Billy Crystal made the Filminute Top 25 Shortlist!

filminute - header_info_2014Billy Crystal Fills the Silence has been selected as part of Filminute’s Top 25 Shortlist. It is in fact the only Canadian film on the roster, and there are films up from all over the world. Pretty cool. I didn’t realize the reach the festival had!

FILMINUTE is the international one-minute film festival that challenges filmmakers, writers, animators, artists, designers, and creative producers to develop and submit the world’s best one-minute films.

Watch the film HERE, and rate it, and share it if you so choose. There are some awards to be won, and one even has $2500 attached!

FILMINUTE AWARD CATEGORIES include:–An A-list international jury from the film, arts and communication industries selects ‘Best Filminute’ as well as 5 Jury Commendations. The public select the ‘People’s Choice’ and ‘Top Rated’ Awards.

www.filminute.com
www.facebook.com/filminute
www.twitter.com/filminute

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Billy Crystal in your Vancouver Backyard

Billy Crystal Fills the Silence, will be playing on the big screen in Vancouver, BC September 6th as part of the Backyard Film Festival run by Beth Freeman. Don’t be surprised if you see another B. Nord-Stewart film while you are there!

THE RAILWAY MAN

TIME: September 6, 2014 – 7:00 pm     PLACE: Backyard, 107 West 17th Avenue

What to bring: a friend, dark sunglasses, fancy wig, something to drink and a glass, a chair/cushion/blanket
THE ByFFies ARE WEATHER DEPENDENT AND MAY BE POSTPONED DUE TO RAIN

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Playing the part of a shadow…director

As of Tuesday this week, I am shadowing Allan Arkush, Executive Producer, and director (Heroes, Crossing Jordan, Ally McBealDawson’s CreekCaddy Shack II) of the Lifetime Network dramatic TV series, The Witches of East End, which stars Julia Ormond (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Mad Men, Legends of the Fall) and Jenna Dewan-Tatum (Step UpTake the Lead).

I can’t disclose anything about what I’ve actually been doing as the episode I’m shadowing is the FINALE! (Not that I could say anything for any other episode…) But just know that it is happening, I’m learning a lot, and I see directing television in my near future. I will be shadowing Allan until the end of August and I am stoked to see it all come together.

Allan is a wealth of information. I can’t even express my gratitude to him for the offer to have me shadow him. It is true: I have horseshoes.

And the money finally rolls in (fingers crossed)

Not wanting to jinx my current good fortune, I have refrained from posting too much about anything about what has been going on. However, the news is public now (5 days ago actually but I was busy work/playing at the Squamish Music Festival – yes, I did see Eminem!), so I can at least mention a couple of well-timed events.

#1 – In January and March I attended two different segments of the Women in the Director’s Chair (WIDC) program run by Creative Women Workshops. Both workshops really kicked off 2014 in high gear and had me really focussing on WHAT’S NEXT  for me as a director. The new news you ask? The BC Arts Council came through with a Professional Development Grant in the sum of just over $5,000. Which covers tuition, flights, boarding, per diems, honorariums for mentors to well…continue mentoring me.

#2 – While having a lunch with two of my grade 8 teachers* a couple weeks back, I found out that I was going to receive the Harold Greenberg Fund’s Short-to-Features Award which includes a $32,000 production grant for Beat the Bush, (formerly titled, Cougars Cruising), and an additional $7,500 towards the development of a feature film of the same concept. So you can expect a new saucy short from me in 2014, which will tour the festival circuit in 2015 (fingers crossed).

#3 – Harold Greenberg Fund requires and experienced Executive Producer to oversee their funded projects. Thanks to an introduction by a venerable actor who participated at the WIDC workshop in January, Shawn Williamson, President of Brightlight Pictures, has enthusiastically come on board. SNAP!!

There are a few more opportunities that have been thrown my way, but I will post about them once they actually happen as for the three above awesome things, there have been a half dozen or more that didn’t quite line up. But there will be a half dozen more awesome to report in the coming month(s) I’m sure.

I am so stoked. Yes. I. Am.

*This is an important detail because they taught classes in Dance and Video which are two things I actively do everyday.

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Cayley Thomas & Sabrina Robson bust out “Jolene”

“Jolene” (Dolly Parton Cover) by Cayley Thomas & Sabrina Robson
July 9, 2014, Vancouver, BC

My longtime Edmonton friend, and fantastic songstress, Cayley Thomas graced Vancouver’s presence last week and I could help but take advantage and pair her with another set of unique pipes; one Sabrina Robson, whom you can listen to on the records of Vancouver’s own This is THE SHOES.

At 12pm I beckoned them to come sing, 3pm we had a song picked, at 5:30pm they showed up and by 7pm they had rehearsed and we had finished filming. Of course the only logical thing to do after was bike to crab park and celebrate a birthday with some beers and friends (who also happen to make up a large majority of the Vancouver music scene. NBD.) Life is good.

http://www.CayleyThomas.com
SoundCloud: soundcloud.com/cayleythomas
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cayleythomasmusic
Twitter: @caythom

Sabrina Robson
http://www.thisistheshoes.com
Bandcamp: thisistheshoes.bandcamp.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thisistheshoes
Twitter: @thisistheshoes

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Hannah Epperson’s Music Video Released!

