Ottawa International Film Festival

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#OIFF72 Q&A with Filmmakers – Part 2

By Vera Grbic
February 25, 2014

What does it take to come up with a script and shoot a film in three days? We got some answers from this year’s hearty souls of the OIFF 72 Hour Film Challenge.

In Part 2, we hear from Curtis Dickie of “The Proposal,” Andrei Zubok of “Mikhail” and Ray Besharah of “Domino.” Check out Part 1 for more #OIFF72 interviews.

What were some of the unforeseen quirks or funny occurrences that happened in the process of filming?

CD: When shooting, Astrid (super cat) kept attacking Nate’s (stunt dog extraordinaire) tail. The rock paper scissors sequence was impromptu on the day. We thought it was a funny tribute to our entry in last year’s challenge (The Players). Cory’s [Thibert] line, “I gotta call my mom,” had everyone on set in stitches.

AZ: When it turned [out] that the cafe where we planned to write the script closed at 10 [p.m.], we went looking for a 24-hour McDonald’s, which ended up closing at 10 [p.m.], since two of their people didn’t show up for work. Then it was across town to find another 24-hour McDonald’s.

RB: In the film, I get dragged across a dirt road on my stomach and my shirt kept riding up. It was tremendously hard to allow the gravel to shred my skin while pretending I wasn’t affected. In fact, in the short, when I’m dragged off camera, you can hear the faintest moan just at the end of the dragging. That’s me, unable to contain the pain any longer, though the concept of the film makes us think it’s the other actor who is grunting as he’s pulling me. With a little more time, I would have planned that whole thing much better.

Music is one of the wildcards and so much to choose from too (10 songs this year). How does music figure into your film?

CD: Music and sound is a huge part of film (not just ours). The right music at the right time can be the difference between a hardy chuckle or a mournful tear. We (Team Awesomesauce) were blessed with not only 10 great songs to choose from but with a rocking Post Audio guy, Andrew Huggett, who not only took care of our audio woes, he brought in a whole new dimension of sounds that I couldn’t have dreamed of on my own.

AZ: We were fortunate in having someone to work on a score – we had a couple of original compositions as well as three of the songs from the list. Ten isn’t all that much to choose from when you’re trying to match it to the mood of the scene.

RB: Music was the sole inspiration for Domino. Music is such a powerful tool in film, so knowing we had to incorporate three songs made them the natural starting point. The first few hours of concept development time was just me sitting and listening to the music again and again until I pictured what I wanted to do. I don’t do it all the time, but I love working that way.

It’s a three-day whirlwind. Tell the truth, how much sleep did you get?

CD: Sleep is for the weak. We finished tweaking the script Saturday morning at 2 a.m. and we started rolling at 8:45 a.m. [the same day].  

AZ: In total, probably about nine hours over the three days – mostly on Saturday night when we had a break in filming from 11 p.m. until 9 a.m. After that it was round the clock until the film was submitted (although I managed to get a couple of short naps in). My editor worked non-stop for over 24 hours.

RB: There were some late nights and early mornings, but it was totally worth it (as usual)!

#OIFF72 Q&A with Filmmakers – Part 2

By Vera Grbic

February 25, 2014

What does it take to come up with a script and shoot a film in three days? We got some answers from this year’s hearty souls of the OIFF 72 Hour Film Challenge.

In Part 2, we hear from Curtis Dickie of “The Proposal,” Andrei Zubok of “Mikhail” and Ray Besharah of “Domino.” Check out Part 1 for more #OIFF72 interviews.

What were some of the unforeseen quirks or funny occurrences that happened in the process of filming?

CD: When shooting, Astrid (super cat) kept attacking Nate’s (stunt dog extraordinaire) tail. The rock paper scissors sequence was impromptu on the day. We thought it was a funny tribute to our entry in last year’s challenge (The Players). Cory’s [Thibert] line, “I gotta call my mom,” had everyone on set in stitches.

AZ: When it turned [out] that the cafe where we planned to write the script closed at 10 [p.m.], we went looking for a 24-hour McDonald’s, which ended up closing at 10 [p.m.], since two of their people didn’t show up for work. Then it was across town to find another 24-hour McDonald’s.

RB: In the film, I get dragged across a dirt road on my stomach and my shirt kept riding up. It was tremendously hard to allow the gravel to shred my skin while pretending I wasn’t affected. In fact, in the short, when I’m dragged off camera, you can hear the faintest moan just at the end of the dragging. That’s me, unable to contain the pain any longer, though the concept of the film makes us think it’s the other actor who is grunting as he’s pulling me. With a little more time, I would have planned that whole thing much better.

Music is one of the wildcards and so much to choose from too (10 songs this year). How does music figure into your film?

CD: Music and sound is a huge part of film (not just ours). The right music at the right time can be the difference between a hardy chuckle or a mournful tear. We (Team Awesomesauce) were blessed with not only 10 great songs to choose from but with a rocking Post Audio guy, Andrew Huggett, who not only took care of our audio woes, he brought in a whole new dimension of sounds that I couldn’t have dreamed of on my own.

