Monday, October 28, 2013

THE GGN JOURNALS - An END of an ERA.. The START of something NEW. Thank you Footwork & Hatiras!

It’s been quite some time since my last entry. The summer of 2013 has come and gone and I’ve been quite busy with life in general. I was working long hours over the course of the summer in the film and television industry in Toronto and managed to find some time to decompress and figure out some things. You forget how fast time can fly by and it’s usually big moments that wake you up and remind yourself how far you’ve come. My moment happened this fall when I heard about the closing of a dance music institution that I was quite fond of, Footwork Nightclub. As a film maker and party patron, I had the opportunity to get to know the people who ran this special venue and was able to capture moments of magic for my DOC from inside it’s walls. This underground hot spot showcased some of the biggest names in the EDM scene today, put the spotlight on the rising stars of tomorrow, give a place for Toronto’s own home grown EDM talent to blossom, and still manage to keep its underground status of unique dance beat bookings, which people always seemed to appreciate. The club was intimate, family like with its regulars, and provided the city of TO with almost 10 years of memories for its patrons as well as a stellar global reputation for it’s international travelers. Footwork has officially closed its doors as of last week and I can’t help but be thankful I got to be a part of its club history. I wanted to write this journal entry with a big Thank you in mind to the Footwork family, specifically Joel and Stephan, for all of their support and contributions to the Global Groove Network and its evolution the last 7 years. I feel as they evolve and move on to new endeavors in club culture, I’m gearing up for a similar evolution in the Global Groove Network experience. The countdown is officially on for the Global Groove Network’s release to the public in January on ITUNES. Along with the release of the DOC we have some exciting colloborations planned with artists from the film. Our first project will involve Canada’s own Juno winning EDM producer Hatiras and his latest concept album releasing in the New Year. The album was conceived in the spirit of evolution, emotional change, and growing as an artist. When I first listened to the album it surprised me in a great way. I feel like it’s something original in nature, something of influence from the 70s era of concept albums. It almost feels like Pink Floyd with an electronic flare. The album explores the 80s much like Depeche Mode and New Order did with its electronic synths. You could also say it’s reminiscent of other EDM conceptual pieces like HOMEWORK by Daft Punk or FatBoy Slim’s BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY in the 90s. To see this producer evolve and get to be part of the visual side of things is an exciting new direction for myself, and the Global Groove Network experience. I cannot wait to show you what we’re up to in the coming months! I’m also planning on doing some upcoming DOC episodes next year on the web with other big international talents from the film and new people I’m always discovering from the emails that are sent to me on a daily basis. The Global Groove Network is about how music shapes our identity and as we all build that soundtrack to our lives, my goal as a filmmaker is to showcase the visual side and inner workings of EDM culture in 2014; as well as give you something to add to your play list. As someone who loves EDM I also hope to share a passion for the power of music in general. I’m fuelled on a daily basis by music of all genres. Dance music and the culture that goes along with it shaped me at key moments in my life and as I continue to evolve with age the appreciation of a good DJ set, well produced track, a killer venue that houses it’s followers for a night of dancing, will always affect me in a unique way. It’s time to build new memories, moments, and experiences with the Global Groove Network in 2014. I plan on visiting my journals on a more regular basis as we gear up for our film release so stay tuned! A big thank you to all the people who continue to support us as this journey to the masses continues. For all the new people that discover us as we expand and become available to experience on ITUNES in the new year - I hope to give back to a feeling that we all experience in some way with music and the medium of visual storytelling. Welcome to the Network; the Global Groove Network. Find us on the web, Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud at - @groovetheglobe – and stay up to date with our upcoming content and news!

