Filming Update: Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary- Andrea Knepper and Bonnie Perry

As Artcanoe Productions continues with the filming and production schedule, we’ve had a lovely time filming Andrea Knepper at the whitewater park in Yorkville, Il. Last Saturday, filming took place at Jackson Harbor in Chicago. Bonnie A. Perry was running an ACA Level 1-3 Instructor Development workshop. Both venues provide awesome viewpoints. Lately production tasks have included collecting field audio and soundtrack music, finding rough cut screening locations (to be announced soon!), logging final or missing shots, and finalizing the film festival deadlines list. Enjoy the latest film teaser!



Artcanoe Friday Flicker: Sarah Hartman

Sarah Hartman is featured in this week’s Friday Flicker. Owner of Midwest Paddlesports, Sarah teaches SUP and kayaking to all ages and abilities in a variety of venues around Chicago. She completed a 60 mi crossing of Lake Michigan and a solo expedition to Great Slave Lake. This summer she will be kayaking in Alaska and working on her ACA Level 4 instructor cert. In the coming months, Friday Flickers will feature short bits of interviews to reveal the story behind, “Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary”.

Artcanoe Friday Flicker: Andrea Knepper and Chicago Adventure Therapy

This week’s teaser for “Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary” features Andrea Knepper and Chicago Adventure Therapy. Artcanoe Productions has been filming Andrea and CAT on site in Chicago and during the Great Lakes Kayak Symposium. Upcoming spring teasers will feature Sarah Hartman and clips of forthcoming interviews. Artcanoe Productions will also be announcing exciting news about a new  film sponsor!


Take Me Back: Summer Sensations (Friday Flickers)

A few days ago, I went to the Soup and Bread benefit night at the Hideout pub. My friend, Chuck Sudo, editor at the Chicagoist, was moderating a discussion with three artists from Chicago. The discussion theme was how does living in Chicago influence one’s art. Tony Fitspatrick, graffiti/collage/tatoo artist, said that everyone has their own Chicago. We all have a story or memory that we want to get back to whether it is last summer or that certain neighborhood corner market that no longer exists.  As I work on Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary, I am reminded of why I want tell stories. It is the act of making stories that keeps me engaged. Part the challenge will be if the stories I tell will take us back or forward.

I’ve decided to start a new series of teasers for Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary(to be released in 2016). Enjoy the first in the series.

Winter Paddling

Andrea Knepper goes paddling almost every week during the winter.  She walks three blocks to the Chicago River launch near her house while pulling her kayak on wheels. The canoe pictured was purchased by her mom over 25 years ago. Here are some snapshots from last Saturday’s winter filming.



Andrea’s wonderful canoe packed with filming gear and ready for the 3 block trek to the Chicago River


Andrea leads the way


Andrea, smiling, as the sun tries to break between the clouds

Hether Hoffmann paddling and filming on the Chicago River

Hether Hoffmann paddling and filming on the Chicago River



Found: Not Lost

I spent the afternoon shooting more b-roll and finding ambient sound. Lake Michigan was sporadically making a pop and crack. It is hard to to believe that I was filming, Andrea Knepper and Bonnie A. Perry, from this exact spot in October. Finding winter solitude in Chicago is a part of the lake front’s wonder and magic.

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Montrose Pier

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Ice that Breathes: Winter Shooting and Lake Michigan

As a teacher, I am incredibly lucky to have a job that, at times, allows me to fill my my cup with soulfully imbued experiences.  On Tuesday, I was added, at the last minute, as a chaperone for the 7th grade field trip to the Chicago Shakespeare Repertory (located on the lakefront at Navy Pier). After the play, I explored the desolate Navy Pier and came upon the slowly heaving ice. I did not have my my good camera. The clips in the link below were shot (at Navy Pier and Montrose Harbor) with my iPhone as experimentation and b-roll for my doc, Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary.

Dream Big or Stay Inside

National Science Foundation Artists and Writers Program
Finlandia Grants


After cross country skiing today in the local forest preserve, I started thinking about my next film projects. I’ve always wanted to go to Antartica and Finland. Digging around a bit, I found two grants that might help fund my projects.

My relatives were Swedish speaking Finns. I have a copy of a letter in Swedish addressed to my grandfather from the 70’s. This letter is the hook for more stories and a trip to Finland.

I’ll be keeping these ideas in my back pocket for now. But you never know what can happen in eighteen months…