Happy Birthday, Mama!

 

Greg and I are sitting in France while my dear Mother is sitting in our apartment taking care of our baby, Saunders. That right there is the perfect example of the generous lady my mama is! She flew all the way to Toronto to spend her birthday in the company of our pup, and only our pup. And while he’s a pretty good pal, he doesn’t exactly treat her for dinner or buy her a cake. You can see why I’m pretty lucky to call her my Mum.

Ever since my sisters and I were little, my Mum was the best Mum in the world. We always had the best recess snacks (Gushers, Dunkaroos, Scooby Snacks, Wheat Crunch) and our lunches were the same. Friends were always excited to come over, knowing “Suzie” had a candy and treat stocked pantry. She was also well known among the secretaries as she often had to drop off homework we left on the kitchen table – even after she’d reminded us several times to grab it. I like to say that I can blame my picky eating on my Mum (only joking, plus I think I’ve gotten a lot better) because she used to make 2 or 3 variations on dinner to suit my sisters and my bland palette.

Mama and Libby in our favourite place: Disneyworld

 

My Mum is always our biggest fan. She supports every decision we make (and let’s face it, most of our decisions are good as we were raised by the best) and makes sure we have everything we need to make that possible. She always helps support us in getting the things we need, as well as the things we “need.” In fact, I never would have been to film school or done any photography without the help from my Mum along the way. She helped get me my own Mac computer, a digital video camera and the software needed to make my first movies when I was 12. Then I got better and so did cameras and computers… I got pretty expensive. But Mama Bear is always there to help me finance my expensive purchases. And by finance I mean convince my Dad I need it and help shop around for a good deal.

The parents with their new nurse, Rachel!

 

My Mum loves to do kind things for others. She would literally give everything to those she cares about, and I think we should all try and be a little more like that. She loves having people over for dinner, and planning trips for her daughters. Even when she does go on a vacation she comes home with suitcases full of goods for us and nothing for herself.

The whole gang at Niagara Falls after the wedding!

 

Happy Birthday to the most generous, funny, kind, loving and awesome Mum in the world!

 

Rachel, Libby and I are so lucky to have you as our Mama. Hopefully one day we can be half the woman you are. We are so grateful for everything you’ve done for us and we hope to one day repay you by making you lots of meals, driving you around, planning for trips and paying for lots of things for you. Hope you have a great birthday with Saunders! Love you!

 

I love you Mama!!

#OurGuySaunders

Excuse the lack of blogging as of late. In addition to my film festival, university convocation and parents visiting, and Greg’s magazine winning a National Magazine Award, the biggest news in our lives is the newest member of our family. Saunders Hudson was born March 29, 2012 and came into our lives on May 27, 2012.

 

We kind of love him a lot.

We now spend our days throwing his toys around the house, and then putting them away. Or lying in a park. Or helping him learn how to walk on a leash. We’re just grateful the days of waking up every 2 hours in the night are over. Our little monster sleeps about 7 or 8 hours through the night, and doesn’t make a peep. And it’s us who coax him out of bed in the morning, knowing his poor little bladder must be full by then! He is exceptional at listening to the word “sit,” and makes sure to do it before we give him his meals, and before we cross the street. Oh, and he starts puppy school next weekend. We can’t wait for him to be the most well behaved pup on the block!

 

Check out our #ourguysaunders hashtag on instagram or follow us (@nicolebreanne and @gregwillread) for lots more pictures of our little monkey!

We’re on “Style Me Pretty!”

Today is a very exciting day.

 

With the help of many important people (mainly the amazingly-talented-you-should-check-her-work-out Tiffany Rebecca Photography), our wedding has been featured on Style Me Pretty!

 

 

 

And don't forget to check out the "Full Gallery"

 

This site inspired me daily as I planned my wedding, and I’m thrilled to think that maybe I’ll inspire even one bride-to-be!

 

Check out the link HERE

Happy weekend from Grecole!

 

Indie Game: The Movie

Photo courtesy of http://www.indiegamethemovie.com

 

Last night Greg and I had the pleasure of seeing the highly anticipated Indie Game: The Movie directed/produced/shot/edited (and almost everything else) by James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot of good ol’ Winterpeg, Manitoba. I don’t typically write “film reviews,” nor is this blog used for that, but in this case, I couldn’t resist.

I’ve known Jamie for awhile. His sister happens to have married my cousin, but mostly I know him from being the only other (extended) family member interested in Final Cut Pro and the world of movie making. Whenever Jamie would come over to visit my Uncle Andy, I’d be so interested in the cool video effects they were doing and what projects Jamie would be working on.

