Tag Archives: Indie REEL

DakarREEL – CFG LIVE in Morocco | Map Film-bites

Shawna Cox | CFG is…  on Facebook.  “Be my friend – and HANG ON!” for photos of Baja 500, 1000, The Dakar Rally and every ADVENTURE inbetween and behind the scenes… 

Indie and Adventure Filming and Event info?  Join the Canadian Film Girl | CFG Facebook Fan Page

2008 Dakar Rally Race Route, Morocco, October 2008: Making of “Chasing the Desert”…  

Escaping Flash floods, desert nights, Canadian Girls racing hidden trails, deep inside the ‘Medina’ of Marrakech, hot diggity scarabs and a wee-bit-of night dune driving (and running the battery down…)??

–>>  “Where’s Shawna on the map?”

–>>  Shawna’s Video Diary:


Canadian Film Girl | CFG, Shawna Cox

Canadian Film Girl | CFG, Shawna Cox


Who knew I would ever sit in the middle of the desert at night and be filming, editing and uploading daily film-bites.  1 HDV camera, 2 VIO-POV 1 car cams, 1 Mac laptop, 1 Iritrack GPS tracker, 1 crazy group of Canadians, 1 4×4, and 1 satellite way up in the sky (@ 7 euros a megabite, I might add = $200 + per 2 minute video)

where in the world is CFG....

where in the world is CFG....

I am on my last two days on the trail after a whirlwind 2 days in Cannes, France for the MIPCOM film market, then a midnight flight to Marrakech, Morocco.  I am currently on day 6???  …I think, and will be touching ground in Madrid, London, Toronto and finally home to Vancouver by next monday.  
I have been racing around Morocco, chasing Mark Miller’s Dakar Rally past  (Mark ends up in Morocco basically just as I leave…  timing) for the background for the 2009 Dakar Rally Documentary – the old Dakar Rally trail.  
I currently have a live map following our journey (the same iritrack as used on Dakar for the racers) as well as daily 2 minute film bites.  IRC stepped up to the plate to embed media into their live race maps – this is the first test.  
The tracker didn’t get started until 2 days into the trip, but the videos have been going well – uploading via satilite from the middle of the desert…  who knew.  (Rob!  what happened to video # 002 ??? 😉  

Thanks for keeping up with me, hot on the trail of Mark Miller (Team Volkswagen) and the 2009 Dakar Rally…

Good night from afar.


Posted by on October 21, 2008 in DakarLOG, EventLOG, FilmLOG, TravelLOG


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DakarLOG – Morocco 2008 | anywhere from HERE

Not sure WHAT to write, as there is almost too much!  With a quick networking maneuver from the master Charlie Rauseo of Team Rally Pan Am ( USA ) 2009 Dakar Rally bound- – that connected me with the ALL TIME FAVORITE, Patsy Quick of Team Desert Rose, the first British woman to compete in the grueling Dakar Rally – – ( Heathfield, England ) – she runs an antique shop by day…

Dakar Desert Rose

Dakar Desert Rose

– this Morocco trip is turning into something truly amazing – we will be joining with Patsy and one of her tours in the middle of the Moroccan desert and I may get a few riding tips from the Dakar Desert Rose herself.  One Canadian Film Girl hopes…

Facebook is an interesting thing.  Haven’t quite figured it out – I don’t think I really want to either – but m blog posts get imported to my home page and I guess a feed goes out to all my friends…  THAT’S when interesting things started to happen.  Still not sure what to do with it other than go “what the hell…  go for it”.

Here is my email to a potential networking opportunity presented from a brother of an ex-boyfriend YEARS back when I used to race mountain bikes.  that was a mouth full, but I decided – “hey – you never know, so here goes: ”

Hello, Isabelle – Dean thought it may be good for us to connect.

