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My 2016 in short and its top personal moments!

13528422_10154367892279759_6452184030626893313_o“Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him.” – John Paul II

Although the world around me seemed to go totally bat-shit crazy (the older I get, the less I relate to our society – I think that’s normal… right?), I had one major professional let-down (a film role that I was sure I had locked but lost due to politics…) and that death/near death was rampant in my inner circle (my uncle died, my aunt died, my dog died, two family members almost died…), 2016 wound up being a solid year for me personally and professionally.

I grew a lot as a human being, got close to my family again, started seeing life in a new light, solidified my spiritual path (which sent me on pilgrimages and lots of diving into books and shit soaking in knowledge…) and switched gears (for the better) as to the man I want to be. I also finally started reaping the rewards of my hard work. Yeah it felt good and definitely gave me the moral boost I needed to keep digging deep and going for my goals no matter the cost. Amidst doing what I love (traveling, being in nature, training, hiking, kayaking, hanging with close friends aka family like Berge, Deke, Elaine etc.) here are my top moments of 2016!

After what felt like an eternity of pushing, hustling and overcoming obstacles, I steered my directorial debut THE SHELTER in the direction it needed to go and pretty much reached a peek with it. The film had a successful premiere in Beverly Hills, a solid QNA, it screened in theaters, got lots of good reviews (like in the LA times), the script is now part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences library and the film comes out on DVD in North America today (Jan 3, 2017). It should be said that every time somebody tells me how the film moved them or made them think – it affects me. Although the battle is not over (still have foreign to lock), 2016 felt like the beginning of the end of The Shelter chapter in my life. What a ride it was! I grew so much in every way imaginable through it.
I returned to Sidney Australia! Not only did I get to take in the sights and hang with old friends, I also got to visit the set of Ridley Scott’s new ALIEN movie: ALIEN COVENANT. Wow. It was a film buff’s dream come true.
I spent less times in Pubs and more time in the ring this year. Yup, went back to boxing full time with a great coach in Daniel Guerin and have been loving every second of it – even the beat downs. It relieves stress, challenges me, keeps me in shape and helps me remain sane.
I’m the type of guy that doesn’t have many friends, but the buds I do have, usually become family. So it was a pleasure to visit my bros Jason Hewlett and Shawn Knippelberg in Kamloops, BC this year. We partied, shot guns, hiked and partied some more. And yes, I consider both gents to be family now – blessed!
The last feature length script I had written was THE SHELTER. Being that all of my energy went into getting that film where it needed to be, my creative energy was fairly non existent i.e. tapped out. This year though, with The Shelter sold, the pressure lessened. I got the chance to spend lots of time at my bud’s lake house and finally pulled off writing a new feature length screenplay. It’s a grounded and harsh female vigilante flick called EVA and it’s gonna own. Am back baby! 😉
I meet a lot of people in this business but now and again you encounter folks that you can totally relate to and that you wind up respecting fairly quickly. Lucky to have met guys like Mark Lawson (right), Kevin Interdonato or even Paul Sloan (left), whom I’ve known for a bit but will still mention cause he’s on the fucking pic 😉 You’re only as good as the people around you!
I finished off 2016 by going to Washington DC to visit my brother who now lives there (am still in DC as I type this). Loving spending time with him and visiting the sights (and the bars). I missed the basterd…

So that’s pretty much it! I’m personally very excited for 2017! Professionally, I have EVA and THE PRIZE (two films that I will direct) that are heading in the right direction in terms of getting off the ground. Am also diving into HERETIC today, a screenplay that I am writing with Karim Chériguène (it started off as a short by Karim, one that was so damn good, that it begged to be a feature). Think Apocalypse Now but with Templars! Am very excited about that one and already have some production pieces locked in Spain for it. It’s my new passion project! Meaning I’ll kill myself to see it through.

I also anticipate in traveling further this year and establishing myself even more within the film biz. Lots of new cards were handed to me in 2016 and I’m gonna play them the best I can this year. No matter how it goes, I am now better equipped to deal with what goes down, which will make the process easier for me. I see hardships differently, take on obstacles differently and view life as a whole differently. Get in the ring 2017! You’re mine.

RIP Toby. My heart is missing a piece since you’ve left us and I hope you’re running around freely and happily on another plane of existence.
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My top personal moments of 2012!

Desert rats! American Muscle cast & crew!

After the cluster-fucks that were the end of 2009 and the whole of 2010 (aka the rebuild myself year) in terms of my personal life going to shit (which of course affected my professional life), it was great to get back in the swings of things come 2011 and that good joo-joo thankfully continued in 2012. Yes I had a pretty good year. I upped my sport intake and did more 4 wheeler, sea-doo, hiking, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowmobiling and kayaking then usual. I also took an overdue vacation. Me, a cabin, a lake, a book, screenwriting, a kayak, all good. I got to travel lots too (one of my fav things to do, I feel so lucky that I am able to), see some good fights live (GSP, Bute), see some Habs hockey, before that damn lock-out (all good, I saved some money for more traveling – thanks NHL) and made some head-way professionally.


I discovered new things about myself as well. It’s like I always say, you can’t evolve unless you recognize, make peace with and work on your own faults. I am good at that, pointing the finger at myself as opposed to others. This year I realized that I have a tendency to be too hard on people. Too black and white. To quick to drop the axe. So it’s something I am now working on. Self awareness is the first step. I also let pressure get to me for the first time on a set but again, managed to calm the fuck down and overcame it. That was a first and now I know how to deal with it. What else… oh yeah, my place flooded. You haven’t lived till you’ve seen turds floating in your living room. I almost lost it there, for obvious reasons but kept it together. Actually, that’s one of my new assets, I am now able to keep my cool way more than I used to. I surprised myself this year. I usually have a short fuse, but showed mucho patience in dire situations. Ahhh the advantages of growing as a person.

