Blog Archives of my Favorite Work

Videos from Around Taiwan

Religious Ritual in Modern Taiwan


This is a project I've been working on for a long time. It is a collection of religious rituals. Videos clips are organized by the type of ritual without explanation as to the purpose or meaning of the rites. This is simply intended to introduce you to the sights and sounds of religious ritual in Taiwan.

Dragon Boat Festival


Last Sunday began the Dragon Boat Festival, a popular public holiday in Taiwan. The video explains what the festival is all about. Note: The video is about 6 and a half minutes long. It will buffer for a moment before it begins to play. If it begins stopping pause it for a few minutes and then play it until the end.

Qing Ming Festival


Early this month Taiwan celebrated the Qing Ming, or Tomb Sweeping Festival. Qing Ming is the most important holiday for venerating one's own ancestors (often mistakenly called ancestor worship). Families gather at the gravesite, clean and decorate it, and often will eat the cold food which has been offered to the dead. Some will also set off fireworks to chase away any evil lurking around. The colored paper that is placed on the graves is another kind of spirit money. Some think that the grave is like the house of the dead and the placing the colored paper is to retile the roof. All these activities are ways that the living continue to participate with their departed family members. Note 1:This video is large. As always, if it keeps stopping as you watch, pause it for 5 minutes or so and then watch to the end. Note 2:For animal lovers, this video has images of animals that have been sacrificed. There is no blood and gore seen, but if seeing a dead boar would bother you don't watch.

Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival


Chinese have a word: "re nao" that they use often to describe a good celebration. It's one of those words that doesn't really translate in the fullest sense. I think it would literally translate as "hot time" but it seems to be used for the concept of "noisy fun." To have both a good Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival a lot of re nao is needed. I've left both videos with the soundtrack mostly untouched, edited only for smoothness, so you can get the full sense of a Chinese celebration. Both holidays were last month so I'm a little late getting this done. Enjoy!

Happy New Year, 2008


Happy New Year everyone! This is a video I made around the river park in Bitan on New Year's Eve. There was a pretty small croud this year, probably because the city is wreaking the place to rebuild it. Most of the shops have closed, it was likely only locals who came out. Most of the video is from the fireworks show at Taipei 101, filmed from the hill in the middle of the graveyard behind my house. I had a great view of Taipei and Xindian from there. On my way back down I got of the steps and walked in the grass, which had become damp with dew, so the dog could do her business. I slipped and twisted my ankle and have been hopping around all week. This will probably be the last year for the fireworks show at Taipei 101. One reason is because it will be fully occupied and they may not get everyone's permission. But the main reason is that by next year it will no longer be the world's tallest building. A taller one is being built in Dubai, UAE.

Typhoon Krosa


On Saturday we got hit by a major typhoon. It was the worst to hit this area in the more than 5 years I've been in Taiwan. The river flooded 3 feet/1 meter higher than I've ever seen it. There wasn't a lot of wind damage around here, just broken branches and a few downed trees. I wrapped my video camera up in cellophane, and when that leaked a clear plastic bag. Instead of listening to my boring narration or the sound of wind and rain against plastic I set the video to the music of a couple of bouncy Celtic songs. Sorry for the poor quality in some scenes, the wind made it hard to keep the camera still, especially on the footbridge, and the plastic wrap around the camera made some scenes blurry. Scenes:
Opens with satellite and radar pictures of the typhoon.
The first clips are from when I walked Annie at about 10am.
Next I walked down to the river and took some shots from the bridge.
Later that afternoon I took Annie out again through the graveyard.
Finally, I went back to the river at the hight of the storm just before dark. Music:
1. The Irish Rover - The Pogues and the Dubliners
2. If I Should Fall from Grace with God - The Young Dubliners
I had to encode this at a high rate because everything is moving so fast, so the file is larger than usual. If it begins stopping often, just pause it for a few minutes and let it download, then play it through till the end. The video is 7 minutes and about 40mb. Enjoy.

Ghost Month in Taiwan, 2007 - Extended Cut


I added some extra footage, new audio, and new graphics to my ghost month video which extended it by two minutes. It's now 5min 45sec. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think.

Note: Some people have said the video keeps stopping when they watch it. If it does you can pause it for a few minutes, then play it. You can see how much has downloaded on the progress bar.

PS: I've changed this again. After a LOT of tries I couldn't get a good picture by uploading to Youtube. For some reason every time I uploaded it and Youtube converted it the picture was bad. So I saved the video as a .flv file directly from Adobe Premiere and got crystal clear quality. I'm using JW Flash Player to embed the video. It's nice and can be made bigger than the Coffee Cup software player I was using. Best of all it will play in full screen. Click left of the volume control. I think you'll need to have Adobe Flash 9 installed.

Videos from Holy Trinity Orthodox Church of Taipei

Christ is Risen - Pascha 2008


Christ is Risen! Indeed he is risen! Once again we had a wonderful Pascha in Taiwan. I was busy with my video work, but I wasn't too distracted to participate in the service. Everything went beautifully and it really does feel like a new beginning. We even had a beautiful spring day the next day to welcome the new season. I hope you enjoy the videos. I've broken it into three parts of the service for easier viewing. As always, if it begins stopping often just pause it for a few minutes and play it to the end.
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Mariya's Baptism


I'm posting this video for friends of mine at church who's baby was baptized last month to share with their families. The video is 10 minutes and is about 44 mb. If it keeps stopping just pause it for a few minutes and then play it to the end.

Personal Videos

My Dog, Annie


I'm getting all the video work I've been putting off done before I go. Here's one I made of Annie with a couple of Irish instrumentals.

Fire Next Door


A few weeks ago there was a fire near my house. I was fiddling around in my office and Annie started barking at something out back. I looked and saw nothing, but heard some noise not far away and smelled something burning. I thought it was someone setting off fireworks, which happens a lot. A few minutes later I heard sirens, so I grabbed Annie's leash and we got out. When I saw it wasn't us I went back in and got my camera.


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