I am a Canadian Independent Film Director/Producer and I will be visiting Morocco for the first time to film some background story on the current documentary project I am working on.
Dean thought that you may know of someone or a company that may be interested in some international exposure, focusing on North America exposure but with veins in other territories.   The film involves the “Dakar Rally” and select individuals who are chasing their dream to participate in it.
I would be looking for someone interested in sponsoring our 7 day Moroccan 4×4 excursion – we are traveling fairly bare bones (low budget), but are looking for product – like a 4×4 rental for that time period out of Marrakech (returning to Marrakech) in exchange for product or logo placement in the documentary.  Also, a night or two accommodation in Marrakech that would also be part of the documentary.  Finally, possibly a local guide or ‘host’ when we travel to our designated stops to participate in the documentary.  There are also other opportunities to highlight a true ‘Moroccan Experience’, but these are our major opportunities.
As well, I would provide a trailer of the project with  the company or product highlighted and a behind the scene piece on how these cultures can ‘drop borders’ and grow a large international family / network.  This focus is largely travel and tourism with a lifestyle and ‘discovery / National Geographic’ style spin.  “The Heart of Journey” is the theme.  Goal is to make what would seem “another world away – truely only steps away”.
I have attached a brochure that introduces the project.
We are looking at a fairly short prep time, as we arrive in Marrakech on October 14th.  We plan to leave on the 24th.
Any assistance in networking or potential project support would be welcomed.  I am excited to venture into Morocco this month as in January 2008, I was at the start line in Lisbon when the Rally was canceled.  It was to be my first time into Morocco and into Northern Africa.  Even though the Dakar Rally has been moved, I still felt it’s heart lay here.  So I can see no better way than to start the film – where it all started – it’s true home.  I wait for when it returns.
here is a link to a blog that I run as well:
Also, feel free to add me as a friend on Facebook – all the journeys, adventures and behind the scenes are logged there as well.
Best Regards,
Shawna Cox
I think in the end – the whole Morocco trip should be sponsored by Facebook.
That’s how my Montreal guide, Partick, stepped up to the plate and offered his services…  That’s how I have gotten some great and invaluable travel advice.  Maybe that is how the film will find it’s home.  Maybe a network will make it all happen – if I am going to sell my soul, I ‘d rather it get divy-ed up between my friends and family.
All I will say that whether it is through Facebook or just on the side of the road in some foriegn country, when someone extends the offer to be your friend, accept it.  One day, that chance meeting may make more sense than you ever could have possibly imagined.  Grow your community – share your dreams.
With the right team and support, anything is possible – this year long adventure more than proves it.
Thank you everyone, once again – this is your journey as much as it is mine.
See you all too soon!
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Posted by on October 2, 2008 in DakarLOG, FilmLOG, ShawnaLOG, TravelLOG



FilmREEL – Rockin’ the Vancouver Scene | Behind the Scenes


This is My Lead Girl for my first Feature Dramatic (Producer, Writer, Direct) we are currently shooting…
Ok – NOT EDITED, this is Amelia’s one take, she rocked the whole scene and was only supposed to do the first 5 lines.  A director’s gotta do, what a director’s gotta do.  Pre-widescreen bars and all…
Apologies on the sound, but this hasn’t been touched yet, wanted to share a tiny bit of our work to date.  Just back from Ottawa last weekend with our new editor, Dave Shea, first day working some rough sequences…   Very cool work – will post some tid-bits once I get my move out of the way – my new home?  Gastown, Vancouver – temporary home that is, but will love every minute here.  🙂
Awesome work everyone.  Day by day – we will get this shot and wrapped for the big screen.  Thanks to the cast and crew for all the work and dedication to the project to date – 1/3rd of the way through and the best is yet to come.
Thanks for sticking in there.
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Posted by on July 29, 2008 in FilmLOG


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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 – Assuring the insuree and ASO

Needing production insurance for the film scout in case I bump into a tent pole and start a chain reaction where the entire Dakar bivouac goes up in raging flames… 


ANOTHER cost on this road to Dakar and one FAR TO CLOSE to my departure flight…  In the contract with ASO for the film scout, I must have Production Insurance – Good thing, thanks for reminding me guys!  Was all caught up with Chasing the Desert the last couple months and personal interest and professional has converged beyond the point of no return.  “sign here”

For you film buffs and fledgling anxious doc-types, here are some of the questions, but most, I was like, ” n/a “.  NO studio, NO film neg’s, NO one else in the crew, NO pre-production, NO post budget, NO…  you get the point.  It is JUST a film scout!  But I do want to make sure my equipment, me and those around me ARE taken care of as “anything can happen on the off-road to Dakar…” 

Morning Bob, thank you for looking into this under the short time frame…  I will address each point below:
1.         List of prior productions.
2007:  3-Way Cafe – Feature Film, HDV.  Producer, Director.  Budget (not including post) $15,000
2006:  Wake – short film, DV.  Producer, director.  Budget $2500
2.         Details of filming experience overseas.
2007:  Chasing the Desert – Producer, Director – series development and research for North American Desert Racing.  Baja Pennisula, Mexico; Cannes, France; Paris, France.  Budget $60,000
2005:  NIN – short film, DV.  Producer, Director – Tulum, Mexico.  Budget $8,000
3,         Previous insurer including particulars of any losses or claims.
DeJong insurnace, 1 year Production Insurance $1M coverage, Calgary Alberta.  No claims.
4.          How will the equipment be protected when in use and when not being used?
Equipment will be transported by my own person, and stored in the vehicle I am traveling with during the rally.  Air Flight – cameras and electronic equipment are on carry-ons and the remainder non-electronic is under carriage.  Secure Hotels before and after the rally.
5.         Will the camera be attached to a vehicle or hand carried?
Camera will be hand-held. 
the VIO POV1 units will be both hand and mounted (just looking for theft for these, not damage)
6.         Will you be hiring any locals in any of the countries during the rally? If so, please provide details.
no – I am a solo shooter who is scouting the rally and locations, taking pictures in this developement phase for a potential documentary next year.

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Posted by on December 19, 2007 in DakarLOG, EventLOG, FilmLOG


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NewsREEL – V.I.O. onboard for 2008 Dakar Rally

How does one get coverage and a true test and functions done on a film scout with only one Shooter?


Simple… call up –>> V.I.O. direct or visit Helmet Cam Central

…and get yourself one of these sweet little units – the V.I.O. POV1.


actions speak louder than pics or works, so see for yourself on V.I.O.’s gallery! NUTS!!