Mother Nature still recharges me.

Now, although I am going through a end of the year jinx at the moment (it rarely fails, life always vomits on me in December for some reason, as my Grandma used to say, God bless her soul: “Encore Jesus”), I tried my utmost best to steer the wayward ship in the right direction, it didn’t work and it is now out of my hands. Am praying it works itself out. Am trying for it to not affect me too much emotionally and ruin my Holidays. A bit tough. Doing my best. But I”ll be damned if I let this end of the year BS tarnish what was a WELL EARNED positive year for me. Won’t happen! So with that out of the way, here are my personal fav moments of 2012 in NO particular order.

Attending Dark Fest as a guest in Kamloops, BC. Showed Deaden and The Red Hours, did the interview rounds, made new good friends (Shawn and Jason = class acts) and didn't go to jail. Awesome!
Writing and acting in American Muscle! First screenwriting by committee job ( did my best and learned), met awesome peeps (Nick! Todd! Laura! Travis! Robin! Joshua! Trent! Buzz! The list goes on!) and lived in the Joshua Tree desert for a month. A crazy adventure!
Spent a month in LA! Saw all of my friends, made new ones and spent time with one my best hombres Eric Red!
Went camping in Louisiana! See my old buds Donny Broussard and David Lawson! Lots of fishing, biking and drinking!
Dead Shadows premiere in Paris! Was groovy to see my friends (David, Laurie, Sylvie, Marielle, Rurik, Fabian, Julien), the screening went down smooth and I had a blast! I miss Paris already! See you next year I hope!
The first concert I ever saw was Iron Maiden with my brother. So we went back this year, it was like we were kids again, but VERY, VERY drunk! One of the best concerts I ever attended! ROCK!
Met one of my heroes Jean Claude Van Damme. He is one of the reasons I am in the film biz, so it meant a lot to me. Spoke with him for two hours and possibilities are afoot. Lets see!
After 5 years of trying, I saw my script Billy Trigger finally get made. And I got to act with Fred The Hammer Williamson. I learned a lot about acting and being an action guy from the man. I also learned a lot about myself via this shoot.
I said I'd do it last year and I did it. I went back to boxing and I am in love with it again. My goal is to have one amateur fight by the end of next year. And yes, I'm gonna win it or die trying.

I am excited for 2013 (even though the film market is shit right now and it’s scary for peeps working in the Indie film scene in terms of MAKING MONEY). I just founded my production company BRUISE PRODUCTIONS, I already have a first project in the works (DAY OF BLOOD by Gonzalo Lopez) and I will continue to build on and learn more via what I have achieved thus far. I also have other projects and acting gigs up in the air, lets see where they land. Also it looks like I’ll be seeing lots of LA next year. But hey, nothing is done, till it’s done.

Ya know, I may bitch and moan now and again and yes I basically still sleep in an office (by choice), but you know what, I still love my life. I have great friends, I travel the world, I get lots of opportunities and my work makes me happy. Even when shit doesn’t go as planned and spits in my face. the payoff makes it all worth it. I can’t really complain. This is what I wanted, and I got it. Am doing what I love, am making a living, what else is there?Am looking forward in challenging myself even further in 2013! Onward and forward mofos and mofettes!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
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Pics and a few words about Dark Fest 2012 in Kamloops, BC!

And am back from the first installment of DARK FEST 2012, as part of The 16th Annual Kamloops Canadian and International Film Festival. It went swell in my book. How do I gauge the success of a Festival appearance? Easy.

1- Did people enjoy my films? Yes. Deaden in particular seemed to have hit the spot (nobody left the screening, everybody stayed for the QNA, heard only good things).
2- Was there a drunken arm wrestling match?
Oh yeah! “see below”
3- Did I make new friends?
Shawn and Jason, aka  the Basement boys, Skew director Sevé Schelenz and Fest chairman Mark Wallin (long live Twin Peaks and Kubrick) are all on my class-act list; so a winner here. PS: Special shout-out to Matt for enduring my badgering. You’re a champ!
4- Did I wind up in jail?
No! That’s a good thing!
5- Did I meet AITH fans?
Yes, and thanks to everybody that showed up, bought me beers and drove for like 3 hours to be there!

Other highlights were: doing a live TV interview (was great to see the Dead Shadows teaser play on TV), Habs winning over the Canucks (he he he) and finding my ugly mug in the morning paper. So all in all it went well and I was happy to give the genre section of the Fest a healthy kick in the ass for its debut! Hope Dark Fest continues for years to come. Again a big thank you for having me!  Here are a couple of pics from my trip for those who care (Mom?)

Cheers to Dark Fest!

Won on the right, lost on the left... fucker!

Kamloops = great beer!
Waiting to go on live TV!
Shots with Skew director Sevé Schelenz! Gonna get ugly!
Habs won versus Canucks = free beer!
Jason and Shawn = class acts!
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Will be at the Dark Fest Festival in Kamloops Canada!

Am happy to report that I will be a guest at the inaugural of the Dark Fest festival in Kamloops, Canada. The fest is streamlined by Jason and Shawn, co-hosts of 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops’ review show Film Reviews from the Basement. I’ll be there to show some of my past work (The Red Hours and Deaden) and a preview of David Cholewa’s Dead Shadows (next film I star in). I will also do a QNA and I’ll be bringing some free schwag to give away. Looking forward to it! NOTE TO SELF: Kamloops looks like a great place to snowmobile… if I have the time, will try to squeeze in a swift run 🙂

I love Kamloops already 🙂
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