Monthly Archives: August 2013

Off to see the Boats… the beautiful, beautiful boats!

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So we’re on our way!! (Left: Kate Bradford, our director of photography, in a rare moment in front of the camera)

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We’re off to the Classic boat festival this long weekend with a truck full of gear (see right- the exposed blimp and box of tee-shirts? this is how movies are made…) to capture some magical boat shots and interviews with people CRAZY about wooden boats. This is the first shoot that isn’t totally Dorothy-focussed, and I think it’ll be nice to get some light touches and atmospheric colour for the film. Not everything has to be about Dorothy – does it?

If this afternoon’s brief time with Angus and Sandy Matthews is any indication, we’re in for a fantastic shoot. They were marvelous! I was so captivated by the conversation that I didn’t even remember to pull out my camera for a photo, so we’ll have to get them another time (they are very photogenic, by the way… )

Owners of Dorothy in the 70s until 1984, they actively sailed her as a young family and did much to keep her alive. Angus confessed a secret about what he did for Dorothy while she was under his care – which Tony Grove said did much to keep her in good condition – which we have sworn not to reveal. But something we can tell you… It was Angus who provided Dorothy with the gift of a full suit of Fogh sails, which are waiting for her return to the water even now (thanks to his brother, an Olympic sailor who worked for Fogh.) We learned during our time with them this afternoon that it was apparently the first suit of gaff-rigged sails Fogue had ever done!

Then, the photos came out. Oh my, there are some beautiful shots of Dorothy under sail like I’ve never seen before! They will for sure make the film. Can’t put them up yet as we left in such haste for the ferry that they will have to wait until after Victoria and Port Townsend boat shows.

I’m personally so stoked to meet the many people who have written us or talked about hearing the Dorothy and are looking forward to the film. And we have some amazing volunteers who stepped forward to help us sell T-shirts (which fly out of the box whenever they come out) and enlist people in our doc film community – thank you especially to Harry Martin, a volunteer for the MMBC who has come over to see Dorothy a number of times and already has done so much for us in organizing help and volunteers. Thank you Harry!

Thank you everyone who has stepped forward to help, or even give encouragement that they are eager to see the film. THIS is how films are made… as a team, for a community, with passion and diligence and no small amount of sweat and persistence. So thank you again. We can’t do this without you.

And now, if you want a moment of levity, go to the Dorothy Documentary Indiegogo Kickoff party event on Facebook and look up the ridiculous video I posted yesterday to reveal the party location! It’s going to be an amazing event, full of artists who are donating beautiful work for the fundraiser, tapas by some incredible local chefs, music and dancing and oysters and Dark n’ Stormys, oh my! Please join, even if you can’t come personally, join virtually! Sign in and you can see my new video pitch for the film, get some photos of the action and download the dance mix curated by Bryan. It’s going to be a blast, so come if you can!

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More to come from the amazing festival grounds, for now, off to the Sticky Wicket to meet our team and plan out the weekend…

Much love, Tobi

All hands on deck for Victoria Classic boat festival next weekend!

Happy Sunday from Dorothy HQ!

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Do you love classic boats, want to spend all day in the sun on Labour Day weekend ogling them, or would simply be happy to help out the Dorothy Documentary and restoration crew?

If you answered yes to any of those questions are are willing to lend a hand, we definitely could use it! We need about 8 people to fill a couple of shifts at the Classic Boat festival grounds in the Inner Harbour Aug 30th, 31st and Sept 1.

The work is fairly simple, and will win you a Dorothy t-shirt, a pint or glass of wine (or two), and our eternal gratitude!

There are two locations we need to cover: at Ship’s Point we will be set up under a tent selling Dorothysails T-shirts, handing out postcards (see top of page), and collecting emails to draw for a print of Tony Grove’s (see image below).

Second position is at liberty, you would be walking around the festival, chatting with people about the Dorothy doc, handing out postcards and collecting emails.

Sid Skiff, by Tony Grove

If you live in Victoria or the area it would be ideal, but I can also provide transport down on Thursday, providing you can get a place to stay. I may be able to help with that as well. We will meet at a pub Thursday evening to hammer out details.

As our crew (Kate and Tobi) are doing a number of interviews and wanting to capture the excitement of Wooden boat culture, we can’t be everywhere at once, so would love to have your help!

This is, after all, a documentary made by community. Thank you!

