Tag Archives: Dakar 2008

What does a Kitty, a Duck, Tacos & Cowtown have in common?

Well it’s been a CRAZY week both on AND off the Kickstarter Campaign for One Night in Seattle!

All over the map, not getting lost but rather, finding our way into the home stretch and wrangling an AWESOME team in the middle of it all!

So what DOES a Kitty, a Duck, Tacos & Cowtown have in common?

  • a journey
  • a film
  • a dream coming true

The Kitty

Acoustikitty is Arran Fisher’s recording operation, based out of Calgary, Canada. Arran is on board, crafting an ORIGINAL SOUND and MUSIC SCORE for One Night in Seattle. This is not the first time Arran’s music will be a part of an iDream Films Production. The first one wasn’t planned, it was happen-chance. This second one, was much the same. I walked into a cafe, and… well, as per the film and my life, interesting things tend happen when you walk into a cafe, destiny kinda takes the lead if you are open and willing…

I met Arran way back while I was writing the film into the wee hours of the night at Cafe Beano in Calgary. Arran was working as a barrista to pay the bills and make his music. In 1999, Arran formed the psych rock group The Summerlad, which toured several times across Canada and the U.S., released four albums, and received national acclaim for making music that defied easy categorization.

The Summerlad on CBC Radio 3 

Oddly enough, when I was filming my Dakar Rally Project, Mark from CBC Radio 3 Vancouver, gave me a playlist with some selected artists and The Summerlad’s ‘City of Noise’ track was among the selections. I picked it without hesitation and only after did I realize this was Arran’s band from back in Calgary. What are the odds?

Well, in May, I went back to Calgary and back to Beano and guess who was sitting there, on the other side of the barrista bar. We re-connected after 5 years, both having been on quite the journey chasing our own passions of producing and media and all it took me was to mention how I was looking for an original soundtrack that would be inspired by how the soundtrack in the critically acclaimed film, Deadmanwas crafted (Neil Young composed the guitar seeped soundtrack with portions he improvised while watching the movie footage).

City of Noise, by The Summerlad on YouTube

City of Noise, featured in my Dakar Rally Project on Vimeo

Deadman on Wiki

Clips from Deadman, samples of Neil Young’s Soundtrack on Youtube

Chasing the Desert – “The Outsider”, Jan-April 2008 from CFilmGirl on Vimeo.

Seems every iDream Film project needs it’s Acoustic Kitty. This will be the second film project of mine that will feature Arran’s talents.

More about the Duck, Tacos and Cowtown coming up!! Woot!

  • Brian Schecter, media sports business analyst with Puddle Duck Productions, based out of Vancouver, Canada.
  • Chronic Tacos in Gastown is a 2 story Mexican Cantina with amazing eats, mexi-drinks and even late night spinning and skeleton dancing…
  • Word is, a SUNDANCE PRODUCER PASS ($10,000 pledge level) could be pledged on Monday, from my hometown, Calgary, Canada.

Back soon for UPDATES!! WOOT!


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Posted by on June 6, 2012 in FilmLOG, WOOT


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Dakar LOG – 2008 and it’s a DEEP Crevasse…

“life is like a box of chocolates..”

That’s the opener from the email that my mom sent me – my family has been great, very supportive through this whole Dakar Rally Cancellation as I try to wrap my head around what effect this has on the projects – do I still have a project – when is one over their head – and how do I wrangle up the gap for the finances to get me to the make-up event…

Just when I thought I was stretched to the limits both physically, mentally and financially, the world threw in one final challenge… It changed the one thing I took for-granted… That except for some freak of nature, the rally wouldn’t get off it’s feet – that by some act of God or Men, it just wouldn’t start…

