Cameron MacKenzie blogs for NXNE…! – Day 4

Filmmaker Cameron MacKenzie’s been blogging away for us all week during her stay in Toronto for NXNE. Catch the second and third showings of her Letting Go short this Saturday and Sunday at the National Film Board, and read (and watch! above) what she’s been up to here…

This morning I awakened (is that a word?) very early … against my better judgment … and had to quickly get ready for our Niagara Falls trip. My mom had to get up even earlier so she could go downstairs to the NXNE area on the Hyatt’s mezzanine and upload yesterday’s Blog and email it to Tom. We went downstairs to the Hyatt concierge desk around 8:25am and hopped in the van around 8:40am. I immediately camped out in the back trying to get some more sleep. (Our fab tour guide and driver Nathan told me I could.) We got to learn more about our fellow bus passengers when we stepped out into the hot sun that beat down on us at the Falls (that’s what everyone here calls “Niagara Falls”). We squinted our eyes, trying to see the Falls and our fellow bus buds … Feri, Agnes, BK and Senuta. We all stayed together and ran around the Falls like maniacs taking photos and video. Everyone was so amazing … just like the Falls!

Yeah … the Falls …… so much beauty and power! What an incredible combination. After we took a million-bazillion pics and video bits, we walked along the boardwalk until we got to the Maid of the Mist tour area where we met up with Nathan again who got us tickets for the Maid. The Maid ride was INCREDIBLE … AWESOME! We rode in a steamboat (the “Maid”) and had to wear plastic blue coverups to keep us from getting drenched (the “Mist”), and the Maid took us RIGHT up to the Falls. I tried to film but I had to have one hand to firmly grip my coverup. I finally just threw it off and let the mist spray me down. 🙂

After the Maid ride, we walked up to the main street of shops and went to the rainforest cafe. I saw a shark, a very large and slimy and very scary snake thing, and some little cute pandas! The restaurant itself was so much fun! The chairs were different animals — not real — and the bar was a huge fish tank! There were statues with steam and smoke coming from them. Also in town there were wax museums and the Guinness World Record museum. It was basically a huge amusement park. BK bought me some butter pecan ice cream! Yum! Then we went back to meet up with the bus and
went wine tasting! Sadly …… none for me 🙁 I … got … juice. Back on the bus we saw towns and rivers and Lake Ontario and lots of cars. (They were all headed the opposite direction as we were … towards Niagara Falls. D’ya know why? Nic Wallenda is why. He was walking a wire across the Falls from the American side to the Canadian side.

The whole trip was beautiful, but I was pretty tired on the way back. I mostly stayed on my ipod listening to music the entire time. My mom and our other bus buds ended up talking politics and social policy (that’s what my mom says it was). (Thanks Hyatt concierge Wesen for hooking us up with CU Tours! THE BEST!)

We got back to the Hyatt right around 5pm. We hadn’t been in our room more than a minute or two when my mom got a “restricted” call on her phone. When she answered it she found out it was a newspaper reporter from Wyoming. The reporter told my mom she was looking for…can you guess?…yeah…Cameron MacKenzie. She told my mom that my film had been selected for the a Wyoming film festival and she wanted to do an interview for the local newspaper there. Since I was walking out to the pool, my mom set up an interview for tomorrow morning. My mom went to take care of emails and stuff while I was at the cool Hyatt pool, where I met some more people, Tony, Dan and Ryan, some of the band members in the 780 bands performing at NXNE this year. We talked for a while about my film and the NXNE Music and Film Festival all around. They were really fun to hang out with!

Well, big day tomorrow! “Letting Go” screens with Yoko Ono’s short, “My Homecoming” and “Once in a Lullaby: The PS22 Chorus Story” by Jonathan Kalafer. Hopefully I’ll see ya at the NFB some time this weekend!

Sure will! Thanks Cameron!