Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Get Down Girl'

The last of our shoot ended in Sammy's apartment. Once the head office for Macellum Motors, this enclosed four-walled chamber quickly became a hot set. With most of the crew holding in the hallway, and those inside squeezed to stay out of shot, it was a real fight to get the scenes right.

In one of Sammy's final transformations, she finds her groove by allowing herself to get dirty. While nerves could of been pinched by time and space, Sook-Yin opted to demonstrate these aerobic moves herself. (Take note of the three layers underneath the red parka with black stallion tails).

And although the physical stress was demanding, setting the atmosphere for the actor to preform was most important. What better way to feel the groove than to have your director cut an orange rug?


Monday, September 21, 2009


Greetings Dearhearts!

Thank you Edward Westerhuis, my trustee assistant director, for posting those fab photos of snow covered Vancouver we had to blow dry to look like summer during the YOTC film shoot in Maple Ridge last winter! And to Trey Agnew, "Punk King" for his entry. I understand he had the audience in stitches during the 2nd YOTC public screening at TIFF. God bless the King.

Okeedoke. First of all, spread the news! YOTC is making it's way to film festivals across Canada:

Year of the Carnivore Friday, September 25th @ 9:20PM Park Lane 8 (352 seats) Canadian Perspectives

Cinéfest Sudbury:
YEAR OF THE CARNIVORE – Friday, September 25

Wednesday September 30
7:00 PM, The Globe
In Competition, Canadian.

Next up, I want to share some swell animated short films to my stories that originally aired on my radio show DNTO! ( They're directed by Jim Goodall, Jon Izen and Anne Marie Fleming. Fabuluz.

And now that we all survived getting TIFFED, here's a smattering of Year of the Carnivore press post Toronto International Film Festival. It's just enough to start generating buzz before we roll YOTC out in 2010 in theatres.



Friday, September 11, 2009


The premiere of Year of the Carnivore last night was....A TON O' FUN!!! After a week-long panic-attack-almost-nervous-breakdown, my fever broke and my water broke, and we finally jettisoned our baby movie out of the plane with a parachute and it landed and bounced without a broken bone. The Toronto International Film Festival audience was warm and generous. They were responsive and really focused on the film. I love the sound of a burst of laughter and the occasional individual guffaw of the one person who connects with a single moment, just cause. It was great to see cast and crew members fly out from Vancouver: Ali Liebert, Emily Holmes, Bethany Brown and Trey Agnew, Erin Smith and Helga Ungerait plus Toronto friends Sheila McCarthy and Mark Rendall. Sadly Mark's grandpa passed away a few days ago and Mark was in Montreal for his funeral and missed the premiere. But like a trooper, he landed at the airport in downtown Toronto and made a b-line for the theatre to make the Q & A after the screening! With us in spirit was the awesome Cristin Milioti who, unfortunately couldn't make it cause she's in the middle of a play in NYC without an understudy. She is a stunner on screen. I am so proud of her.

Later at our after party at Rolly's garage, there was a lot of drinking and music making and celebration. Adam and I had fun playing songs and Mark and Buck 65 made beautiful music. Mark encouraged everyone to make ghost sounds while he played slide guitar with his flaming lighter and Rich (Buck 65) slays me every time with his verbal ferocity. So wonderful to be with friends.

This morning I woke up drunk and went back to sleep again. Tonite, I feel relief, now that the gut wrenching worry has lifted. I will take the time to savour this and remember I needn't have been so scared.

To everyone there, thanks for sharing the experience with me!



Thursday, September 10, 2009

In the spring time of my love, I have forgotten the minus weather.

The tracking shot of the lovers biking was originally set to be riverside. At the start of the shoot, it looked good: green grass, a set of train tracks, and a parallel-running road to shoot from. We just needed a gap in the schedule to get the shot.

Then the river froze over and the snow fell. The smooth flowing Fraser became a jagged range of ice.

Sook-Yin then decided to find an alley way, or a stretch of building to shoot it against. She chose the line of brick facing the parking lot of our film studio/used car dealership. The production team then set to torch the frozen lot.

When considering the river, we discussed what affect it might have on the imagery. It could represent a new freedom the two have together, or endorse a coming of age theme, but on the other hand it could inconsistent with other locations. By using the wall, this shot still expresses freedom, but contains it in a world locked in industrial suburbia.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Welcome to the weird wonderful world of YOTC

Hi Peeps. Sook-Yin Lee here. Two more days till the YOTC premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. I'm excited and also terrified of showing my very personal little movie to the public. It must be kind of like child birth. Crazy hormones, no sleep, feeling c-r-aaaa-zy with anxiety over unleashing my baby into the wild. I'm an exhausted mother hen sitting on top of an egg that's about to break. Today i was talking about YOTC on CBC Radio 1 with Matt Galloway. I was telling him about the recurring idea in my movies, the difficult search for love and connection and how freakin' scary it is to let one's defenses down; and yet it is precisely that willingness to be vulnerable that can unlock the key to the possibility of real love. So, how can you get good at love and sex if you can't let anyone in? Afterward when I was again overwhelmed by the terror of anticipating the premiere of YOTC, I realized it's the exact same thing. A fear of being vulnerable. Well, there's no turning back now, I made the movie, now I have to share it. I wonder if I will need bricks?

ABOUT THE PHOTOS: Adam and I were wandering through the city the day before last when we came across a bow in his hair! Then I donned my superhero brick mask and flew faster than a fighter jet. And the...Year of the Carnivore poster by my pal Chester Brown.

PS. The premiere screening is SOLD OUT. But there is a second public screening on Saturday September 12th at 12:15PM at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto.