It’s a Monday night and none of us have to be here.
The warehouse is borrowed, one of us works there. The tables have been cleared and restocked with meat and cheese trays, a boiling kettle and a packet of black breakfast tea for the actors, who shuffle to and fro to keep warm while the gaffer and the camera op tweak and tweak and tweak the lights until the shadows fall just right on the jawline of the leading man, who swaps barbed insults (in a goodnatured way) with the first AD, a man perpetually checking his watch and scribbling notes and asking Are We Good? Can We Move On?
And really, none of us can. And that’s alright.
The cast and crew are predominantly college alumni, who bonded in the hall of my alma mater over late night paint calls and chorus lines and student films and a steady diet of Tim Hortons, overpriced sandwiches, brutal winters and tuition debt. One by one, we loped across the mountains to settle in Vancouver, a rogues gallery of shooters, soundmen, pretty faces and mousy scribes. I reckon I fall into the last category.
We’re paying too much rent and living in a city that doesn’t see the sun half the year just for the pleasure of PERHAPS working in a film industry they say is perishing by the minute as the larger movies pack it in and head south or east or overseas. In return, all we get is cheap radioactive sushi, lovely beaches flush with naked hippies, skin free of frostbite and sharp prairie winds, and the intermittently aligning schedules so we can all convene behind a warehouse to shoot a vampiric romcom that I cooked up. Nine times out of ten, when we shoot our own projects, we are the first ones we call to ask to hold the lights and aim the lenses and add the dialogue to the idea. There’s no money, the budget only runs as deep as our own pockets. It’s a long shot on an empty plain.
It’s a Monday night in Vancouver and none of us had to be here.
And yet, here we are.