Author: janaleecreative

In The Blink of an Eye – Documentary

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Well this is exciting, my short  documentary film will be premiering at the @WhistlerFilmFestival, Dec 4, 2016. And today I just learned that it received an Award of Distinction at the Canadian Shorts Film Festival too.

Extreme Whistler athlete, Don Schwartz discovers 25 years after a tragic helicopter crash, that although he has learned to live with the 3rd degree burns to his face, he has been hiding a deeper pain. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for extreme mountain athletes to experience tragedy and loss of fellow adventurers but what is less common is the ability to truly face the deep scars that are left inside. The story uncovers how Don’s psychological issues are revealed unexpectedly through an unconventional piano session and follows his treatment for PTSD. The final test of his recovery is revealed when he attempts to take control of his fears by learning to pilot his own helicopter.


Deeper than Dirt

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There is a really interesting culture that lives within the farmlands of BC. In some ways, it seems like an archaic way of life but the sense of belonging, community and wellbeing that it fosters is creating a happy and healthy culture that many people are craving. There is a clarity and simplicity to it that is breaking through the noise and attracting a new generation of creative doers that are eager to jump off the hamster wheel of today’s technologically driven society.


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During my time at In Focus Film School, I had the pleasure of being the DOP on this beautiful short film Directed by Marina Caviglia. I had a lot of fun playing with light, colour and mood to help bring Marina’s vision to life.



Campus Drinking Culture – What do we really know?

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Just finished working on a very interesting video for a group of BC Universities about campus drinking culture. They wanted to answer questions like: What’s it really like? Can it be shifted? Is it overblown by the media? Is it used as a catch all blame for unacceptable behaviour? The scope of this project didn’t allow me to delve deep into some of the stories of people it referenced but it did open up some very interesting questions around the culture of campus drinking.  The objective  of the video was to start a dialogue and take a hard look at the current drinking culture on BC’s campuses and start to explore how we can begin to shift the culture away from some of the harmful rituals and practices in support of more positive, safe ways to drink.

One question that I found interesting was “Do horrific stories of tragedy in the news, affect a drinking culture?”  The answer is – not really. Although I have to think that the recent letter posted by the rape victim of Brock Allen Turner did touch some nerves with its honest, raw account of what happened and hopefully clarified that drinking is not an excuse for any type of bad behaviour but more importantly should NOT be used as a scapegoat for RAPE. If you haven’t read the article, here it is again:  agree.

I’m loving that in my new exploration into the world of documentary film making that I am being exposed to new topics and meeting super smart, interesting people that are a wealth of profound knowledge and enlightenment.

6 months at sea…alone

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BOATinpetersyardTomorrow Peter Cosmann’s dream of sailing solo and unassisted around the world will be one step closer to coming true. What does solo unassisted mean? He will never touch land, he will use only his sails for power, no one can board his vessel, he can not receive any new supplies or provisions once he sets sail. In other words, he will be completely solo and completely relying on Mother Nature to power his boat, feed him with fish and not shipwreck him in a moment of fury. Like most extreme adventures, the average person thinks he must be crazy to want to spend 6 months on a 43 foot boat being thrown around in horrific weather conditions and unforgiving seas while fending for his position and his life alone. Even if Mother Nature decides to give him a break as he passes around Cape Horn, only time will tell how he adapts mentally and physically throughout this journey. I am excited to be embarking on the adventure of documenting Peter’s trip and creating a film from the cameras that will be placed on Peter’s boat. 1 year from now, I hope to have a film that truly captures the spirit of Peter’s transforming journey.

Vancouver Burlesque Festival 2016

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Now for something completely different and out of my comfort zone. I had the pleasure of shooting the Vancouver Burlesque Festival this weekend. I had no idea what to expect. It’s a really interesting culture filled with a super diverse crowd. At one point I glanced over to see a tiny, white haired grandma dressed in the most sophisticated beautiful dress being pushed into the theatre in her wheel chair by a very colourful 6 foot, transgender individual in a purple mohawk. That’s how cool the boundaries are blended. Here is a just a very small taste of the pre-show tech rehearsal.

In The Blink of an Eye

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Finally finished my documentary, In the Blink of an Eye. It’s a short documentary about a young snowboarder whose life takes a sudden turn when the helicopter that he and 11 other passengers are aboard goes down in a ball of flames during a powder 8 competition in Blue River, BC. The story follows his recovery over the next 25 years and ends with a surprising twist of events. I’m not going to post it until after the festival season in hopes that it will get picked up by one or two festivals. I will post a teaser soon.