V.I.O.’s gallery of VID’s

iDream Films and the teams of Darren Skilton’s Wide Open Dakar, Charlie Rauseo’s Team Rally PanAmerica and possibly Mark Miller and the Touareg Race 2 of VW Motorsports will be finding these secret Point of View cam’s stuffed up in the most unsuspecting places, capturing footage that only few will ever have the opportunity of experiencing first hand.

From on course to inside the wheel wells to hunting the drivers and team members in the dark of night in the bivouac, I have my hands on 3 units, direct from V.I.O. who have officially come on board when they supplied us with the cam’s and all the neccessary attachement options to expand the 2008 Dakar Film Scout from one camera in the hands of a filmmaker to a total of 4 cameras in the hands of the competitors themselves…


If you ever wondered what goes out out in the middle of the Dakar Rally for a bike competitor, a private car entry driver and team, one of the TOP drivers positioned to capture the win, right down to the First Person Shooter experience of a filmmaker in the middle of it all – you’ve hit the right site.


If you want to shoot like you’re in the middle of Splinter Cell or want to know exactly how your suspension is performing…. you need to get the right equipment to do it all yourself. It’s that easy. Get out there and START SHOOTING!


If I wasn’t panicing trying to figure out how to get all my camera gear, shooting equip and general survival neccessities into one bag that truely needs to be TWICE THE SIZE…. I’d be shooting right now – Blackcomb Ski Hill sounds about right for testing grounds!!

Damn size and weight limits… DAMN THEM ALL!!! BUT not V.I.O…. You guys rock and I am looking forward to pushing these puppies to the limits for the full 15 days of sand, sun and NO SLEEP… 😉


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Posted by on December 19, 2007 in DakarLOG, WOOT



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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FilmREEL – “3Way Cafe” Film, New York | behind the scene

Cast and Crew – here’s a little ditty of the official 1st day of shooting the feature film “3-Way Cafe”. Thanks again to Justin Cote for lending us his great space in the heart of Vancouver’s Gastown… Awesome work everyone.

I will be playing the full rez version at the 2008 Dakar Rally send-off parties in both Calgary and Vancouver along with other selected edits from this years real life “Chasing the Desert” – hope to see you all out.

for now, here’s the behind the scenes video as seen on YouTube:

and here’s a link to the rough cut for the flick:

Check it out by clicking HERE —>>>>

FilmREEL – Sneakpeek at the NY scene from ‘3-Way Cafe’

Thanks for dropping in!


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Posted by on December 9, 2007 in FilmLOG


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DakarLOG – The Gift of Gear | Dakar Rally 2008

XMAS came early for 1 CFG…

With the 2008 Dakar Rally just around the corner, I had visions of HD cameras and solo shooting gear floating thorugh my mind… I walked into Vistek in Calgary and I felt like I was 8 years old getting all the Star Wars action figures EVER MADE!! There it all was – right under the Vistek Xmas tree (minus a red ribbon – bad form, boys!)

…yeah- it was cool…


  • Sony HVR-V1U HDV Camcorder
  • Sony HVR-DR60 60GB Hard Disk Recorder
  • Apple MacBook Pro Intel 2.2Ghz Core 2 Duo 15.4″
  • Apple Final Cut Studio 2 Upgrade
  • Sennheiser EW100 ENG Combo
  • Sony HVL-LBP LED Video Light
  • Manfrotto 560B Video Monopod Black

Ok, it’s all on a corporate lease through my company, but DAMN all that gear still made my knees weak! (I am probably the only girl that has said that…) With the help of both Jamie and Gary, Vistek’s in house video experts, we were loading, gearing and figuring how to put all of this into action.

Check the pics out here —>>> CLICK HERE FOR GEAR!!

Then all too soon, I am directed to Home Depot for the “professional velcro solutions…” Huh? Ok, I like Home Depot, just didn’t think I’d be taking my camera there to get it Dakar ready…


Then back on a plane and back to Vancouver – JUST in time for my lead actor’s B-day party. A mini reunion for part the cast of my feature film “3-Way Cafe” – Mark, Jamie and Rosa!


Dinner @ Glowbal, drinks the connecting Afterglow Lounge and a wee-bit of dancing at Bar None (I was only gonna stay for an hour and go back and load up software… got a wee-bit distracted with a certain “Dark & Stormy” at Bar None, in Yaletown. It’s a drink and it was FAB)

Check the pics out here —>>> CLICK HERE FOR ‘behind the scenes’.

Then it was back to a way-over due cleaning session and figuring out how to manage my new little family…


3 computers?!?!?! MAC G5, PC pooter, and the MAC BOOK PRO!!!

Seriously, I am using them all, pretty much like that!! You figure it out… Downloading on to the G5 while editing already downloaded footage on the MacBook, then Blogging and Uploading photos and emails and Graphic design on the PC… THANK god I am ambidextrous… but I have no idea how to use my feet and that is where this silliness stops…

back to the footage!

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Posted by on December 4, 2007 in DakarLOG



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