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I know this sounds like a sponsored advert but I love Snapseed. It’s a great photo app I have on my iPhone. It’s got more controls than Instagram and is really easy to use. I like it much more than Adobe Photoshop’s app which is great news as I have a real problem with Adobe. In my experience they have the worst customer service I’ve ever encountered and any competition that threatens to break their stranglehold on the market of digital image manipulation is good news. Above is a picture I took through the window of a plane over NYC last week and worked on with Snapseed. Below is the original picture.
The second series of Gold Rush is now the top show on Friday night in the USA.
Below is an adbrag running in US newspapers and magazines.
As a storyteller I’ve talked to many people about how they see the world and what they see as being important. Clanging name-drop coming up: I interviewed David Byrne years ago who said that when he was making music with people from other countries it was cultural confusion and mistakes that added new dimensions.
The Soup: Condensed Soup Dec 17 (from 1.20)
And so it has been that cultural confusion around the concept of a ‘glory hole’ has added a further dimension to ‘Gold Rush Alaska’. In gold mining, a glory hole is a subterranean cache of gold nuggets. The Gold Rush miners spent an entire season desperately trying to uncover an elusive glory hole in Porcupine Creek.
The Soup: Glory Hole Glory Feb 11
Obviously, as worldly-wise producers, we were aware that the phrase glory hole had other connotations, however we didn’t realise using the term would lead to such creative outcomes.
Twitter erupted with every utterance of the phrase, and there were many, often associated with phrases like “I’ll take it wet or dry”. Our show was a gift to The Soup on E!, who clearly couldn’t believe their luck and returned to “Alaska: Gay Edition” no less than three times.
The Soup: Glory Hole “Gold” Feb 25
It also inspired mashups that moved from innuendo into the literal. SFW, but viewer beware.
Recent pics from filming in -35C. Fun.
My work life has always involved travel. The past year has been epic and the last month even more so. LA three weeks ago; Portland, Oregon two weeks ago and last week, filming in the far north in minus 35C. I’m not at liberty to say where we were but it was awe inspiring, savage and unbelievably beautiful.
Still, as I head into the dusk on my way to my Dad’s 91st birthday and I peer through rain-streaked train windows at black Scottish mountains, I am minded to hang up my cowboy boots for a while. Stationary living appeals, domestic experience to be embraced, a little inertia welcomed.
How weird my world is at the moment. Last weekend I flew back from LA after a few days at the TCA press tour. This is a conference of the USA’s top TV critics held in the stunning Langham Hotel in Pasadena. Twice a year the TV networks gather there to promote new shows. I was attending with Jack and Todd Hoffman, the two leading characters of Gold Rush Alaska, to give interviews and insight into the show. At present the series is the #1 show in America for men and Discovery Channel have really got behind it.
I saw Oprah Winfrey, who was launching her new network, OWN; Mike Tyson, who spoke about his love for pigeons; and Jennifer Aniston who walked by looking serene. I probably should have spotted a host of other stars that to my wife’s despair I didn’t recognize. The reception, hospitality and access that was laid on by Discovery was amazing. And to cap it, each night when I went back to back to my bedroom there would be a new surprise awaiting. One night a cool bloggers bag; the next, three ingots of Gold Rush Alaska chocolate and on the last night, a hand carved didgeridoo…a fitting end to a weird and wonderful adventure.
So this is what has been obsessing me for the last year and why most of my friends and family haven’t seen me for ages. I’ve been producing 10 x 1 hour documentaries for Discovery Channel in the US. The series is called Gold Rush Alaska. You can see the promo here . The show follows the fortune of a gang of unemployed men from Oregon who head north to Alaska in search of gold. It’s been a rock-n-roll shoot and edit but there’s a good buzz about the series. The subject has genuine and profound jeopardy and with gold prices going through the roof , unemployment rising and the recent swing to the right in the US it’s very current. I hope it does well not least as recognition for all those who went above and beyond to get it on the screen against all the odds. It premieres on Friday the 3rd of December at 10pm EST on Discovery in the US. It’s a Raw TV production of course.
I’ve been away from the blog for nearly two months now; consumed by another adventure. I’m making a new series for Discovery that I can’t write about; but I can write about Alaska. Last winter I visited for the first time and was blown away by the grandeur, scale and savage other-worldliness of the place.
This time we arrived mid April as the snow was melting and the greening had begun. Snowy peaks soar above fronds of silver rivers teaming with salmon that are preyed on by bear and eagle. Everywhere you look is drama. We hope to be here until the fall. What a privilege it will be to follow the seasons and cycles of this extraordinary world.
We are just back from a trip to the States, despite the anxiety over flying we had a ball. We visited New York (including seeing Andy, Yula and and the three-day-old Liam), Boston and Maine (with Laura and clever James; staying in the fab Lindenwood Inn).
I’ll write more about our trip later, but here a few photos of NYC. It is just such a crazy city, I think they speak for themselves.