Archive | News

RSS feed for this section

Short doc premieres at Winnipeg Real to Reel Film Festival Feb 20-21

I’m excited to announce that the short documentary film (1o min), “When was the last time you said ‘Oh my God’?” will premiere on February 20 and 21, 2015 at the Winnipeg Real to Reel Film Festival.  Screenings are Feb 20, 8:30pm and Feb 21, 8:00pm.  Visit the festival website for details.  Festival location is 1315 Gateway Road, NKMB Church.  I look forward to meeting you!


WR2R 2015 Official Selection Laurel


A few behind the scenes photos of the short doc filming

When you’re doing street interviews and documentary-style production, there’s intentionality mixed with a high degree of spontaneity.  Here are a few shots from behind the scenes.

This is one of my favourite moments, when a wedding couple agreed to give us an interview.  We’re just setting up the shot beside their wedding car.
Wedding 1
If that looks like a super awesome microphone looking like it’s set up in someone’s clothes closet, then you’re right!  We laid down some voice-tracks at Grant’s place (Editor), and the best quality audio was if we diffused the space with lots of materials that can absorb sound.  Nice wardrobe, Grant.
Clothes closet audio recording

The opening and closing of the short doc was shot at Canadian Mennonite University in the beautiful historic building on the north side of the campus.  Fun fact…the photo frames on the walls are of graduated classes from the founding colleges.  My Dad’s photo can be found in one of those frames from the late 50’s.  Kind of cool to be taping a film that leans on the legacy of creativity my parents instilled in me during their many years of radio broadcasting.





Winnipeg Jets FanFest

IMG_5158I was in line early Saturday morning, Sept 20, at the MTS IcePlex along with a couple thousand other Winnipeg Jets fans to take in the first public training camp sessions. It was a great day at the inaugural FanFest great!  Dennis Beyak, TSN3 play-by-play announcer,  was delivering some great interviews on the main stage with Andrew Ladd, Mark Stuart and others.

Next weekend, I’ll be on deck with a few player interviews of my own at the MTS Centre for the film.  Can’t wait!


Gave us an interview on their wedding day!

Grant (Dir of Photography) and I started out our Saturday at the University of Manitoba to revisit where my curiosity with people’s use of “Oh my God” first began.  Then we headed to the Legislative Buildings.  At the Legislature we came upon a wedding party photo session and were able to “crash” the event (with permission).OMG_Wedding 3

We ended up interviewing the bride and groom an hour before their wedding ceremony.  Their wedding car was a beautiful 1963 Ford!  What do you think they said when we asked them about the last time they said “Oh my God”?!  Thanks to the happy couple for being so generous with us!


Can’t wait to get this interview into the film.  Spent the rest of the day all over the city talking to Winnipeggers.

OMG_Wedding Car 1

Toronto street interviews

During a crisp weekend in late January 2013, my videographer, Grant Hoeppner, and I hit the streets of Toronto to shoot some footage as a pilot project for the “Oh my God” concept.  It’s been a while since I had so much fun!  The stories we heard were riveting, hilarious and gut-wrenching.  We got a lot more than pilot footage.  Thanks to everyone who was willing to respond to our question, “When was the last time you said, ‘Oh my God’?  Enjoy the video.
-David Balzer

U of T linguistics professor explains role of teens in language change

Our weekend of video taping in Toronto in January 2013, began with a visit to University of Toronto’s linguistics department.  During my academic reading about language variation I discovered Dr. Sali Tagliamonte and her fascinating investigation of words such as ‘like’ in everyday usage.  My research had me curious about the role of female pre-teens in language change in society.  A highlight for me was when I got the chance to test my hunch with Dr. Tagliamonte.  Her expertise in sociolinguistics had a lot to offer an understanding of Oh my God in everyday talk.  Here’s just a fraction of the interview with Dr. Tagliamonte.