Photo by June Pak
Michael Vass is a filmmaker and writer based in Toronto. His award-winning short films have screened at numerous film festivals and have been broadcast internationally. His critical writings have appeared in the film journal Cineaction and the Philadelphia-based publication MACHETE. Michael received his BFA from Simon Fraser University and his MFA from York University. He is also an alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre.
RUSTY TALK WITH MICHAEL VASS
Kathryn Mockler: How did you first get into filmmaking?
Michael Vass: I’m not completely sure. As a child I think I was drawn to performing—for instance, I loved stand up comedy at what now seems a weirdly young age (I couldn’t possibly have understood most of the jokes)—but I don’t think I was ever completely comfortable performing myself, at least not after a certain age. So I started writing stories then making videos, probably initially as a way of performing out of sight. When I was 11 or so, I started making little home movies with my friends and my sister. We’d make parody sequels for movies that were popular at the time. I think we made Home Alone 2 and Die Hard 3 (which we called Die the Hardest) before either sequel really existed. Since then I’ve just kept making things. As a teenager my interest in film intensified, then I went to film school where I was exposed to all kinds of films that fascinated and excited me.
KM: Was there a writer or filmmaker that had a big impact on you?
MV: There are too many too name, and it tends to shift somewhat depending on what I’m working on. For my most recent project, Vancouver #1-13 (Notes for a report…), I was influenced mostly by filmmakers working in the somewhat amorphous genre that’s sometimes called the essay film, which has long fascinated me. The term itself isn’t that important, it’s just a way of grouping together a kind of film that’s always been around, which combines elements of fiction and documentary, and which tends to have a significant writing component—usually in the form of a first person voice-over. It’s generally a more self-reflexive and personal way of using various cinematic techniques, and it often addresses somewhat political themes, directly or indirectly. Film/video-makers like Chris Marker, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Jean-Luc Godard, Harun Farocki, and John Smith had a particularly strong impact on me as I was working on the film, as did the writers Robert Musil, W.G. Sebald, Thomas Bernhard, and Roberto Bolano.
KM: Can you describe your current film project that's screening in Philadelphia?
MV: It’s called Vancouver #1-13 (Notes for a report…) and, as I mentioned, it’s a kind of essay film, which mixes documentary and fiction to examine security and protest in the society of the spectacle. It uses documentary footage from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the G20 debacle in Toronto, and adds a voice-over by a fictional intelligence agent analyzing the footage. It is currently screening as an installation in the group exhibition “First Among Equals” at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia (April 11-22). My participation in show came about because of my involvement with the Philadelphia-based gallery Marginal Utility and the Machete Group which jointly puts out the publication MACHETE, for which I’ve been writing about film for the past couple years.
KM: What is the best thing about being a filmmaker and the worst thing?
MV: The best thing about being an artist of any kind is that it lets you structure your life around engaging with the world and your experiences and interests on your own terms, or at least on terms of your choosing—creatively, critically, reflectively…however you want. The worst thing is that this kind of activity rarely pays the bills, so usually you have to find some other way of making a living. Sometimes this can be something tangentially related to your activities as an artist (like teaching), or sometimes it is something completely unrelated, but either way it tends to eat up a lot of time and energy you’d rather be spending working on your own projects. This financial downside is exponentially worse as a filmmaker because filmmaking is so expense, logistically complicated, and time consuming, so if you want to make your own films, it can obviously be quite difficult. But artists shouldn’t whine too much about jobs and money – almost everyone hates there job and would rather not be doing it, at least we have something we want to be doing.
KM: Your funniest filmmaking moment.
MV: I directed a film at the Canadian Film Centre in 2006 called Skinheads. The film is a dark comedy and isn’t exactly about actual skinheads in any real way, it just appropriates some of the iconography of skinhead culture for other purposes. We put a trailer on YouTube to promote the film at festivals, etc. However, we didn’t anticipate that there are a lot of actual skinheads all over the world searching online for skinhead related stuff. The trailer has received a ton of views in the past year, along with some affronted comments by Neo-Nazi types. Somehow the trailer must have gone viral in some minor way recently on skinhead sites or something and has generated some negative attention. Maybe that’s not ha-ha funny, but I find it kind of amusing—as long is there is an ocean between the offended skinheads and me.
Vancouver #1-13 (Notes for a Report...) currently screening as an installation in the group exhibition “First Among Equals” at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia (April 11-22).