I even thought about it as I was negotiating production insurance which a week before I left for the rally, became a requirement with ASO for me to film the event – I decided to ‘cheap out’ and not over-inflate my already in the red budget and just take care of the necessities. 2 million liability, death and dismemberment insurance (so my parents wouldn’t be looking at a huge debt in my wake) and replacement on any gear damaged or stolen (which was 12 hours away from becoming very handy with the lost luggage episode days before the Dakar Start – or should I lovingly say… non-start.)
So – here lies the rub…
I have spent the week in Chamonix, the French Ski resort – under the graces of a host that felt pity one one lost and confused Canadian Film Girl. That in combination with my mom’s email last night, the wisdom of Mountain Guiding and Life were woven together in a life lesson. That age ol’ question, “when is enough, enough?”
Is it time to just throw in the towel?
Or get that bleeding cut mending up and get back in the ring for one more round?
One thing is true – we never would know what would have happened if we decided NOT to go for one more round – wether we would win – or suffer the ultimate defeat… We would know that we looked at the cards and were either happy with the journey to that point and fold, or fold under the pressure, way in over our head and sacrifice the bets waged and pull out before the whole bag of coins are completely lost.
Problem is… I think in some way, I am an addict. A bit of a junkie. I really don’t always know when to quit. When am I creating more of a problem than a solution – or even if there ARE any more coins left to bet. But my thinking or instinct – lies in how I live life – or attempt to live life…
When a guide takes off on the glacier for a ski trek – with or without a client for the day – one thing is for certain – he must make it out at the end of the day or face death. With the conditions changing and the natural challenges and obstacles that are part of this extreme lifestyle and career – regardless of what comes up, he must push through and get back home – hopefully with all limbs and members of the trekking parting intact. Crevasses, Avalanche, hypothermia, death – all of this is a living, breathing reality of his life.
I feel like I have set out on such a trek – meeting other trekkers along the way – some, I have joined up with for the journey – others are pivotal, happen chance meetings along the way.
I feel like as a team, we have fallen into a storm and are blinded by conditions that only mere hours before, taunted us with beauty serene. We now have been separated and I feel like I have fallen into a crevasse – battered from the fall, but still moving, yet faced with walls of ice on all sides… Will a rope fall to my rescue? Will I find my pack that has my crampons and ice tools? Will an exit point reveal it’s self once the storm lets up?
At the end of it all – all these questions lend to survival.
When does one crawl up into a ball and just let the elements and conditions of life have their way? What if in this peace of surrender, a new direction is revealed that one may have not been looking for because the blinders where on full focus on only the destination one was seeking. Or, what if, this was just another leg of the journey that takes you to the next point where the conditions change, become favorable, lifting the clouds and revealing the path straight home?
I guess at the end of the day – I can’t imagine curling up and freezing slowly to death at the bottom of the crevasse just yet…
Yes, I am lost.
Yes, I am tired.
Yes, I am without direction.
and yes, I am uncertain of my fate.
Yes, this is more of an adventure than I bit off (I thought I had bit of a bit more than I could chew already…). But, this is what I have in my hands. This is the reality of it all.
Is this another call to an even grander adventure? Or is this where one adventure slowly freezes away – back into the dream where it came from.
I met Felix the other night at a local REALLY COOL Brew Pub in Chamonix. A world renowned Sport and Life photographer, he was shooting skiers in the Chamonix valley when his small group came upon a frozen corps while on location on a glacier / crevasse field. He was checking out the boot, thinking about it as a souvenir when it, complete with the foot inside, separated from the leg. Morbid, yes… but the boot was from the turn of the century – no crampons (metal ice plates that are fixed onto a boot with ice picks to walk on the icy glaciers) but instead, metal screws right into the soul. He took a picture (in his book) and took the boot (minus the sock and foot – too smelly).
I wonder how far I will get. I wonder if I will be one of the few that makes it back home with a grand story under my belt.
Maybe I will be a novelty – someone will find my remnants, many years later and I might be (or a part of me might be) be the topic of discussion over mulled wine – that night ‘apres ski’ at the local ski pub.
Maybe I will just remain an undiscovered fallen trekker – lost forever to the massive movements of nature.
Maybe, I will just go home, chart this course, leave it’s end unmarked for the next crazed explorer to pick up and finish the route.
I like my feet. Both of them.
I hate the cold and love a great, warm fireplace.
I hate being alone in the dark without light.
In the end, I love my life – this grand adventure that it is. I am not ready to throw the towel in just yet, but I am open to that route that will show it’s self once the conditions settle down.
Thanks to everyone for their emails and words over the last couple weeks. It felt like I had never left my family and friends even though I was so far from home.
All the best in this grand and unpredictable New Year of 2008.
I wasn’t kidding when I was saying:
“buckle up your seat belts, we’re in for one hell-of-a-ride!”

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Posted by on January 14, 2008 in DakarLOG, ShawnaLOG


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Dakar LOG – 2008 Dakar Rally Cancelled

you heard me – I am still wrapping my head around it. As of noon this afternoon, the day before the rally was to begin, the A.S.O. announced that they are canceling the Rally.

Will write more later on my blog – just with the team right now as we figure out our plans past this point.



Posted by on January 4, 2008 in DakarLOG, WOOT


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Dakar LOG – 2008 Dakar | Film Gear located in Frankfurt

This is the Best Xmas gift yet!  This was in my inbox this morning at 4am (yeah – I couldn’t sleep, busy making my shopping list….):

Shawna – They found it.!!!!!  Here is your info, the bag has been located in FRA and is on it’s way to you.  Expedite Tag Number 249221…..    Arriving on LH 2214,  Jan 02 2008 Flight LH 2214 3;30pm.  Your bag is logged in on the World Tracing system and LH Lisbon has been sent as message.   Have an amazing Dakar!!!!   Between Turkey dinners emails, phone calls from the possie, our baggage guys, the YYC concierge….   us Canadian girls rock!!!   Best Regards, Terri 

Alright!!  Terri, Air Canada agent, that I met a couple months back while I was enroute to ‘chasing the desert racers of North America’ came to the rescue late last night.  She got Lisbon, Frankfurt and Vancouver Airports all on code red and on the hunt for my MIA gear bag…  just over an hour later, The bag was located in Frankfurt!  

