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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NewsREEL – 2008 DAKAR RALLY daily video blog

OK, I think this should be suffice for me to finally break the ice on a ‘behind the scenes’ development for one Canadian Film Girl and the 2008 Dakar Rally…

SBS and iDream Films GO LIVE (almost) at the 2008 Dakar Rally!

I actually got a little dizzy when I saw myself on the actual website… Kind-of got nervous about the whole thing. Nick, my Auzzie co-crime partner in this venture offer these kind and reassuring words to soothe my state:

“…and yeh, I wondered how you’d feel when you saw it. It’s only you and a few hundred thousand Aussies so no worries : ) ”

Thanks Nick… Love you too. 😉 Go here to see what made my head spin JUST A BIT –>>

the Official 2008 Dakar Rally SBS Australia Site .com


I was hunted down a month ago by Nick Doherty, SBS Online Content Manager who found my site in cyber space. He asked wether I was interested in making a ‘couple calls’ direct from the rally then he quickly entertained one of my “Overly Ambitious Ideas” that I was considering testing during the film scout…

“Could I do daily edits and upload? Hmmm… That would be cool! A lot of work, considering I am also filming, but hey? Why not try…  Worst case scenario, I’d die – that IS the ultimate worst case.”

Enter Nick and a random ‘Shawna’ thought has become reality.

Darren Skilton, team manager of TEAM WIDE OPEN DAKAR and the North American Dakar Corespondent, didn’t hesitate to arrange for and accommodate my growing ambitions to add Satellite internet access to his Dakar communications truck.

Satellite Phones, $7 per megabite, MacBook PRO, Sony Disk Hard Drive, one film girl destined to collapse from exhaustion and we are NOW only a few weeks from going live and I CAN NOT GET ALL MY GEAR INTO THE REQUIRED ONE BAG… Panic.

‘Drop to the Desert’ and watch 11|oneone Film’s Blog turn in to the:

2008 Dakar Rally DAILY VIDEO BLOG on SBS Online

Shawna Cox Dakar

A true ground zero and behind the scenes account of one Canadian Film Girl:

  • Traveling with TEAM WIDE OPEN DAKAR, under team manager Darren Skilton of BAJA AUTOMOTIVE and following Driver Mike Petersen of PETERSEN MOTORSPORTS as part of their assistance support.
  • Chasing Mark Miller of TEAM VOLKSWAGEN MOTORSPORT as he races his Touareg with co-driver Ralph Pitchford to be the first North American to capture the Dakar winners title.
  • Hunting down Charlie Rauseo, Team Manager of TEAM RALLY PAN-AMERICA wrangles up and guides his rogue privateer motorcyclists, ranging from TOP North American rider, Jonah Street right to first-timer Vancouver Island Insurance Broker, Don Hatton.
  • Surviving the 2008 Dakar Rally as she scouts solo, for the Official 2009 Documentary Film.

SBS is:

SBS Television is watched by more than seven million Australians each week. What they see is a unique mix of Australian-produced and international programs drawn from over 400 national and international sources. Programs in languages other than English – which comprise more than half the SBS Television schedule – are accessible to all viewers through SBS-produced English language subtitles.

SBS Radio, the world’s most linguistically diverse broadcaster, reaches across the major languages spoken in Australia. It produces more than 13,500 hours of language-specific programs each year, in English and more than 60 other languages. Since 1975, SBS Radio has expanded its service from a single AM station in Sydney and Melbourne, to a five signal network that’s available in all capital cities and key regional centres.

SBS Online provides text and video services as well as audio-on-demand in 68 languages, making it the most linguistically diverse website in the world. The online service extends and enhances SBS Television and Radio programming and generates original content, including comprehensive Australian and international news reports, innovative youth programming and one of Australia’s most comprehensive soccer web sites.

One Canadian Film Girl, One Australian Tech Boy, One Long Beach Desert Racer and One American Chasing his Destiny have joined forces to bring you ONE STEP CLOSER… INSIDE the DAKAR RALLY.

Buckle Up! It’s gonna be one hell-of-a-Ride!

THANKS to everyone for your continued support and SAVE THE SITE AND COME ALONG FOR THE RIDE!! (there will be a POP QUIZ when I get back… 😉 )



Posted by on December 20, 2007 in DakarLOG, EventLOG, FilmLOG, WOOT


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Dakar LOG – 2008 Dakar Rally T Drive

ok, THAT was a success!

Dreams Flight

dream flight

With a fanastic response ranging from local charities (like Air Canada’s ‘Dreams Take Flight’) , businesses (Shore Gold) and my buddies, the ‘dress a filmaker for the Dakar’ has hit it’s limits.