Love, Tobi

So what’s a Dorothy Doc Indiegogo, anyway?

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Producer Tobi Elliott and the amazing Allana Thorne of Thorne Crate Co. (www.thornecrateco.ca) at the Gabriola Street Arts and Fair last Sunday, promoting the Dorothy documentary and Tee-shirts, AND the best lil’ gift crates you’ve ever seen!

Dear Dorothy Documentary Supporter and Fan,

You may be new to the Dorothy team, or you’ve recently seen the project in the media, or you might have been with us since we started shooting the restoration process in December 2012 at Tony Grove‘s shop — or you are so excited about Dorothy you jumped on board and bought a T-shirt at the fair last weekend!

Wherever you come from… WELCOME to the adventure, THANK YOU for joining the team, and KUDOS for being one of the rockstars helping create this documentary.

I have to admit, I’m a little nervous right now… because on Sept 12 I am launching the biggest campaign of my life on Indiegogo.com, an online social fundraising platform.

Indiegogo – which is like Kickstarter but more global and less U.S.-based – allows anyone around the world to support a project and boost it from idea to reality. This campaign is to be able to fund some of the production costs for the documentary about the restoration of Dorothy, the oldest sailboat in Canada, happening right now on Gabriola.

Together with my awesome co-producer Kate Bradford, we developed a solid storyline for the doc (that wowed broadcasters and many filmmakers I look up to) captured some great interviews with previous owners, and have the Maritime Museum of B.C.’s total support in accessing the rich library of Dorothy archives. So lots of good news. The hard part is that we’ve had to personally finance the project, because broadcasters across Canada aren’t into supporting this kind of film (*another story! later date*)

Although we are totally committed to and passionate about this documentary, the financial load is a lot to carry, so we’re opening up the project to ask for community support. So, what IS this campaign about, and where are we headed?

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Here’s how it works:

1. SEPT 12 VIRTUAL AND ACTUAL LAUNCH PARTY at a yet-to-be-disclosed location, featuring the film trailer and a new video clip of Tobi getting embarassingly real and honest with her fundraising pitch. And of course there will be dancing and good tunes curated by some amazing friends of mine. You can even come if you’re in Montreal or the Azores, just log in to Indiegogo and give us some love.

2. SPREAD THE WORD: Through our website and Facebook page, I let people know the campaign has begun, and where the ‘Dorothy Documentary’ site is. The more people who are aware of the campaign and are getting our newsletters, the better chance we have of getting off to a good start – so please encourage people to enter their email in the “FOLLOW DOROTHY” box on our front page!

3. DONATE: People around the world can log in and donate any amount they want toward the production, or donate anonymously.

4. GET AWESOME SWAG IN RETURN: Donors get a perk at the level they donate after the campaign is over, such as a Tony Grove print, a crate of handcrafted goodies from Gabriola Island, a lovely package of natural facial care products, a work of art (the list of donor artists is growing by the day!), a Dorothy T-shirt, or a Hi-res download of Dorothy under sail from a period of your choice. Donors in the US can claim a charitable tax receipt because I’m working with a fiscal sponsor in the U.S., From the Heart Productions.

5. BE PROUD AND SING IT LOUD: You tell people that you just gave to the Dorothy documentary, and encourage them to do the same.

6. SUCCESS! We reach our goal of $20,000 to keep filming through this fall and winter without too much stress, and celebrate with YOU and a great party on October 30th! Yay!

Indiegogo homepage

To know more about Indiegogo, I encourage you to browse the site and read some active campaigns. As the world’s largest democratic global fundraising platform, they help 1000s of innovative projects – from unbreakable sunglasses to better socks, from the newest smartphone technology to in-vitro fertilization for an struggling couple to have a baby – get off the ground.

Final note: this campaign is not about money, it’s about community.

It’s true – I don’t actually have all the resources to pay what it takes to make this the beautiful film Dorothy deserves. But it’s not financial need that’s driving this campaign. It’s the thrill of not doing it alone.

As a filmmaker, I stumble around the world trying to understand things through the lens of a camera and audio recorder. Most of the time, when I come across a story I see a glimpse of something great, and then labour in quiet agony for years trying to capture the essence of that story for the world to see. (See “The Trapper of Peace River”) It’s a lonely and often heartbreaking process. And, I found out, it doesn’t really work.

