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Varanasi Ganges 2009 jmo      

   The City of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh State, in North Central India.

   On the Ganges River.

The Holy City of Varanasi vibrates between carnival and the mystical, all along the river banks of the Ganges, the reality one encounters moves between the hyper real of human activity which evaporates into the vapors of the ethereal magic of mystic practices imbued with the history of this ancient city…

Experience ranges between life and death, the cycle of becoming, history and the metaphysical…

 Our short film on the Ganges attempts to capture the carnival activity of city life as it flows between the mercurial magic realisms at the rivers edge, every day life passing by the history, the ancient ritual practices at the edge of the Ganges in Varanasi are personified here.

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 The Ganges at Varanasi is like no other place on the planet; you are caught in the on rush of sight sound, smell and emotions that tests the visitor against the realities of encounter with India. In Varanasi everything is a paradox…

 The city of Varanasi is an important holy city to Hindu Jains and Buddhists with near by Sarnath the site of the Buddha’s first teaching.

 Varanasi is a significant site to a variety of modern day spiritual seekers, tourists and the millions of pilgrims who visit Varanasi.

 Varanasi is thought to be one of the world’s oldest cities, it is the holiest city of the Hindus and there are about 1,500 temples, palaces, and shrines.

varanasi India 2 IMG_1926For the uninitiated visitor to Varanasi there is a lot to take in and the environment challenges all the senses… Varanasi is the site of the holy cow wandering the streets and the naked sadhu mixed in with mobiles and the internet cafés…

There are an abundant numbers of retreat centers for all those experimenting with various forms of altered states of mind and being… The city is the penultimate expression of the Indian imagination totally vivid in it Technicolor realties.


In Varanasi everything get amplified, all experiences are magnified and fused in a mystical carnival, an etheric body of experience.


Our short film was shot as one day, one sequence to record the core experience of one day in Varanasi at the Ganges river edge…


The most famous Hindu temples are the Golden temple, dedicated to Shiva, and the Durga temple with its swarms of sacred monkeys but few Hindu Temples date back further than the 17th cent., as the Muslim invasions destroyed many.


The banks of the Ganges are one bordered of city life; lined by ghats, or flights of steps, that Hindus descend in order to bathe in the sacred river.

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Hindus believe that to die in Varanasi releases them from the cycle of rebirths and insures to them the opportunity to enter heaven.

About one million religious pilgrims visit the city annually.

 Varanasi is of importance to other religions. The Buddha is said to have begun preaching at Sarnath, about 6.4 km outside the city. The site of many of the first relics and the early monuments of Buddhism.

 The mosque of the emperor Aurangzeb stands on the city’s highest ground and is one of Varanasi’s most notable buildings from the Muslim period.

 The city of Varanasi vibrates between carnival and the mystical along the river… a shimmering surreal of sun, noise, heat and haze …

We hope our film captures and expresses the experience of Varanasi on the Ganges for our audience.

                                                                                                                                                                                 John Orser

Long video form to be posted June 2015


On May 27 our film Working Pictures Of The Dharma was shown at the Prince’ s School of Traditional Arts, a Film by john Orser & Voice Pictures. We encourage you to donate to the on going disaster relief in Nepal and support the ongoing efforts of The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts 19-22 Charlotte Road London, 020-7613-8500 on going fund raising efforts for Nepal disaster relief … a clip of the film can be viewed on our site:

A Poster Of  The Film  is Available from Voice Pictures please contact us by email at … various sizes starting at $ 30.00 plus shipping. part of the proceeds go to the The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in Londons Nepal disaster relief effort…

A modern day Thangka of the Prajñāpāramitā of Buddhism

A modern day Thangka of the Prajñāpāramitā of Buddhism

Contact Emily Potts

Prince’ s School of Traditional Arts, May 27 2015 A Film by john Orser & Voice Pictures The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts 19-22 Charlotte Road
London, 020-7613-8500wrk

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       Video and Film  Documentary Production  Internationally.

