Saturday, June 30, 2007

Life Update

Well, it seems that my future is leaning more and more towards the Far East, specifically Korea. I have rejected my job here for next year, and my roommates and I have just found out that we are all evicted as of September, so the time is right for a change.

But this is what I have been planning for the last few months. A pause in teaching school and a try in teaching English. 6 months to a year in Korea (depending which type of job I go for), and then a bit of travel around South East Asia - Thailand, Vietnam, Laos - getting my scuba diving certificate, before returning to Vancouver.

My good friend, Steve and I are looking for work in Korea, preferably in a university (better hours, pay, and holidays), and will either head over for October or February. This summer, another good friend, Greg, is coming across the pond to travel around Portugal and Spain in August. I am then planning a stop over in New York on the way back from the UK, as I have always wanted to experience the city. Ghostbusters, King Kong, Gangs of New York, Big, When Harry Met Sally, Friends, Mad about You, and Sex and the City as well as the American Museum of Natural History and the Empire State Building call me.

On another film note, Tony's Empire, my first film, has been seen over 175 times in the last two weeks on YouTube. With such a success behind us, Albany Road Studios (my roommates and friend's film company) have decided to make another film! This one will be a direct sequel to Tony's Empire, taking place about two weeks after and will focus on Leon's sister and the Birmingham Police Department. It is a much more adventurous script, but I am itching to apply myself again after learning from my mistakes the first time around.

I will finish off the script today and will start production sometime next week. Tony's Empire 2 (working title) will have a much larger cast and more locations. I will be trying to 'show off' Birmingham this time around.

As for tomorrow - Canada Day, we are having a Canadian dinner with Canadian music and drinks. It should be fun! I'll post about it Monday...

With that, I say to everyone, "HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!"

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bond Family Reunion '07

This weekend I attended a family reunion in Henley-on-Thames, at my Grandmother and Uncle's houses! Cousins, aunts, uncles, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, sisters, and brothers all flooded into Nigel's house and ate Joyce's amazing food.

Here are a few photos of the Bond Reunion Event '07:

John, Granny, and Angie

Lara running from the coming rain storm!

Nigel's Girls: Lara, Angie, and a pregnant Nicky!

Yasmeen, Tim, and Dad

Meena, Angie, Rocheen, and Lara

Joyce, James, Meena, Lara, Rocheen, and John

The Bond Brothers: Dad, Nigel, and Tim

The Bond Cousins: Yasmeen, Nicky, Angie, Me, Rocheen, Lara
(missing are Lisa and Escandar)

The New Parents: Nicky, Rav, and Baby!

Funniest Picture Award: James through binoculars!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

O2 Wireless Festival - London

This weekend I partook in another of the traditional English events - the Outdoor Summer Festival. Specifically, the O2 Wireless Festival in Hyde Park, London. In it's second year running, the festival has lined-up quite the musical line-up!

Bands playing over the four days include the Kaiser Chiefs, The White Stripes, the Gotan Project, and Queens of the Stone Age. But I only attended the Saturday, meaning I missed all of the above... but that's alright because Daft Punk headlined Saturday! Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem, CCS, the Klaxons, Calvin Harris, and Mutemath rocked it out!

And ROCK they did! Daft Punk was amazing - two guys with robot heads began their set with the notes from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the thumping electro music didn't let up until Around the World finished!

Summer Festivals are curious things. Lazing about with thousands of people, some costumed (saw some amazing cross dressing and stilted Batman and Superman!) Cheepish beer and food kiosks, four stages, carnival rides, and an amazing vibe rule the day. Even the weather cooperated - short stints of rain amongst beautiful sunshine!

I went down to London with Roger, Lewis, Emily, and Zoe and had a great time. I stayed with cousin Dave and saw cousin Naomi this morning. They were getting themselves ready for the King of Festivals: Glastonbury. 10 times bigger than O2 makes it the largest festival in the UK! Someday, I'll hit that one. Someday...

Happy Father's Day to all those fathers out there! (Dad!)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

New Film is Finished!

"Better than Good!"
"Not that bad!"
"Well, I've seen better!"
"Well done, son!"
"Best film I've ever seen ..... in the last 20 minutes!"
"Exciting in parts!"
"I liked the good bits!"

These and many others are actual comments made by actual people who have seen this actual film!

Tony's Empire: Harborne Hitmen is a 23 minute shortish action/comedy/gangster no-budget film, staring my roommates and myself "acting" as mafioso gangsters and hitmen. Shot entirely on location in Birmingham, England, the movie tells the dark tale of a group of mob friends that suspect one of them is an undercover cop. But which one? I play the gang's boss - Tony - who deals with the dirty rat.

WARNING: The film is rated R due to constant strong language (swearing) and scenes of violence and torture (with a knife!) Viewer discretion is advised...

Watch it now on YouTube below. It is in three parts, so make sure you watch them all!
Tony's Empire - Part 1
Tony's Empire - Part 2
Tony's Empire - Part 3

This is the first official film I have ever solely directed and edited and I am quite proud of it! Please let me know what you think! Tell me your favorite part and which part could be better!
All this will help me the next time... (can anyone smell a sequel?!...)

