YEAR IN REVIEW: ’18

I spent my 2017 focused on one thing: shooting as much as I possibly could. Through the year, I made my money in advertising and immediately invested it into personal projects which were shot with low-budgets, stolen locations, and talented friends lending their time (not to mention: gear).

At the beginning of 2018, when I looked back on the stuff that I had made the year prior, I was super proud of the results, but I knew objectively that my personal stuff lacked an industry-standard polish: as much as I love guerilla filmmaking, I knew that I needed to start pursuing more traditional means of filmmaking and that meant trying to find (A) funding and (B) ideas that were good enough to get funding.

In February, I caught an idea and spent the following two months writing it as a feature-length screenplay. I spent the remainder of the year fine-tuning the story and submitting it to various feature film development programs. Alas, no professional development was bestowed upon me by those cruel, cruel jurors and the film, which I am still madly deeply in love with, remains unloved.

In late 2017, when I shot Curling Canada’s Season of Champions ads in Regina, I came across this story from a nearby town: Tisdale, Sask., drops ‘rape’, adds ‘opportunity’ to town slogan

Needless to say, the story stuck in my mind and a few months later, it inspired me to write a short script set around those tangential events. I applied for a couple of grants and the jurors once again passed their cruel, cruel judgement, but just the same as my feature idea, I’m nowhere near ready to give up on this one either.

I hope that by the time 2019 comes to a close, I’ll have some lovin’ news to share for these films and that they’ve moved a few more steps towards becoming reality.

In July, frustrated by my cruel, cruel rejections, I decided it was time to shoot another project. I called up my talented buds Mat Barkley (cinematographer), Adam T. Burke (audio), and Andy Trithardt (composer) to tell them that I was roaring up to shoot another low-budget spec-ad, this time for WorldStarHipHop.com. Bless their souls, they all came aboard to help me shoot one of my slickest spots yet. Huge assist goes to comedian / actor Jherad Alleyne who absolutely destroyed this performance:

In the spring, a weird twist of fate took place: IMPACT Wrestling, one of the biggest global professional wrestling companies, moved operations to Toronto, Ontario.

As some of you might know, I trained to be a professional wrestler after graduating high school. I went two whole weeks before calling it quits (bad knees, bad back, my body is a real lemon). I can’t say that I’ve regretted that decision, I honestly wasn’t built for a life in the squared circle, but I’ve always loved wrestling, and never lost that desire to one day play a part in that wild circus.

I sent an impassioned email to IMPACT Wrestling outlining my abilities (not to mention: SPACE MONKEY ORIGINS) and interest in working with the company — fast forward to July when I was hired to direct and edit DAY OF SLAMMIVERSARY, a documentary which covered the behind-the-scenes chaos of pulling together a live pay-per-view.

In the months that have followed, I’ve worked with IMPACT in an increasing variety of ways. I have no idea what 2019 holds, but I’m oh-so thrilled to have suddenly found myself working in the wild world of rasslin’.

In November, after seeing Jonah Hill’s MID90s, I cut together a 1-minute tribute to my personal mid-90s using news footage of professional wrestling’s effect on children:

I think that just about covers it. It’s been a fun year, challenging at times, but I’m feeling that I’m on the right track towards becoming the filmmaker I hope to be. Thank you to anyone out there who’s reading this and sharing in the journey. Much love, y’all.

As a final send-off, here’s RETURN TO PARIS, a 1-minute film that I shot and edited in the summer starring my beautiful wiener dog, Wren.

🏄

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RETURN TO PARIS


A few weeks back, I borrowed a friend’s camera to familiarize myself a bit more with camera-operation — I ended up following my beautiful mini-dachshund Wren [AKA Wrenegade AKA @Wren.TheWeenie] around for the day.

I didn’t really have any ideas for what I could do with the footage until I heard this vintage French culture / music mixtape by Starfunkel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjDBuYykGyM

Anyways, the end product, RETURN TO PARIS, is a tribute to my beautiful furry friend, and I hope very much that you enjoy it:

🌭

“The Top Dog” Online!

Hey people, great news, straight from the Disney Vault and available online for your viewing pleasure is Evan Elliot‘s The Top Dog, starring myself as Russell, a young man who has his comfortable dead-end life of couch surfing, home cooking and free laundry threatened by a new enemy.

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This was the first film I was in that was screened in front of an audience, I remember chugging rum in the NSCAD bathroom before the screening to ease my nerves– I don’t remember much from that screening, but I believe people enjoyed it.

After that, it was screened at the Atlantic Film Festival, when, moments before it started, one of the AFF volunteers informed us that the disk had been scratched and was having some “complications”– what followed was essentially a slideshow of pixelated garbage and a headache. The original run time of 24 minutes had been dragged out close to 30 minutes. Brutal. However, the AFF offered to screen our short on another night, and that went swimmingly! I’m hoping your viewing experience is on the pleasurable side of things!

Make a sandwich and enjoy the damned movie!

Vodpod videos no longer available. THE TOP DOG – http://www.vimeo.com/4709710
DIRECTOR: Evan Elliot
WRITER: Evan Elliot
CAST: Glen Matthews, Alison Miur, Andrew Elliot, Mojo Widgery, Robert Single
PRODUCER: Evan Elliot
CINEMATOGRAPHERS: Dan Jardine, Greg Boone

The Love of Letters

A few weeks back, I got a call from Jeff Wheaton who said he was shooting a bit of an experimental short film for an art exhibit at Argyle Fine Art (1869 Upper Water Street) called The Love of Letters. We shot the film in one day and it’s now being shown. The exhibit actually started yesterday and will run until (and including) Monday. Check it out!

From http://www.argylefa.tk

This show involved the community and was in the works many months ago, when we asked for the general public to send us letters. Selected letters were then given to 17 artists including painters, ceramic artists, a musician and even a filmmaker. Come see the final results and the letters that inspired it all. Participating artists include: Mike Holmes, Ryan MacGrath, Ruth Marsh, Peter Kirby, Audrey Nichols, Pamela Marie Pierce , Peter Diamond, Nick Brunt, Teresa Bergen, Trevor Van den Eiynden, Gordon MacDonald, Susan Malmstrom, Stephen Gillis, Brian Porter, Jeff Wheaton, Crystal Ross and Brandt Eisner.

An example of one of the works included is an illustration by local cartoonist Mike Holmes

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I’m not sure if Wheaton plans on releasing the film online or not, so go see it!