        Canadian Documentary Production, Canadian Film and Video Production

     The High level Overview   


John Orser- Executive Director of Voice Pictures & Visual Arts Studios, Producer Director,

Orser john, Inter-Media Artist. Director of Photography, Photographer, Cultural Researcher, Specialist in International Video and Film Production, Cultural Research and Development. Story Development, Property Development

Christiana Stevens, President of Voice Pictures, Interviewer, Client Management Specialist, Peace and Conflict Studies, Researcher, Training and Education, Listening and Interpersonal Communications, Change Management Specialist,.

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The core team has been together for seven years working on a variety projects based in Photography, video and the digital Arts. Performance and the Visual Arts. Our film and Documentary experiences collectively span some 25 years of experience. 

Our recent productions are Commercial video, business promotion video, television production, Promotional Video for non Profit sector, Training Videos, Fashion Video, Interview based subjects, Documentary Specialist,  Electronic Media Arts Development.

Other related Visual Art and Digital Arts- Installations Specialists, Digital Mapping and Media Arts Environment and Visual Arts Display, Events. Specialist in Photography and Videography of Two and Three Dimensional Art

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Video Production Subjects:     

Documentary and Feature Documentary Specialist, Women’s Migration in South East Asia, Women’s Access To The Land in Africa, Homelessness in North America, FILM on Native American Aboriginal Culture, Videos on Contemporary Art,  Video on Buddhist Art of South East Asia, Social Justice, Civil Society Development, Fine Art Films and Music Video, Communications Video, Promotional Films, Social Research Studies, Educational and Training Films, Sports and Cultural Events: Collaborative Projects with Government, National and International Research Agencies, Universities,. Technical Post Production for Videographers.

Photography and Digital Mapping. Creative Arts Development.

Our partners are located Worldwide, International Video and Film Producers: we provide management for film and Video, Production Crews Worldwide. Location Research and Support, technical support, editing and post production and technical Post production support.

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   Voice Pictures Video Production

   Working Pictures Of the Dharma 2009, 30 mineuts

On Locations Video & Film:



        Video and Documentary is risky Buisness for those working overseas


  the camera man

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Range from Urban settings of Bangkok to the Exotic Locals  of Rural Africa and the Wildness of North America

Urban Environments in Bangkok to Down Town North America and Europe, to rural locations in Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, recent productions sites in South East Asia, Specialists in Video Production in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Nepal and India.                                                                                

Canada’s Haida Gwaii, remote locale Videography Production in the wilderness of North America to the Himalayas of Nepal, India and Tibet. On the Air on the Sea from remote jungle to Down Town Lhasa… Film Site and Location Research Services.                                                                                                                                      

Working Pictures Of the Dharma 2009, 30 mineuts Voice Pictures Video ProductionWorking Pictures Of the Dharma 2009, 30 mineuts

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Working Women

Photo by john Orser










We would like to apologies… the recent article on the risk for Journalist and Documentarians in the wake of James Foley execution has mysteriously disappeared from our site…

 The article builds a social context around the murder- execution of James Foley… The article touches on private armies & the economics of military capitalism… it links to fascism… Orwell, propaganda, democracy, human rights, civil rights, the media, propaganda, fascism and the nation state…

The politics of fascism in the 21 century and the middle class oligarchies of entitlement…

 Ethics and social values (teaching our history) a history that contributes to social identity, the social shifts in culture and the role of peaceful resistance in bringing on social change, the history of peaceful resistance Gandhi, Mandela … defining humanism and civil rights…

 The advancement and promotion of peaceful resistance communities of identity for social action and peaceful change…

The social activist against racism, sexism, class distinction and other social violence’s.

 The costs of warfare economies military extractive capitalisms and it links to fascism, the economic of fascism…

 The number of Journalist and Documentarians as Independent researchers working who are being killed (exterminated) as part of a political strategy of state and private armies, abduction and other strategies of fascism warfare for profit , the character of modern fascism, its links to fascist nationalisms…

 Sending the message to… the risks to researchers…

 Staying below the radar … The impact on the researches, journalists and Documentarians who attempt to research and discuss these issues in a social and historical context as research stories supported by the data that we no longer see in the media,…

 The dumbing down of the media and it links to fostering propaganda and fascist agendas …

 Our policy at Voice Pictures for some of our articles are a collection of writing from a number of writers and sources…

 Our articles evolve on the site through the efforts of a number of contributors.