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy Tony's Empire: Harborne Hitmen!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Two Weeks in Vancouver - Part 2

I am certainly not the first person in my family to get a tattoo. That honor goes to my sister Lisa, who has three at the moment and goes in to get her fourth today! (Good luck, Lis! Say "Hi" to Paul!)

1. Stylized dragon at the base of her neck... 2. Capricorn symbol at the base of her spine... 3. Celtic-ish armband on her left arm... And now today's 4. A silver dagger on her right calf (so that when she wears her high leather boots, the handle sticks out above!)

She designs her tattoos herself because she is a fantastic and capable artist! For those who don't know, she's been delving into that art by taking a digital graphic design course, which she has just completed. Her graduation show just happened to fall within the weeks I was in town, so I was able to be the uber-proud older brother and see all her hard work!

It was a real fancy event at the Vancouver Community College downtown, with catered food and a bar. Each student had a section of wall space to display their work. The varied art and design styles of each student made for interesting comparisons. I was impressed with the professionalism of the work - especially that of my sister's!

Zoom in by clicking the picture!

Her portfolio includes posters, CD covers, tattoos, websites, web magazines, business cards, and logos. I really love her self-portrait! It looks exactly like her...

Lisa's been drawing since she could hold a pencil. Mom and Dad are both artistic, so it is no surprise where she gets her talent from. Not only is she now a talented Graphic Designer, she is the Lead Singer in the band One Year Later. They've been playing together for a few years now and have begun playing at venues around Vancouver - most recently a string of gigs at the Buffalo Club! The band rocks and Lisa sounds great - check out two videos on their websites!

Click on Lisa and One Year Later myspace pages for info and videos!
Join their Official One Year Later Fan Group on Facebook!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Tattoo Pics

Amazingly, 100% of the people who voted in where my tattoo is, voted for "right shoulder." And all 7 people were correct!

Hurrah, you've all just won pictures of me getting my tat:

The look on my face when the first needle hits...

Step 1: the drawing outline is transfered onto the skin...

Step2: Outline is tattooed, then basic shading...

Step 3: Final shading and details are done.

Soon, the pain becomes a vibrating tickle... Mmmm...

Done! Finished work of Art!

The tattoo is still scabbing up and flaking off, but it is looking good.
I'll post some pics once it's all healed!

More from Vancouver soon...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Tattoo Quiz

Many people have been asking where on my body my tattoo is. I have left out that info on purpose because I thought it would be fun to see if you could guess where my tat is! So go on, vote!
Where is my tattoo?
Back of hand
Right forearm
Left hip
Right shoulder
Base of spine
Right calf
Base of neck
Massive bicep
Um.. groinal area free polls

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Two Weeks in Vancouver - Part 1

Well, I am suffering from Jet Lag.

Yup, it is 5:30am Monday morning and I've been awake since 3am. My internal clock is so backwards right now, I'll be snoozing by lunchtime. And since I go back to work today, I'll be slugging back the tea - milk and 3 sugars!

North Vancouver

What a trip it was...! While I wasn't able to catch-up with everyone I wanted to, I did manage to see most of my friends and family, along with some old friends from high school and university! The main reason I returned back to my hometown of Vancouver is that my cousin was getting married. Other events such as my sister's digital graphic design grad show and meeting my friends new baby punctuated the trip.

Downtown Vancouver

I also got into a car accident, stood on top of the Province/Vancouver Sun building, and got a tattoo.

Yup, I'm a rebel.

I've wanted a tattoo for ages and now seemed like the right time. But what should I get? I needed something that symbolized me. Something that I could and wanted to live with for the rest of my life. Something that spoke of my love of art. Something that spoke of my love science and palaeontology. Something strong and exciting. Something Canadian. Something I drew myself.

Last Friday, my sister and our two cousins from the UK accompanied me to the Sacred Heart Tattoo Studio on Davies Street, where I met Paul. My sister joined me in the tattooing room as Paul began the process. After photocopying my drawing onto a transfer sheet, he applied the transfer and began the tattoo. How did it feel? Constant, slight, prickly pain. A bit like scraping the point of a knife over your skin. After the first few minutes, you become used to it. In fact, I could totally get another one... but not yet! My tattoo took one hour to do. And it looks great. Better than great - awesome! I love the amount of detail Paul was able to include!

My tattoo has begun to scab and flake off (it's supposed to!) and I'm putting on some skin lotion to keep it moist. Soon, it will be completely healed and I'll post some pics!

The main reason I returned was my cousin's wedding, which was held at Burnaby Lake. My two cousins on Mom's side (Dave and Naomi) living in the UK along with my Mom's sister stayed with us for the wedding. It was great to catch up with them (I will be seeing them in a few weeks in London for the Daft Punk concert at Hyde Park!)

Dave and I had to become the MCs for the wedding at the last minute because the original MC became unavailable. We were able to do a decent job, doing toasts, calling which table goes next for food, and announcing the dances... It was my second MC gig. The first was MCing the wedding of this bride's sister - my other cousin!

More stories to follow, but safe to say I had a great time back home! Thanks to Mom, Dad, Sis, and all my friends! Stay tuned for more...

The New Look

I'm back!

Back from Vancouver and back to blogging! I though it appropriate that I update the layout (I was getting bored with my old one and Facebook has been taking more and more of my internet time). And I like it!

The Vancouver stories (and I have a lot!) will start to flow soon, so stay tuned!