Field Guide Bike Tour-Day 2/Blim and Vancouver, B.C.

June 11th, 2010 by

The morning of our first screening was rainy, rainy. Our friend Kate made us a breakfast fit for visiting dignitaries, while Nick and I destroyed her house by turning it into Sampofilms Headquarters. It seems even though we have already hit the road, there is still plenty of work to do for the latter half of the tour. After eating, we finished chorin’ and headed out into the world.

Making use of available wi-fi

What to do in a foreign country on the first leg of an Epic Adventure? Shave off a beard you’ve been wearing for more than two years, of course! We took Nick to a barbershop on Broadway to try and see if there was a respectable human lurking underneath that hairy forest on his chin. Things You Should Know About Canada, Generalization #1; They know a few things about beards. The well-groomed, attractive young barbers operating the shop had beards that seemed lifted from the oil portraits of Russian Tsars. I had no idea that you can grow a moustache on top of your already existing beard. Needless to say, we were impressed.

The Belmont Barbershop. Rich, on the right, cut Nick's hair

Until they opened their swampmouths. Generalization about Canadian Barbershops Owned by Sexy Guys Who Are Impeccably Groomed, #1; They have the ability to make statements foul enough to turn your ears into melting candlewax dripping down your chin, all without cursing. Then they start cursing. In retrospect, I realize it was actually a brilliant technique to comfort/distract Nick who was whimpering loudly as they applied handsaws to the ancient stumps of old-growth protruding from the bottom of his face. Two hours and only $20 later(!), Nick had a terrific haircut and an old-fashioned shave. All in all, they were a charming lot and if you are ever in need of a shave-and-a-haircut (two dozen looneys?) and you happen to find yourself in Canada, I’d recommend hunting them down. (more…)

Field Guide Bike Tour-Day 1/Train to Vancouver, B.C.

June 10th, 2010 by

Hello Everyone!

Yesterday (Wednesday) Mary and I boarded an Amtrak train north, embarking on our west coast film tour. We left rainy Portland and arrived in rainy Vancouver, B.C. 8 hours later at around 11pm. Our friend Kate greeted us at the train station and somehow clairvoyantly knew that “you guys are hungry for some fresh veggies and a drink.” How did she know? We biked to a great place on Main street called The Foundation, ate some stellar nachos, toasted, went home, played with Kate’s most amazingly chubby cat George Bailey and then all crashed like we had already biked a 70-mile day. Our bodies are just mentally psyching us out, methinks.

Our first screening is tonite (in just a few hours) at a cool gallery in the Chinatown area called Blim at 8pm.

Tomorrow we’ll be biking to Bellingham, WA and are currently chanting prayers to sundry rain, sun and wind gods to allow this journey to start off dry and temperate.

I’ll be putting up more photos and updates on our first two screenings in a few more days. Until then, here are some shots of our train ride and a short interview about what we expect to see in Vancouver.

*Video:player's lounge entertainment

Nick explains what he thinks will happen in Vancouver

Our friend Kate picks us up in Vancouver


Bike Tour

May 24th, 2010 by

Mary and I will be embarking on a 1500+ mile bike tour of our latest film “Field Guide” from Vancouver, B.C. to Sand Diego, CA starting June 10th. Details here

“Hackintosh” Editing on the Cheap

May 7th, 2010 by

Hardcore Nerd Warning: This is tech and film geek heavy, but I wanted to share my experiences in case it proves helpful to other filmmakers…

When I started editing my last film, I had to make some really difficult decisions based on the limited resources and money I had at the time. The last time I edited something, I did so on a flatbed with a work print. I choose to work this way at the time because I was worried 16mm work print and mag stock would soon disappear (they haven’t). I actually preferred splicing bits of film to punching keys on a computer, even though it took a lot more time and planning. There is a satisfying feeling working with a tangible material as well established as 16mm (90 years is a good run for any product I’d say). The only problem with working this way was the cost: in relation to bargaining with a post lab for a good telecine rate, striking a work print cost more. A lot more.

So, this time I chose to rejoin the 21st century again and edit on Final Cut. The only problem was my current computer, the one I have been using for almost 10 years, was an aging G4 that just barely handled SD video. I had access to a Mac Pro, which I used initially for a few months, but it had a looming time line when it would eventually disappear and was only available during limited hours and days of the week. What I really needed was a new computer and at the same time wanted to step up to HD, ideally an uncompressed 2k image. Alright, it’s been some time since I’ve looked but let’s check out what Apple’s prices are these days: (more…)

“Field Guide” Bike Tour Dates

April 28th, 2010 by

mini map of trip


In just a few short weeks I’ll be premiering my latest feature film here in Portland. Soon after, starting June 10th, Mary (the producer of the film) and myself will be pedaling all the way from Vancouver, B.C. to San Diego, CA, screening the film along the way at these fine establishments:

Wifi access permitting, we’ll be posting photos and updates about the tour here. It’s going to take us almost 5 weeks and around 1500 miles to reach the Mexican border. I expect to have three things before returning back to Portland:

  1. A bitchin’ farmer’s tan
  2. A strong desire to quit my day job and live in the Redwoods
  3. A new found respect for comfortable saddles

I’ve been wanting to do this ride for many years and am unbelievably excited to get on the road. Please help us spread the word and let friends and loved ones who live where we will be stopping know about the screenings (we also will be accepting any cooked meals and/or full body massages in exchange for karma points).

See ya’all on the road,



March 15th, 2010 by

I generally don’t get excited for new films, but this is a pretty big exception. “L’Illusionniste,” the second feature film from Sylvain Chomet premiered at this year’s Berlinale. It is based partially on an un-filmed script from Jacques Tati and given to Chomet by Tati’s daughter Sophie Tatischeff before she died in 2001.

It premieres in France May 5th and I’m eagerly waiting for it to make it here to the States. Some gorgeous stills can be peeped at here:

Here is Chomet’s marvelously bizarre first short, “Old Lady and the Pigeons” in three parts:


Why Wait?

March 5th, 2010 by

A little video Mary and I made for our friends Heather and Ananth on a rainy day in Laurelhurst park for their upcoming nuptial. Staring the rollerblading prowess of Martie McQuain, the thrilling balloon buying of Gene Lee and the character actor qualified park peddling of Thomas Phillipson. Music by the always amazing Eric Schopmeyer.


Field Guide Poster

February 8th, 2010 by

Check out this beautiful poster by the talented Cari VanderYacht (no relation):

Field Guide Poster


“Field Guide to November Days” Trailer

February 4th, 2010 by

New trailer for our latest film is up. We’ll be premiering it this May:

After the premiere, Mary and I will be pedaling a 3 week bike tour of the film starting in Vancouver B.C. and ending in the Bay Area. We’re really excited to get the NW screenings for this film rolled out this way. Since the film was shot entirely by bike (except for a single drive to the coast), we feel this is the perfect way to screen it. I’ll have more details up here real soon…

There are some screen shots and other info here.


Field Guide Premiere

February 2nd, 2010 by

We will be premiering our new film, “Field Guide to November Days”: 7pm, May 14th, 2010 at the Whitsell Theater (1219 SW Park Ave)