Catching Up

What have I been up to? Well, A lot.  

In 2012 I decided to start production on a documentary about the EDM movement in North America, entitled “The Drop: The EDM Culture Explosion”  The film has taken me all over the world in exploration of the rise of dance music culture.  I have been working on this project for over two years.   Like every film, there has been both ups and downs that accompany each project.  Not to gloss over this aspect, but this story in itself is a blog post on it’s own. 

While filming the Drop, I have had the opportunity to have my work featured by Canon in support of their Cinema EOS cameras and Glass First campaigns.  

On the home front, I have been able to lend my time to help support some local causes that I believe in and have a very personal connection with.  

I have been very proud of my work with the Stage for Change campaign.  A campaign built around raising awareness of the stigma of addiction.  I have had some incredible conversations about strength and change with people who has successfully battled their addiction.  My life has been touched directly by disease of addiction, and anything I can do to help spread awareness is important to me. 

Before starting production on The Drop.  I completed a short docudrama with two mothers who lost their adult children to suicide.  Nancy Hiron and Julie Varley are two of the strongest and charismatic women that I have had the pleasure to work with.  The short 15 minute film we created has been used to help other parents who may be coping with the loss of a child.  These two woman have served as a great example of resolve and courage.   I’m am pleased to be able to share this film publicly very soon.  

I've also had the privilege of working with some very talented artists to create quite a few music videos in the past two years.

This site relaunch is to showcase the work that I’ve had the honour to collaborate with many talented people on.    Thank you for visiting, I promise to update this more often than every two years. 

The Rose is White

Six months ago my friend Pat Dryburgh and I set out to make a film in 62 hours.  After throwing the idea around about quitting the 62 hour festival about 5 times we gave up and lost out on 15 hours of valuable time in such a time restrictive contest.

The results of having to push creatively for 37 hours resulted in one of the proudest moments of my life.  

The Rose Is White (Trailer) from Edward Platero on Vimeo.

Completing this film in such a short time frame, and have it win both the overall prize as well as prize for best visuals helped validate in my head what I love to do.  

Fast forward 6 months and I’m working a the most exciting project of my life.  Who knew that cold weekend in March could ignite such a fire.

The Joshua Tree

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The sign says "Death Valley"... I'm close.  3 Hours of driving constantly looking at the GPS, and now I'm almost there.  This isn't going to be easy, I still need to find a dead tree in the middle of the desert.

I was 14 years old when U2 released "The Joshua Tree".  My dad took me to Sam the Record man in downtown Toronto to buy records.  It was one thing that we did when I had the chance to visit him. Whenever I would go to Toronto, I would think of the record that I would want to buy when I was with him. It was a silly ritual, but it was something I could count on.

Entering the store that day, I knew that the record that I wanted that weekend was "The Joshua Tree"  We bought the 12" vinyl and the cassette, so I could listen to it on the bus ride from Toronto to London.  Listening to it for the first time, I was blown away on how this had never sounded like anything I've heard before.  It wasn't over produced 80's pop, it was.... different.   I would listen to the album over and over again and pick out every nuance of each instrument, every drum hit, the crafted melodies that the Edge would play on guitar against the intense vocals.

With every listen, I felt like I needed to create something that incredible.  I decided that I wanted to play guitar.  My mother, thought that I was insane I'm sure.  I had never expressed interest in music before that.

I was very passionate about music and it consumed my life.  I had highs and lows as a musician, I had some incredible experiences playing in my band, as well as our disappointments when the band just fell apart.

I arrive at my destination, get out of the car and look for a downed tree. I have a copy of the Joshua Tree on vinyl with me that I purchased the night before.  I'm looking at the album and the mountains down seem right.  There is no cell service where I'm standing, so I can't double check the GPS co-ordinates.  I walk back to the car to find the GPS co-ordinates again, and I've overshot the tree by 7 miles.

After my daughter was born, my interest in creating music totally dried up.  I was a dad, and things were more important than creating music.

While my passion for creating music had run dry, I still felt the need to create.  This is where film and photography entered my life at the right time.

I pull over on side of the road, and take a walk towards where I think it is.  The hint to the GPS data is "look for the solo tree and the green container"  I walked around and saw something in the distance that could be it. As i was walking towards it, tiny lizards were darting in and out of the brush.

I could see the rock formations first as I walked closer to the tree.  I was here.

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One would never think that sitting at a dead tree in the middle of the desert would have an effect on anybody, but it was outstanding.  I was at the spot where I would stare at the pictures of it, knowing that I had to be an artist.

Overwhelming doesn't even begin to describe how it felt.  I looked at the tree, and opened the container that held books for people to sign and gifts that people have left behind.  I saw a jar of sand from Russia, copies of the Joshua tree from around the world and a stock pile of letters of love to the band.

I sat down to take it all in.  This was a dream of mine since I was 14 years old, and now I'm here.  Life can be crazy.

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I listened to the Joshua Tree in it's entirety while walking around the site.  The sun was beating down on me but I didn't care. I would deal with a sunburn.  Listening to the album was surreal and inspiring.  I'm really gonna savour this.  At that moment I so desperately wanted to speak my children, just to hear their voices and tell them I loved them.  Sadly, it was afternoon and they were still in school.  I looked at their pictures on my phone, missing them to death, I wanted to see their faces.

Being alone in the desert is surreal, it's total isolation.  I was here and all of the other noise in the world was turned down.

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As each song rolled by, the experience was one of the most incredible of my life.  I was in a stasis of amazement, inspired beyond belief.

4 years ago when I first picked up a camera, i would have never thought that I would be as privileged as I have been as of late.  Life has been crazy.

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I wrote a letter to my children, and placed it under a rock. My emotions poured out onto paper meant for them as they were both all that I could think about.  Hopefully one day they will have a chance to read it....

After over an hour under the blazing sun, i packed everything up and said goodbye.  I took souvenir for myself, I piece of bark from the tree, a rock from the site and some sand.  Whenever i may get discouraged or frustrated by things not going right, I will look at these items and remember how I felt when I was there.

No matter how derailed life can get, it's amazing to know that every once in a while the universe will reward you.

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Jumping into the Deep End… Imprint.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 UnLondonUnLab 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.

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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:

Best Story Best Cinematics Technical Achievement Committees Choice

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