AZ: We were fortunate in having someone to work on a score – we had a couple of original compositions as well as three of the songs from the list. Ten isn’t all that much to choose from when you’re trying to match it to the mood of the scene.

RB: Music was the sole inspiration for Domino. Music is such a powerful tool in film, so knowing we had to incorporate three songs made them the natural starting point. The first few hours of concept development time was just me sitting and listening to the music again and again until I pictured what I wanted to do. I don’t do it all the time, but I love working that way.

It’s a three-day whirlwind. Tell the truth, how much sleep did you get?

CD: Sleep is for the weak. We finished tweaking the script Saturday morning at 2 a.m. and we started rolling at 8:45 a.m. [the same day].  

AZ: In total, probably about nine hours over the three days – mostly on Saturday night when we had a break in filming from 11 p.m. until 9 a.m. After that it was round the clock until the film was submitted (although I managed to get a couple of short naps in). My editor worked non-stop for over 24 hours.

RB: There were some late nights and early mornings, but it was totally worth it (as usual)!

Filed under Ottawa International Film Festival OIFF OIFF72 film ottawa interview film makers challenge OIFF72 Awards

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#OIFF72 Q&A with Filmmakers – Part 1

By Vera Grbic
February 24, 2014

What does it take to come up with a script and shoot a film in three days? We got some answers from this year’s hearty souls of the OIFF 72 Hour Film Challenge.

In Part 1, we treat you to answers by Eric Escaravage of “Sister” and Gavin Simone of “Winter Yard Sale.”

What was the most fun and most challenging part of doing #OIFF72?

EE: The most fun part of #OIFF72 was definitely getting together as a team and brainstorming ideas while writing the script. It was really interesting to see and hear everyone’s opinion on where the concept should go. Filming the stunts was also a personal favourite of mine. This cannot be understated, the most challenging part was most definitely the time limit and coordinating everybody’s schedule to fit filming times. It was difficult but we certainly pulled it off with some late night shoots.

GS: One of our main actors had to leave for hockey halfway through filming. We brainstormed a way to transform him into someone else by using the soap that was one of the props provided.  The new actor was much shorter so all the clothes were baggy on him.

What was the decision process on how to use the wildcard criteria? Did you build a story around them, or already have a story and just sort of plug them in?

EE: We were very fortunate that a few of the wildcard elements fit in perfectly with regards to our general idea we had planned before the competition. On the other hand, implementing the objects in a manner that was both subtle and natural was one [of] our big discussion points.

GS: We already had a story that included a garage sale scene, so as a last resort we could put all the props on display there. It was a stroke of luck that [we] already had a mailman scene so integrating that line was a cinch. 

How does the fact that it’s the middle of winter factor into this three-day project?

EE: Minus a few car shots, “Sister” was shot entirely outside. Many of our shots required us to be out late into the night or to be outside for extended periods of time. Needless to say, I don’t think that any one of us expected to go from freezing our faces off at night (Timmies [Tim Hortons] runs notwithstanding) to getting a
sunburn the day after. Winter definitely influenced, helped and hampered the film all at once.

GS: We were worried about gear damage from cold weather and the possibility of snow or rain. Luckily, it was a sunny cold day that was manageable by our cast and crew. Also, I find it is easier to call up people last minute in the winter as fewer people have weekend plans.  

#OIFF72 Q&A with Filmmakers – Part 1

By Vera Grbic

February 24, 2014

What does it take to come up with a script and shoot a film in three days? We got some answers from this year’s hearty souls of the OIFF 72 Hour Film Challenge.

In Part 1, we treat you to answers by Eric Escaravage of “Sister” and Gavin Simone of “Winter Yard Sale.”

What was the most fun and most challenging part of doing #OIFF72?

EE: The most fun part of #OIFF72 was definitely getting together as a team and brainstorming ideas while writing the script. It was really interesting to see and hear everyone’s opinion on where the concept should go. Filming the stunts was also a personal favourite of mine. This cannot be understated, the most challenging part was most definitely the time limit and coordinating everybody’s schedule to fit filming times. It was difficult but we certainly pulled it off with some late night shoots.

GS: One of our main actors had to leave for hockey halfway through filming. We brainstormed a way to transform him into someone else by using the soap that was one of the props provided.  The new actor was much shorter so all the clothes were baggy on him.

What was the decision process on how to use the wildcard criteria? Did you build a story around them, or already have a story and just sort of plug them in?

EE: We were very fortunate that a few of the wildcard elements fit in perfectly with regards to our general idea we had planned before the competition. On the other hand, implementing the objects in a manner that was both subtle and natural was one [of] our big discussion points.

GS: We already had a story that included a garage sale scene, so as a last resort we could put all the props on display there. It was a stroke of luck that [we] already had a mailman scene so integrating that line was a cinch.

How does the fact that it’s the middle of winter factor into this three-day project?

EE: Minus a few car shots, “Sister” was shot entirely outside. Many of our shots required us to be out late into the night or to be outside for extended periods of time. Needless to say, I don’t think that any one of us expected to go from freezing our faces off at night (Timmies [Tim Hortons] runs notwithstanding) to getting a

sunburn the day after. Winter definitely influenced, helped and hampered the film all at once.

