Bookkeeping and adventure

 “You are aiming for happy fulfilled days” was the piece of advice Dominic Billings really took to heart, from one of his early NEIS training sessions at Box Hill Institute.

He was participating in the NEIS program to best plan his new film production business. While considering this particular piece of advice, Dom thought “if I could work and travel, that would make for some happy fulfilled days!”

Dominic has a background in media, writing and film production. With management training and mentoring provided by NEIS, Dom developed the entrepreneurial skills he needed and one of his first commissions after completing the program was a $30,000 video production project.

 Read full article at NEIS Now 




I'm in the mood to spruik this, a 2013 production of Soup du Jour Productions aka Vince Moloney and I:

 , a 4-part narrative TV series about women's empowerment inspired by the book Half the Sky by Pulitzer Prize-winners Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn of The New York Times. For a while I was almost ashamed of it, but it's more relevant than ever - I daresay we were a fraction ahead of the curve with the topics therein reaching fever pitch in past couple years.

I'd totally marginalised it til now, split across 12 low-quality vids hidden from view, despite receiving a $5000 grant by the CBF and C31 to reach communities of interest. I thought it was heavy-handed at the time, and too didactic (just look the word up, ya mug!).

Anyhow, have re-edited in to its original 4 episodes in higher definition. I'm actually really fuckin' proud of it. 

Enormous credit to Evan Munro-Smith (first project shot on his beloved RED Scarlet, I believe). Everyone who works with Ev knows that whatever any of us respectively bring to the table, the ship sinks or swims according to his involvement, to which we all know - whether we express it or not - his value is ineffable/inEvvable.

Also, enormous accolade ought be extended to Rebecca Bastiaensz, who held the story upon her shoulders. Such a pro and hopefully destined and deserving of grand things!

Je ne regrette rien

My heart goes out to Barron Trump today. Little does the poor guy know that at the age of eleven, his old man sold out his future for the narrow interests of pandering to the working-class voters of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio, energising his base in Kentucky and West Virginia proactively with the 2018 mid-terms and 2020 re-election bid in mind.

If Barron's dad knew as much about business as he claims, he'd at a basic level know that a strong primary industry and manufacturing sector is a hallmark of a second-rate economy. He'd know that only 20,000 coal-mining jobs exist among the 150 million Americans in the labour force. Alarm bells would ring when your Secretary of State, the former CEO of the 2nd-largest historical carbon dioxide emitting company, furiously campaigns in the days leading up to your decision to stay in the Paris Agreement. The accord as it stands already is so short of ambition as reflected by current commitments that it would still lead to catastrophic climate change, far exceeding the aim of a 2-degree Celsius increase of global average temperature as measured against the start of industrialisation circa 1850, scientifically giving us a two-thirds chance of avoiding dangerous, human-caused climate change.

But Donald doesn't deserve all the blame. David and Charles Koch are the real culprits driving the libertarian brand of US politics, overseers of a vast political machine seeking to whittle away government oversight and taxation to the benefit of an oil and gas dynasty presided over by two men living past the average life expectancy of their country of birth.

The Koch's have a shill in Scott Pruitt, the EPA chief and former Oklahoma attorney general, a state that's benefited greatly from the shale boom of the past decade, buttressed by all the litigation Pruitt could help it with. Both Pruitt and the President's chief strategist Steven K. Bannon - pandering to the white, working-class voters that elected them on a key campaign promise - prevailed over the exhortations of a former Goldman Sachs president-turned-economics adviser, an ex-ExxonMobil chief and the president's own First Daughter, mother of Donald's grandchildren Arabella, Theodore and Joseph, along with his grandchildren to Donald Jr.,  Kai, Chloe, Donald III, Tristan and Spencer.

The US Senate never ratified the Kyoto Protocol, so it's short accession to the Paris Agreement need not surprise us greatly as a departure from history, though it certainly may feel so.

It's incumbent upon all of us to take individual responsibility. We all allow our conscience reprieve when our fuel tank gauge nears empty and we pull in to the local branch of Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron or Total. Many of us allow inertia to prevail in continuing to run our home electricity and gas heating off the fossilised sediment of prehistoric lifeforms when a renewable energy provider is but a phone call away (From them, I mean! I know you receive them unsolicited all the time.) An atmospheric interplay of the sun's rays and one carbon atom symbiotically CO-existing with 2 carbon atoms will set our children and children's children on a pathway to a world that paints the world in conflagration.

In the 4 years requisite for the US to legally exit the Paris Agreement, a presidential election will occur exactly the following day, after which a new administration could ratify once again, at the expense of 4 years of business-as-usual emissions, incurring greater expense to decarbonise the US economy by mid-century.

It won't matter. America's abdicated global leadership on Thursday 1 June 2017, ironically to China, the very power Trump intended to curb. I suggest a divestment of American goods and services with exception of the ICT vanguard including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook. Not as a rebuke to ordinary Americans who want a healthy planet and socially inclusive economy that distributes fairly the wealth of ultra-high net worth individuals such as the Kochs and their cronies. These wealthy elites wrote the US tax code because plutocracy charades as democracy in America, the Republican Party an asset of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company from sea to shining sea. This is about money, and you have the potential to wield your unit of fiat currency, whether US dollar, pound sterling, euro, yen or yuan, even in infinitesimal quantities against the scale of the $100 million mobilised by the Koch's in the 2016 campaign. 

