Welcome to our new ongoing series of blog posts featuring interviews with our membership. The Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta is an artist-run co-operative that exists to facilitate and support the creation, exhibition, distribution, and preservation of independent film, video and new media art in Northern Alberta. What makes that all possible is the artists, filmmakers, and creators that are members of our society. Watch this space on #MembershipMonday as we highlight a different member weekly.
How did you start working in film and why?
I had always enjoyed film as a kid. I remember my dad bringing a video camera home from work when I was young. I did some stop-motion with a friend with silly putty, which is not a great medium because it gets soft and melts so our creatures would often fold a little bit. I got back into it when I joined FAVA again in my mid-twenties, then I just volunteered on a bunch of gigs and had a good time. Then I started working on some of my own projects.
How did you find out about FAVA and why did you join?
My first interaction with FAVA was when I was 16 and did a film camp where there were a bunch of us kids working with local directors and filmmakers on different projects. That has stuck in my memory as was my first real taste of filmmaking, and I really enjoyed that. Later on when I became a FAVA member, I ran into a high school buddy of mine who was returning some equipment and we got chatting. I ended up working with him on a bunch of action adventures which he sort of single-handed. He brought me on as a producer and production manager, and I learned a lot about filmmaking from that experience. I started volunteering with FAVA and working on music videos. I’ve worked on a couple of Trevor Anderson music videos and various other people’s productions doing grip work.
What was a great collaborative experience you’ve had on a project?
One great collaboration was for the Gotta Minute Film Festival recently where I worked with David Baron as the Director of Photography. It was a bit of a last-minute thing that we crammed into a week. I had a concept in mind and it was really fun working with him because we had so little time to play around, but we came up with some fun ideas. We ended up with the project that I’m really happy with. It wasn’t quite what I had imagined and I don’t think it was what he imagined, but it was what we managed to get together in a short timeframe.
How has FAVA supported your filmmaking journey?
I’ve taken their screenwriting courses, producing courses, and acting courses so I’ve experienced a whole lot of great programs and workshops through FAVA. The employees are really generous and always available to provide information and give up the time to help me when I need it. FAVA has helped me in so many ways.
How does it feel to present your work with an audience?
I would say I’m fairly neutral. I’ve always been satisfied and pleased with my projects, but there hasn’t been anything that I’ve been exceptionally proud of so that may be part of it. But I’m a bit of an introvert, so I don’t get a lot of joy from standing in front of crowds and sharing stuff. I do find it interesting, though. I find myself studying people’s faces for their feedback in terms of, “Is this working? Is this not working?” I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it.
What are you working on next?
I just submitted to the Gotta Minute Film Festival, which was satisfying to have that completed. I also wrote my first feature script at the start of the year which was submitted to Telefilm. Right now, I’m working on a multimedia project with Frederick Kroetsch about Wilfred “Wop” May, an aviator from Edmonton. We’re using archival footage, we’ve got some interviews done and right now, we’re working on some vignette and are trying to do some recreations.