Multiple-award winning filmmaker Mina Shum has written and directed three feature films. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver, Canada, The New York Times calls Shum's work "wry and winning".
As a director resident at the Canadian Film Centre, Shum developed her first feature-length film Double Happiness, which premiered at the 1994 Toronto International Film Festival, receiving the Special Jury Citation for Best Canadian Feature Film and tying in third place with Kieslowski for the Toronto Metro Media Prize. Double Happinessgarnered Canada’s highest film honours, winning Genie Awards for Best Actress (Sandra Oh) and Best Editing (Alison Grace) with additional nominations for Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography. It also won 1995 Berlin Film Festival prize for Best First Feature, as well the Audience Award at the Torino Film Festival in 1994. After it’s US premiere at Sundance, it was released theatrically in the U.S. by Fine Line Features in 1995. Her second feature Drive, She Said premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 1997. The film was invited to the competition section of the Turin Delle Donne Film Festival in 1998. Shum’s third feature film,Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity premiered at the 2002 Toronto Film Festival and played to sold out audiences at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. It won a Special Citation for Best Screenplay at the Vancouver Film Festival. It will be released theatrically in Canada by Odeon Films and in the U.S. by Film Movement.
Shum has written and directed several short films, including Picture Perfect, which was nominated for Best Short Drama at the 1989 Yorkton Film Festival, Shortchanged, Love In, Hunger, Thirsty and Me, Momand Mona which won Special Jury Citation for Best Canadian Short at the 1993 Toronto Film Festival. Her 2011 web short, Hip Hop Mom has garnered thousands of hits and can be viewed for free at www.minashum.com.
Shum directed the television movie, Mob Princess for Brightlight Pictures/W Network. Her episodic directing work includes: About A Girl, Noah’s Arc, Exes and Oh’s, Bliss, TheShield Stories and Da Vinci’s Inquest for which she was nominated for a Director’s Guild Award. Her episodic work has been seen on CTV, Global, Nickelodeon, CBC, N, Logo/MTV, Showcase and Lifetime.
She is currently writing and developing her next feature film, Two of Me, with Brightlight Pictures, as well as writing and developing other feature projects including, The Lotus (co-written with Dennis Foon).
RUSTY TALK WITH MINA SHUM
Kathryn Mockler: How did you first get into filmmaking?
Mina Shum: When I was 7, I got down on one knee, spread my arms wide like Al Jolson and declared "I want to be in show business." At 12, I started my first journal and wrote everything I thought, felt, and heard down. I would copy things I'd overheard on the bus ride home, word for word to examine the patter of speech and the subtext of a banal conversation between two ladies about a cupcake recipe. In grade 9, I was failing my knitting class and transferred to Drama and that was the beginning of my official training as a filmmaker. I went to theatre school at UBC, got a film diploma after my BA, and continue to study and practice the craft.
KM: Where do you get your ideas from or what or who inspires you? MS: I am a voracious consumer of ideas, movies, art, theatre, music, dance, fiction and non-fiction. I read interviews with people I've never heard of. And I listen to both friends and strangers speak. I live entirely, throw myself into situations, get my heart broken, soar with infatuations. And somehow all that gets funneled through my guiding intention, which is to reflect and reveal how we can be happier. How to live more authentically, how to make the most out of this one life.
So, how does this hodge-podge of thoughts gets distilled through my next feature? Two of Me is an irreverent romantic comedy about an overworked 35 year old super woman (two kids, live-in-mother-in-law, husband, high pressure job, trying to get promotion) and she's granted a wish for "two of me" except the other "me" is ten years younger when she was a no-good indie rock musician. It's a film about who you once were and who you've become and the disconnect that often occurs when we're busy living life! At its heart, it's about surppressing our true nature (which I think all my films are about).
KM: What is the writing process like for you?
MS: I get hooked on an idea, a question and I write.It starts in the title which I believe should say what's the essential theme/idea behind the movie; it starts with a good title. Then I write the three-sentence pitch. If I can do that, I move on to a proposal that is half director's vision and writer's beats. But after that I work on my treatment, which is beating out the film pretty well. And at this point it's the writer's hat I'm wearing. The writer has to deliver on the promise to the director. Being both writer/director, I have to know when to wear which hat. The director in me is a heavy taskmaster and will continue to make me (the writer) work the script until it sings and I take it over as a director. And then when I direct the film, I will continue rewriting bits even in the sound mix of the film.
