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.