House Rock, Gallatin Canyon


Setting up the scene: Memorial Day, Spring 2008, Gallatin River Canyon, House Rock. We casually decided to go to House Rock so we hiked over on the north side of the river, and wished that we would see kayakers, thinking we wouldn’t because the water looked so dangerous. Besides when we left town it was cold and windy, once we started getting close it was raining and frosting pretty far down into the canyon.

We saw some kayakers but we were pretty far from House Rock, I still tried to keep pace with them for awhile. The water was probably moving at a high cfs and they were rocketing through the rapids so I missed the money shot and sitting at the rock for awhile decided that those three were the only ones adventurous enough to brave this day. So we started hiking back toward the jeep. Only to spot the opportunity and decided to book it back to the site.

Big Water.

The shot I wished for pretty much.

And then he realizes he made it through the gauntlet, but there are big rapids up ahead.

More fellows out there.

It was fun running, trying not to miss the shot that the day offered. I wish I could put these shots in a magazine or the daily paper, but this blog may just have to do, hopefully some people get to see them. I do have high resolution shots.

Filming in MT

I got to thinking about how there are tax incentives set up to offset the costs of making a film by state and found that it can be by city too. Now just to note my civics teacher was hilarious and I remember some of his antics more than I remember how the lines of government connect. In Montana a film production can receive a 14% rebate based on hired Montana labor and a 9% rebate based on production expenditures in Montana. It is a progressive way to invite more business into Montana and to keep talent here.

In New York it can be up to 35% based on different offerings some state and some city, Mayor Bloomberg just recently passed the extra 5%. The New York credits are based on qualified productions, qualified production costs, and qualified production facilities.

The qualified expenses are the interesting part. The majority of the work has to be done in state or in the city by QUALIFIED facilities, which is more about technical abilities rather than political relationships.

Montana has so much room to grow and we have such an amazing natural resource. Film production houses are in short number here, however there is a lot of qualified talent. Growth cannot happen in a day or it could become single minded but hopefully as a state we can build our storytelling abilities.


Becks new song is available to listen to on his website, just find the ghetto blaster in the corner. Chemtrails is the first song we’ve seen out from the new album with Danger Mouse which will be released this summer. Perhaps to be called Modern Guilt. It is 60’s vintage, spacey and British sounding – groovy and haunted. According to this press release Beck describes the new set as the most concise collection of music he’s ever created. “The goal was 10 songs, 30 minutes, every song over before you want it to be. No fast-forward material. Anything that gave us any trouble was scrapped. There’s no fat on this record whatsoever.”

The Fader sat with Beck and D’Angelo, in the same room to talk about their music. Beck, in reference to his songs becoming old to him through repetition said, “I don’t think of it like that. I’m beyond bored with it. It’s like my arm. Are you bored of your arm? You use it every day. That’s the eternal struggle, though, is trying to keep it fresh, come up with new shit. People always wanna hear the old shit—that’s always gonna be the case. The shit you’re inspired by, it’s never going to strike a chord until you’re over it.”

Music created by Beck is just that, in my opinion, created. Out of nothing comes amazing emotional connections and disassociations from what music is supposed to be, lyrics that can make you laugh but then can bring you to the deepest place and you want to cry. Always fresh and exactly what I have been looking for, even if I didn’t know it.


I went to Second City, where you learned to make the other actor look good so you looked good and National Lampoon, where you had to create everything out of nothing, and SNL, where you couldn’t make any mistakes, and you learned what collaboration was.

~ Bill Murray

Steven Soderbergh’s “Che”

Benicio Del Toro

Benicio Del Toro will play Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevera de la Serna, an Argentine revolutionary who came to age in the epic film ‘Motorcycle Diaries’. Steven Soderbergh will open two films at Cannes ‘The Argentine’ and ‘Guerilla’.

On November 26, 1956, Fidel Castro sails to Cuba with eighty rebels. One of those rebels is Ernesto “Che” Guevara, an Argentine doctor who shares a common goal with Fidel Castro – to overthrow the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.

After the Cuban Revolution, Che is at the height of his fame and power. Then he disappears, re-emerging incognito in Bolivia, where he organizes a small group of Cuban comrades and Bolivian recruits to start the great Latin American Revolution.

In Argentina if someone calls you che it is like a pet name. Che Tara would be sweet. Perhaps it’s a cultural nod to a man who meant to create a safe place for all humanity’s nurture not just what he saw as an elite.

