Most of Mommy and Me was shot in an apartment in downtown Calgary and we had some issues with traffic noise bleeding into our dialogue tracks. I was very impressed with how I was able to completely remove those sounds using Voice De-Noise and some manual repair on the more problematic sections. One segment in particular had a piece of dialogue covered by the action of actor Carlee Ryski putting a tube of lotion down on the tile countertop. This was easily fixed by manual repair.
As we are putting the final touches on our Storyhive funded short film I Phub You, we want you guys at home to get to know us, the filmmakers, a little better. In the weeks leading up to the February release we are going to be posting a series of interviews with the people that made this film happen (cast, crew, etc!). We are going to be asking about their process and their take on the film.
Today, we are lucky enough to have Heidi Ellen answer a few questions about working on the film. Heidi is the lead actress who plays the role of Janet in I Phub You.
When you first read the script what were your thoughts?
The first thing I thought after reading the script? How relevant the story is! I became hyper-aware after the reading I Phub You of how involved people (and myself) are with their cell phones. Walking through a mall, sitting at a table with a group of friends, waiting in line at the grocery store - those around me were consistently on their phones and ignoring their surroundings. At first it seemed like the I Phub You script was over-exaggerating how much time we as a society spend on our phones, but it actually wasn't! And it makes sense, especially if you take into consideration how important social media has become. It is used for marketing, finding jobs, staying in touch with friends and family, MAKING friends, etc. As an actress I rely a great deal on social media - and my phone keeps me connected to it. However, after reading IPY I began to pay more attention to the attention I gave to those in my physical presence.
What made you want to pursue acting in this film?
I first heard about the casting call that Guerrilla Motion Pictures sent out from a friend of mine who was on the crew. He had tagged me and a few other actors on a post on facebook. After reading the character descriptions I immediately felt a connection to Janet. I think that I share a lot of her personality traits. So that was certainly a part of why I wanted to audition for I Phub You. I always make a point to research production companies I am auditioning for, so after asking around I learned that Guerilla Motion Pictures had a good reputation among others in Edmonton's film industry. In fact, one of my best friends went to film school with Sam Reid! After submitting myself to audition I was incredibly excited to learn that I was 1 of 6 actresses to be selected to audition for the part. I was thrilled!
Silent film acting is much different than talkie films. How did you prepare for acting in a silent film?
Shannon (our director) really helped with my character development of Janet. She made it clear that she was looking for theatre acting more so than film acting. The two acting styles are quite different. Acting in a silent film is a lot like clowning. All of your actions and emotions are over the top. So I prepared for my role much the same way I prepare for a role in theatre. There is this practice theatre actors do called 'verbing a script'. Each line is assigned a verb to describe what the character may be feeling and what the scene may feel like. I also used Pinterest and pinned anything and everything that gave me inspiration for my character. And then I watched silent film online. I studied the way actresses held themselves, their facial expressions, and their acting styles.
Describe your character. Were there any influences to how you portrayed it?
Like I had mentioned, I felt a connection with my character. She is bubbly, sensitive, full of expression, and wears her heart on her sleeve. I am a lot like her. So I put a lot of myself into Janet. As an actor I am what I have to offer my roles, so I feel quite fortunate to have gotten to play Janet. I also pulled different characteristics from other actresses in other silent films. Justin Kueber had told me that when he wrote IPY he had named my character after a character in his favourite silent film, Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans. I tried to pull from that character as well.
Do you have any memorable stories from being on set?
Yes! I do! On our last day of shooting it was very cold. For continuity's sake I needed to wear the same outfit as I had on the other days of shooting. Janet's wardrobe consisted of a red summer dress and black flats. So not exactly the greatest clothing for -3, plus windchill weather. I had brought pocket warmers which I stuffed into my flats, and hid under a blanket in between takes. The crew was fantastic and understanding, so a vehicle was pulled close to set for me to hop into when it got too cold. I would warm up, then hop out of the car and run back to set to film the next take. Although it was a very cold shoot day, it was still a fun experience. It's funny what artists will do for their passion.
What is your favorite silent film?