KM: How do you approach revision?
MS: I rewrite until you are watching the movie in a theatre. When I say that, I mean in marketing, in my interviews and in my q and a. I assume that all the notes I get, is just gonna make the film better. I do reject notes. But if the same note is coming over and over, I take notice.
KM: Writers/filmmakers often have to face a great deal of rejection, especially when they first start out. Do you have any advice for aspiring filmmakers on coping with this?
MS: Nothing is ever lost when you practice. I like to think of all of life as a practice. Malcom Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to get really good at something. Clock your 10,000 hours. Keep working on it. I write and direct everyday even if it's just in my mind, toying with concepts or even a note to a friend.
Trust the path.
KM: What is the best thing about being a filmmaker and/or writer and the worst thing?
MS: Best thing about being a filmmaker, making a film.
Worst thing: waiting for the funding to make a film. But even as I write that, I know that I have to "practice" making that part fun, part of the process.
At best it takes fours years to go from thought to you seeing it on the big screen. That's four years of living, breathing and waiting. Or should I say "practicing"?
From the short film HIP HOP MOM
Photo by Matt Lyons
A SHORT FILM BY MINA SHUM
Check out Mina Shum's latest 4-minute short Hip Hop Mom.
When two alpha moms fight over a parking spot, they reveal their secret identities, and it's a hip hop battle royale!
_ An award winning filmmaker and graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Directors’ Lab, Renuka Jeyapalan is currently developing her feature film projects, How To Go To A Wedding Alone and One Lovely Night. Her short film Big Girl premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival and was awarded the ShortCuts Canada Best Short Film Award. Since then, Big Girl has screened at over thirty-five film festivals around the world—including the Berlin International Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival and the San Francisco International Film Festival—and was nominated for a 2007 Genie Award for Best Live-Action Short Film. In 2010, Renuka was awarded the WIFT-T Kodak New Vision Mentorship Award which included a creative mentorship with director Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Twilight). Renuka has an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto.
RUSTY TALK WITH RENUKA JEYAPALAN
Kathryn Mockler: How did you first come to filmmaking?
Renuka Jeyapalan: I've always loved movies and I think since I was a kid always thought of filmmaking as a "dream job", but never truly considered it as a real option for myself. I was on a path towards becoming a doctor, but during my second year at the University of Toronto, I was able to fit in a film class amongst my science courses. The course was called Contemporary Popular American Film, and I remember listening to the professor analyze the opening wedding sequence in The Godfather and that was it, I was hooked. That class really cracked open the form and craft of filmmaking for me, and I remember thinking, "I can do that!". And while I did finish my degree in Biochemistry, from that moment on in my heart and mind, I was committed to becoming a filmmaker.
KM: What keeps you going as a writer/filmmaker?
RJ: I think the hardest thing is figuring out your passion and what you want to do career-wise. But once you know, pursuing anything else is just inconceivable. And that's how I feel about filmmaking. When I'm making, watching or even talking about movies, I'm exactly the person that I want to be. I'm exactly myself. To give up is just not an option. And while filmmaking is a very difficult path, if that is your true passion, I don't think you really have any other choice than to pursue it with everything you've got.
KM: What do you find the most difficult thing about writing scripts and the best thing about writing scripts?
RJ: Everything about writing scripts is difficult! The whole thing. I once heard a radio interview with the author Philip Roth and he perfectly articulated why writing is so hard. He said that writing is the most difficult thing to do because it's lonely, painful and no one can help you—only you can tell the story, and you basically have to drag it out of you. And even though you may have written before, when you start a new story, you have never told THAT story before so it always feels like you are starting from nothing, over and over again. No matter how many screenplays, books, short stories, poems or articles you have written, you always feel like a novice. For me, the best thing about writing is that you get to express yourself under the guise of a story. That you have the power to say something meaningful, convey an idea or impart an emotion to an audience. Most of the time, you struggle with how to do this elegantly and with craft, but when it works, it's a great feeling.
KM: When writing scripts what is the revision process like for you?