….the 1st Annual (maybe last…) Dakar Rally T-Shirt Drive!!! – “huh?”

Send one of your FAV T’s, a funny T, your company T or just any ol’ Cotton T and I will wear it for part of the Dakar Rally. (women’s L/XL, men’s SM to whatever size!)

**must be 100% cotton or microfibre**
**no yellow pits please – just ‘yuck’… 😉
**must be washed and Good 2 Go!!


Cause it’s COOL! And your T-Shirt might become FAMOUS!!

What you get:

  • your shirt will travel 10,000kms in 15 days through Portugal, Spain, Morocco, and the North African Desert!
  • it will be officially SIGNED and a PHOTO of it taken IN the rally (think that ‘traveling garden gnome’ syndrome) and Blogged.
  • PLUS, you get it back – directly in the mail from either Dakar, Senegal or Madrid, Spain – too put on your wall or in the next garage sale or in that neighborhood pub for general conversation!


More important… I won’t have to film NAKED… 😉


Bring a T-Shirt to one of the send off Parties:

  • December 15, 2008 – Dakar Rally| Canadian Film Girl Send-Off @ Calgary, CANADA = 7:30pm till?
  • December 16, 2008 – Dakar Rally| Canadian Film Girl Send-Off @ Vancouver, CANADA = 7:00pm till (I have to work the next day 😉 )

Not only did cotton T-Shirts show up at my doorstep, but desert hats, shirts that are just too swanky to wear (but will) AND press kits!?!?! for this 15 day, 10,000km off-road survival in rally racing and filmaking.

Looking forward to taking these T’s on the ride of their lives and trying to get them back with out too much desert sand in ’em. 😉




The Dreams Take Flight charity was started in 1989 when a group of Air Canada employees in Toronto organized a trip that took 70 special needs children on board a DC-9 aircraft to Walt Disney World in Florida.


In 1993, Air Canada employees in Calgary raised enough money to send 50 children to Disneyland in California. The organizing committees in Calgary and Vancouver shared a Boeing 767aircraft for the 1993 Dreams Take Flight adventure. This was the birth of Dreams Take Flight in Calgary. In 1996 Air Canada President, Hollis Harris donated a B767 aircraft for the exclusive use of the Calgary chapter of Dreams Take Flight.

In 1997 Dreams Take Flight began to operate on a national level with all participating cities operating under one logo and one name “Dreams Take Flight”. There are eight Dreams Take Flight chapters across Canada to include Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax. Dreams Take Flight is a registered charity in Canada.

Dreams Take Flight reaches out to special needs children including terminally and chronically ill children as well as children who are mentally, physically, socially and emotionally challenged. Children who have already visited a Disney resort do not qualify for the trip.

During the last fourteen years the Dreams Take Flight charity in Calgary has organized this adventure for special needs children in Calgary and Southern Alberta. The Calgary chapter of Dreams Take Flight has taken 1812 children on seventeen flights over 14 years. The charity is honored to give special needs children the opportunity to visit the Magic Kingdom and participate in the Dreams Take Flight adventure.


Posted by on December 19, 2007 in DakarLOG, WOOT


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Dakar LOG – 2008 Dakar Rally | Memory Management

It’s the digital world – and shooting with a Sony HVR-V1U and it’s mate Sony HVR-DR60, the 60 gig hard disk drive with tape back-up… I am figuring to MAX it out every day of the rally at 4 hours of footage.

With my friend Evans, Canon 350D, I am planning to fill 3 SD Cards (1 gig each) every day.


And finally, 3 VIO POV1 ( <– that’s a link!) ‘point of view’ video cameras…

Sweet little units – one for each of the 3 teams.  Mark Miller with Team VW Dakar, Darren Skilton’s Wide Open Dakar car entry and Charlie Rauseo with Team Rally PanAmerica on the bike.  Each with one main 2 gig card and one 1 gig card back up = 3 gig’s – if they have time and means to change it out during the day…

So, here’s the plan and the GIG’s to make it happen:

15 days of the Rally:

Video = 60 G
stills = 3 G
VIO = 12 G
subtotal = 75 G / day
total = 1125 G / Rally

4 days pre/post Rally:

Video = 30 G
Stills = 3 G
VIO = 6 G
subtotal = 39 G / Day
total = 156 G / Day

Grand Total = 1281 Gigs for 2008 Dakar Event

750G Maxtors (really 700G) = x 3 Hard Drives to cover the event.

$300 / drive…

Woo-hoo, let’s see if they survive the ride!!


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Posted by on December 12, 2007 in DakarLOG


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