Thursday, April 24, 2008

Winnipeg: Spring is here! oh no it isn't

I've been so busy that I didn't get to write my Spring has Sprung post, this morning I woke up and everything is covered with snow again. Winnipeg roads were very icy. They don't seem to plough much around here. Each times it snows a few road lanes go away and people stay to the middle of the road. On the drive up to Selkirk I was checking out the ditches to see if I could handle going off the road. It looked like I'd have plenty of field space to slow to an easy stop. However there is one scary bridge with a sign that indicates the bridge is slippery in below freezing weather. Even though I drove slowly over the bridge it was still a little nerve-wracking. When I went to drive home my car was stuck and it took several peddle to floor attempts before I got unstuck and on my way.

Winnipeg: Schedule Change

My days are completely different now that production has started. I bring the girls to "school." Lula runs off immediately and ignores my attempts to say goodbye and Maya clutches me tightly but then goes easily to the staff.

I then go to the set - if its early in the week. As the week goes on their days start later and later because of the 12 hour "turn-around" required between shifts. I think that may be for the actors or perhaps everyone.

I leave each day at about 4-4:30 to go get the girls. The set is 45 minutes away with no traffic.

Today the filming start was delayed two hours so I only got an opportunity to shoot one rehearsal. It was challenging because it was hand-held and we all had to back up out of the actresses path but all the while leaving room for the director of photography (cinemaphotographer I think) and the boom operator to move around as well. It was in a room filled with 'girlie' pics that were shot at the production office earlier on. That was a day that Rob decided to go home early since he hadn't been paid.

My gourmet cooking days are over for now. I stocked up on frozen foods for the girls and I have been eating mostly cereal plus a sandwhich on set.

Winnipeg: Wildlife

These photos were taken out our window into the yard. The bunnies are regular and the deer were just passing through.

Winnipeg: Bad Meat: Office

This is from a terrific scene where Kendrew (Mark Pellegrino) pretends to be a caring counselor, gets her to open up and then he cuckolds her. Mark does a great job at everything he does and he's really captivating to watch. He was one of the villains in Capote. Rose is played by Elizabeth Harnois. I use my Nikon during rehearsals and my Canon while they're shooting because I can turn the sound off but the photos aren't as clear and controlled as they are on the Nikon.

Winnipeg: Bad Meat: Vomit Scene

Here the character Kendrew is getting sick and vomiting on his hero Hitler. He keeps some fake vomit in his mouth for the initial small spit up and then the next batch comes via a hose.

Monday, April 14, 2008

WINNIPEG: Hanging out watching the River

Joe is the Director of Photography (DP) on Bad Meat. He also worked on Alphabet Killer. We have dinner with him at least once a week sometimes more. Barbara his girlfriend just joined us too.

WINNIPEG: Ice on the River

The River is proving to be a huge source of entertainment for me. All the ice melted and then last night tons of ice began to appear again floating by and crashing into the shore and getting stuck.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

WINNIPEG: The girls

Lula was sweet this morning she was talking about Maya and putting her hand on her cheek saying: "She's so adorable, she talks baby talk, she still says nana, I want to take care of her."

I don't know where this came from.

Lula & Maya's latest thing is to create a boat out of blankets and sleep on the floor instead of the mattresses.

MANITOBA: Outside Winnipeg

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Sometimes love appears where you least expect it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


I have become a more confident cook. With a nice open kitchen, the girls in school and lots of hungry people I have been motivated to try new recipes. Sometimes I cook for 8 and bring it to Rob's production office to eat with his colleagues.

I have learned that it is incredibly easy to make polenta. Cornmeal, twice the water and way more parmesan cheese than the recipe calls for.

I cook steak, fish with hoisin sauce, chicken on the grill, artichokes, sweet potatoes, red cabbage, acorn squash, Spaghetti carbonera, the usual pesto pasta with potatoes and green beans and then I tried brocolli, orzo with dill...

Most of the recipes come from one single issue of Martha Stewart's Food Magazine.

WINNIPEG: Slaughterhouse

Friday Rob and crew went to a slaughterhouse to film some actual cattle and pig slaughter. There documentary film will be within the horror movie. Hopefully it will turn a few people off of meat including me. I won't write about it since I didn't experience any of it first hand but it sounded pretty awful. I don't want to see the photos.

Photo by Joe DeSalvo.

Joe and Rob are watching the dailies of the documentary footage from the slaughterhouse. I am careful not to enter or look into the room but from the sounds of their exclamations it must be really awful. Even though I don't want to see the images it seems like its the right thing to do to be fully aware of what is involved in getting us steaks to eat.

WINNIPEG: Snowed again

Last night it snowed and covered everything. There were rabbit tracks on the front walkway.

Hundreds of Canada Geese are hanging out in and next to the river in back. We even saw a huge piece of floating ice with geese going for a ride.

It's fun to watch the river melt.

Friday, April 4, 2008

WINNIPEG: We're staying for now

Another anxiety ridden day behind me... We appear to be staying for now. The money for the project is trickling in.

I've heard that most of the snow should be melted by now but we keep getting more snowstorms - they're beautiful. The Canada Geese have returned somewhat confused about the weather. I saw them in the yard and also flying in V formation.

One day I went inside a building for an hour and when I came out all the streets were filled with snow again. The streets had been dry and clear but it was completely dumped with snow in one hour.

The River has mostly melted. I'm so glad I didn't listen to my neighbor who said it would be frozen for a long time due to the many 40 below days they had this year.

The roads here are not maintained very well. It's very difficult to see any painted lines in the road or in parking garages. One day I parked my mini-van quite carefully and perfectly between the faded lines and came back to see someone had written "Learn to Park" into the dirt on the car. I don't blame them - those mini-vans are annoying and the lines are nearly impossible to see but it must have been a drag to have someone's dried car mud on their finger until they got to the next washroom. (They say washroom here instead of bathroom)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

WINNIPEG: Why are we here?

We came to Winnipeg because Rob was asked to direct a horror feature. Financing was not entirely in place - still isn't actually. However, we decided to gamble that the film would get made in which case we'd be able to stash away a little more cash in the bank than we would have if we had stayed in Singapore.

They were supposed to start shooting this past Monday. It got pushed one week because as Rob was told, the financing wouldn't come through until the following week. All the actors are here, all the crew is here, everything is ready to go and we just found out that in fact the financing isn't it place - they're still scrambling for money. We should know at 4pm. Of course I have some anxiety about this but I'm hoping that I don't spend all of today devoting my energies to being anxious and instead that I can be productive. Or even if I just spend half of today being anxious and the other half being productive that might be OK.

This is my new friend Ida with Maya & Lula.

We met in our daughters gymnastics class. She heard I was new and charitably offered her number so that we can get together. We've hung out a few times and I take her Yoga/Pilates class on Tuesday morning. She's having a birthday party on Saturday evening but if the production goes we won't attend due to Rob's workload. He'll have time for working and sleeping and that's about it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

WINNIPEG: Friendly People

Everyone here is very nice. I notice that even waiting for elevators people make a bit more small talk. Of course it turns out there is an underside. All that forced friendliness causes a little more aggressiveness on the road. If you need to merge into a lane and put on your blinker than in all liklihood the car you'd merge in front of will speed up to close up the gap. In all the cities we've visited, Los Angeles, New York, Singapore and Winnipeg all these placed have aggressive drivers and road rage. I guess its just must easier to be hostile to someone when it isn't face to face.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Every summer Winnipeg has a mural contest and lots of cool murals get painted around the city. It's the first thing that caught my eye about this place. Especially noticeable in contrast to all the snow.