You can’t make a film in a vacuum. Filmmaking takes a community. And documentaries, because they pick up on on social and cultural threads that touch all of us, are even more so. And frankly it’s not fun to bang your head against the wall in some kind of gloomy misunderstood-artist funk, and do it alone.

So I abandoned that idea, enlisted the help of some able friends, and wow, then things started to really get cooking! So many great things have happened since we began opening this up to the global community of Gabriolans and boat lovers and documentary fans that I know we are on the right track. People want to get involved, want to help, want to cross-promote and assist.

People are basically lovely, giving, generous human beings. I love people.

So thanks *all you wonderful people* for coming on this journey. It’s just so darned exciting to do things together.

Let’s make a movie.

Love, Tobi

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Pick up a copy of the Times Colonist today

20130816-170635.jpgOver here at Dorothy restoration headquarters, we were pretty happy to read the lovely article on Dorothy’s restoration written up by Victoria’s Times Colonist today: “Old boat gets new love”, by Richard Watts.

It’s a great read on its own merits, but also very interesting for me (Tobi) personally to see what another journalist sees in this story. I love that Watts puts Dorothy into context with other vessels, neither puffing up her importance or putting her down. For instance, he quotes Tony saying, “She hasn’t been around the world or done anything dramatic. She has just kept going along. She is just a well-built little boat. Now her claim to fame is she is the oldest functioning sailboat in Canada, which is pretty substantial.”

And he highlights the archaeological investigation into Dorothy‘s physical history, citing Tony’s surprise about the small construction details that differ from today’s methods. And… he quotes me saying something actually articulate nice about the “legacy of care” that has kept Dorothy alive all these years.

So… nice read, and thanks Richard!

If you have the opportunity, pick the paper up today. The article also lives online at
Times Colonist.com/old-boat-gets-new-love

– Much love, Tobi

Global TV News story on Dorothy link is LIVE!

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Just one month until our Indiegogo production funding campaign begins! More on that in next week’s post… because right now there’s a lot of exciting news to share.

Last week saw a lot of press for Dorothy with both Global TV News and CBC Radio covering the restoration of this little gem of maritime history. In a stroke of terrible lack of foresight, neither Tony Grove – the wooden boat builder tasked by the Maritime Museum of BC with the restoration project – or I got to see the news piece but now it’s online.

So here’s the link: GLOBAL DOROTHY STORY. Please share around, put it on your Facebook pages, and tell your friends about it. Also please LIKE our Dorothy Documentary page as well!

(I clipped most of CBC-Radio’s On the Island’s morning show interview with me, so if you haven’t heard it, you can listen to a recording of it here on my personal website’s blog.)

Annnndd… more great news… Victoria’s Times Colonist is working on a major article about Dorothy right now, and I believe it will come out in tomorrow’s (Friday) paper. They said the article should have a prominent spot because there are lots of great photos (both Tony and Dorothy being rather pretty, as most will agree after watching the clip) so that is JUST AWESOME.

I’m heartened by all this great press and incredibly thankful for it, because it’s causing people to think about Dorothy as not just a relic of history, but as a contemporary story that can move hearts and minds. It’s bringing the global community of boat lovers and storytellers together — which is exactly what we need to make this documentary a reality.

We’re getting so much great feedback: So happy you’re doing the doc. It’s great to have this local story being shared”, “Love the up-dates… one kind of feels a part of something amazing this way,” and so many people writing to say they can’t wait for the documentary, they want a Dorothy t-shirt or to make a donation, that I know we are on the right track. If YOU believe in us and are helping us, we can make this important historical documentary an extraordinary story that will be seen around the world.

On Monday, I’ll write about how we’re going to use the power of community and the social fundraising website Indiegogo to help fund the production, and how you can help. Meantime, share the video around, and keep an eye out for that article in the Victoria Times Colonist.

And have a happy and safe almost-weekend – Love, Tobi

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The #DocBus on the wharf in Victoria, PEI. A woman asked if I had really driven from BC. Yessirreebob!

The Dorothy documentary team loves #getonthedocbus thoughts and images. Producer/community screening organizer and all-around doc wonderwoman Mandy Leith is on a quest to kickstart documentary distribution in Canada. Check out her website http://getonthedocbus.com/ and follow the travel blog.

Send Mandy some love, she’s made it all the way from Victoria, BC to PEI, talking to filmmakers and doc lovers across the country about how to make the great films created by Canadians, seen by Canadians. Support the vision. We do!

