Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Yeh. It's another dog video. Get over it. You do know where you are, right

This summer/fall we spent 7 or 8 days up at Springhaven Lodge at Nares Inlet. I've produced several videos covering those trips. I even made a video starring the girls alone

But, you know, I shoot a lot of footage. Gosh, Vic, do you? Shut up

Normally after I cut one of my little amateur videos I'm left with a lot of footage, some of which is left for a reason (as in it sucks) but some of it viable shots. So I'm trying to be prudent in exploiting this footage

So you will be seeing new videos cut from this Leftover footage. Yay, how lucky are you. You can thank me later. With beer

Anyway, here's a Leftover video of the dogs up at Springhaven Lodge


Ain't you lucky

So Many Dogs, So Little Time from Victor Kellar on Vimeo.

Monday, October 19, 2015


As a federal election here in Canada shows up on our door step like a one eyed three legged cat with dubious toilet habits, just some random non partisan and certainly non important, non thought out, non relevant and non impactful thought about politicians

WHY DO ALL POLITICANS WEAR SUITS: Oh sure, every now and then they break out a sweater to appear more "common" but let's be honest, they always look as if they just lost a bet. Why do they have to wear suits. Why can't hey wear moo moos. Or motor cycle leathers. Or lederhosen with a propellor beanie and teddy bear slippers. Yeh, I'd vote for that guy

WHY ARE POLITICIANS "HONORABLE": You know what I mean, the Right Honorable this and the Right Honorable that. Why are they Honorable? Did they make the honour role In high school I made the honour role, and trust me, I ain't gots no honour. Are they judges? As in "Honestly Your Honor, I can't really honor you cuz under your robe you are totally necked; if you was wearing lederhosen then I'd honour you" And this Right Honorable stuff, aren't Lefties honourable? OK, they are not, never mind

WHAT IS WITH THE HAND MOVEMENTS WHEN THEY SPEAK TO THE CAMERA: Yeh, not at all coached or fake. Elbows cocked, hands almost clasped but not quite; the right hand aimed at you, not pointing exactly cuz you know, that would be emphatic; hands spread in disbelief "Can you believe that I expense hookers? Wait, I can't? Really? How about the lederhosen, can I expense those?" C'mon guys, be original. Put your hands behind your head, hook em in your belt like Anthony Quinn in that Mickey Spillane movie The Long Wait. Or just hook one finger in your nose and shove the other one down the back of your pants. You know, relate to the common man

JUST TELL US WHAT WE WANT TO HEAR: We all think politicians lie. Not because they keep breaking promises, but because they never really cough up about why they want to run the country. "I want to improve your lives, I want to make Canada great again, I want to protect your family" Yeh, right. Be honest "I want to be the PM because holy mother of god I get to bathe in maple syrup with a supermodel!"

Wait, they can't do that? Huh

Well, they really aren't worth talking about then

Friday, October 16, 2015


The year turns. The days shorten. The leaves change colour. The wind comes thin and cold with promises of snow on its back. The geese begin to fly south. And some of them fall out of the sky and land in ovens and we stuff them with bread and cranberries

OK, mostly its turkeys and they don't really fly but you get my point. Thanksgiving is here and for us, that means Thanksgiving on Nares Inlet

And for the girls, it's holiday time too of course. This was Panda's second trip up to Springhaven Lodge and it's fair to say that she is fitting in just fine

We've discovered how much she enjoys the water but she's a little bush baby too. She loves going off and exploring and proving that old girls still know how to do some rock traversing.

Terra, of course, is a Springhaven pro and although she also loves the bush, there is nothing better than hunting frisbees on the beach

Back on the human front, the family gathered for the annual Thanksgiving tradition of boating out to an island to enjoy food, games and the environment. The day was sunny and warm but the wind was up and Dennis determined it was too risky to go out to the open bay. Instead we invaded, I mean, visited a public paddle tennis court built on it own rocky little island

A bit of food (OK more than a bit) a bit of game playing, a bit of beer (OK more than a bit) then it was time to go back to the lodge, more food lay ahead in the form of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Yeh, I'm gonna need a nap

Play the video but keep the sound down, I'm still napping

Thanksgiving on Georgian Bay 2015 from Victor Kellar on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


This may be a six degrees of sort of thing but it does not involve Kevin Bacon. Not that I know of. I suppose it's possible. Dude be slippery like that

Back when I was churning out corporate videos the way Tiny Tom churns out those little donuts at the fair, we used a few professional voice over guys to do the narration My favourite was a guy named Roger King

Roger would come into my studio at one in the morning, do a quick read of the script and burn through it flawlessly, usually in one read

He quickly got to know the rhythm of my writing and could give me what I wanted, no fuss no muss. Always a good guy too

I knew that Roger was not just a Voice, he also ripped a lot of other voice people. Well apparently he's a film maker as well

He has created a documentary. Roger has made a movie called I Am What I Play, focussing on a handful of famous radio DJs from back in the day when the voices you heard on the dial actually were responsible for the music they spun