Wield your individual ability to act and do your 7.5-billionth worth of responsibility. Take the UN Climate Neutral Now pledge. Calculate your climate footprint, reduce what you can and buy carbon credits to offset whatever emissions you cannot.

  • Reduce kilometres travelled per week
  • Downsize your car to a smaller vehicle with smaller engine displacement, preferably diesel or electric hybrid
  • Use public transport, preferably trams and trains rather than buses
  • Recycle almost all of your waste
  • Switch your heating source to electricity generated by renewable energy
  • Make your preferred diet vegetarian or vegan
  • Mostly shop for local and organic food
  • Calculate and offset your carbon emissions for international air travel

Educate yourself about the deep decarbonisation pathways toward a decarbonised economy in our respective countries by 2050, built on 3 pillars:

  • Energy efficiency - effective building insulation, fluorescent or LED lights, efficient appliances
  • Low carbon electricity - solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, nuclear, carbon capture and sequestration
  • Fuel switching - electric cars recharged with renewable generated electricity. 

I'm saddened, because I really enjoy being in America, New York City particularly being an enormous inspiration, but I see no morality in being complicit in their economy's depredations any longer, even as a visitor. As it stands though, I can see I, like many others, fell for Columbia's wiles and seduction in the form of a lifestyle that was neither sustainable for its citizens and global citizenry, nor reflective of my morality.  Stoking wars and regime changes in violation of the UN Charter's respect for other members states' sovereignty, an ODA budget of 0.18% of GNI in contrast to a pledged 0.7% from the world's largest economy, a disregard for the virtues of both the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as the UNFCCC, of which the Paris Agreement is an extension of.

The world must look anywhere but the United States now, save for an alliance between progressive and dynamic American cities, states and businesses, in an effort formally being led by former NYC mayor and UN climate envoy Michael Bloomberg, who ironically considered a run in the 2016 election. The world will pivot to the EU and China for leadership, as evidenced by the One Belt, One Road initiative officially presented by Xi Jinping last month. Yet as individuals we must search our own respective actions, being ever-mindful to prioritise the wealth of biodiversity and gains made on ending extreme poverty to ensure the health of our planet and our children's prosperous future.

Friendship, figs & salami


How many of us can sit back and say with confidence that we’re living our life to the absolute fullest?

Not merely existing, but really living.

Childhood friends and co-founders of Soup du Jour Productions, Dominic Billings, 31, and Vincent Moloney, 32, ask this relatively daunting question in the most humorous manner with their first feature-length film ‘200 Grams’.

Read the full article at Il Globo

I dunno where this is going...

I've been taking solace from Ryan Adams' new album Prisoner over the past month or so. It came to me via John Mayer, a fellow American singer-songwriter-producer. Prisoner is what I was kinda hoping Mayer's new album The Search for Everything, released in entirety today, would be.

Not to take anything away from Mayer. Many of Search for Everything's tracks are what I sonically hoped they'd be, and their subject matter has definitely resonated.

But Adams' album has really made its way in to my soul. It's an unabashed break-up album in the wake of his divorce from Mandy Moore.

I don't know where this is going, but it seems to have had a deep effect. The past few weekends since summer ended have found myself listening to it loudly. Suppose in the quieter moments I seek whatever it has to offer. It's a sad album, to be sure, though not languishing in sorrow.

There's a defiance, and though am less familiar with Ryan Adams' back catalogue, there's an irony in that I wonder whether Moore would be attracted to the peacock's tail on display in the songwriting and producing prowess of Prisoner.

My intuition would say she's well and truly moved on, and such a solid album about her would be near-embarrassing to bear listening. I theorise women are perhaps a little better moving on emotionally, but that's just supposition.

I ought to make a point sometime soon, but don't quite feel like it yet. Maybe I have a hunger to show the peacock's tail and make something great. It takes work, and feel as though am up to it, if am able to keep level-headed. Something that really gets under people's skins and in to their souls. Something that makes people sad, purely from recognition of those feelings emoted in the work reflected back on them. Why sadness in contrast to mirth? I guess I like the former more.


The Accountant

Alfalfa is aflame, you say? Well, my girlfriend hates Portuguese. Well, perhaps I'm similarly inclined. Maybe unbeknownst, that's what drew me to it.

'Twas the River Douro whence this story borne. What? Why not on the river upon which Lisboã resides? Ah, but Lisboã is for Running for Fado. Not for your romance. Then, again, why the River Douro? But why not?

Oh, come on!! What is this nonsense? Then fine, let it be the at the mouth of Tagus. Oh, yes, the Tagus.

And what, good sir, is this story about? Why, it's about Fernando Pessoa, 'The Accountant', as...'The Sandeman'. Why? But for saudade, of course.

