This year we were thrilled to be chosen to compete in Ottawa’s Digi60 competition. The rules were simple, twenty-one (21) film-makers would be given sixty (60) days to complete a five (5) minute film, starting from scratch. At the close of the competition on August 10th, at 4pm, all successfully completed films will be entered into the Digi60 Film Festival. What a fabulous reward for such a challenge, a guaranteed screening at a festival.
After the meeting, I chose my team and huddled down in a pub for a strategy session (and a pint). We took stock of the costumes, props and locations we could lay our hands on quickly and debated story ideas. Surprisingly, we found it quickest, if not easiest, to do an historical epic, than a contemporary piece. And so “Civil War Heroes” was born.
On July 8th we had a twelve (12) hour filming day at a remote location, partially in the rain, with the camera battery charger not working, but we got everything finished. The shots look wonderful, the location was gorgeous. And we got to really stretch ourselves for solutions to the rain, the lack of batteries and the missing crew (who figured there was NO WAY we were filming in this downpour.)
As always, Laszlo Sijarto and Kristina Kolmar were exceptional, and for the first time we used a new actor; Morgan Blackbyrne . It was also the film debut for Kristina’s son, Tevon , and he’s not just cute, he’s a natural.
After the film screens, I’ll be posting reviews and more photos, and I’ve saved THE BEST for last!!
Logline: She has twelve hours to save her life. He has twelve hours to win his freedom. Only one can walk away.
Convicted serial predator Steven Randall Cooper kills a guard, and escapes from the lockdown wing of the psychiatric hospital, planning to hide out just long enough to change his appearance and plan his next move.
But pretty, young Jessie Thames and her 6-year-old son Joey are in the ‘safe house’ he chooses for a hiding place, and are taken hostage. During the tense hours that follow, Jessie watches in terror as Steven becomes more and more unstable, unable to reconcile the present, and the horrifying past that made him what he is. In Steven’s deranged mind, his only hope is to become Joey, and start over. To do this, he must get rid of his mother. Jessie’s only hope is to do the unthinkable. To murder a man in front of her six-year-old son.
Safe House is a story of desperation and courage, of a mind fracturing and the people trying to survive its inevitable collapse. Written in the same claustrophobic style as “Panic Room” and “Flightplan”, and painstakingly researched using the FBI profiling techniques created by John Douglas, this film is a taut psychological thriller that will pull the audience into the mind, and the making, of a killer.
Safe House focuses on the three characters trapped together in a tiny one bedroom apartment, blending the past and present to effectively portray a mind shattering under the weight of its past.
Cairn Morgan: Sacrifice
Pilot for a 1-hour series
Logline: Pagan priestess or cop? When Cairn’s grove is accused of the ritual murder of a young girl, does she stand for them, or against them?
Halloween, Samhain, the most sacred night of the Neo-Pagan calendar… and Cairn Morgan, homicide detective and Druid Priestess, is stuck working the late shift. Her night only gets worse when the body of a young woman is found, the apparent victim of a ritual slaying, and her own High Priestess is the chief suspect.
DCI Muir, the head of the violent crimes unit brings in an expert on the occult, a famous author with an axe to grind. She’s full of anger and misinformation, and soon has the whole city out for blood. And somehow, the names of the members of the Druids Grove are released to the press as suspects.
CAIRN MORGAN is the story of a Pagan cop and her Catholic partner, Tyler Matheson. Despite their religions being age-old enemies they manage to be friends, until an occult killing pits them against each other. Now Tyler’s 17-yr-old daughter is missing, and pride may stop him from seeking help from the person he should trust most.
The antagonists are all painstakingly researched using the profiling methods developed by John Douglas of the FBI. As a practicing Pagan for over 15 years (and a Druid for the past four) I can guarantee that all Pagan elements are accurate, and any legal difficulties portrayed as resulting from the Pagan beliefs and practices do happen.
While the pilot episode explores erotomanic paranoia, other episodes will focus on real Pagan beliefs, psychic visions, BDSM, pedophilia, and other edgy or controversial topics.
Logline: A chance meeting leads to the discovery of dark secrets and painful loss
Heal explores how we, as humans, choose to deal with the pain of loss. Some isolate themselves from the pain, as in Serena’s case, or, as Manny illustrates, mentally flagellate ourselves by keeping the pain at the forefront of existence. For Serena, twenty years not visiting the grave of her mother may not yet be long enough. Manny, on the other hand, visits his college sweetheart once a week and has been for almost a decade. When they meet, they are connected through pain but as they develop their friendship over the course of one day, they connect through conversation. They eventually reveal secrets they had never before dared to share and as a result, overcome challenges they may never have tackled before.
When a wrecking crew discovers a girl’s skeleton under the cement foundation of prestigious Thames University Hall, the list of suspects is only six names long. The Hall’s basement was repaired during a bleak Christmas five years ago, when only six students were in residence. The boys, now prominent young men, are brought in for questioning. As each tells his version of events that Christmas, an interesting thing happens. Not only are the sequences of events that fateful day changed by the telling, but also those present. By the end, not only is the identity of the killer clouded by uncertainty, but also the victim.
College reunion is an experimental drama written upon the framework of a solid whodunit. This script works on several levels; it’s a good puzzle, a tense mystery, and an artistic blend of stage technique and film neo-noir cinematography.
A nest of ancient vampyres terrorizes the seedy Ottawa club scene, searching for the “perfect” victim, the one whose blood will make them invincible, unstoppable. Just as they find her, local high school students known as the Geeksome Foursome discover them. Armed with reams of computer printouts, containing all the Internet’s wisdom on vampyres, the four friends set out to save the world.
Bite Me is a horredy, a comedy-horror fusion, a character driven romp through the underbelly of Canada’s capital, where four teenage misfits save the city from an evil greater than the politicians.
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