Sunday, March 13, 2016

Lazy Sunday # 409: The Dishwasher

Canada is a country without studios and broadcast networks striving to build a vibrant production industry. Virtually nothing gets made without handouts from governments who appear equally disinterested in doing more than is absolutely necessary to shore up the appearance that there's a real film industry here.

And most of that largess goes to producers with a long track record of failing to find audiences.

Hardly anybody truly steps up to give an untried writer or director with a vision a shot.

Oh, there's certainly a boom going on. Almost everybody's working as a result of a weak dollar and generous tax credits to anybody wanting to make a Lifetime, Syfy or Superhero movie North of the 49th.

Meanwhile, our own stories continue to languish. And our brightest story tellers seldom get the opportunity to even hint at what they can do.

But if you live in BC or Alberta, there's a ray of hope. It comes from Telus which, despite its cable footprint, is primarily a phone company.

Telus have called their initiative "Storyhive" -- a community funded program for emerging content creators. I'd call it the Canadian equivalent of Roger Corman, the Hollywood producer who launched more major careers than almost everybody else put together.

Storyhive just released it's winning short film. "The Dishwasher" by Vancouver writer-director Matthew Johnson.

It's a masterful creation, revealing a film-maker who truly gets how cinematic story-telling works. It hooks you from the first frame and doesn't let go of your emotions until well after the last.

If the industry were still run by Hollywood moguls, one of them would be telling his money guys, "This kid knows what he's doing. Just give him enough money and stay out of his way".

I give you "The Dishwasher".

Enjoy Your Sunday.

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