I’m Making a Documentary, it’s Called Hyphen

Since leaving my full time job a few months ago, I've been busy cooking up my next big project. I had a few ideas up my sleeve, but I needed some time to consider my options. I left for my cross-country roadtrip, hoping the adventure would bring me the inspiration I needed to come home ready to work. And I was right! As I traveled through the country, meeting strangers and seeing some incredible sights, it hit me. The Canadian story has always intrigued me, and I wanted to share my particular point of view. As a multiracial person, my connection to the Canadian identity has shifted and evolved throughout my life. There was something about driving from one end of the country to the other that made Canada seem much more approachable than ever. It deconstructed a lot of the conceptions I had and I was able to discover a new connection to our country. But I still wanted to tell the Canadian story from my own perspective: the hyphenated identity, and I knew I wasn't the only one with a story to tell.

Once I got home, I started planning my first independent production: Hyphen. My plan is to produce a collection of short stories surrounding the multiracial experience. I want Hyphen to be a space where multiracial individuals can speak about their personal journeys, and find a sense of community within this experience.

As a first step in the project, I want to dig deeper into my own experience. I don’t think I can ask others to question their identity before I take the time to question my own. I have recently started production of the first short story: my own. I've had fun going through all the old home videos my mum took throughout my childhood, amazed at the things I observed. These clips will be an integral part of my short story, along with additional footage of my family and myself today.

I wanted to share a few home video clips with you, to give you an idea of my direction. This kid was pretty damn cute, and even I couldn't help saying "aw".

Joining Third Son Laserworks!


I am happy to announce that I have joined my friend Jesse Kaunisviita in his new business, Third Son. Third Son specializes in handmade lasercut products for you and your home. Jesse and I met while we both worked at MediaStyle, a digital public affairs company here in Ottawa, Ontario. When I decided to take the leap to leave the team at MediaStyle so I could focus on my filmmaking, I turned to Jesse for advice, as I knew he had made a similar jump a few months before me. I admired his dedication to his passion and was thrilled by his supportive attitude. During our chat, we realized that I would be a good fit for Third Son. I wanted to focus most of my time on filmmaking, but didn't want to lose the skills I had acquired during my time at MediaStyle. I now have the opportunity to practice my communications and marketing skills with Third Son, while still having the time to pursue filmmaking.

My role within Third Son is to manage and produce our online content, from video production to social media. The small nature of our team also means that I get to be involved in many aspects of the business, from brainstorming designs, to attending craft shows and even lending my seamstress skills to textile productions.

I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with Jesse and can't wait to see what's in store for Third Son! As my first project with Jesse, I produced a video about his vision behind his business, and the process that goes into the production of his merchandise. Enjoy!

And you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Go West, Young Women


Last month, my good friend Melissa and I went on a cross-country adventure. She was moving to BC, I wanted to accompany her, and we both really like the movie Thelma and Louise. So we set off, leaving from Ottawa and arriving in Vancouver 2 weeks later. We were equipped with a tent, 3 iPods full of music and podcasts, a huge thermos for coffee and high spirits. I brought my trusty camera along on the trip, not really knowing what I intended to do with the footage. Once I came back and went through the weeks of footage I had, I discovered a story. A story of a friendship growing and changing with the landscape. It's hard to explain what makes a great friendship, and I'm lucky enough to have more than one. Through the crazy amazing adventure we had, I have come to realize how much this person means to me. So this short film is dedicated to you, Melissa, my road warrior partner in crime.

And here are some photos I managed to snap while I wasn't filming!

Diving In


So. Big changes for this 24-year-old. I just finished my last week as a producer at MediaStyle. Ian hired me right after finishing my undergrad, and I've been working with him and our evolving team for almost 3 years. It was the first time I had a desk and computer, business cards and a phone extension. But it was also the first place I got to put my skills in practice. From the first video I produced to the last, I can't believe how much I learnt. Having the space and support to try new things, I definitely feel like I'm leaving with a suitcase filled with knowledge.

A few months ago, I decided to take the plunge and commit to my creative projects. With the support of my family, friends and co-workers, I am ready to start a new chapter in my life. But it wouldn't be right to start before taking in an adventure! My lovely friend Melissa and I are departing next week for a cross-Canada roadtrip. I will be joining her on her trip out west, where she will be staying for the next little while. I then fly back to Ottawa, refreshed and inspired, ready to create. Filmmaking has been my passion for years now, and I can't wait to dive back in. I have a few ideas kicking around in my head, fiction and not. I'm also looking forward to collaborating with some friends on projects I really believe in.