I haven't seen many, but after watching Justin's recommendation of Sunrise, I would have to say that would be the one! It's incredible the amount that goes into telling a story without dialogue. It's an entirely different approach to story telling. It's an art, really. I hadn't expected Sunrise to be such a long movie, but it was! And even though it is a silent film, it held my attention right until the end. I definitely want to see more films that are silent.
Why would a geologist take his girlfriend to a quarry? Because he wants to get a little boulder.
Yeah. Its tuff to make puns on the spot. I'd say they are simply stepping stones for things to come.
I’m really taking this blog time for granite. I really need to stop procrastinating, it feels like I've hit rock bottom.
Okay, that’s the last one, I promise.
As you may have seen, we have been working with Rockland Landscaping Supplies in St. Albert since the beginning of April on a series of informational videos that promote the many landscaping supplies and services that they offer.
Our latest video was just released; an Internet commercial on the fast delivery service of Rockland. For this commercial we wanted to do something light, fun, and had to involve a jet.
We came up with the concept of “Jet Fast Delivery” which would feature footage of Gary in an actual fighter jet as he is navigating his team to deliver the boulder to a customer. We also wanted to introduce a rival character that always tries to foil Rockland’s plans (think Dick Dastardly from the old cartoons) – this led to the creation of Rick Astardly (played by Andrew Joseph Pahlke); a character who, despite his efforts, can never beat Rockland’s “jet fast” delivery service.
The shoot took us about two days total. We were fortunate to have such amazing weather and fantastic actors and material to work with. We had a blast shooting the commercial for Rockland. The jet footage was a lot of fun to incorporate and I mean, it’s a jet it’s awesome! If you haven’t seen the video yet, take a look at the link at the bottom of the page.
Winter is coming, which means our summer features for Rockland will be put on hold for until 2016. However, in the winter, Rockland provides a commercial Snow Removal service, sanding and ice management service that we are very excited to shoot and release to you in the upcoming months.
Thank you guys for your ongoing support and may the quartz be with you…(sorry I had to).
Visit Rockland Landscaping Supplies online @ http://www.rocklandsupplies.com
Holy time flies! We haven’t done one of these Guerrilla updates since January, so now that Sunday School is out, we feel it is a perfect time to let you know what we are up to.
First things first, Sunday School is out and we are extremely happy with the reception that it has received thus far. We put a lot of hard work into the show and we are glad to see it is paying off. We even have an article coming out in this week’s issue of the St. Albert Gazette (written by Scott Hayes), so we are very excited with the direction the show is going. Again, we would like to thank everyone involved in the process – it took us about a year to get everything to where it is now so it just goes to show things like this aren’t easy to make and require a lot of help. Lucky for us we had the best cast and crew that anyone could ask for. That being said, Season Two of Sunday School is looking to be bigger and better. We are hopefully starting to shoot that in June with our brand new camera!
Oh yes, we got a brand new Canon EOS C100 video camera and it looks so so soooooooo sexy. We are willing to rent out the Canon EOS C100 in Edmonton (and Area) for a price that is lower than the competition. If this interests you, drop us an email. Enough advertising though, we got to test out of camera on a few recent projects: three new music videos from Josh Williams and The St. Albert Raiders Hockey Club Awards Banquet.
If you haven’t checked out the music videos yet, I highly suggest stopping by our Music Videos page and watching them. The videos are all recorded live from Edmonton’s City Center. Josh Williams is a name you will most definitely be hearing about in the near future. He is extremely talented and competing in the 2015 Hot Factor sponsored by Hot 107. If you have some time, stop by the Hot 107 website and give him a vote.
This Wednesday, we are working with Rockland and Healthy Solutions on two different corporate videos, which we are very excited about. We can’t wait to show you guys what we have in store.
As far as short films go, we have many planned for this summer. It’s going to be quite a crazy summer with already 3 big short films, some fake trailers, a few sketches and even a couple episodes of People Watchers planned out. We will keep you updated as we go!
Well, that’s all for us now. Thank you guys for your continued support and we will catch ya later!
Guerrilla Motion Pictures