GS: We were worried about gear damage from cold weather and the possibility of snow or rain. Luckily, it was a sunny cold day that was manageable by our cast and crew. Also, I find it is easier to call up people last minute in the winter as fewer people have weekend plans.  

Filed under Ottawa International Film Festival OIFF OIFF72 Q&A Ottawa film festival

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http://www.oiff.ca/#c-oiff72-entries

The #OIFF72 films are up NOW!

Here is your chance to view the films of your peers and vote for your favourite!

To vote for your favourite video, people simply have to press the “Like” button on the Youtube and Vimeo links, and the video with the most likes will win the Audience Favourite Award

Filed under ottawa international film festival oiff oiff72 challenge vote voting favourite audience favourite people's choice ottawa film movies videos

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Philip Seymour Hoffman – A Tribute

At OIFF, we were incredibly saddened to hear of the untimely death of the enigmatic Philip Seymour Hoffman. We want to pay tribute to the actor who contributed to the world in such a meaningful way, and had so much more to give.  

Much has been surmised about the possible cause of his death. Whether drugs were related or not, one of the themes that has emerged out of this sad occurrence is the stress that actors go through in the midst of their craft and the coping mechanisms they might use. Hoffman played roles as diverse as a gay member of a pornography company’s film crew to a violin player in a struggling quartet. He has discussed staying in character for his roles, which can affect everything from family life, to one’s level of awareness of the everyday world. In 2008, Hoffman told NPR’s Fresh Air that work can be exhausting, as actors have to be introspective on a daily basis: “We really explore ourselves and other people.” This speaks to both the wonder and the anxiety that comes from some acting experiences. But for all this, Hoffman was an incredibly passionate actor, one who loved his craft.

The brilliant stage and screen actor and burgeoning filmmakers was at the height of his career when he died. Hoffman knew he wanted to be an actor from an early age, and did everything in his power to better himself for life on stage and in film. The hard work more than paid off: he is widely considered to be one of the best actors of our generation. We saw him in unusual, thought provoking and challenging film roles. He perfectly embodied the writer Truman Capote in the 2005 biopic (he won an Oscar for his portrayal). He was known for big Hollywood productions, but he also thrived in offbeat roles. In another turn, we saw him taking on the excruciating role of a priest in the middle of a child-molestation scandal. One of his most heart-wrenching roles was in the form of the cartoon Mary and Max, largely because of Hoffman’s sympathetic and rich evoking of Max. We wonder what else he may have come up with, and will forever wonder.

We’ve compiled a list of our favourites from the legendary actor:

-          Boogie Nights (1997)

-          The Big Lebowski (1998)

-          Magnolia (1999)

-          The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

-          Capote (2005)

-          The Savages (2007)

-          Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)

-          Doubt (2008)

-          Mary and Max (2009)

-          Jack Goes Boating (2010)

-          A Late Quartet (2012)

-          The Master (2012)

By: Vera Grbic - Ottawa International Film Festival

Filed under philip seymour hoffman OIFF Ottawa Ottawa International Film Festival Tribute blog film legend boogie nights the big lebowski the talented mr. ripley capote the savages before the devil knows you're dead Doubt Mary and Max Jack Goes Boating A Late Quartet The Master

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#OIFF72 AWARDS SHOW | Facebook

Want to see which films made the #OIFF72 Hour Film Challenge cut?

Join us at Mercury Lounge on February 26th at 6PM for the official #OIFF72 Awards Ceremony opened by our very own Mayor Jim Watson, a special performance by Ottawa’s favourite indie-folk darling, HER HARBOUR and a welcome cocktail courtesy of Beam Global Spirits & Wine

Admission is $5 or 3 cans of food for THE OTTAWA FOOD BANK, collected at the door and be sure to stick around for the infamous Mercury Lounge Hump Night after our show! 

Filed under oiff2014 oiff72 film contest awards challenge Mercury Lounge Mayor Jim Watson Ottawa

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That’s a wrap on the 2013 Ottawa International Film Festival!

To our supporters - we do this for you! Thank you to all the people who come out and support #OIFF year after year. To all the festival newcomers - we hope to see you again next time!

To the amazing film makers, producers, actors and everyone involved in the films we showed this year - thank you for sharing your talents with us. We continue to be blown away by the calibre of films featured at OIFF and this year was no exception!

Our amazing sponsors who made this all possible. Thank you for your continuing support and contributions:
KICK IT DIGITAL
LIEUTENANT’S PUMP
SMYTH CASTING 
OTTAWA PRINT HUB
STARFISH 
MARRIOTT HOTEL 
PRECISION TRANSFER
BEAM INC
MANSION NIGHTCLUB 
MENZIES LAWYERS
YOUROCKRED 
ABSOLUT ELYX
WISER’S SPICED RUM

See you in 2014 for our FIFTH Ottawa International Film Festival!

Filed under OIFF OIFF2013 Ottawa International Film Festival Thank You Ottawa Film Movie Festivals film festival