It's been a long time coming but finally I have a cool blog that I can call my own. Most people reading will already know who I am. Discussions of hip hop and life will usually take place here when I have things to talk about.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Allright, the long awaited update.

It has been a busy time and been here and there in the past few days.  I guess my last formal update was more than a week ago and so I am getting emails about what is going on.  On the going part,  I'm still in Tel Aviv.  The plan is to catch a bus back to Jerusalem later today.  Also on the going is the fact that I am.  At least soon.  July 3rd I fly back to London for a few days, then onto Seattle for a night, then to Mexico for a week, then back home.

I few weeks ago I mentioned the light show.  Well me and Dan went back and filmed some of it for a potential program.  Then the whole crew was busy working on ZAKA.  Wednesday,  we went down to a bedouin village in the south of Israel and filmed a Sheik that was working for ZAKA.  Then we had lunch, and really Lunch is cool when your hanging with the bedouins.  Lots of food, it was a crazy feast (so much that I couldn't really eat for the rest of the day).  I was also partially hungover (long story that I will get into in a moment) so I was not myself stomach wise.  Still it was awesome.  Then onto Sderot.  Many of you may know about Sderot, particularly from my blog if you've been regularly reading.  Sderot is where many of the rockets fired from Gaza have fallen.  Over 3 a day in the past decade.  I got a good look at a bomb shelter and a grand tour of the police station.  In the back of the station there are shelves of exploded rocket shrapnel piled up.  Fortunately a rocket did not fall during our time there.  I then said goodbye to Jay and David and hopped a cab to Tel Aviv.  I got a great price for the 45 minute trip (70 sheks about 16 CAD) which apparently is nuts for a cab.  It sounded like the cabbie was taking his girlfriend back to Sderot and then heading back to Tel Aviv and so he gave me a good deal.  

Tel Aviv is cool and different from Jerusalem.  A little more secular but very nice.  The beach was great and I also hit up a cool record store here.  Me and Josh went to Jaffa where we met his girlfriend and then wandered around the old city of Jaffa for a while.  I had my share of accidents though as I banged my knee climbing off a metal cannon.  It is ok but I do have a bruise.  Then I managed to collapse a chair at a bar.  I am a little hefty so I'm not surprised actually.  The bar owners where very nice and gave me a free beer on the house which was nice.  Of course by now everybody knows about MJ and I found out yesterday that something big had happened because his face was plastered all over the Hebrew papers.  Of course I cant read Hebrew so I thought that he had maybe canceled the tour or something.  Then out of all the shops on the street they all start playing Michael Jackson and that make me more curious.  Finally I get to a computer and learn the news.  Sad to see, again he was a troubled man but I hope he got his life together in the end.  Plus I love Thriller.......great album.

Onto the hangover story, and I mention this as a cautionary tale.  I'm not anti drinking obviously but there are certain little things you should know before going crazy.  1)  Know the alchohol content of what you are drinking. 2) Don't mix 3)  Drink water.  4)  Liquours are of the devil.  Seriously I opened this bottle of wine and it was a smaller bottle so I proceeded to drink it.  It was dessert wine and that stuff packs a punch.  Not a pleasant following morning, and trying to drink water when your stomach is all awry is not pleasurable too.  So stay away from the Dessert wine.  It's a drink straight from the pit of Beelzebub's stomach.  Live and learn people.  trust me.  I don't put this on here to brag, cuz it's kind of embarrassing (when I say embarass I emphasize ASS.  I'm like the guy at Woodstock telling the kids to stay away from the brown acid.  Seriously, this is for your benefit.

Anywho,  stay cool everyone and I will see you guys soon,  God bless. Paul

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson R.I.P. 1958 - 2009

A man who was an innovator. Extremely troubled in many ways, but always had the tunes and was an awesome entertainer. Second to none.....MJ you will be missed.

P.S. Blog update is coming soon. I've been traveling around the country and internet has been a little sporadic. I am in Tel Aviv right now and should be back in Jerusalem tomorrow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Music Post.

A slight little detour from things Israeli for the moment. Check this video out featuring my man Ohmega Watts and a nice little beat with some crate digging. Northwest Hip Hop at its finest.

Then we slide on down to a dope free album by another friend of mine, COOKBOOK from the LA Symphony. There was a point were I was trying to get a beat on this album but I am lazy. Still it's good, and it's free. The concept is the 80's, so familiar 80's sounds references and such. Very cool for the 80's people and people in their 80's (ok maybe not).

Enjoy, people.

Ok onto the more normal stuff. Some cool pics I took of the light festival in Jerusalem. The story behind this was that there is this light festival in the Old City so we decided to go down and check it out Thursday evening. It was cool cuz it allowed me to go a little crazy with camera exposure and such.

Church of the Redeemer all lit up with a bit of delay which gave it a blur effect.

Down at the old Roman marketplace. This is a lot of butterflies.

Heart effect is cool on this.

Wild and wacky colours on this. I took this on a very high exposure.

Lastly, me at the Western Wall. Very interesting day, shooting Meshi and doing some cutaways and such.

Saturday, I went to the Dead Sea and floated in the water. Actually, it's more like I floated on top of the water. It is crazy the buoyancy of the water. I can't really describe it, you just gotta go see it and experience it for yourself. Then we stopped off in Qumran which is like biblical archeology ground zero. This is where they found the Dead Sea Scrolls. They didn't let us into the cave but we walked through the excavated settlement.