I have yet to see the film, I certainly will, not just for my connection with Roger but the subject matter appeals to me. I grew up at the tail end of that era, when the DJs had influence about the music they played (can we spell Payola) and just before the music was programmed by the same sort of commerce oriented computer that picks the flavours for the McFlurry

Wasn't there a WKRP episode about that? Yes, Virginia, there was

At any rate, that's today's sortofkindofinaway brush with celebrity

Check out the trailer if you so desire. And you desire. You so, so desire

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Just a quick redirection post

Anyone who has any kind of interest in the creative process (or lack thereof) in creating videos/films may want to check out my video creation blog Idiot With a Camera. Starting a new series of posts on my first attempt to make a documentary

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


No, this is not a review of the Spike Lee film, Mo Better Blues

It is a review of Motown the Musical.

I think in the past I made a distinction between a stage musical and musical review. (Were you paying attention? Clearly I was not, otherwise I would remember) A stage musical is a story told in music and dance, usually original music and dance, like Les Miz or Chicago or Kinky Boots

A musical review is a showcase of established songs strung together with minimal story telling. The stage version of Buddy Holly was like that, the second act was pretty much a Buddy Holly tribute concert

I would never see Rain, the long running Beatles tribute but I very much enjoyed Backbeat, a musical that the Stu Sutcliffe story with, of course, Beatles songs It was a musical, Rain is a musical review

When I first heard about Motown the Musical I very much feared that it would be a musical review. It is not, it is a musical, and overall an effective one. But it poses some challenges.

First of all there's the music itself. Iconic, classic, so well known most of it, these days, provide the backdrop for TV commercials. We all know this music, every song, every melody

Then there are the artists. Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Jackson Five: Icons, legends, voices still heard sometimes decades after their deaths

Take for instance the Temptations, a group of guys with perfect harmony and slickly developed dance moves whose musical style continuously morphed over time. Get up there, sing those iconic songs and dance your ass off ... yeh, no challenge there

Overall the actors of Motown the Musical are up to the challenge. The Temptations were, indeed, very effective. As was Jarran Muse as Marvin Gaye. Besides capturing that voice, Muse was given to meat to work with as Gaye attempted to sell Motown's first protest album, the now classic What's Going On. His apace version of Mercy Me raised the hair on my arms.

As Diana Ross, Allison Semmes has the entire diva attitude nailed perfectly, even as the teenage Diana she allows you to see the strength and determination that would, in time, morph into a kind of stubborn bitchiness. Diana's is a difficult voice to capture in a stage production, at first hearing fragile and whips but capable of soaring power. Overall, Semmes is able to capture it though when fronting the Supremes it sometimes gets lost

Special mention must be made of Nathaniel Cullors; a very young man who is tasked with performing the young Stevie Wonder and the young Michael Jackson. Yeh, no big deal at ... well it wasn't for Mr Cullors. His Jackson is a show stealer, he has the voice down perfectly and his dancing left me exhausted just watching

The show's best voice, though, ironically belongs to the character who was not a singer. Josh Tower's Barry Gordy is the heart of the story. We first meet the founder of Motown Records in 1985 as ABC is preparing to air a live concert event commemorating the 25th anniversary of his record company. He does want to attend and through flashbacks we learn his story and the story of Motown

Barry Gordy was a songwriter and early on he sings some classics-to-be and we first here Tower's voice. It is a superb musical theatre voice, capable of expressing the nuances of emotion in the song. Besides Motown standards, the Gordy character sings original songs to motivate the story.

There's a bit of rub here: In a show filled with classic songs we are now treated to originals. Such was the case in the stage version of Wizard of Oz, sandwiched around Over the Rainbow and Yellow Brick Road we had several original tunes whose duty was to move along the story. It comes across as being a bit awkward. In Motown, Tower's voice and performance are strong enough to make it work

The story of Motown is a fascinating one and not just as a tale of a man with no musical background who built up one of the greatest musical entities of all time. As time goes on and the society of the US begins to change, as race relations and the war in Vietnam fill the evening news, Motown had to change with it. The play does not shy away from these issues. A group of Black Power protesters serve up Edwin Starr's War (What is it good for) and it is indeed a spine tingling moment

There is a lot of story here that lifts it above the musical revue category: Barry's relationship with Diana Ross, his struggle to keep the artists whose careers when built from leaving the company, the pressure place upon him as one of the most successful black businessmen of his time. Through it all, through most of it, Smokey Robinson is Barry's right hand man, as powerful a relationship as the one he has with Ross

Like a musical revue the show ends with a concert, the Motown Anniversary show. It works though, the entire story leads us up to this point as Gordy is acknowledged not only by the artists he helped make into superstars but also buy a public who, at that point, probably were not truly aware of who this man was and what he had created

So, the show is indeed Mo, as in Motown. Is it better? Better than the original? No, of course it isn't how could it be. The music that came out of Motown was some of the greatest popular music ever created. Sitting there I did not think that I was actually watching Stevie Wonder and Mary Wells but I was still very very happy to watch the actors portraying them

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