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!
Staring down the competition on Opening Trailer Night at Seriesland. 😛
This is Emily the intern here with some very exciting news from Spain; THE DANGERS OF ONLINE DATING will be an official selection in the 4th Annual Bilbao Seriesland! I’m super stoked and hope you are too!
If you want more info about the festival you can check out their website and Facebook page.
The cast (and some crew!) at the launch party and screening of “The Dangers of Online Dating” in Vancouver, BC at The Penthouse November 23, 2017. (L to R: Stacy Mahieux, Paula Burrows, Brianne Nord-Stewart (creator/writer/director), Peter New, Byron Noble, Natalie Catherine, Sierra Pitkin)
To whomever is reading this, thank you for taking the time!
Whether you’re here to (fingers crossed) vet me for a job, check out some of my award-winning work (😉), or maybe we’ve gone on or about to go on a date and you’re cyber stalking me (well done, but please stop) thanks a million for hanging out long enough to read this sentence.
The last year was really all about getting my original digital series, THE DANGERS OF ONLINE DATING, written, produced, edited, delivered, and finally, launched into the ether that is the internet. Wow.
Well, I did it. The show is out (WATCH IT). Ready to be consumed (WATCH IT). It’s done (Did I mention you should WATCH IT). And I have already started releasing the companion sex education series, “SEX, With Paula“. There are 9 episodes of #DOODtheseries (WATCH IT)(use this hashtag!) and soon to be 9 episodes of #SEXwithPaula (this one too!) out as well, AND we’re going to continue releasing new episodes of the latter until we cannot possibly anymore.
There are a few people that I absolutely need to thank.
First to the cast and crew of season one, which we started filming in 2012 (yes, really). To Paula, Stacy, and Byron, thank you so much for coming on board back then, and for still being committed 5 years and 2 provinces later! To our very tiny and committed crew, thank you for your countless (or few) volunteer hours on what was this little idea I had.
And then to Telus Optik and the Storyhive team. There in all likelihood would not be a season 2 without you. And definitely not a season 2 like this. And to Creative BC for that little bit extra. So…THANK YOU FOR ALL THE 💰 💰 💰💰 !
To the season 2 team…Season 2 was achieved with a great many more people, more crew, more cast, more locations – more everything – and all of those logistics were being planned and re-planned by my line producer James Hutchison. He’s the shit. (Don’t even think about poaching him.) To the new cast who came in and have been all about the show, I THANK YOU!
So what am I doing next? The question of the day, month, year, hour, minute, second…
Well, today I did some life stuff and laid on the couch and watched “Julie & Julia” because I needed Nora Ephron’s magic, and was subsequently inspired to write a new blog post (the film is about a writer writing a blog…)
Next up is re-writing a half hour pilot for THE DANGERS OF ONLINE DATING, re-writing my feature, writing a one-hour original, and pitching other web/series content that that I’ve been developing with other writers. I want to direct my first feature, and then my second. I want to get that first episodic gig, and then my second. And then I’m sailing.
Literally. I’m getting on a boat and sailing around the Cook Islands.
The Broad Humour Film Festival runs August 31st-September 3rd, 2017 and is a place where funny broads hang out with funny broads. Our lead actress Brenda Matthews will definitely be in attendance, and it’s possible I will be as well!
BEAT AROUND THE BUSH screening info:
Where: Venice, CA
The Broad Humour Film Festival was named one of the 5 “coolest” women’s film festivals in the world by Moviemaker Magazine in 2016. I look forward to being a part of such a fantastic organization. www.broadhumor.com
The Atlanta Underground Film Festival runs August 18th-20th, 2017 and is known for promoting creative artists who create grass-roots movies that break the boundaries of film and video. That and the festival is, and a quote, “a non-stop party”.
The tickets aren’t booked…yet!
BEAT AROUND THE BUSH screening info:
“No Limits on the Words Shorts Block #3”
Date: August 18th, 2017
Where: Synchronicity Theatre
1545 Peachtree St NE, Unit 102,
Atlanta, GA 30309, United States
“The AUFF exposes and promotes creative artists who work outside the system to create DIY, grass-roots movies that break the boundaries of film and video. Through the festival, these talented independent filmmakers now have a voice in a market typically saturated with commercial entertainment designed to satisfy the audience’s expectations.
Much more than the traditional stuffy film festival, Atlanta Underground Film Festival is a non-stop party celebrating short and feature films in a down-to-earth, welcoming setting where filmmakers and fans are encouraged to connect and collaborate.” www.auff.org