RJ: Once I finish a draft, I put it aside for a while. I get notes from my producers, friends who I trust. and I also make my own notes about what needs work. When I feel like I have enough distance away from it, I'll start a page one re-write, only using the original draft as a guide. I aim to re-write the entire script within 10 days, with each day containing certain goal markers. For a feature screenplay, for example, on the first of the 10 days, I'll re-write the first 10 pages or the "ordinary world" of the protagonist. And on the second day, I'll re-write the next 15 pages, including the inciting incident up to the end of Act I and so on. I find that this process lets me not only incorporate new changes, but to free myself from getting too attached to scenes in the original draft. This process seems to facilitate my writing to feel more organic and fresh each time I work on a new draft.
KM: What writers or filmmakers would you recommend to new screenwriters?
RJ: I don't know if there are any specific writers or filmmakers that I would recommend, but I always find listening to the first person stories of filmmakers and how they wrote or made their own films to be interesting and helpful. I find that books (eg. My First Movie), DVD commentaries, podcasts (KCRW's The Treatment, The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith) which interview the actual filmmakers on their process can be quite inspiring.
KM: A piece of advice for new writers and filmmakers?
RJ: Stay passionate, stay true to yourself and your vision, and above all don't give up!
KM: Your funniest film/writing moment.
RJ: I tend to write in coffee shops most of the time, and I remember writing at my local café one Saturday afternoon on College Street a couple years ago. It just so happened that it was during the World Cup and this café was packed with enthusiastic Portuguese soccer fans watching an important match. At one point, an old man came up to me and with this offended expression and asked me, "How can you work here?!?" And it was only at that moment, that I realized I didn't even notice the commotion around me. All these fans were screaming and cheering and glued to this big important game and there I was…so focused on my writing that I was clueless to it all.
KM: What are you working on now?
RJ: I'm currently living in Los Angeles in order to focus on writing and to get inspired. But I have a feature film called How to go to a Wedding Alone that is in development with the Toronto-based production company Gearshift Films and Telefilm Canada. And I've just finished a new feature screenplay and a short film script that I'm looking to make.
A SHORT FILM BY RENUKA JEYAPALAN
Big Girl, short film
Produced by The Canadian Film Centre & NBC-Universal, 2005
A bittersweet battle of wills develops between nine-year-old Josephine and her mother's new boyfriend in this poignant tale of modern family politics.
Screened at 25 festivals worldwide including the Berlin International Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.
2007 Genie Nominee - Best Live Action Short Drama
2006 ACTRA Award for Outstanding Performance – Female (Samantha Weinstein
Best Short Film - 2005 Toronto International Film Festival
Michael Turner is an award-winning writer of fiction, criticism and song. His books include Hard Core Logo, The Pornographer’s Poem and 8x10, and his writing has appeared in journals such as Art Papers, Art on Paper and Modern Painters. A frequent collaborator, he has written scripts with Stan Douglas, poems with Geoffrey Farmer and libretto with Andrea Young, as well as catalogue essays on Julia Feyrer, Fred Herzog, Brian Jungen and Ken Lum.
RUSTY TALK WITH MICHAEL TURNER
Kathryn Mockler: How did you first come to writing?
Michael Turner: Like many of us, I came to writing in kindergarten, forcing that thing in my
hand—P-E-N-C-I-L—to mimic the letter professionally printed before it. Before that I composed with whatever was lying around the house. Even before we learn to write, we are writing.
As I learned to write I wrote for myself and pasted my writings into a scrap book. Because the writings we were reading in elementary school were often accompanied by images, I would paste images above, below or beside my writings. Sometimes I would find a piece of writing in a magazine, cut it out and draw the accompanying image myself. Sometimes I would compose a page with both my own writing and my own drawing; others times "found" writings and "found" drawings. I did not distinguish between my work and the work of others because for me it was about the composed page, the total composition.
After a while the page became pages, a sequence. If you look at my first two books, Company Town (1991) and Hard Core Logo (1993), you will see evidence of the child I once was.
KM: What keeps you going as a writer or why do you write?
MT: For the longest time I would say, I write because I have to write. I still say that, but the more accurate answer is I write because that is what I do, and I feel I am too old to do anything else.
KM: How would you describe your writing process? How does revision figure into your process?
MT: I write best in the morning, when my mind is fresh. After dinner I return to it, clean it up. The following day I reread it—reading up to where I left off, making further changes. Then I start writing again.
When I have completed what I think is a manuscript, I take off for a few days, hole up somewhere and polish it. Then I send it off.
KM: Rejection or criticism can often stop writers before they start. How did you deal with rejection when you first started out?