– love to you from the complete other end of the country, Mandy!

CBC-Radio and Global TV Coverage

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Happy Friday to all!

I don’t know how many in the Victoria area got a chance to hear this morning’s LIVE interview with CBC Radio’s “On the Island” Morning show with Kahlil Aktar about Dorothy and the documentary I’m producing. It’s been awhile since my live radio hits in Dawson Creek, BC, as an Astral-Media reporter and there was sooo much in my head to talk about, that I’ll have to listen again to actually hear what came out of my mouth!

Since the Dorothy story was featured in Pacific Yachting magazine and Western Mariner, there has been a bit more media interest in what I think should be a national story. (er… finally!)

Also, on Wednesday, a shooter for Global BC TV News showed up and the segment aired province-wide last night. Unfortunately, neither Tony Grove or I got to see it as neither of us has a TV hooked up to anything other than Netflix! So…. if anyone by incredible stroke of chance recorded the evening newscast, please let us know and we’ll get a courier to your doorstep ASAP! I’m eager to see what the videographer picked up as a storyline. The show producer might be able to send us the segment and I’ll post it here if that happens.

Meantime, I did manage to make a recording of my interview this morning with Kahlil. Sorry it cuts off at the end but the only way I could get it from my phone to computer was trimming and emailing – iTunes apparently having a bug when it comes to transferring voice memos.

Oh technology, how character-building it is when you fail us just when we need you….

Anyway, been nice chatting, meantime I have to get some work done – and so, probably, do you! Click here to listen to my CBC interview about ​Dorothy, the oldest sailboat in Canada, and my documentary Between Wood and Water on her restoration. 

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Have a great weekend everyone, Tobi

A Grecian Wooden Boat

Speaking of wooden boats here…

We were sent some amazing photos of a wooden boat under construction in… wait for it… Corfu, Greece! Here are some of Spiros Cheimarios‘ photos of a traditional wooden boat he is building. He says he’s passionate about wooden boats (we know a bit about that infectious disease, don’t we Tony?) and likes to learn everything he can about their construction. Us too!

Can any of our readers guess the type of wood being used, the vessel type and what kind of rigging it has? Answers in a post next week!

And if anyone else has a project they’re working on – especially a restoration project or you’re building a type of boat with a unique history – send them to dorothysails [at] gmail [dot] com and we’ll post them here.

Happy Thursday!

Off to mail some t-shirts, and back to watch some news coverage

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Heigh ho, heigh ho- it’s off to the ferry I go! I’m stepping off my beloved tiny island to the bigish town of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island to put some tees in the mail. They’re headed to New Westminster, Ottawa and Abbotsford. A big thank you to all the new supporters who asked for and bought a Dorothy Tee or three! Super happy to be able to send these off at last.

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It has been a busy week! Following a huge response to the Pacific Yachting story that came out last week, we (ok, I) spammed contacted conventional media outlets to see if any would be interested in covering the new developments in Dorothy‘s adventures, and indeed they are! Global TV News is sending a cameraman out of Victoria to interview Tony Grove this afternoon and get some shots of him working on the ol’ gal. So that’s nice! If I can just get him to shave now and stop using salty language…

And… drumroll please… I’ve set a date for our Indiegogo.com crowdsourcing production fundraiser to start!!! It begins in…

wait for it…

Less than a week! Aug 12 to be exact (my big sister’s birthday – <3 you Sis)

Yes, I'm going public with this story and need all the help I can get from Dorothy supporters worldwide. If you have an idea how you could help promote the campaign, do email me. And if you don’t know what crowd sourcing is, email me. Will write more about it in a few days and give you an idea of what you can do to help.

Check the blog later as I will post some pics of all the action this afternoon. Hope all goes well. Stay tuned!

– Tobi Elliott, Producer and Mail Queen

Dorothy makes the press – Pacific Yachting and Western Mariner

Red letter day for Dorothy! We are stoked to see Dorothy‘s story appear in two significant boating magazines, Pacific Yachting‘s August Wooden Boat Special, and Western Mariner (The Magazine of the Coast) in the “In the Boatshops” special section. Already people are writing to ask how they can support the documentary.

Pacific Yachting Aug 2013 wooden boat special issue

 

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Western Mariner-Aug 2013 TOCPick up a copy at your nearby magazine stand, and write and tell us what you think!

– Happy sailing, Tobi