 After one such update the body text disappeared (Hacked?) as we were touching on the eastern Ukraine as an example of the social contexts of fascisms and modern propaganda, none violence identities against fascists nationalism, the media and the shaping of reality we see….

During one of these update the body texts disappeared and it not recoverable at the present time…

We believed we were hacked… we look forward to reconstructing the essay in the future…

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Canadian documentary production, Canadian film and video production, Canadian documentary production, international documentary video, international film and video production, International film making, johnorser documentary director and producer, Orser John artist and documentary film maker, Voice Pictures Corporation Victoria Canada, the risk faced by Documentarians extortion and execution, the state and terrorists what they do not want you to know ….  More stats

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What is Going On at….. Voice Pictures .

Voice Pictures  VIDEO DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS  2014-2015.

On the Road In Asia with Producer and film Director john Orser- a report- a Video Production Diary…

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Working Pictures Of The Buddhist Dharma

The Art Of Buddhism The Thanka & The Paubina Paintings of the Southern Himalayas

A Video on Buddhist Art. Filmed On Location in Nepal & Canada,

Directed by John Orser

A Production of Voice Pictures Corp. &  Visual Arts Studios  Social Business Group, will release their video on the Art of Buddhism In The Fall of 2014.

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Buddhist Paubina

Buddhist Paubina

Working Pictures of the Buddha Dharma is spiritually up lifting video about Buddhist Art, the paintings of Buddhism which are the Thankas’ and the Paubina paintings of Buddhism which are dramatically detailed, beautifully rendered works of art with an exact representations of Buddhist knowledge, such that the art is the true expression of the ideas and experience of the Buddha. We talk to the few remaining Buddhist Lama Artist who take us inside this world in a series of video interviews, stories about the art and its meaning as a living form of cultural practices of Buddhism today. Working Pictures Of the Buddhist Dharma, opens with his Holliness Ratna Vajra, Sakya  commentary laying out how to work with the art as part of Buddhist practices…

The Current Stories.


The On Going Story in Thailand 03 2014, thailand-protests

The Old Buddhist World At A Treacherous Intersection With The Global Village.

Three Countries In South East Asia Each of these three countries, at different stages of development are all struggling to define themselves in modern terms.

My new assignment is to travel to Nepal’s Annapurna region & Ladach Indiaa, Leh and A Revisit Thiksey Monastey,


Stories and Ideas in Development: The Old Buddhist World, Its Disappearance:


Further On Down the Road…

Chairman Mao and Buddhist Lamas

Chairman Mao and Buddhist Lamas

The Question of Buddhism world wide with Chairman Mao on Buddhism ..could he be right?


Our Research and Video Inquiries into Buddhism, Expanding the Cultural Basis of Our Societies…

Why does Buddhism attract such a fascination in the West?


The Current Video Assignment : The Fading of The Old Buddhist World:

Annapurna/ Orser

Annapurna/ Orser

Up dates coming on these and other stories…. soon…..

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  Voice Pictures Corp.,

   http:// johnorser.worldpress.com 

  Video Production,  Fine Arts  and   Cultural   Research   Services  to   the  Arts  and   Business  Communities

(250) 652-3363 :  e mail :

                  John Orser Canada   cell: 1-  250 508- 3363,  Thailand 66- 0928038407 ,  Nepal 977-9808123808 

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casting the Buddhas from our Film In production

                        Casting the Buddhas from our Film Fire and Ice  in production in 2013 in Nepal

Go to john Orser face book site to see a clip of pouring the castings from the fiery cauldrons come the beautiful sculptures

Voice Pictures has produced, co-produced, executive produced and co-executive produced documentaries, movies and features, performance and arts events. 

