The Medium is the Message

The Medium is the Message

The rise of media and screens at every corner means people are consuming media much faster than ever before. While this causes concern for many businesses, understanding the  growing market of social media and advertising is the first and biggest steps in solving this equation. More often than not, the medium in media is often video.

It’s not that people are reading less than before, it’s that they have much more available to read in front of them, so you’re fighting to keep their attention.

Peoples attention spans are short and one thing people consuming media haven’t gotten tired of yet is quality video. Any video is not a quality  video as we have all witnessed by the flood of amateur video on YouTube.

So what is quality video that people want to consume?

  1. Never underestimate the importance of sound. A beautiful video with crappy sound is a crappy video. It draws the audience away from their viewing experience.
  2. Branded Content!  Many of the best advertisements have creative big ideas that reveal the product at the end of the short video. People are being tired of being sold stuff, so if you can engage them in a story without them knowing they are being sold something, Bingo!
  3. The human interest! Videos need a relatable hook and story. The quality of the video and sound is as important as the narrative. Tell stories with real and interesting people. Without interesting and thought-provoking characters, your narrative falls flat on its face. Don’t forget this idea is as important for documentary films as it is for fiction films.
  4. Have a trusted team. It is so important to have a team that you trust to take on your shoots. Shooting with two cameras and a sound person is absolute minimum on any small shoot to ensure standards are met. It’s a great idea to meet with your team before the shoot to discuss the vision of the project.
  5. B-Roll. It is so important to get shots of the scenery and things going on around you that you can use as cutaways in post-production. There is a fine line between getting the footage you need and shooting way too much footage (which will make things more difficult in the editing room).
  6. Have fun! Your creativity will show through confidence. Nerves get in the way of new ideas and you will rush through things that you wish you had spent more time on.Film production is an exciting world full of opportunities. Don’t be scared— Create!

 

 

Reservations

Reservations

On Tuesday, I attended the play Reservations written by Steven Ratzlaff and directed by Ian Ross and Emma Tibaldo. The play is put on by Theatre Projects Manitoba, an organization committed to putting on local Manitoba productions. The play is showing at 211 bannatyne in the Exchange District from March 10-20.

My overall impression was a positive one. The play deals with various perspectives surrounding Indigenous culture in relation to Child and Family Services (CFS). The play is broken up into two short plays and does not seem to push a particular agenda— but rather offers an in depth analysis of the varying views on treaties and loss of identity for Indigenous youth in the CFS system.

I found the first play most effective in being ‘play-like’ and entertaining to the audience. I found the characters most relatable and dealt with very real emotions and feelings that common today.

Sound and visuals helped the play move along and draw more audience emotion on top of the skilled actors onstage. The play was visually stimulating with modern and simple lighting and production design. The production was helped along with a captivating soundtrack composed by Andrew Balfour. Sound and visuals helped the play move along and draw more audience emotion on top of the skilled actors onstage.

This is an important play for people of all backgrounds in Canada to see and understand a much broader picture in relation to Indigenous history and culture. But I felt the play began to lose me in the last half when the play took on a ‘lecture’ format and I felt like I was transported to a 150 person university lecture.

Reservations is missing the typical plot arch and character development that I am used to seeing in other plays. As the audience, you see a bit of character transformation, but the four different characters played by three actors are pretty set in their ways of thinking—which serves as an eye-opened for the audience.

The play itself did not affect me as much as the talkback session afterwords between the Creatives and the audience. There were not many profound questions asked or answered, but the play itself deals with varying perspectives  on current Indigenous issues and I found it enlightening to hear what others took away from the production and broaden my perspective in that way.

This is a brave play surrounding topics that need to be talked about. The unfortunate part is I worry the people who will benefit most from seeing this play are the ones that are least willing to engage with our arts community and encourage progressive thinking.

 

 

De Luca’s

De Luca’s

If you’re into cooking you probably are well aware of De Luca’s at 950 Portage Ave—
Not only are they a  grocery/deli/butcher/bakery/cooking appliances/cooking school/wine store, but they excel at everything they offer. Their products are never less than perfect and they have a large staff in the Deli ready serve you fresh cut meats and cheeses from the large displays.

De Luca’s sells great custom spices, sauces and oils if you enjoy cooking. If you’re not the best at cooking, they also offer pre-made meat and veggie lasagnas, pizzas and various pastas that are sure to impress your guests. If you’d like to learn their techniques of Italian cuisine, they offer classes in their newly renovated basement space. De Luca’s also recently added the addition of Wine and Food Pairing Dinners.

The wine store has a great selection of wine and an impressive atmosphere inside. Though the prices tend to be a bit higher than the MLCC, the experience is nice and the staff are knowledgable and personable.

Happy Eating!

Next week I’ll be checking out a Float Therapy Tank. #meditation.