Ah, why, it's ultimately about saudade, as all your tales must become, whatever their guise. Call it mono no aware, call it duende.

Where La Taverne du Cap Vert et Brasil lays it's hat, that be where this story lies. At the mouth of the Tagus, where explorers set forth, looking for spice, as we all do upon our respective journeys. Whether those journeys be within the Age of Discovery, setting forth under the name and charter of the colonial Crown, on the hunt for canela; or simply a transoceanic flight to lands less ordinary, wheeled luggage, liquids under 25ml packed in check-in and itinerary, travel insurance coverage product disclosure statement in plastic sleeves, along with pre-planned GPS-co-ordinated navigation to one's inn.

Ah, but the Lusophone loves thee. Whether it be Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique or Portugal itself. There's a languid...well, it's saudade, isn't it? Underwhelmed, but...well, the saudade's the most succinct, apt way to phrase it.

So Alfama, beauty though she is to foreign, adventuring eyes, 'tis an eyesore to the heavy hearts that call it home. Why? From whence forth does such gloom and nostalgia originate amongst colour, fading fortunes synonymous with modern-bay beauty, the derelict bespoke spun in to one man or woman's glamorous vacation adventure, suitable for carefully calibrated lenses to capture the beauty of another man or woman's domestic gaol - parole available for cobblestoned gossip.

A ghost town, boarded up and evacuated languidly. Wartime? No, far from it. An economic war perhaps, but no...too dramatic; nearly Spanish in such a histrionic flourish - forgive me. But it is true, things are not so good here right now. One might be forgiven for thinking that the Republic has chastised itself to leaning upon the foundations of cork and vino rosa to propel its economy - surely a folly, yet even further fallacious economic optimism to imagine the old ways (of what has not provided 'prosperity' in much, much time) could offer even a glimmer of hope equivalent of the candlelight of a tourist-touting fado bar in Bairro Alto. Ahhhh, but we Portuguese are used to such things by now. No less, familiarity can be both a source of comfort, and a crutch upon which excuses to stay in one's redundant ways is reinforced.

Ahhhh, with a mentality of this kind, it's easy to picture what called the seamen of more ancient days. Discovery. Voyage. Greener pastures from the terracotta roofs of one's neighbourhood.

Somewhere to miss.

What are you thinking about at the start of 2017?

For whatever reason, I've long envisaged 2017 as my Continuum year. What does that mean? Does it mean you spend time in New York and LA?

Why is that necessary? I'm not ruling that out. I think this year needs to be a year of acting. 

You need something of great excitement in this year. It will be acting. 

What is a Continuum year? Do you go see Mayer? Maybe. I'm not 100% sure that held the appeal it once may've. I'm totally cool with the answer remaining a mystery to me.

What would make an amazing year in the context of creativity? Of becoming whom you sought out to 10 years ago close to the month? I think it's a culmination of that. I think it's a culmination of Soup du Jour. As well as your own, more individual work.

And would that be KJ and making money from KJ? Yes, methinks so.

Is the Continuum/Kind of Blue mind map? Yah, perhaps minus a few other superfluous elements.

Can we reflect on what around about this time 10 years ago set off? Well, I really wanted to become someone, to craft an individual. I basically wanted to become a movie star. And do you think perhaps that this year could set that off? Perhaps, there is potential.

Do you think New York holds a crucial piece? C'mon, be honest. Hmmmm maybe not, I furtively want to venture.

What did you feel in April 2007? Would you cast it from April in contrast to Jan? Yeah. John Mayer. New album, The Search for Everything. You could get in on that tour. I'd like to have Axolotl out by April, that'd be sweet.

Is it movie star? Is it that status? Mmm it is. If you have one goal for this year, is it movie star? Yes. Sure about that? Yes. Doubly sure? Yes.

What if it comes at the expense of...? Friendships, love, family? Then no. Simple answer.

My friendship with Vincent and the creative budding of 10 years after a hiatus is worth celebrating, and I'd comfortably say you did so with 2 of Us article.

Waiting on the world to change. Ljubljana, Mirror 2 Mirror Productions. I think Vital and Leya ought definitely to produce and direct one of my next films. Veronika Decides to Die.

The world's gotta change this year. You've gotta change, take singly responsibility - it's your sole responsibility! Brooklyn? Manhattan? Movie star before, but open to including NYC.

Acting = #1 😎

I suppose Continuum's about the way it makes me feel. If you can't crack the code, then open yourself to the omens.

Gypsy by Bonobo. Who do you want to be your #1 person of 2017? I want a trio of Vince, Brown, Gouldy and their families! And what of your own family?

What are the omens suggesting at this juncture? What's your bliss? Ooo try free salsa lessons too! Do you need more than one good one?

I want you to sink your teeth in to work this year though, both full-time hard yakka plus hopefully studio time.

Global travel and film. That's the order of the day. No pain, no Spain.

Acting/movie star. Hollywood? Slow Dancing on Mulholland Drive? Acting. NIDA. Ms. LeGrand. Brian Goorjian.