Monday, April 22, 2013


I had finally had an amazing dream last night; amazing dreams only started to happen once we succeeded with Kickstarter and officially wrapped up the post-production for the DOC. Along with this accomplishment I found out this week that we got accepted to this years NXNE festival to premiere our film in June, in the city that it was inspired by; Toronto. Things are really looking up for this little passion project and the excitement continues to build as we prepare to begin this next part of the journey. Pursuing a dream can be bliss but also a nightmare. I find some irony to this fact but now that I’m finally having some happy thoughts on my mind, it helps make life a little more clear… It had been awhile. For the past few months my mind had been full of angst and stress on such a massive level that it started to dictate the story telling in my head, which would lead to some fucked up dreams and emotional exhaustion. The next time I get chased by a giant record rolling down a big hill towards me, like the epic scene in Raiders of the Lost ark with the boulder and Indy running for his life, will not be missed… Instead of making it to safety like Harrison Ford did, I would get sliced down the middle and wake up in a cold sweat. I was bringing my work to bed and it was affecting me in very vivid and weird moments during slumber. I understood why I was feeling this way but I felt like I didn’t have control over my mental situation other then staying positive; or at least hiding some of the stress behind some THC. Last night was that kind of dream that puts a smile on your face; that tropical vacation moment you get to share with your loved ones. Lets set the stage… The weather couldn’t be better; the sun is shining and the humidity suggests that this is going to be hot one! It’s only been a few hours since we landed in Miami and coming from an environment that has been cold, wet, and unpredictable for the past month; it takes a moment or two to wrap the brain and senses around that fact. Your skin begins to warm up, a light porn sweat hits your brow, that smell that cities have by the ocean fills your lungs, and the long sleeves, pants, and jacket seem out of place in a good way. This moment is something I always love to experience when I go on a vacation and this year it was bitter sweet. This memory stuck with me this year and this memory recall was clear and warm to the thought. Miami was the beginning of a journey I began 7 years ago and to have the chance to come back for this years Winter Music Conference without cameras, just as a participant knowing I had finished my film, and able to share the experience with the love of my life, a friend of ours that has been such a supportive force in both our lives, was so fulfilling. What also didn’t hurt was that my travel companions were SEXY, which added an extra sizzle to my swagger being the meat in a hot lady sandwich. This was my three’s company moment; I was an individual that if I died in some weird twist of fate… I had a pretty good story to tell in the after life. This memory has been a go to dream the past couple of weeks as I’ve gotten back to the daily grind… The reason I share this with you is I think it reminds me that we have control over how we can live our lives which I think gets lost sometimes because of the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual routines we all have to do to survive. I certainly have been lost at times in my life as I try moving forward on ‘ideas’ that I hope will succeed. These ideas tend to be big and have a lot of moving components that are usually beyond my financial capabilities. As a film maker – an artist who likes to tell stories for the big screen and TV – my passion to follow through on an idea like this documentary can defeat you at times mentally. This defeat turns into self-pity and leads to you losing sight of what’s truly important, LOVE and LIFE. Making films, writing stories, and executing productions can be very consuming because of the hours it demands to do it. Creativity is something that you can’t just call on as any artist will tell you and when it does come, you need to act on it and shut out the rest of your life to be successful. I LOVE this consumption of creativity but I can HATE it just as much… it’s something that has given a lot to my life lessons but I was forgetting about the other stuff – the other LOVE – the other moments that make up life. This is something that was realized in a big way when I stepped off the plane this year and I came up with my mantra for 2013 and beyond; #LoveLife. The meaning behind this mantra is pretty straight forward as you can see. The hashtag I feel is something that reflects the ‘NOW’ in the way we communicate with the world. The art of conversation has evolved and become something I have some reservations about but I get the idea of quick comment observations. Social commentary is something that has been able to grow in a bigger way globally through this simple expression (#). #LoveLife to me is the tag line for the next chapter in my world and as I get closer to 40, I’m appreciating the things around me a lot more. I encourage all of you to take a moment and smell the roses; it really does lead to positive things happening. Time will always tell… Until we speak again - #LoveLife

Monday, March 11, 2013

THE GGN JOURNALS - Blood, Tears, Sweat, & Songs..