Yesterday, I got some bad news in that the person (namely my cousin Chris) who was gonna take me to Bethlehem can't because he is a landed Israeli immigrant and they can't guarantee his safety. So I still want to go, but nervous to go alone and I am looking to see if there is a guided tour that I can take down for an afternoon or something.

The other thing that might be interesting is going around the country following ZAKA with a camera. Hopefully me and Dan will be able to do that sometime this week and I can maybe take a couple of hours and visit Caesarea in the process. We will see what is up, but got to do it soon because time is running out.

Anyways, it is late and I gotta go to bed. Hope everybody is doing well whereever they are. Talk to y'all soon. Paul

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Strapped to the Editing Workstation

for the past three days basically because I am finishing up a half hour program on the training exercise in Kiryat Gat last week. It was an intensive job editing and such, but it looks pretty good and I am in the process right now of rendering it and bumping it down into an .mov file. Essentially the program goes into the search and rescue exercise in Kiryat Gat on July 2nd and then there is a short little clip from our basement bomb shelter showing us doing a home drill and explaining it out. Very cool.

Zaka is in full swing now. Tomorrow we film Zaka founder Meshi giving statements around the city, including the western wall. That'll be a good day out although it'll prolly be quite warm. The Kiryat Gat program has a strong Zaka component to it because we were there shooting cutaways for the Zaka film. Monday we filmed a show with one of the Zaka volunteers and we were initially gonna use it for a webclip but it looks like we can turn that into a full program. So busy busy. Although I have had time to get out and enjoy myself as well.

Yesterday, Chris, Danny, and I went to the Ma'aleh film school in Jerusalem and met with the school administrators about building a relationship with them. The Ma'aleh school was started as a religious school for the orthodox but has branched out a bit into the secular world too. The school accepts students from all background although the films they make still adhere to some moral guidelines (no graphic violence, sex, or nudity). They showed us a few of the projects they had done and are working on and they did one project with special needs adults that looked awesome. They actually directed these people in what to do with the equipment and how to put together a movie which is cool. I told them about my brother Stephen and how glad I was that they were able to reach out to that community in that way.

In a few weeks I will be traveling to Mount Sinai and filming a show there, and I look forward to that. Bethlehem is also on the agenda at some point as well. Plus, many more things are gonna be happening. As the time of my departure grows nearer, so does the demand to get things done. Gotta go, but I wish everyone the best and will see y'all soon. Shalom from Israel

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Shabat Shalom

Well here I am on a Saturday listening to Mutemath and typing on the computer. This past week saw a lot of stuff happen including the beginning of the ZAKA project. With everything else going on and then this it's gonna be busy, but at least we are ahead of the game for the most part.

ZAKA is a jewish organization that offers medical assistance in times of crisis. Often they are the first responders on the scene, but also they collect body parts of the deceased in tragic situations in order for the victim's family to have a proper jewish burial. ZAKA workers were on hand in the Mumbai bombings, and the Tsunami a few years ago giving assistance. So that sets up the story.

On Tuesday David, Chris, and I went to Kiryat Gat for a test drill involving the army, medical, police, and Zaka. The scenario was the aftermath of a missile bombing in the city and how these teams would respond to the tragedy and also how to deal with the media. Of course there was tons of media there from CNN, to BBC, to all the Israeli networks and us. So while we were trying to get shots of medical personal trying to deal with different situations with mannequins, there was a special team design to keep the area clear. It was a big baligan (mess) but I guess that is the idea.

Just being there during the test was a little disturbing. A loudspeaker would blare air raid sirens and screams, with exposions and we are in the remains of Kiryat Gat's former city hall (demolished to make way for new construction but ideal for the exercise). Rubble is everywhere and so you got to watch your step (especially with the camera). I was on camera duty and we got some good footage of Zaka in action as well as the rest of the action.

Anyways, the Zaka project has a lot more story to tell and may end up leading to some interviews with some very important people (possibly a few former and present heads of state) which will be exciting if it happens.

Wednesday was a cool day because my cousin Dan arrived back home from his little jaunt in the far east. He spent 3 months travelling around India, Thailand, Cambodia, and in between doing different stuff. He has lot's of interesting stories and to celebrate we all went out for burgers at Burger's Bar that evening.

The weather has been great here and I hear the weather is pretty warm in Vancouver right now too. The thing is that 30 degree weather around here is pretty much the norm while over in Vancouver it's pretty much as hot as it gets. Still it was interesting reading the newspaper and looking at the weather map and seeing Vancouver warmer than San Fran, LA, Orlando, Dallas, and Miami.

Today is shabat which means pretty much everything is closed unless you go into Abu Ghosh. It is interesting because Abu Ghosh (due to it being an Arab village) is open and all the Jerusalemites go into Abu Ghosh to eat and shop. Tonight Jay and I are going to a christian journalists meeting.

That's about all for this week. I would request that you keep Israel Vision in your prayers, a lot is being done on very little money and bills need to be paid. Since I've come there has been a lot of improvement in the morale I think and also the production because of the extra hand. There has been an invitation to stay longer which I can't do right now because of my travel budget and my tickets, but there is discussion about me going back in the near future and continuing to work, but I also need to figure out finances and such. So I am in deep thought and prayer about that right now as well.

Anyways, take care all. I love you all and will see you in July. Right now some pictures from Tuesday.

Ground Zero as far a the simulation is concerned. You can see the maniquins strewn around the site.

Getting in on the ZAKA meeting. Chris took over on camera so I could get this picture.

More of the baligan. Media on display as well with the camera.

One of the Israeli generals giving a statement to the media about the exercise.

ZAKA (in white) talking to members of the army to see what needs to be done.