It has been out for a week now and the feedback has been astounding. Thank you for watching!

“Shadowless – Official Music Video” for Hannah Epperson

Behind the Scenes #1

Behind the Scenes #2

“The Provider” at Female Eye Film Festival

offical_selection jpeg
My short film, “The Provider”, co-written and produced with Andy Thompson, has been selected to play at the Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto in the Late Night Horror section right before Vancouver fellow filmmaker Karen Lam’s feature, “Evangeline“.

The screening takes place at 11:00 PM till 1:00AM on Saturday June 21st, 2014.

ALL Film screenings will take place at the Royal Cinema, 608 College Street, Toronto. Tickets will be available at the door.femaleeyeprogram2014

Shadows and Ghosts

On this very Friday afternoon, I am exporting a one minute film that, a week ago I didn’t know I was going to make.

Billy Crystal Fills the Silence

“Billy Crystal Fills the Silence”, 1 min 14 sec, 2014

I was asked by a University classmate of mine to make a no-budget film inspired by a piece of “un-illuminated news” –  something I thought should be more represented – from spring 2014, for the Denmark based film collective, The Current. They asked nine filmmakers from around the world to make a film based on this premise:

The Current is 9 attempts at alternative journalistic modes of communication, and 9 never before seen explorations of the news media this spring, 2014…Based on the idea that our world view originates from our often abstract emotional life, rather than from our rational thoughts, it is our mission to add to news media an extra dimension across the spoken and written word – doing so via creative and artistic cinematic solutions. 

My film, “Billy Crystal Fills the Silence”, was a culmination of many experiences and resources. It is much more serious in topic that all of my films, yet there is still humour and a question of the human experience.

“Billy Crystal Fills the Silence”, will be released on May 14, 2014 and will be available for free online. Check The Current’s FACEBOOK page for more information and to find more films.

In June, Hannah Epperson’s debut music video, “Shadowless“, directed by yours truly, will also be released online. But for now, you can enjoy 1 of 3 behind the scenes teasers – a taste of what it took to get the video made.

Have a great weekend!

NEW MUSIC VIDEO for JAYNE AVAUNT!

"Living Sculptures" as they were called on the set of the "Drowning in You" music video.

Living Sculptures  on the set of the “Drowning in You” music video.

I got the call from Jayne Avaunt almost two years ago about making a music video.

She said, “Girl!! I am finishing my album and I want you to direct a video!” The chosen song changed a few times and when we finally sat down to brainstorm for “Drowning in You” – 18 months later –  three things were clear: I could write any video concept I wanted, but it could not involved her singing on the beach of the ocean with a long flowing dress, and the weirder the better. Check.

Jayne Avaunt - Drowning in You  Video

Jayne and I know each other from drama class circa grade 7, and of our high school graduating class of 300, probably 100 of us are working in our chosen field in the arts: exactly as planned.

Jayne came up from LA at the end of October, we shot the video in Whiterock and on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, and most of the crew at some point asked me, “how do you come up with this stuff?” I don’t know. I secluded myself on Bowen Island for awhile so maybe that did something to me?

The video was finished after New Year and Jayne released it last week!

Drum roll please! Take a look and leave a comment or liket he video on Youtube!

 

Jayne getting ready to tear out your guts!

Jayne getting ready to tear out your guts!

Music videos, Women in the Director’s Chair, and FARGO

A lot has happened in the last month.

I returned to Vancouver from a week of meetings in Toronto, to shoot a music video within a few days of arriving, to then prep for and take a 10 day workshop as one of 8 directors in the Women in the Director’s Chair (WIDC) Story Incubation module 2.0 (where I workshopped a feature I am slated to direct), only to fly out to Calgary the day the workshop finished to begin my first ever job on a union TV show (FARGO) as none other than the flashiest of jobs…The Camera Trainee.

The music video:

Amy Belling (DOP), Hannah Epperson (Musician), Brianne Nord-Stewart

Amy Belling (DOP), Hannah Epperson (Musician), Brianne Nord-Stewart

Was a success. It is in the editing room right now. Being left to percolate as I make not very good money running batteries and cable while Calgary is determined to stay in Winter. It is a blizzard outside.

WIDC:

I didn’t really take any pictures except for this one.

The view from our farewell brunch at WIDC 2014

The view from our farewell brunch at WIDC 2014

I learned a lot. So much my mind was overflowing with information and ideas and some…feelings. Hence the needed brain break which made winter in Calgary sound very appealing. I am glad I am here though.

I do have a couple of cool bosses.

2nd Unit all the way.

Schane (1st AC) and Mark (2nd AC) - Camera Department

Schane (1st AC) and Mark (2nd AC) – Camera Department

And then on top of that, I just used my day off to whip together a video pitch and application package for my short COUGARS CRUISING, to finally get made. Here’s hoping Optik TV’s Story Hive grants are stoked on the idea of COUGARS CRUISING, an adventure dramedy that follows Una, who when diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, will stop at nothing to find her orgasm for the very first time!

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 2.50.32 PM

"Living Sculptures" as they were called on the set of the "Drowning in You" music video.

AND THEN…A music video I directed in Fall 2013 was released. Read all about that HERE.

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