Voice Pictures specializes in domestic North American and International, productions, co-productions and has co-produced with a number of Canadian and International Partners here at our studios in Canada and on locations around the world. 

Voice Pictures has completed a number of productions and co-productions with equity partners in the European Union, Africa, Central Asia, Nepal, India and South East Asia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippine’s Indonesia, Malaysia as well as many locations throughout the Americas, Aboriginal and Minority Communities.

We are currently engaged with IDRC, ARTE, TV1 ADR, CHEK, Asia Broadcasting Corporation and I.T.V, NAFA, Nepalese National Museum.

Currently Voice Pictures Inc. specializes in private financing and co-financing with equity partners around the world, and Voice Pictures is working on a slate financing of commercially driven documentary and feature videos and films and linked revenue generating merchandise, art, social media and down-loadable content for the Internet, cellphone, IPAD and other distribution nodes including TV, Cinema, Festivals and Fine Art Events.

We emphasis evidence based Film Video and research Documentaries Leading to Action Research and Communications. We are part of V.A.S Social Business Group.   

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Fire and Ice

The Hard & Tragic Lessons To Be Learned in Film Making

 The Art of The Buddhist Dharma

Fire and Ice is the title for our video on metal crafts

The Casting of the Sacred Statuary of Buddhism.

Fire and Ice:  Is Our Second Film on The Art of the Dharma

Principally our video Fire and Ice explores the development of Buddhist Metal Arts. The elegant and powerful statuary, the diversity of its magical forms; to the pouring and carving of the cast Buddha’s emerging from the fiery cauldrons of molten metal; to the detailed arts, the five artistic faculties engaged in the making of the Buddhist statuary. We document the preservation of this vanishing cultural heritage and the fruitions of the art and it technologies in the central Himalayan region.

             The film looks at the Evolution of the spiritual meanings contained in the statues, the contents of the Dharma that these objects as cultural vessels contain and their roles in Buddhist practice.

In any filmmaking project there are risks that need to be managed, the risks are part of the producer’s job.  However even the most dedicated film makers can not insulate a project from tragedy…

The tragedy, which interrupts the making of Fire and Ice, is one that has both personal resonances, creative ramifications that offers an obstacle to the film completion.

The death of our friend and colleague Barbara Cook is a matter of personal loss… and a creative loss.

             In this film FIRE and ICE we are fortunate to document the works of a number of Nepal’s premier fine artist and craftsmen who have dedicated their lives to the Art of the Buddhist Dharma.


Guru Rimpoche  By Contemporary Master Nepal

The central Himalayan is a place and time where the traditional arts still exist linking it to a broad cultural base, and our film provides access to the artists and to a rich matrix of imagery and technology of art that has deep culture connections and relevant meaning in the lives of Nepal’s people and millions of Buddhist around the world.

 There are few places in the world that can make a claim that the traditional arts and its technology are still in use; where the meaning and ancient secrets remain alive in the inheritors… but in the reality of today, an intact traditional Buddhist art is no longer a complete record and now what remains is fraction of the information and art of a decade ago and what remains is quickly fading…. Vanishing.

In our film FIRE and ICE we document the lineages, the historical lineages of the artist families that date back hundreds of years.

Our working partner on this film was artist Barbara Cook, a long time traveler to Nepal who worked with the Semeru group of artists of Katmandu, a key in actor in the preservation of the Nepal Traditional Handicraft and the support for Nepal Traditional Handicraft Training Center.

            Barbara was in part our fixer, some times interviewer and a central narrative voice in the film. Our film Fire and Ice, is the force behind revealing the creative talents of this group of artists and a positive promoter of these artists as they illuminate the history and craftsmanship of Buddhist arts in the region.

            As a key player in supporting traditional arts in Nepal, Barbara focused her efforts on preservation of the cultural contents and we were glad to team up with her and document the various elements of the art form, as we seek to preserve the unique technologies and the detailed contents whose secrets are held within the art and held by the older artist that remain.

As these older artists disappear Nepal is in danger of quickly loosing the essential cultural information and there are fewer texts that contain the lineage knowledge of Buddhism, some are locked in the crumbling and codified texts, in the languages and code of the past.

