Monday, October 26, 2009


D for Deadline. 
D for Did I make it? 
D for Drink - which is another way of saying yes. And no.
I don't mind telling you, I have been writing my ass off and I hope you don't mind hearing it. Because that is about all I've been doing. Getting to my office at the crack of 5 or 6 in the morning and dragging myself home at 8 or 9 at night. Somewhere in there I did manage to finish that short film we shot a couple weeks ago, attend a Habs game and brush my teeth. But that's about it.

So, when I hit "send" at ten minutes to one o'clock this afternoon - Valérie is a bit of a stickler on schedule - and let myself step off of the text treadmill (for a day or so), what do you think I did to take a break? 

Started reading a book and writing the blog, of course. 

Oh, and also started freeeeaking out about the unadulterated nakedness of the once "brilliant", now totally oblique mash-up of ideas and caffeine-fuelled inspiration that I'd just sent off to a smart, sticky stranger and Barbara to read before I even had time to. 

Even though I did my level best to put all the usual caveats in my accompanying email... you know the drill: this is ROUGH - only a snapshot of a work in progress - a humble and hopeful offering of where I'm heading, not necessarily where I'm staying... even though I feel like I did some of my best writing in that damn email, I still feel like I just walked into my high school math class without any pants on. And all I can do now, is stand there and wait for everyone to look up.

Thus, the drink. 

Also, this Friday, I'm scheduled  to have a first phone conversation with an actor I greatly respect.  She's read the script and is interested in the role of Marion, but we're a long way still from sealing any deals. I will definitely keep you posted if and when things develop on that front. 

Anyway, I'm basically back. I made it - more or less - to that latest finish line. So, tell me, how're you doing? What have you been up to? Who's got more to say - pro or con - about Ginger Snaps? Or other films to suggest for our virtual Favourite Canadian Film Festival?

Meantime, here's my next pick: "Margaret's Museum", Mort Ransen. (I call Canadian director, distributor and story qualifies for the FCFF)....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Double Jeopardy

One Week.

What is the title of the recent and successful Mongrel release starring Joshua Jackson?

Correct! But I also would have accepted: 

What is the name of my current and growing chest pain? 

One week from today I am scheduled to submit the next (and hopefully more ready for the silver screen) version of my screenplay. I am submitting it to the same savvy analyst, Valérie, who treated me to a truth-telling session about the paper-to-screen compatibility of my script early this summer.  And although Valérie hasn't specified, I'm assuming she probably wants the script in like, written form - as opposed to the half-hieroglyphic-scrawl-on-recipe-cards-stuck-to-my-living-room-wall form it currently exists in.  And even then, only two-thirds of the film is represented in any form at all - hieroglyphic or otherwise. The remaining third is still locked away somewhere in my head or heart or hard drive. 

One week.

So here's the thing, I kinda gotta write - a lot - but, by extension, it also means I gotta write a little less here this week than I'd like... 

With any luck, I'll catch up with myself - and everyone else - by next Monday evening. Meantime, since I forgot to list the second in my top five favourite Canadian films last week, here's two for you to chew on and/or add to...

2) Ginger Snaps, John Fawcett

3) The Hanging Garden, Thom Fitzgerald

Monday, October 12, 2009

Refresher Course

I'm feeling very thankful this Thanksgiving. In the run-up to making my first big film, I got to make a little movie. Meaning, I got to start finding my way back into the cinematic saddle, with the invaluable and generous help of friends, family and other folks with big hearts. 

It was a one-day shoot. Eight hours of filming for a one-minute piece featuring four locations for no money. So our living room became production central. 

I'm considering keeping the still life...

The film, titled, "Hussain Explained" is a portrait of one of our most prolific, multi-talented and arguably, misunderstood filmmakers here in Quebec, Karim Hussain.

My girl, Claudine shot it. 

Pierre was capturing sound. 

And Mireille was bringing out the natural beauty in our subject at Palomar's office - one of our locations, courtesy of Barbara. 

Martin and Laurent made everything run smoothly, while still managing to stay a little asleep. 

Spoiler alert: 

It's a happy ending!

P.S. Thanks to everyone who gave us what we needed - Francesca Chamberland (costumes), Mario Fortin and all the great people at Cinéma Beaubien (location and warmth), Philippe Athlan (wigs and wet dog noses), Maria and family (location), Barbara (location and connections), Andrew at Café Guerrero (tables and chairs). 

And special thanks to Richard Duquette, whose camera, editing and hands-on production presence helped make this possible from a to z.

Monday, October 5, 2009



I don't know about you guys, but I have been reading a lot of juicy stuff on my blog over the last week - all written by other people. 

If you haven't done so already, you really should read last week's post and most especially, its subsequent comments. Very stimulating stuff (got me contemplating how to set up a guest-blogging spot). 

If you don't have a good half a day to spend on it though, let me sum it up quick and dirty: Even though there's a consensus of conscience out there that Canadian films (this one included) should cast all-Canadian, there's also a complex and mostly illogical set of forces which fly in the face of that conscience.

And although this discussion is nowhere NEAR over (as Sue pointed out, we had a record comment load last week and the subject is still wide open), I think we could use a bit of a bon-bon after all that broccoli. So let's go to the movies!

Inspired by the eloquence and passion coming from all you thinkers/artists/cinephiles who wrote in the comments section last week - and all the other weeks for that matter - I'd love to hear about the Canadian film(s) you really love. What are the homegrown movies close to your heart? What drew you to them in the first place? What sets them apart over time?

I'll sign off with the first one of my five favourites. Canadian or otherwise, to me, these are just great must-see movies:

1. "Hard Core Logo" by Bruce McDonald