All I can say is : “Woo-hoo!!”  BACK in business!  3:30pm, this Canadian Film Girl will be reunited with her BETTER HALF and can get down to the basics and get this Dakar show ON THE ROAD!

Not a day to soon, either….

Thanks to everyone who sent in their support and can’t wait to get you ‘inside the Dakar’.

Keep an eye on the progress at:
the 2008 Dakar Video Log:

Do take the time to check out ‘Dreams Take Flight’ at:


Ciao for now!  I am off to get my Dakar Media Kit and get lost in the fray.



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Posted by on January 2, 2008 in DakarLOG


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Dakar LOG | 2008 Dakar Rally – MIA gear update

Terri from Air Canada and ‘Dreams Take Flight’, sent me this message:

Hi Shawna Great info………. We have the guys in Calgary Lost & Found lookingand contacting LH for you……with an urgent request!!!! With anyluck………….I should hear in the next hour or so… Get some sleep….I’ll keep you posted. P.S… there anything we can send from here? Trust me I know how you feel and we are doing everything we can from this end. We are sending urgent message to LH YVR, YYZ, and FRA and LIS. Regards…..Terri    

WOWOW!  Let’s cross the fingers – at least I will know, one way or the other, and can focus on just going down the list to the start of the Dakar….Thanks Terri and Air Canada for digging in an REALLY helping out… 


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Posted by on January 1, 2008 in DakarLOG


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Dakar Log – 2008 Dakar Update | Luggage officially MIA

Bookmark the 2008 Dakar Video Log:

Ok – here’s an update…

Luggage LOST. I arrived on the early evening of the 30th, plenty of time to get oriented and get some gear testing done and mingling with the boys of Team Rally Pan America.

Waiting eagerly at the luggage belt, I waited. AND waited… AND WAITED. Humm… I guess it was FINALLY my turn to have the sock monster takes it’s appy out on my ENTIRE Dakar kit. NOT IMPRESSED and DEFINATELY NOT in my budget. 🙂

So, it’s 3 days later – luggage still NOT located. The clothes on my back, my cameras – but no power cords, computer cords, batteries, camping gear, underwear, socks, medication, bath stuffs, shirts, pants, shorts, sleeping pad, and everything else that I need to rememeber and write onto a list in hopes that is is retreived…. 🙂 and those hopes are becoming the reality that the Dakar is days away and I need to replace my kit.

Had no idea that shopping was on the agenda and I have been squeezing my accounts for the impending over-priced replacement of batts and chargers and in the mean time, smiling and waving and praying for that phone call that probably won’t be coming. It’s been 3 days and the bag is not located = not good news.

Anyway, it’s fabulous here – everyone is great. The boys from Team Rally PanAM gave me a shirt (probably cause I was getting smelly) and last night I had a great New Years dinner, Fireworks and evening drinks with Mark Miller and his long time buddy Dirk von Zitzewitz and I drove out of Lapa, Lisbon around 5 am filled with great racing stories and a shirt, pair of shorts and socks – generously donated by Mr. Mark.

So, in the end, I am taking it day by day. That’s all you can do here and I guess it is a perfect inauguration to the world of the Dakar. It’s been a reflection of what the last 6 months has been, so, I guess, why would that change? I just have to trust that it will all work out the way it is meant to, and pray to God that there is a camera store and a camping store somewhere within Lisbon’s city limits.

Have the Best New Year possible – just take it Day by Day.

hugs and will check back in when there is any more news.


2008 Dakar Video Log:


Posted by on January 1, 2008 in DakarLOG


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DakarLOG – 2008 Dakar Rally | Pre-Rally VLOG

Just wanted to check in with everyone. I am on a layover at the Frankfurt Airport after leaving Vancouver on Saturday afternoon. It’s strange to think that I am just hours away from Lisbon and just days away from the start of the Dakar Rally… All of the sudden, I feel myself venturing into the ‘other side’ of the TV screen – the 2007 rally seems only just months earlier and I had no idea then, that I would be IN the rally one year later… Nuts.

I have started a ‘pre-VLOG’, watch my first entry here on YouTube:

Chasing the Desert – “The Edge”, Dec 2007 from CFilmGirl on Vimeo.

The Official Dakar VLOG can be followed daily during the rally on the Australian Broadcast company SBS, on their online coverage. You can follow me at this link, the VLOG is on the lower left of the page.
Thanks everyone who got me on the plane and to the start. Yup, I am nervous but it’s gonna be an incredible journey – actually, it already has been.
Happy holidays and enjoy the New Year!

Posted by on December 30, 2007 in DakarLOG, EventLOG, FilmLOG, TravelLOG


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