This past summer I got the call to action to direct my first TV Movie – a Rom-Com!
It was a joy to work with the cast and crew in Kelowna, BC for 12 days on a 20 million dollar estate. We managed to only have one day of forest fires in the vicinity, however one started across the water right before we filmed the most important scene – THE KISS! So this gorgeous romantic sunset kiss you get a glimpse of? Happened while the actors blocked out a very loud helicopter doing laps to put the fire out. Perhaps Francesca Bianchi and Matt Hamilton have so much chemistry that they lit the fire? Hot.
I’m behind on the updates. I keep thinking there are no updates but I think the headline proves otherwise.
The Jun 11th-13th weekend I rounded up some of the finest crew members in Vancouver – who hands down are some of the best crew worldwide – brought them to a luxury hotel in downtown Vancouver and made a new short, SHIT SPONGE. And you know what? It’s really good.
LOGLINE: A budding hotel manager must evict one of the world’s most notoriously volatile party girls.
My first three asks were a MUST. I needed them
I asked Riley Madincea to come back and write again after my last short BOT PROX was such a success. He said yes. Then there was getting a location – thank you co-producer James Hutchison for introducing us to Nephi at The Douglas Hotel for elevating our location from small cramped/cold/wet parking garage (on BOT PROX) to MULTIPLE LUXURY PENTHOUSE SUITES in a CUSTOM LUXURY HOTEL that just happened to be closed – I guess there are pandemic silver linings for indie filmmakers?) I really feel like I don’t know how to make anything without Hutch because he takes care of all the organizing and logistics and all I have to do is buy the thank you beers and well…direct. BUT THAT’S THE FUN PART!
I NEEDED David Trevail. Editor I keep courting who GETS me. That’s a hard find. Someone who truly understands story, pacing, comedy. But also MY kind of story, pacing, and MY KIND OF COMEDY. But actually. He is a storyteller himself. He was also an instrumental part of our writing in the first hours of the competition. Also just a damn JOY. Thank you for leaving England and moving here.
Then there was getting phenom director of photography and camera operator Ryan Purcell on board. Any Nancy Drew or To All the Boys fans out there? I did that by taking a job as a cinematographer’s assistant for 6 months which turned into 12 months because pandemic, and being the person who turned bland necessary emails about gear list and blocking changes into amusing dalliances of a need for some creativity. Ryan liked the emails. I asked and he said yes.
Is this all seeming too easy to you?
I cast Caitlin McCarthy because she texted me and said “am I on your project or should I find another team?” and well she’s amazing (she’s KILLS in BOT PROX) so that was an easy, YES.
Arggy Jenati I’ve been hunting for years and she was finally available!!
We got out some returning collaborators and some new ones I am so glad I connected with and honestly it was the best weekend I’ve had in a really long time.
I REALLY LOVE DIRECTING.
Can I please just being doing it EVERY DAY?
So a month after the filmmaking weekend we got to meet IN PERSON at a REAL LIVE MOVIE THEATRE and watch the top 20 films jury selected out of the ONE HUNDRED FILMS made for this year’s RUN ‘N GUN Filmmaking Competition.
And we freaking WON. And there was some AMAZING films.
We won BEST FILM, BEST DIRECTION (by me!), and BEST PERFORMANCE (by Arghavan Jenati). Hot Damn.
I can also brag about the SIX other nominations we had. 9 category recognitions overall.
2021 Run ‘N Gun 48 Hr Filmmaking Competition Awards:
Winner, BEST FILM Winner, BEST DIRECTION by Brianne Nord-Stewart Winner, BEST PERFORMANCE by Arghavan Jenati
Nomination, BEST WRITING by Riley Madincea Nomination, BEST PERFORMANCE by Caitlin McCarthy Nomination, BEST ENSEMBLE by Arghavan Jenati & Caitlin McCarthy Nomination, BEST EDITING by David Trevail Nomination, BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY by Ryan Purcell Nomination, BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN by Neil Colango
So this pandemic has been challenging. That goes without saying but I’m saying it. But there is light. And I hope there is A LOT more to come.
HUGE THANK YOU to our sponsors without whom this film would not have been possible:
The DOUGLAS HOTEL / PARQ Vancouver, William F. White International, Copy That Walkies, Means of Production, and SIM complete.
This film looks amazing and that’s only possible because of yours support, so from all of us, thank you very very very much!