March 10, 2013… All I could hear when I slept for the last three months were voices from the film. All of the people I met along the way filled my dreams with both positive and negative banter about their own experiences trying to succeed. I couldn’t shake them away; there was a constant battle of conversations in my head as everything was on the line to promote my final fundraiser. This inner torment was raising my stress levels through the roof. Campaigning on KICKSTARTER (a crowd funding site) to finish the film for my Canadian distributor has been one of the most eye opening experiences in my life. Asking people for money is the worst job in the world because it’s such an awkward conversation; I didn’t realize how awkward it could be until I was 30 days into the campaigning. It was my blood, sweat, and tears that had driven me this far and along with my wife we had been drained financially and emotionally. I would be ignored or dismissed politely when I asked some of the people I knew, all you can do is really smile because it’s not your place to tell people how to spend their money. Do you get surprised by people that you think would donate and don’t? – of course you do – but you don’t fault it; you just start re-evaluating relationships, which is the tough part. It’s hard not to go through this type of experience and not lose a friendship based on this weird test of support for one another. It’s not so much about the amount of money; it’s more about the actual support that you expect from certain friendships. We certainly had some highs and lows when it came to the support but I’m grateful to learn what I learned from this extraordinarily stressful and trying experience… With the campaign running 60 days and wrapping up this past February 21st something amazing happened. The support came in throughout the campaign but it was in the final hours that we noticed the ultimate difference. This dream became a reality as we crossed the 15k mark at midnight, a few hours before the deadline, and my wife – my partner – the love of my life - and I achieved our “must make” goal to keep the funds. It was a really satisfying moment, and finally all of the voices calmed and the dreams settled for the time being. All I can say is thank you; with so many things in this world to support, I feel blessed that people have responded and made this little independent passion project live to see another day. It feels like fate has something more in store for us… As we begin post production this month to finalize the music, the HD transfer, and digital clean up, this project about the power of music has hit the ‘7 years in the making’ mark this month. It was officially March 20th 2006 - my first Winter Music Conference in South Beach Miami - that I shot my first interview and put together a trailer to help encourage interest in the DOC. If you go to my first journal entry you can read and learn about the trials and tribulations of making a film from the beginning – It’s very fascinating as a filmmaker to read these early entries and see how the journey has played out. What’s crazy about the timeline with this journal entry is this is the same date 7 years later that I’m going to be going back to Winter Music Conference to do a private screening of this FINAL version of the film for EDM industry friends that helped me along the way. You don’t get a chance a lot of times in a year to get a group of faces together that know and respect each other and who have inspired this love letter to the EDM community and culture. The Global Groove Network is a story about finding your identity through music; specifically dance music. Having this energy of EDM personalities and doing the screening in an intimate art house surrounding – Everything feels like it’s coming full circle. The next steps of getting it out to a global audience as we move into the summer is where the journey is about to really begin but to share this moment with this kind of audience is fantastic! The BLOOD, TEARS, SWEAT, and SONGS have been something of a theme for this daily grind of getting people aware of a film about EDM culture and community. We have a large global community but support from the film and TV world is something that can be harder to find, especially when the culture still has an underground stamp on it even though the mainstream success and influence is very apparent in this day in age. We have a big hill to climb but this train continues down the boogie tracks, looking for its network members all over the world. With PR, film festivals, Blogger awareness, and word of mouth key to any successful film launch, money is something that becomes a huge factor. Not being able to afford PRESS and PR on a regular basis – I’m plugging us on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, and Soundcloud, and putting in more hours on my off time to keep the Network out there; finding it’s audience. With our final post-production wrapping up in early April, the plan to bring the film to a theatre near you is in the works. Strategy is key so you don’t get lost in the shuffle and with so much time passing already – patience has become quite the virtue for myself in the GGN movie release. What I’m hoping to encourage people to do is spread the word about the film and it’s message. I’m going to continue this crusade to shape people’s identity in someway with showcasing great DJs from around the world, EDM culture both past and present, and turning up those killer beats that inspire a smile and potentially a booty shake on a local or global dance floor. If you’ve stumbled upon this network on line through my journals – the music and sneak peek videos we post for your consumption and enjoyment - and are curious about how you can see this documentary in 2013 then set this link to your favorites list on all your devices. I plan on updating my journals on a more regular basis, posting more music and podcasts available for free on my cloud, as we get closer to the release of the DOC. It’s an exciting time for the Global Groove Network (GGN) and as we continue to grow, I love the idea that this is something that will be a part of my life until I die. I love the music and appreciate in a new way as I age and participate on a dance floor here and there, all over the world. It’s not about going out every weekend; it hasn’t been about that in years… What seems to be my true bliss is working, exercising, walking the city with my I-POD on, and enjoying the producers and DJs I meet along the way when I do go out. This music inspires me on a daily basis and I’m glad I can share this adventure with you through my GGN JOURNALS and experiences. ‘Everyone is a DJ in their own Life’ … Thank you for letting me guide and expand your soundtrack through this mutual appreciation for music and EDM. Until we chat again... Put the needle on the record party peeps! Lots of Love – Courtney J