This blog is my shout out, my ode to all of the talented actors, crew, artists, and loved ones who helped me in creating Flowers in February; and to those who are creating fresh work that I find inspiring.
I was so lucky to find such fantastic people to work with on this project. Thanks to you all.
Flowers in February was shot over two weekends in January of last year. Pre-production began months earlier with the first challenge being finding a cinematographer with whom I could collaborate with, and begin building a great team. I knew that was the key to this project - if all else failed it had to be really good fun. I think I whispered a prayer of thanks when I left my first meeting with Matthew A. MacDonald sensing that he was both a talented cinematographer and that he was going to be a pleasure to work with. From then on I could breathe a bit easier knowing that my project was in good hands. Matt also brought along some wonderful crew members - a crew that would brave shooting in freezing weather with snow falling all day long among many other challenges.
Casting and location were the second and third challenges. My film needed a minimum of 16 actors to play seniors in a residence. As I wondered on my way home one day where I could shoot the scenes and where I would find these actors my bus passed The Good Companions on Albert street. I followed up on this little sign and called The Good Companions. Not only were they open to us filming there but it turned out they had a drama club - the rest is history. Jim Gayfer, was actually part of a band at the GC along with a few of the other cast members, and his audition for Fred included such care and difficulty trying to light a cigarette that he instantly won me over. Everyone in the cast worked with such energy and commitment despite hot lights or freezing temperatures (Mike had to have snow dusted off of him every 5 minutes), long waiting periods... and having to put jam on the same cold piece of toast for the 15th time.
Slowly more and more pieces came together.... Julie Rae Tucker as art director bringing her creative touch to the set, costumes and props; Catherine Lemieux as assistant director multi-tasking and solving problems as they arose (she would have brought in snow from the hockey arena to make it look like winter outside since there was no snow on the ground - luckily it snowed just in the nick of time); music by Cecil's Ground - a track that is so beautiful and mysterious I melt every time I listen to it.
As all of this was very new to me, I had the benefit of asking Ed Folger, Christopher Payne, and the whole team at SAW video any question that came up. Editing at SAW video became my weekly ritual through all of last winter and it is the most welcoming of places. It holds a special place in my heart.
I hope that you enjoy watching the trailer and getting a glimpse from the galleries on the Flowers in February website as to the adventure and great fun that was had making this short movie. I promise to keep you posted as to when the movie will be available online, and in the meantime to bring you little spotlights on the talented people involved in this project and the ones that fascinate and inspire me.