This all happened because I wanted to go to Mexico.
A friend sent me a link on facebook about this film scholarship program that was awarding one lucky documentary filmmaker the opportunity to go to Mexico City for 10 days and shoot a couple short films about the Dia de los Muertos. I loved the idea, and I’ve been interested in making documentaries lately.
So I had an idea. I’ve lived in Vancouver for 2 years now. Many consider it the most beautiful city in Vancouver. Some, one of the most beautiful in the world. I decided to search for that beauty. I had the plan to get up at sunrise and venture out in hopes of meeting people who found this city beautiful. But I wanted to know about the beauty beyond the mountains, beaches and parks. I wanted to know about the beauty within the people of the city.
I’m a little socially anxious, and I don’t like to bother people. I have an almost non-existent sense of entitlement. I don’t like bothering people, because I honestly don’t think I have the right to do so. I left my apartment at 6:45 AM and by 11 AM I hadn’t approached a single person. But I had shot a couple of nice scenery shots [I would later find out my shutter and gain were off, giving the shots a grainy and delayed look].
At around 11 I decided I needed to get something to eat and drink, get a little bit of energy going, before I really dove into the project. I had walked from Oak and 18th to Stanley Park, taking the long way, across Cambie bridge and along the sea wall downtown. I was working off of less than 4 hours of sleep, so I was pretty tired.
I headed to Granville street because I knew I could get cheap food there. I was thinking of checking out Mean Poutine on the corner of Nelson + Granville. But to my dismay, I found that a couple of blocks, starting at Nelson and going south, were taped off with crime scene tape. I thought there had been an accident, or something of the like. I thought it had all passed.
Then I noticed everyone looking upwards. And more importantly, I noticed everyone pointing their phones upwards. There was a man standing atop the Regal Hotel. He was threatening to jump, and the police were attempting to get him down. I found it rather disturbing to see a man sitting on the corner of a tall building, ready to end his life. But what I found more disturbing was the crowds of people beneath taking photos, making jokes, smiling and laughing. This man was ready to kill himself. He was moments away from no longer existing. And all these people were there looking for some entertainment. I honestly believe that every one of those people who stopped to watch and take pictures, wanted to see him do it. Why else would they be there? If he was brought down, well then nothing has really changed. If he jumps, now they have a story to tell their friends. And pictures to go with it!
Even worse yet, I realized that I too was hoping to see him jump.
Now that fucked me up.
I had gone out searching for beauty within this city I live in, and instead found a putrid, ugliness that lived within the general populace, and also within myself.
I’ve grown to loathe this city, and honestly, it’s made me loathe myself along with it.
This short documentary piece is a representation of how I perceive this city. It may look beautiful, but deep down, I believe this place to be quite ugly.
Music by Andrew Giebelhaus
Shot and Cut by Brady Watt
Last night I had a lot of strange, vivid dreams. It was the first time I had dreamt anything in a very long time. At least anything that I could remember. The one part of these dreams that I remember more than any other parts, had to do with my dog, Willy.
His full name was Wee William Watt, and he passed away a little over three years ago. He was a miniature schnauzer, and he was ten years old.…