels and SHOW FOLKS what we can do. Then those with disposable income may be more inclined to come on board and help us out.

I don’t know what the HONIBE folks did in terms of raising capital for their award winning product, but I will say that I was indeed inspired to feature bluemountain entertainment in their presence at the same event. After all, they must have started somewhere, and I laud them for having the tenacity and the business smarts to succeed.

Go honeybees! Inspire us all, and lift us to new heights of possibility!

(and that was not the wine speaking, folks. I really mean it!)

Peace out


Music and honeybees

November 5, 2010


Well, it’s a Friday but it feels kinda Monday-like to me. I think I’ve just had such a full busy week that not having to rush around today has slowed my adrenaline, plus it’s grey and windy outside, so all things considered, I am in sleepy mode today. Add to that yet another tragedy in our community, I’ve lost count this Fall, but it saps your energy and makes you think. Or should I say ponder – I’m too tired to think. So I’ll ponder instead.

What to ponder? Well, music and honeybees, of course! Music being my son’s tunes – I’ve decided (with his permission, of course) that I should try to flog his tunes whenever possible. Nothing formal, but just a general presentation of his music. I have used his original songs in some of my work, but I think it’s time he pushed a little harder to get it out there, so I’ll be the nudger.

Christopher is one of those kids with a magic charisma – countless times I have seen him in situations where people crowd around in search of a smile or a chuckle. He makes everyone laugh and feel at ease, and says he generally does not have bad days (is this possible?). Let me just say that I am a lucky Mom cause there have been times over the years when he was able to change my bad days into good ones, just by virtue of speaking. As a drummer (and he’s a darn good one), he animates the stage. He grooves to the music and lights up the stage. It’s magical to watch. As a singer songwriter, his original music is contemplative and real, and he has the connectivity to the audience to attract true loyal fans very quickly. At a coffeehouse in his City of Grande Prairie, I observed while folks my own age were hugging him and loving him after he sang just because ‘he is Christopher’. How did I raise him that way? Hmmm. I don’t think I did, because I have typical female insecurities (don’t we all?) and I was a single Mom, and apart from that all I can say is maybe it was those Friday nite Greco donair or pizza nights that secured his ease. Cause those came with lots of heart to heart discussions and me, the dreamer, always telling him he could be whatever he wants to be. Not sure, and in truth he didn’t see his Dad much, but upon seeing them together recently I realized that although his Dad wasn’t generally present (‘cept for summers and the occasional Christmas), he still had a huge influence on our son.  Laughter was imminent, and I may have already blogged about this, but it boggles my mind how this kid turned out so good.

Well, enough bragging about him, I want you to hear his music because I really think he has something special going on and I want to make it part of my professional duty to spread the word about the music of Christopher Rodgers. Okay don’t laugh, but I now have to figure out how to incorporate his music into this blog…hmmm…well, I’ll go work on that and in the meantime you can check him out on youtube. He can be found in the video Making It To Triumph Street (from a few years back), as well as in A Time To Drum preview (the song at the end is his). Also some of his old tunes with the band Don’t Mention the War are still on myspace (written with Mike Noble and Mike Holden who have changed the band’s title to Young Pacific).  The one I really want you to hear is called Silence, Bloodhound and it gives me goosebumps. But it’s on my other computer at home so I will make a promise to get it to you asap.

In other news, the rumours are true, I am in the very early stages of planning a new reality based Design Show with Susan Snow of Moving Designz. No more news on that yet because we have a lot to sort out but I am hoping we will get an 8 minute pilot shot in January. At this point this will likely be a web series but we will see. I do believe the future is the web – there are distributors out there who buy content for the web, and production value is going up.

In the meantime I am still shooting promotional videos and commercials for folks on the Island. I also had the very great honour of recently shooting a pre-school show called Bunny Bop, by the award winning producer of The Big Comfy Couch, Cheryl Wagner (in partnership with her daughter Harmony). It was a lot of fun, with small children in bunny suits, a bunny garden, the neatest puppet named Buddy Bunny (and friends) and an awesome crew. My five year old niece Lana was also in the show, and she did wonderfully! Overall just a terrific experience, and of course me in my glory as cam op, my fave job on set ever.

Ok I will work on getting some music out to you, but check out the An website for more about the awesome Christopher Rodgers.

Peace Out