For the past few years, I have been involved in the creation of some great film/video projects. I've become smitten with filmmaking in a big, bad way. I have always been a huge fan of film and the creative process behind making a movie, and I have been very proud to work on some great projects for other people. All my time working on other projects, I've been hesitant about putting my own idea forward.
This past year, I've had the idea for the film Imprint rolling around in my head, but never took it farther than a quick treatment. It has always been on my ever growing To-Do list, along with other script ideas that I have. Out of all of the script ideas that I have started, Imprint has always been the one I've wanted to take into production first.
In August, I sat down and finally finished the shooting script, and then sat on it for a few days.
I've always been a huge fan of Filmmaker Kevin Smith, and for the past year, I've been listening to his podcast outlining the journey to complete in latest film, Red State. His journey to create that film has been such an inspiration to me that I wanted to chase my own goals and just get out there to start my own film.
I wrote the movie with my friend Pat Dryburgh in mind for the lead role. The role embodies Pat's personality on a few different levels, and he was the only one I wanted to play the part. Being that this was Pat's first time acting in a dramatic role, and my first time directing a scripted feature, it was going to be a challenge.
To flush out the other roles, I cast Andrew Jiggins in the "make it or break it" role where he has to deliver some pretty heavy dialogue and explain the premise of the story to our lead character. Andrew, an experienced actor was exactly who I needed to law down the rules of Imprint to the audience.
We started shooting the night before I left for a trip to Los Angeles, I had one night to shoot with Andrew before he permanently moved to LA. Hearing Pat and Andrew delivering the lines from the script, finally made this idea rolling around in my head for a year real. From there, I was hooked.
During my trip to LA, I attended two screenings of Kevin Smith's Red State, along with Q&A sessions with Kevin. Hearing him speak about his process to create Red State gave me the charge to finish Imprint when I returned home.
The first scenes shot upon return were with Pat & Stacey Zegers. Stacey and I have worked together 4 times previously, creating music videos, and she fit the role of Gabrielle, a 24 year old with her entire life before her. Imprint is also an acting first for Stacey.
We spend over an hour before shooting speaking about death, sadness, and the most depressing things that we could think of to get us into the headspace the characters needed be be in. Both Pat and Stacey brought their 'A' games on a tough night shooting, both emotionally and physically. We also had the police called on us as we were shooting a very loud scene in the park until 4am.
Having the police called on us was a trend that would follow throughout the shoot.
We shot again with Andy Berdan, Sean Quigley, Kevin Van Lierop and Chris McInnis in one long marathon night of shooting. The rush job produced mixed results with some great scenes and some that needed to be re-shot. Working on such a short time timeframe, made me sacrifice certain elements just so we could finish the scene and move to the next location.
This night had to be my favourite night of shooting, although I didn't get all of the shots that I needed, it was a learning experience. This was also the night where we were filming the car crash scene. During the day I scrambled to find anybody who could do FX makeup and make the actors look like they were involved in a horrific car wreck. No dice. In the end, we ended up doing the makeup ourselves and it looked amazing.
This was also the second night the police were called on us, This time because they thought the actors were actually involved in some fatal accident.
Moving to post production, I asked Pat Dryburgh to also serve as a producer on the film. Working with Pat has been a great collaborate experience, and allowed me to take a step back from the film in my head and see it from a different perspective. From there we worked together editing and crafting the feel of the film, and trimming all of the fat from the shooting script. I can't thank Pat enough for his dedication to this project.
Being a musician, I always knew that I wanted to score the film myself. Sometimes taking on every role you tend to deliver something very one sided, so I decided to collaborate. Scoring the film, was joint collaboration between Mike Scott of Boss Rebel, Pat and Myself.
Mike and I setup in the UnLondon UnLab to create the basic score of the film, and then Pat & I put the finishing touches on it when we got closer to picture lock. The musical soundscape of the film is something that I am very proud of. It has been many years since I've written anything musically so it felt great to dive back in and create.
We talked about releasing the soundtrack for the film, the song features two songs that I wrote the script around. While it wasn't a problem to secure the rights for these tracks. Releasing them as part of the soundtrack would be costly. The film features the song "Kettering" by The Antlers, a song that deals with the subject of death, from a caregiver's perspective. It plays an integral role in the scene it is featured in, and I couldn't imagine releasing the soundtrack without it.
Out of that, we decided to record our own version of the song for release on the soundtrack. Given the fact that Stacey, Pat & myself are all musicians, it was a simple solution.
I flushed out all of the instrumentation of the song, and recorded all of the music. Stacey recorded her vocals at the UnLab, and we went to the studio to record Pat's drums. Out of that simple project, we decided to film an accompanying music video. The night we shot the music video, while setting up Pat says "We should do this as a band" and from there, Burn Like Fabulous was created.
Approaching the final deadline and 2 nights of reshoots, there was only one thing missing from the final cut. The car that was supposed to be crashed up was in pristine condition on film, the budget didn't allow for us to buy a crashed up car.
Pat was able to locate through friends a car wrecking yard that would allow us to use a car at no charge.
Seeing the mangled car go up on the forklift and hauled out to be placed on the side of the road was a huge highlight for me in this creative process. It completed my vision for the film. This also was the third night the police were called on us.
Imprint is set to premiere at the 2011 London Short Film Showcase, where it has been nominated for 4 awards:
Tickets are available here.
The following night, we are holding a screening of Imprint with a performance by Burn Like Fabulous and Carly Thomas. This screening will be at Fitzrays in London, ON.
Imprint has been a true passion project for me for the past three months. I am very proud of the film. I would like to thank everybody involved in the film. Throughout the journey, I have made some incredible relationships and been struck by such a creative drive, it's been infectious.
You can visit the Website for Imprint here: http://imprintfilm.com
Download the Soundtrack for free here: http://imprintfilm.bandcamp.com
Watch the Music video for "Kettering" here: http://vimeo.com/30060451
Follow Imprint on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/imprintfilm
Like Imprint on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/imprintfilm