Never did I expect the only a few years later I’d be sitting at the newly renovated Bloor Cinema at Hot Docs watching the Canadian premiere of Indie Game: The Movie, the first feature film for Jamie and Lisanne. And I have to say: It was brilliant. (Also, the movie was live streaming in select theaters across Canada so some of my family members were watching it live in the west too! Very cool to be connecting in that way).

Greg and I arrived early, grabbed a slice of pizza and made our way into the theater. We debated about where to sit and after some deliberation (completely on my part), we decided to go with the balcony. Because, let’s face it, how often can you watch a movie from a balcony? Exactly. The theatre quickly filled with all sorts of people: the avid festival go-ers, the nerds on their laptops, and even an eccentric man in a tank top with a fleece blanket wrapped around him.

Okay Nicole, enough blabbing. Get to the movie. Indie Game: The Movie follows the stories of three independent game designers (well, three stories. But one story follows two fellas) through the emotional ups and downs that come with developing a game. Designer Edmund and programmer Tommy put everything they’ve got and more for two years to create Super Meat Boy, and then play the waiting game to see if it will pay off. Phil, developer of FEZ, finally releases a trailer and demo at PAX (huge video game expo) which has been highly anticipated for four years. And Jonathan considers beginning another game after his last one, Braid, is one of the highest rated games of all time.

The cinematography is lovely – lots of movement in the shots and beautiful establishing shots of each city. It felt very cinematic, which, although is increasingly popular in documentaries, is always refreshing. Gone are the days of running around with a video camera to make a documentary – Indie Game: The Movie used shallow depths of field and natural lighting to establish a beautiful mood. The editing was brilliant. I wish I had taken notes and could remember the beautiful visual metaphors, and punches that made us laugh, but I did notice! As well, I meant to ask them who did them, but their use of titles and animation/infographics was stunning. Titles were often shown on an animated background with drawings of the games coming to life like art. It really was amazing. And let’s not forget the music – we have Jim Guthrie to thank for that.

Lisanne and Jamie capture the stories of these passionate individuals perfectly. I felt like I was entering a completely new world, and by the end I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to play in the blissful land with FEZ. I wanted a red t-shirt with Super Meat Boy’s face on it, and I wanted to explore being able to rewind with Braid. Greg and I found ourselves laughing at Phil’s straight honesty, and then crying (well, I cried anyway) at Edmund’s sincerity. These creative individuals truly express themselves through their work, video games.

If you are an artist, like games, have passion for anything, see this movie. It will tug on your heart strings and leave you feeling inspired and full of love. You may even go home and download these games for yourself. Congratulations James and Lisanne (and the rest of the team) on such an amazing movie! Being first time-ers, you are incredibly inspiring for the Canadian filmmakers, and aspiring documentary filmmakers like myself. Can’t wait to see what’s next for you guys!

For more information about Indie Game: The Movie click HERE.

To follow the movie’s updates on Twitter, click HERE.

To pre-order your DVD copy (you will not be disappointed) click HERE.

 

Myself with the directors, James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot!

 

 

 

What I’ve Been Up To…

About this time last year, I was deciding if I wanted to pitch to direct a film in my fourth and final year of school. When realizing my streaming options were limited (if you don’t direct or produce you have to stream. For instance, be an editor on X number of films, or a cinematographer), I decided I wanted to direct a documentary. It started with nervously pitching to my class and teachers, being shortlisted and then chosen, wrangling a crew, going through draft after draft, researching, traveling to Chicago, Los Angeles and Ottawa, typing up then reading through 200+ pages of transcripts, and then hours and hours of post-production.

One year later that documentary is nearly complete. What a relief! There are so many people to thank, but I’ll save that for the credits. Exactly one month from today that film (as well as another one I did the cinematography for, plus 3 others I worked on) will be screening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Kind of a big deal, eh? It’s a gorgeous venue our committee this year is amazing for getting it.

This year is an exciting year. We’ve got some amazing stuff this year. There are films with children, older people, pugs, pianos on fire, cars on fire and even a time traveler. It’s going to be good.

If you’d like more information about the festival, click HERE. (You can also see some nice portraits of the filmmakers and stills from their films).

To “like” us on Facebook, click HERE. Do it.

To buy tickets, click HERE. You can buy a 3 Day pass, or individual tickets. My main two projects are on Sunday June 3rd (“The Mask of Family” and “Mara”), but all of the nights are going to be great!

I leave you with some stills from my documentary:

 

Chicago, Bean, Cait, Ivan

 

 

I know, you totally want to come right? Do it!

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