It wasn't an easy decision to make, and I admit I'm scared at times. But in the end, I know having the time to focus on these projects will make me happy. And I can't thank you all enough. The support and confidence you've given me through the last few months has been overwhelmingly wonderful.

So stay tuned, I'll be documenting the trip, getting ready for the real deal.

The Cutting Room Floor


A few weekends ago, the MediaStyle team ran the on-site communications hub at the Broadbent Institute's inaugural Progress Summit. In three days, we created some pretty killer content. As the lead on the A/V team, I shot, edited and uploaded all the keynote speeches, a handful of the panel discussions and some of the interviews we lead in the MediaStyle cube. Once the last keynote speech ended, I wrapped up the edit of the weekend's roundup video so the Broadbent Institute could share it across their network.

I then managed to take some shots of the team working away in our custom cube in the lobby of the Delta Hotel. I think my film production teammates from Concordia would appreciate the DIY dolly solution we came up with to get the tracking shots for the video: me sitting in the hotel luggage cart being pushed around the lobby. It wasn't as smooth as our wheelchair dolly, but I think it worked out pretty well.

After the craziness died down and we were back to our normal workload, I was faced with the inevitable conundrum of having too much content. Between the video and graphic material that we created over the weekend, I had no idea where to start. I wanted to properly showcase the quality of the content we produced, without overwhelming the viewer. I was browsing through possible music I could use, and once I found it, all the pieces came together. Editing to music is a style I really enjoy, as you can see in the web series I produced for local boutique, Victoire.

After a few different versions, a fun audio recording session with the team (the blooper reel from this is particularly pleasant), I finally finished it! I think it's a great way to capture what we were able to accomplish over the weekend. I must admit, I'm quite proud. Proud to have been the only woman on the A/V team at the convention, proud to have witnessed the great ideas shared amongst the attendees, and proud to have been part of the team that hustled to the end to produce some really great content.

Check out the video below. You can also see our photos from the event here, courtesy of Benjamin Dickerson. Lastly, you can find the full handout infographic featured in the video here.

Coffee and Cigars

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The heat, the continuous music playing around every corner, the bluest water, the old cars. As we stepped out of the airplane, I felt as though I had walked out of a time machine. I just returned from my short trip to Cuba, where my mother and I spent 3 days in Havana and 4 days in Varadero. Not knowing what to expect, I packed my bags and dreamed of the hot sun. I took with me my mother's old Minolta camera, which has started to become my best travel friend. 3 rolls of 35mm film later, it's safe to say that I have collected some pretty good memories of this place.

I hope to have captured the essence of Cuba, and give you a glimpse of a truly interesting country that came to me just at the right time.

I'm Back Online!

GWR is back! I may know my way around a camera, but building a website is not my forte. Luckily enough, with the help of several lovely and patient tech support employees, I did it!

You can now watch the entirety of my short film "Dreaming in Colour", which won an award this summer at the World Film Festival.

And for you zombie film enthusiasts, I promise to have the full version of "Mon amour, le zombie" soon, but you can check out the trailer on the site as well.


I've Been a Bad Blogger

Shame on me; not writing in over 6 months. Can I use the excuse that I've been blogging for my work's website? It's honestly pretty cool, worth checking out. Ok, enough with that. Guess you've been wondering where on earth I've been for half the year. I've been working! (I'm sure you haven't heard that one before...*cough cough*). I've been producing videos, podcasts, blogging and other such things at Ottawa-based communications company MediaStyle; it's legit, I swear (I have my picture up an everything.)

Focus doesn't seem to be my thing today; all I can say is: stay tuned for more frequent posts!

That is all; peace.

- Gabriela

The New Kid

I just finished my undergraduate degree in Communication studies. What to do now? Job searching and all, but keeping busy is the main goal; and keeping busy doing something you love is as important. But for the time being, I can remember things I have accomplished in the past, and hopefully be inspired to continue. Check out my pictures and films at the top of this page. Enjoy!

- Gabriela

A New Step

It is clear now that everything will change. We are no longer children, dependent on others to shape our knowledge of the world; we must now venture by ourselves and discover our paths. Individuality is now more important than ever; we must shine through the veil of mediocrity and challenge the status quo. Make your passion show, contribute to the knowledge of the world.  

- Gabriela