MT: I did not study Writing at university, though writing was something I knew I wanted to do. If I had the opportunity to do it again, I would give a writing programme greater consideration (than less) because, among other things, writing programmes provide a focused community, and writing, like any art, is most relevant when it comes out of the kinds of conversations a community provides. And that includes sharing in the rejections, as well as the acceptances. I was very much alone when I began reading the literary journals and sending them my work. I am certain that had I a peer group to read and comment on my work as I was writing it, as well as read and comment on the work of others, I would have been more comfortable with rejection, and more humbled by acceptance.
KM: You write in a variety of genres and often mix genres. How do you determine the genre for each piece or is it something that happens naturally?
MT: It took me a while to understand what I was doing as a writer, how my first two books are related to what I did as a child, and how the writing I wanted to contribute to was based more on sequences than discrete poems or stories. This caused me a lot of frustration in my early writing/publishing years because the poems I wrote were more documentary narrative than interior lyric, where my subjects spoke to the reader in casual tones, like the subjects in Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology (who spoke from their graves). Not poems in the way Lorna Crozier wrote poems, nor bpNichol, for that matter, but poems attuned to the rhythms of everyday people, whether cannery workers or touring musicians.
Generally speaking, the poets and poetry editors who read my early work never saw my work as poetry. Same with fiction writers and fiction editors, many of whom could not see the narrative sequences for the spoken poems that linked them. Add to that my inclusion of photos, drawings, handwritten notes and other aspects of the material culture that attend life in a cannery town or a touring punk rock band and you get more confusion, a situation that has me describing my earlier works more as collage and montage, and less as books of poetry (even though they were marketed that way).
My frustration with a traditional, genre-specific literary culture led me to a study of genre, and from there the idea that genre, as a category, is in itself its own form of content. This is something I took up in American Whiskey Bar (1997) and The Pornographer's Poem (1999), where I use the screenplay as a compositional device. For me, the written screenplay is a powerful form because it implies a transition--in my case, a transition from one genre to another (and how that transition can transform a character), but also the form's material transition into a motion picture and the inflated economy motion pictures are a part of. Indeed, to use a screenplay is to use the ways in which that form is perceived. In American Whiskey Bar (inspired as it was by Nabakov's Pale Fire, with the screenplay replacing the poem), what happens in the screenplay echoes the ostensibly non-fictive elements that encase it—from William Gibson's "Foreword" to my "Preface" to Monika Herendy's "Introduction" to Milena Jagoda's "Afterword". Same in The Pornographers Poem, where the narrator's film projects (his screenplays) and everyday life (rendered as screenplays) meld into one.
KM: What authors or books would you recommended to someone aspiring to be an writer?
MT: I would recommend the books aspiring writers keep rereading and ask that they consider why, specifically. If it is the prose, then I would suggest writing out those prose passages, allowing their rhythms to seep in, guide the aspiring writer to that which attracts her.
Here's an exercise: if, as a reader/writer, you come across a paragraph that excites you, rewrite it, and, once done, keep writing, see where it leads. I did something similar in the Spring 2009 issue of The Capilano Review, where I took three newspaper articles Malcolm Lowry wrote for the Vancouver Province newspaper (December, 1939), evicted the words and, like Lowry did at Dollarton, squatted in the remains, occupying his syntax and grammar with words of my own—words I wrote in response to his articles.
KM: Your funniest literary moment, if you have one.
MT: Most of these moments are unrepeatable. But one I can relate happened on April 5th, 1994, when I ran the Malcolm Lowry Room, a 99-seat lounge in the North Burnaby Inn. A patron had asked to do a Tribute to Charles Bukowski night, and I said yes. When the date rolled around, it was announced that Kurt Cobain had died, and everyone headed to the bars to talk about it--including mine. So there we were, one half of the room filled with weepy grungers, the other half filled with middle aged men and women in various states of Bukowskian dereliction. When the Bukowskites took the stage, the grungers cried even louder, and an argument ensued, with the grunge choir chanting "Kurt Co-bain!"; their counterparts, "Bu-kow-ski!"
KM: What are you working on now?
MT: There is always a new book, just as there is always a reason to do other things, other kinds of writing. At this point my writing practice has broadened to include book writing, essays (mostly on the visual arts), a blog, WEBSIT; teaching, ECUAD; curation, Free Concert. That's what I am working on now.