 

Smoke’s Poutinery

What’s more Canadian than a poutine restaurant? Not much.

This week I checked out Smoke’s Poutinery in the Exchange District. It’s located directly beside the Cube and conveniently directly across the  ever-so-popular Kingshead Pub.

It was my first time there. Most other times I’ve wanted to check it out the lines been out the door during one of the many festivals hosted at the cube each year. It’s open 11-4AM on weekends.

They have a pretty epic variety of poutine everything from veggie to double pork, perogy, nacho grande and they have…. wait for it….. A hangover poutine: poutine with scrambled eggs, crispy double smoked bacon, and pure maple syrup. Smoke’s somehow just got more Canadian.

They don’t serve alcohol but their hours indicate it’s more of an ‘after the bar’ pit stop. I had the “Country Style Poutine” which had peas, mushrooms, cheese curds, onions and bacon.

At first I was skeptical how a poutine restaurant could be so successful, but with so much variety it’s easy to see how this could become a place you’re going to want to frequent.

Their medium size (see picture below) is 10-12 dollars — Which can be shared between two people.

The Prairie Snowshoe Experience

The Prairie Snowshoe Experience

Do you have the February Blues?
Why not feed the blues with some early spring activities outdoors? Soon the snow will be melted and you will have missed your opportunity to snowshoe our many trails around Winnipeg and just outside the city. Weather in February/ March is ideal for this activity and you’ll be able to stay outside much longer than in the middle of the Winter months.

Step 1. Choose an unbeaten path
Try to choose a flat trail, lucky for you— we live in a prairie, and you’ll be hard pressed to find even a hill.
Step 2.  Pack a lunch
Snowshoeing is a lot of work and the best part of the day is settling into a nice spot in the snow and listening to the sounds of nature. Bonus: Your beer will stay cold in your bag.
Step 3. Bring a friend or a furry friend
While it is safest to travel with a group, snowshoeing can be a peaceful and calming experience going solo. Just tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
My dog enjoyed the hike even more than I did and she was tired for days after— she didn’t have the benefit of wearing snowshoes and hovering above the deep snow. 
Step 4. Try to be like artist Simon Beck
Artist Simon Beck is an internationally-acclaimed artist that has been making works of art out of snowshoe prints with only a compass, a pair of snowshoes and time on his side. His latest work of art was done in Banff and took over six hours. Check out the picture below!

 

 

Festival du Voyageur Fiddling

Each year, the Winnipeg French community hosts Festival du Voyageur for two weeks in February. Both weeks are jam packed with concerts and events celebrating French settlers and their traditions. The festival attracts more people and the acts get bigger each year. Though the concerts are not to miss, there are loads of events I recommend going to check out to get the full festival experience. I had the opportunity to check out the fiddling contest at the CCFM (Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain) on Sunday.

Did you know that fiddling was the main medium of dance music in rural Canada until the 1960s? (Canadian Encyclopedia).
Talents came from across Canada to perform among friends in front of a large crowd and a panel of judges. The audience was warm and welcoming to all participants of the contest. There were prizes for various categories, ranging from $100-300.

As far as I’m concerned, they’re all winners.

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René Comeault volunteering at the fiddling contest at the CCFM ./COLIN ROY
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Alexandre Tétrault performs to a large crowd of festival goers and fiddling enthusiasts ./COLIN ROY

 

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Host Marc Rémillard introducing contestants of the various fiddling categories ./COLIN ROY

 

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Annabelle Windsor is impressing judges at age 11 ./COLIN ROY
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Erin Okrainec performs an impressive set with confidence ./COLIN ROY
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Robert Boulet is a local Winnipeg fiddler ./COLIN ROY
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All participants were being judged by the panel of fiddling professionals (from left) Denis Enconte, Émilie Chartier and Micheal Audette  ./COLIN ROY

 

 

Skate the River

Every year, the City of Winnipeg and the Forks clear a skating path along the red river for anyone to come out and enjoy for free. This year, with a mild start to our winter, skating on the river didn’t open up until after New Years.

The skating trail on the red river made the Guinness World Records in 2008 for the longest naturally frozen skating trail in the world, when it was 8.54 kilometres long.

If you didn’t know skating on the river was open yet this year, you’re probably living in a cave. But as the weather warms up there is so much fun to be had in the core of our city, don’t miss out!

As you skate along the river, there are various warming huts and firepits to catch your breath and warm your mittens and toes. Families and friends mingling with each other make a very inviting atmosphere no matter the temperatures outside.

The Deer and Almond just wrapped up their Raw Almond Restaurant, which had to be moved on land this year due to above average temperatures in November and December. If you missed out this year, put it in your agenda and there’s always next year —  maybe it’ll even be on the river.

Winnipeggers don’t hibernate in the winter, we get outside and enjoy it!

Coming up next on GetOUTwinnipeg — Le Festivale du Voyageur!