I’m a documentary film maker, based in Toronto. But before that I was raised on a pig farm near Acton Ontario, educated at Brookville Public School on the Guelph Line in North Halton County, then two years at Acton District High School before spending grades 11-13 at St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, Ontario. I went to Carleton University for Journalism, then moved to Whitehorse in the Yukon to work for The Whitehorse Star and later for Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon. After that I came back to Toronto and carried on, went to CBC from ’89 to ’96 and then went freelance. Most of my work now is done through 90TH PARALLEL PRODUCTIONS, a terrific and uncompromising doc production house run by Gordon Henderson.
I’m in a very cool profession and I’ve been privileged to see some extremely amazing things. I’ll be adding updates from time to time, telling old tales and signaling new journeys to come.
Here’s my C/V:
I have been making documentary films in Canada for 30 years. My latest work includes “THE BRAIN’S WAY OF HEALING” and “FRANKLIN’S LOST SHIPS” for CBC The Nature of Things and “IMAGINING CANADA” for the Documentary Channel. In production now: “THE TEA EXPLORER” for the Documentary Channel and “SECRETS OF THE ICE” for CBC The Nature of Things, shot in my beloved Yukon.
In the past few years I’ve also made “STATE OF INCARCERATION” for CBC Doc Zone, “THE NORSE: AN ARCTIC MYSTERY” for CBC “The Nature of Things;” “WIND RUSH,” again for CBC Doc Zone. And “ACT TWO” for Rogers/Citytv.
In 2010 I made “WE WILL REMEMBER THEM,” a heart breaking two-hour special for CBC remembering the fallen Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. Also, two episodes for CBC/THE NATURE OF THINGS’ series, “GEOLOGIC JOURNEY 2.” One of those films was shot in Europe and the other in Asia in 2009. Also that year, I did “TATTOO ODYSSEY,” an adventure story following National Geographic’s Chris Rainier on his epic journey to photograph the tattooing cultures of the world. Tattoo Odyssey was made for Smithsonian Television, Bravo! Canada and the Documentary Channel. All of these films were made with 90TH PARALLEL PRODUCTIONS in Toronto.
I directed, wrote and produced all four one-hour documentaries for the series “THE ADVENTURERS,” a co-production between 90th Parallel Productions and The Nature of Things. The series was shot in Borneo, Polynesia, Egypt and Mexico, following scientists as they make new discoveries in the field. Episode one, “The Last Nomads,” won Grand Prize at Banff Mountainfilm in 2008. The series has won numerous other awards and was added to the syllabus of many university anthropology programs.
In 2007 I worked on my first project for The Nature of Things: he wrote, directed and produced “THE ROCKIES” episode of “GEOLOGIC JOURNEY,” a series that explored the story of Canada’s geologic record.
Between 2004 and 2007, I was the director, co-writer/producer of the four one-hour documentary series, “LIGHT AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD,” a globetrotting set of films about vanishing cultures. I did the series with explorer and ethnobotanist Wade Davis, based on his remarkable book of the same name, for History Television, National Geographic International and National Geographic Canada. Light at the Edge of the World has won several prizes around the world, including the Telluride Mountainfilm Film Festival and the Yorkton Film Festival. It’s also been screened in festivals from Tahiti to Austria.
In 2002 I wrote, directed and produced another documentary series, They Built The Railway for History Television Canada.
In 2000 I directed and wrote the premiere episode of CBC’s hugely-popular series Canada: A People’s History and then a bit later the CBC Witness documentary Locked Horns: The Fate of Old Crow. I also made The Cold Embrace and Last Chance Creek for The Discovery Channel.
I made seven hour-long documentary portrait films for CBC Television’s Life and Times, including The Abiding Liberal: The Life and Times of John Kenneth Galbraith, and also Wade Davis: Explorer; Susan Aglukark: Polarities; Robert Bateman; Christopher and Mary Pratt; Studio: Alex Colville; and Sit Down, Shut Up, Don Messer’s On.
Prior to writing, directing and producing my own documentary specials, I worked for several years at CBC-TV’s The Journal, Prime Time News and The National Magazine, making documentaries and features on daily news and current events. These, to name only a few, included Trouble on Golden Mountain and Pride and Prejudice, both with Joe Schlesinger, A Sense of Country and E. Annie Proulx, with Rex Murphy, and Beyond the Veil, with Anna Maria Tremonti in Iran.
At the beginning of his career I was a reporter and photographer at the Whitehouse Star, and later worked for two years at Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon – Nedaa, producing segments and documentaries for the first two seasons of that Yukon First Nations current affairs program.