Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Revolutions

In the sense of turning...

As of tomorrow, we will have made one complete turn around the calendar with this blog. This, then, is our first year anniversary.

This is also the year The Year gets made. 

So in the spirit of anniversaries and in the tradition of new years, I'd like to take a look back at how far we've come. 

Here then, are my Top Ten Highlights (in chronological order) of the year before The Year becomes a movie :

- Infiltrating the Toronto International Film Festival for the first time - consequently meeting Melanie Hartley, the heart of Telefilm's English program in Quebec and being kissed (on the cheeks) by Viggo Mortensen while he was wearing Alex Kovalev's Canadiens jersey.

- Receiving the key to Dolly's inner sanctum from producer extra-ordinary, Brad Horvath.

- Receiving that heart-stopping and heart-swelling fax from her Dollyness, giving me her boundless blessing in her inimitable voice.

- Seeing the look on Barbara's face when she saw said fax.

- The two of us hopping in the car and barreling to Toronto to meet the people we hoped with all our hearts would want to be our distributors. An exhilirating experience topped only by finding out a few weeks later that they did - Yay, Mongrel! (Locking our keys in the car at some lonely highway McDonald's in a snowstorm on the way home should get an honorable mention here - or rather, a dishonorable one.  Same must be said for the intestinal crisis I succumbed to later that same night because of McSomething I ate.)

- Liz Jarvis and her fellow BUFFALO GALS showing us big love and becoming our prairie production partners!!!  

- Making my first Telefilm and SODEC submissions for production financing of my first feature film. Popping my pitching cherry some weeks later.

- Getting the blurry, beautiful, improbable news that BOTH Telefilm and SODEC said a big, fat, generous YES!!! Followed closely, and no less beauti/bountifully by the Harold Greenberg Fund and the Shaw Rocket Fund.

- Going to Manitoba to meet our own personal Buffalo Gal, Liz Jarvis for the first time, see that part of our country's assets, meet the area's top film personnel and be treated to the sparkling company and generosity of Ms. Carole Vivier, our Manitoba Film and Music benefactor. (Bonding with my two key creatives, Claudine and Normand was a Buffalo-sized bonus).

- This final category is ex aqueo - shared equally amongst the fabulous people who have wholeheartedly embarked on the project - each and every one of them a highlight in their own right: Andrea Kenyon and her casting team, Claudine Sauvé - D.O.P. , Virginie Léger - Production Manager, Normand Sarrazin - Art Director, Peo Rousseau on locations, Francine Langlois - 1st Assistant Director, Mariane Carter - Costume Designer, Heidi Levitt - US casting, Pierre Bertrand - Sound Dude, and YOU... 

To be continued...