Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Taking Cover

One of the best parts of this journey I have been on in the past two years has been the opportunity to meet other people in our community who are involved in creative pursuits. Some of these individuals have become close friends along the way, too, sharing their projects with me and allowing a glimpse into their creative process, which is often quite different but sometimes similar to my own. Over time I have learned so much from them, because what they do offers so much even when my own creative pursuit in writing is a bit different from the creativity they explore in their work. And on occasion they share with me sneak peeks at new works, things not yet revealed, just as I recently had the opportunity to see the short film Cover, the latest release from Hyperphotonic Media.

I watched it in my office when Tito, the creative mind behind the project, sent me the link. And I am rather glad I was watching it in my brightly lit office with the sun shining in behind me, because Cover is a splendid little film, in a delightfully scary and creepy way.

I won't give too much away, because the film will make its premiere tomorrow evening at Film Fear, the annual Halloween film festival offering from YMM Podcast and the Fort McMurray Filmmakers Association. I will say the faces in the film are familiar ones, people you have seen on stage and around town in various artistic and creative pursuits. I will say the short is stunningly well done, and I expected no less as those involved in it are committed to not only creating film but creating quality film, work that can shown on any screen and have an impact. And I will say I am incredibly proud of the individuals involved, because while Cover is a frightening little film filled with dark moments and some gore, what shines through to me is the dedication of every person involved in it.

Look, there is a lot of talk about changing this community, and creating a vibrant arts and culture scene. There are conferences and meetings and planning sessions. And the more and more I go to meetings the more I think that meetings are where good ideas go to die, because far too often the ideas get left at the table after the meeting, never acted on and never pursued - unless you have people who take the ideas and make them reality. Tito and Toddske of YMM Podcast had an idea about a podcast - and so they did it, a podcast I have had the honour of appearing on several times, and one that has become synonymous with this community. Then they, and their friends Steve, Ashley, and Misty, thought about creating an association for local filmmakers, helping others to develop their talents and giving them opportunities to display them - and then they created this association, one that holds workshops and hosts film festivals. And all along the way they have been making films, like the amazing Arkham Rising last year, and this year they will introduce Cover. What they have done is not just had an idea but had an idea and brought it to life, working together to bring new projects to the screen, and to further the development of local filmmaking talents. And I suppose that is what ran through my head during the entire private screening I enjoyed of Cover. I not only admired the film and the acting and the music and the scripting and the cinematography but the determination of those who had touched it in any way. The reality is that these individuals are doing far more than making films or even hosting film festivals - they are building this community with every single film and podcast and festival and workshop.

Tomorrow evening I will be at Film Fear, heading there straight after the annual KD Gala, the event that showcases the Centre of Hope, a place that has become so close to my heart. I will hunker down in my seat at the Keyano Recital Theatre and watch the world premiere of Cover, and I will enjoy it from start to finish just as I did several times yesterday. And while I watch I will think about how it, and all the people who created it, have become such an important part of this community, and my life , and how I see each and every one of them as the community builders of the present - and the future. I will very likely be smiling with pride just as I am wincing at some of the more gory scenes - but most of all I will be celebrating the arts, creativity, determination, and the pursuit of passion in our community. I will be taking Cover, just as I suspect Cover will take this community and make fans of all who see it - but the catch is if you want to see the film you must attend Film Fear tomorrow night, as the film will not be online for some time and will instead head onto the short film festival circuit. I won't tell you should go, as I am not in the habit of telling others what to do - but I will tell you this: If you want to see a great film, support local arts, and be in on the beginning of an amazing adventure, you'll be there to see this film. You could go to a meeting, I suppose, and talk about what you can do to support the community or create change - or you can go sit in a dark theatre, get your pants scared off, watch others who are actively creating art and changing this place we call home - and then find your own inspiration to do the same, no meetings required.


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