Anita & Martin Interview!

Anita Abbasi and I  were recently interviewed for the podcast “House Lights” on our most recent collaboration, the short film “Mariah ¡qué baile!” We talked making movies as scrappy independents, the cinema of  John Cassavetes, and when it’s appropriate to go barefoot on set – the latter being intimately relevant to “The Talent Scout.” In fact, we talk quite a bit about “The Talent Scout,” our experience making it and how it informed our choices for this new project, which incidentally, it complete and being sent out to festivals around the world! For more on that and other information on the project visit the film’s facebook page:  Mariah ¡qué baile!”

The film centres on a Latin teen who feels she’s being ostracized by her friends while pursuing a demanding training schedule for a dance audition. It deals with some of our own experiences growing up as immigrants and children of immigrants in Canada as we all as some of the difficulties in trying to “make it” as an artist.

We had a lot of fun making the project and it is a great follow up to “The Talent Scout.” We were fortunate to receive funding from the Ontario Arts Council to produce the film.

You can hear the full interview here!

“The Talent Scout” is here!

Hey everyone, we’re excited to announce that for the first time you – yes, you! – can watch the “The Talent Scout” online, anytime, for free, as many times as you like at the NSI’s Online Film Festival or on vimeo!

Set in the 1990s in Southern Alberta, the film follows a restless young waitress as she meets a self-professed talent agent looking for tinsel town’s  next big star! Shot in glorious black and white by up and coming cinematographer Lester Millado and starring Shannon Lahaie and Vincent Marciano, “Talent Scout” is full of chance encounters, odd characters, and a little bit of mystery.

Check it out!

World Premiere for “Talent Scout”

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We’re proud to announce the “The Talent Scout” will be having its world premiere at KurzFilm Festival Diessen am Ammersee in October! We’re pleased and grateful at  being selected by the festival and for the opportunity to have the film screen along with other fine films from around the world. Woo-hoo!!

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the production of the film, IndieGoGo supporters, cast and crew, and our friends/family, without whom our project would not have been realized.

A real-life Talent Scout

Oliver CU [crop]

Actor Vincent Marciano as Oliver, the talent scout.

It would appear that life sometimes imitates art and vice-versa – or perhaps it is a more complex, fluid dynamic – as evidenced by news published in The Star in 2014.  According to the story, a man claiming to be a talent scout in Mississauga was charged with defrauding several young men and women with dreams of stardom.

“The purported talent scout conducted auditions and accepted upfront fees for promised roles in commercials, television shows and movies that never materialized.”

The suspect, who has quite the track record going back at least ten years, assumed various identities to pull off his schemes and has been convicted in the past of operating similar confidence scams.

Had we learned of this earlier, say back in the spring of 2014 when we begun pre-production on our film, we might have opted to shoot a documentary instead. Either way, it seems we were not too far off the mark with our story.

Project Update: Mixing Days


Matthew Cerantola mixes a scene from “The Talent Scout” at the studio in Montreal. QC.

Last week we had the privilege to mix our film in Montreal, QC with sound editor and mixer extraordinare, Matthew Cerantola. The session went as well as one could expect. Music, sound effects, and dialogue editing in place, we spent hours, bathed in projector light, fine-tuning the film in 5.1 to ensure as high fidelity a mix as possible when it screens for the movie-going public.

For us, the mix is perhaps, the best part of filmmaking and what a joy and relief to see all those long belaboured hours have yielded a film, an actual, honest-to-goodness film, and one of which we are so proud. There is something so satisfying to see, in a scene, for example, a character put down a cup on a table and hear the corresponding sound. To have the foley exactly sync with the action, the levels – perfectly set – giving the illusion that the cup in question exists. The cup has mass. It is real. A detail, to be sure, which is taken for granted by the casual viewer – or even the more attentive amongst us – but a detail that is essential. 

To remove it, this minor detail – or any other for that matter – would mean the cup no longer has any weight. It is no longer real and the subtraction is felt, if only unconsciously, by the viewer.  For this reason, sound, in a motion picture breathes life into the story, its characters, and their adventures! It is only during a mix session that one sees the film for the first time, truly, as it is – and for this reason, it is always a great relief, when the film assumes the form one desired of it and worked so hard to achieve. (For this effect,we are also indebted to the efforts of sound recordist Steven Ejbick who did the foley work that made the sound of the cup, in question, and many, many more possible. Thanks Steve!)

We want to thank Matthew for his continued efforts and for hosting us at the studio on a beautiful Saturday afternoon! 


Oliver in the flesh!

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As we finish the film we are releasing four mini-trailers, each focusing on a different character in the story. Each trailer is made up of a slice-of-life vignette introducing one of the film’s characters. Since, in a short film, there is precious little time to give a character an intro, we thought we would try doing so as a supplement. Enjoy!