After graduation, due to special circumstances and perhaps also to my character, I began to travel throughout America, and I became acquainted with all of it. Except for Haiti and Santo Domingo, I have visited, to some extent, all the other Latin American countries. Because of the circumstances in which I traveled, first as a student and later as a doctor, I came into close contact with poverty, hunger and disease; with the inability to treat a child because of lack of money; with the stupefaction provoked by the continual hunger and punishment, to the point that a father can accept the loss of a son as an unimportant accident, as occurs often in the downtrodden classes of our American homeland. And I began to realize at that time that there were things that were almost as important to me as becoming famous for making a significant contribution to medical science: I wanted to help those people.
— Che Guevara, 1960

Steven Soderbergh and Benicio Del Toro have worked together in the 4 time Oscar winner ‘Traffic’. His film ‘Eros’, the middle chapter with Robert Downey Jr., is subtle and brilliant. It says so much without the use of words.

Pre-Visualization of a story

Stories have something different for everyone. It’s a beautiful thing. A movie as a storytelling device is powerful. A movie is visual, auditory and these elements combined are emotional and make one think about their own life and experiences. But imagine directing a movie ( or writing one ) and having that story that you care about, that you know, and try to convey that story to an audience who doesn’t have your experience. Imagine trying to convey that to the many skilled people who work to make that story real with you remembering that all those who you are working with will have their own vision of what it could look like.

I was thinking about the two imaginations of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas for Indiana Jones. The organization behind making their particular styles come through in a film is extraordinary. Just this one little detail to make the magic happen is a work of art in itself.Indian a Jones and the Lost Ark

A simple storyboard, so these illustrious directors can keep the hundreds of people working on this film on the same page.

Conversation with Intrinsia

I found an interesting profile featured on Smoothdevil, Joel LeLievre of Intrisia. Inspiring work. Subtle and delicate with a lot of light and fantastic motion ideas. I wrote him to tell him, a compliment for such hard work, because many of us can at least fathom how much time and work it takes to create tasteful seamless art and animation such as this. He seems destined to use his creative juices everyday.

The man who did the snow and blood in Sin City studied Art History in University! He admits that when he stumbled upon the well of creativity, the well never paused to curb it’s flow. “Being an artist is more of a lifestyle than a job so working on pieces is both a hobby and a source of income. With that comes a double-edge sword. I love working on this stuff and can do it for days on end; but at the same time sometimes I find it’s all I do. Trying to get that nice balance between work and play is a job in itself.”

An artist.

350 parts per million

there are over 350 parts per million of carbon in our atmosphere and that could mean escalating dangers for this beautiful water drenched blue and green planet.

A NASA scientist named James Hansen offered a simple, straightforward and mind-blowing bottom line for the planet: 350, as in parts per million carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

we are currently at 383 ppm and it is going to take a lot of hard economic and ethical decision making to keep this number from exponentially increasing. how can any country dependent on coal, oil and gas keep going and advance without continuing to use it? the use of carbon based fuels lets us create a comfortable lifestyle. no one wants to live in poverty so we use fuels to advance. at one point in our economic history the dominant choice was the use of carbon based fuels to create products, connections, and ways of powering those connections. a wheel hard to break. but now we have to curb this, we have to change this choice to another, we cannot leave people out in the cold, we have to change responsibly. is trying to create a buzz that will reach beyond traditional media. we really do have to make hard decisions, responsible decisions. these decisions don’t have to mean going back to using horse drawn chariots. right?

a moment, an action, a choice, can change more than we would ever be able to imagine.


individuals have a story. how did we become who we are, what genetics and events have shaped our lives? we have all overcome obstacles we thought we never could have. perhaps an adverse situation was overcome in an unexpected way and because of our values failure was avoided and that success became part of the story, part of an identity. all of these stories are unique and if one really digs into the details of the event s of challenge and change there is a lot to tell.

stories are a way to express how you have chosen to live. words can be solely words and nothing more, but if a connection is made and they are found interesting or thought provoking or if there is a lesson to be learned from them they will be remembered longer than one individual can live.

i approach advertising like story telling. an authentic identity can be quite valuable, in cultural connotations it could be how you are perceived. sharing stories can build relationships and trust. and in advertising it takes a lot of effort and energy to create a connected experience through storytelling. especially if the story has to be told across different platforms… tv, itv, digital tv, video games, web, print… so one needs to understand media distribution, devices, execution and also follow through

a good storyteller knows how to reach the intended audience.