Monday, November 09, 2015
The year is 2015 and I feel like I just hit a milestone this past weekend. It’s one of those moments in your life when you remember the date 30 years from now when it’s time to reflect. The milestone I speak of was a special screening of my new GGN concert doc - Life is but a Dream. I got to showcase it on the big screen at the Royal Cinema in Toronto w/ an audience of 200 friends and colleagues. I feel like it’s just sinking in what happened… what a night! I’m turning 40 in 2 weeks and I wanted to revisit my journal of 10 years and remind myself of what I’ve accomplished. When I began writing this BLOG it was an outlet for me to document my adventures in making this Global Groove Network film come to life. For those of you who are just catching up or discovering my ramblings for the first time, I decided to write this journal as an experiment of dedication. I wanted to try and log all of my thoughts, feelings, and experiences over the years so I could look back at the making of this passion project, and remember all of the highs and lows I went through. It’s a great exercise as a filmmaker and I highly recommend it. I’m a creative soul who has loved music and movies all his life. I began my filmmaking career in my mid twenties and started this GGN passion project when I rediscovered dance music through a girlfriend breakup and a crate of vinyl I found moving out. I was 30 years of age when this happened… the break up was hard because of the 8 year, common law marriage situation. I was looking for positivity, new directions, and this crate of records reminded me of a time in my life when I was feeling the same way as I was now. Rave culture of the 90s was a place where I grew as an individual when I discovered it at 19. My parents at the time had divorced when I left for university. I was a competitive swimmer on the national level who was forced to quit because of an injury… Swimming had defined a lot of who I had become, my identity; I was part of a team. Losing both of my families killed my mental state, and when you’re that young, it makes you feel like your life is over. I felt lost, unwanted, not sure of how to move forward. I’m not going to lie; I was a depressed kid going through some serious shit. Looking back on it now, I think back on how amazing it is that we can change so much and so quickly as we go through things that are mentally and emotionally challenging. I didn’t realize how much it affected me until a year later as I continued to push the envelope in all aspects of my party lifestyle. School took a backseat and I’m glad that I had enough sense to come out the other end by graduating and making smarter choices with my life. A big reason for this change had to do with the friends and family I met through the dance music scene at the time, and taking dance music’s message of PLUR to heart. This was truly a life changing moment and I’m so excited I got to make a love letter film about some of these experiences more then once. Here we are now, in the present. I’ve just screened my second film under the Global Groove Network banner called ‘LIFE IS BUT A DREAM’. It’s a story about the EDM Digital Dreams Festival experience and the people who helped create and facilitate this massive event – Ryan Kruger and Gavin Bryan. Toronto has a lot of history when it comes to dance music culture dating back to the late ‘80s. The DJ talent that performs in Toronto is truly global because they love coming here. We, as a city seriously love this type of music, have amazing homegrown talent, and have supported the culture in a big way since the ‘90s. The Digital Dreams festival is a culmination of that ‘90s essence with the people who created it. The two individuals that you will meet in the DOC have been involved with throwing raves, parties, and establishing legendary clubs in Toronto since the ‘90s. This festival was a dream back then that became a reality 4 years ago. Digital Dreams draws about 80 thousand people over the course of its weekend festivities and has become the largest music festival held in downtown Toronto. One of the exciting things about GGN for me has been the archiving. I began doing this with the first film and to be able to put together another cool chapter in Toronto’s dance music history has been very rewarding. It took about a year to get it done and a lot’s changed with the festival and it’s business partners. What makes this even more special is I’m not sure if I would have got the same access if I didn’t decide to make this DOC when I did… It’s amazing when something just naturally falls together. I can’t help but feel like it’s the end of a chapter in my life. This DOC represents the end of an era for myself as a filmmaker covering dance music. My goal moving forward with the Global Groove Network, the new mission statement of music shaping identity is to explore NEW music cultures. I love dance music but I LOVE all kinds of music as well. I feel like there are so many stories out there about people’s soundtracks that I just feel like its time to go in a new direction. I would like to thank the Toronto and Global dance music community for allowing me to get up close and personal these past 10 years. The GGN journey made it to film festivals, network broadcasters, and managed to build a following on social media that have been extremely supportive. It’s been a great time on the dance floor and I feel blessed. I’m really excited for what lies ahead. Connect with us at: www.groovetheglobe.com Until next time … Cheers to new directions!