The lineages and the linage secrets of Buddhism are disappearing even more quickly as the knowledgeable artist die off. This is an issue we address in our film on Buddhist Culture- Working Pictures of the Dharma which is concerned with Buddhist Thanka and Paubina painting.

 Voice Pictures and the films director John Orser has spent years traveling in Nepal, first arriving in the early 1980s, Orser Documented the sites and secrets of the region, many of the cultural practices that are now part of the now fading pages of Nepal earlier cultural heritage.

 In all we spent five to six years developing relationships with artists and over a single season we had completed the skeletal structure of the film.

Returning to Nepal in 2011, to fill out the arc of the film when unfortunately Barbara died during a seasonal break in filming of Fire and Ice in 2011.

The film is set in the artist studios, their homes and in the foundries where we collected some spectacular footage of the casting of the Buddha’s. We began documenting the creation of 30 foot Buddha and recording the delicate and refined arts that are needed to finish these last master works of Buddhism.

A large temple Buddha, a project being created for installation in the regions most sacred Buddhist site.

The film was to some extent built around Barbara chats with the artist, as a narrative voice, in discussion with the artists, as they demonstrate the various crafts and processes that go into the  making of these sacred objects …

The film interviews, are overlapped by Barbara’s conversational style, so there is little way to separate the interviews, translations and the prompts that Barbara offered in helping these artist explain the intricacies of their work.

Some of the most spectacular footage is the casting of the Buddha’s, the pouring of the molten metal and the breaking open of the moulds revealing the raw still steaming castings…

In addition we get to see some unique art with high cultural art values that these artists produce are often not available for public viewing. Some of art we filmed are ancestral creations, inheritances from the previous generations of artists, or artist personal projects, which seldom are seen in public.

Given the overall progress of developing the film, Voice Pictures and the videos Director john Orser had completed eighty five percent of the film when the fates would take Barbara’s life, bringing a halt to the filming.

Fire and Ice is our second film on the sacred arts of Nepal, our first film is Working Pictures Of The Dharma, which based on Buddhist painting: That Film was delayed by the murder of our one of our Asian partners, a broadcaster, and it took over a years to clear up the legal entanglements.

Fire and Ice, delayed by the death of Barbara Cook is a much more difficult problem to solve…  We are now aware that we have to consider “these risks” as real obstacles in the filmmaking process, part of the managing of risks of filmmaking overseas”.

“To continue on with the production, the documentary has to be restructured around the absence of Barbara. Documentary is about dynamics and relationships that galvanize around the characters and other principal figures… it is very difficult when you are using a found documentary approach or cinema verte approach; to restructure the film is often more difficult. Finding a principal lead for the film it is about finding some one knowledgeable: finding some one who has the gravitas, passion and commitment for the subject. Some one other than my self as the director, some one who understand these artists and the context of their lives and art making today”.

We have been in discussions with a number of actors and players who are knowledgeable in this area of the metal arts.

As yet we have been unable to find some one with the in-depth knowledge who can illuminate the intricacies of these statues creation. How the imagery of the Buddha’s castings has evolved and how the statuary of the many deities emerged in Buddhism, the history and the content of that art form.

In 2013 we hope to continue on with the development and production of the film. Once we clear the obstacles… finding a principal character or ensemble that can round out the arc of the film is a necessary first step, some one we can build the project around, and who can illuminate the rich cultural content; so that we can bring this film into the finial stages of production, editing and post. At that point we are just dealing with the available video Budget that remains…

Every day we are reminded of the passing of our friend and colleague, that nothing last forever and being hopeful and in the present moment, as we work to overcome the current set of production obstacles. Our intention is to add Fire and Ice as our second film on Buddhist Arts in the Central Himalayan region. Nepal and Tibet. This film will join our film Working Pictures  of  the Dharma  that documents the painting of the Thankas and Paubinas of Tibet and Nepal. Working Pictures  of  the Dharma  will be finally release in late 2012. We hope to complete Fire and  Ice  in 2013.

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