The Rational National

In early January 2016 I launched The Rational National. What was initially just a YouTube channel where I could share my thoughts on any given issue, has now grown into a website that features written editorials, has seen massive success on Vine to the extent of over 10 million loops, a Tumblr-based website that hit over 170,000 notes in one post, the occasional tweet that blows up, and yes, still YouTube videos.

All this early success on social media is cool, no doubt, but what I really enjoy is being able to combine my insight with my skills behind the camera and on the keyboard. I've always enjoyed doing many different things, finding it hard to really hone in on one skill or even industry that keeps my attention indefinitely. With The Rational National though, I get to be active in front of the camera, edit video, write articles, share concise thoughts on Twitter, promote TRN using targeted Facebook ads, cut some quick (& sometimes funny) Vines, all while hopefully adding some value to the massive conversation taking place online.

I've been a video editor for broadcast news, a writer for a large gaming audience, a web marketing specialist, a videographer, and a politician. I'm now combining aspects from all these previous jobs into a career I'm thoroughly enjoying.. now I just need to find a way to make money doing it.

My video for BaghdadBully's new single 'Us'

I've been working with BaghdadBully over the last 6 months and it's been nothing but a pleasure. His music is not only fantastic to listen to, it's personal and often comes with a message. Influenced by BaghdadBully's lyrics and heritage, I envisioned Us as a song that stands up for the forgotten, the oppressed, and applied that thinking to what's been going on in Iraq over the last 12 years. 

Watch below before you read my remaining commentary:

The video opens with a clip of then Democratic Senator, now President, Barack Obama in 2002, essentially predicting what he feared - an Iraq that wasn't properly rebuilt after a U.S.-led unjust invasion, and the conflict that went on to foster the creation of the terrorist group known as ISIS. I randomly came across this clip during my search for Iraq war footage; surprisingly I haven't seen it reported on since ISIS entered our vocabulary.

Over the next 6 minutes we're treated to occasional clips from Iraq, both pre and post-invasion - showing the dichotomy between a functioning society and a post-war landscape. For me the stars of these clips are the civilians, all shot before the 2003 invasion; children, men, woman, shop keepers, guys having fun in a bar; these are people who had lives not so dissimilar to our own here in the west, yet they're often forgotten about amidst the fog of an unjust war. I was careful to not use too much war footage as I didn't want this to be a shocking montage of random war clips. For me the clips of death and destruction serve as the counter point to the clips of Iraqi civilians.

The footage I took with BaghdadBully is purposely barren, shot in -35 degree celsius weather, we didn't have much trouble keeping the shots lonely. His walks down the road, through the forrest, and onto the frozen lake act as metaphor for the lonely journey we're sometimes forced to take when standing up for what we know is right. I decided to keep his footage black & white for a few reasons; it looked great, it made the clips of Iraq pop more, and being winter there wasn't much colour in the shots anyway. Despite not wearing gloves or even a coat in some shots, BaghdadBully put on an incredible performance. We were all freezing, so getting the shot in as little takes as possible was important to avoiding frostbite, and he brought a 110% performance each time I hit record.

I hope you enjoy it and I'm happy to answer any specific questions you may have about the video, simply hit me up on Twitter or shoot me an email via the contact page.

VSMU - Tekeyah

VSMU is a makeup artist based in the Greater Toronto Area. This is a short video I shot during her work with a model (Tekeyah) on a shoot. You can check her work at as well as contact her if you're in need of any makeup services. 

Creating 'Six and the City'

Shot over an evening in the studio with BaghdadBully, this is a video I put together during the filming of an upcoming documentary about Nes aka BaghdadBully while he was recording a new single. You can visit his YouTube channel for this video (and future ones) and hear some of his work on SoundCloud.