MICHAEL TURNER'S RECENT NOVEL
8 X 10, 2009, Doubleday Canada; Canadian First edition
Description from Amazon.ca
Fearless in form, Michael Turner’s 8x10 casts aside traditional narrative structure and characterization to delve deeper into the issues gnawing at today’s global society. Through a sequence of possibly intertwined events, Turner creates a challenging portrait of our modern age, drawing solely on the actions of people rather than their appearance—whether advertising executives or soldiers, tailors or doctors—they fall in love, have children, fight in wars, and flee their homes. In 8x10 there are no names, no racial or ethnic characteristics, and only a vague sense of time. Turner’s characters, familiar yet implacable, are both no one and everyone.
Vivieno Caldinelli's award winning work has appeared on CBC, CTV, CityTV, The Comedy Network, Bravo!, and TMN. Vivieno is an alumnus of both the Berlinale Talent Campus of the Berlin International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival Talent Lab. In 2005-2006, Vivieno participated in the Canadian Film Centre’s Directors Lab. His film, If I See Randy Again, Do You Want Me To Hit Him With The Axe? was produced with the CFC's NBC/Universal Short Dramatic Film Program. It was invited to over 25 festivals around the world including it’s premiere at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. It was nominated for over 10 awards including for 4 nominations at the 2007 Canadian Comedy Awards. In 2009, Vivieno was the Creative Producer, and served as both a Writer and Director on the Comedy Network Series, Hotbox. Currently, Vivieno is in development with Corus, Telefilm, JFL, and CFC Comedy Lab with his feature film, The House They Screamed In, and he just finished directing the Comedy Network series Picnicface.
RUSTY TALK WITH VIVIENO CALDINELLI
How did you first come to filmmaking?
From a very young age I was obsessed with movies and television. It was just a huge part of my life growing up. There was no real choice; it was something that I was going to have to do and become.
What keeps you going as a writer/filmmaker?
Without filmmaking and writing, I'm worth about $11 an hour in the real world. I have no other skills. Honestly. I have dug myself in such a deep hole that I have no other options other than to succeed. It's a lousy plan, but it's working so far. I am fortunate that I am very passionate and absolutely love what I do. Very few people get to live their "dream job". So I'm blessed in that regard.
When writing scripts, what is the revision process like for you?
It's all about layering draft after draft. With each revision, I fill out of the characters, trim needless dialogue and exposition, revise scenes, etc. It's almost as if each draft of the script is a transparency sheet with a part of a drawing on it. Writing draft after draft is like putting down a new sheet of transparency over the old one. Each sheet with another part of the drawing on it, complements and builds on the original until finally you're left with a perfect picture.
How did you deal with rejection when you first started out?
It was tough at first but then you learn to deal with it. You get thinker skin. You learn to stand by your ideas and writin but at the same time listen to criticism. It's very important to listen to what people think about your work. But it's up to you to take that criticism, filter it, and use it to strengthen you work.
What filmmakers would you recommend to new screenwriters?
I just would say watch what inspires you. Watch who you connect with. Who you feel best captures and complement your vision. These are you formative years, and the filmmakers and writers that influence you early will continue to do so for the rest of your lives. Others will come and go, but who and what inspires you now, will play a huge role in shaping what you will become later in your career.
Is there filmmaker that had a significant impact on your career?
This kinda connects with the last question. Growing up I watched a lot of Mel Brooks and John Landis. I absolutely loved anything they did. All my early films and writing were inspired by them. I have since had other influences, but those core influences that I had early on in my life continue to impact my career.
A piece of advice for new writers and filmmakers?
Just keep writing and making films. That's the only way you can get better. Creating and completing project after project is the absolute best experience to learn from.
VIVIENO CALDINELLI'S RECENT PROJECT
PICNICFACE on the comedy network
Picnicface (not Picnicfeast) is coming at you with the Series Premiere Sept. 21 at 10:30pm et/pt.
Picnicface is a fast-paced, mash-up comedy mixing a contemporary, Pythonesque animation and absurd sketch comedy. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, the eight-person sketch troupe consists of Andrew Bush, Kyle Dooley, Cheryl Hann, Mark Little, Brian Eldon Macquarrie, Evany Rosen, Scott Vrooman and Bill Wood. Veteran Canadian comedy master Mark McKinney is Executive Producer and Showrunner.
Rusty Talk Editor: