Currently showcasing: Programmer for Worldwide Short Film Festival 2012 (WSFF)
Favorite/most influential all time director/s for you and why:
- Stanley Kubrick (Koobs) because of his cinematography which looks like how my heart feels about the planet. Plus Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, Sterling Hayden as Col. Ripper, and using the great Timothy Carey in both The Killing and Paths Of Glory to perfection.
- Robert Altman for his realistic overlapping dialogue, humanity, and allowing his actors to improvise their asses off in character
- Sam Peckinpah because he makes a modern kid feel like a man who just arrived for a fight on a dusty old horse… in the most beautiful way.
Top 5 films of all time: (Shorts or full length)
How did film become such an important part of your life?
They’re way better than reality when you’ve grown up in a suburban neighborhood that has as its main attribute pavement and bags of chips. Plus well written and acted characters are the best thing since sliced books.
Seeing dozens if not hundreds of films a year must make you into quite the critic. What do you look for in the many shorts that are submitted to you every year?
I don’t look at as many as the rest of CFC programmers because I just do my night but I still look at a lot, say over 50. My main criteria is does the damn thing make me laugh. I like a lot of character based comedy that’s not over the top because that’s something you can see live or in an Adam Sandler movie. I like good pacing, subtlety. A lot of the comedians who are in this year are also amazing actors. I do also love a super silly gag that’s creative and executed really well with good editing.
What do you believe made this year’s choice of shorts stand out in a, at times, difficult genre like comedy?
- A well executed short comes down to editing most of the time. Because a lot of these are independent, the comedians themselves have a lot to do with the editing because they know their comedic timing. I’m thinking of James Hartnett, and Tim Polley’s short, Buyer’s Market, which is directed by the bonafied master, Nathan Fielder, Mark Little and Daniel Beirne’s Dad Drives: Better Late Than Never, and Fun Time Internet’s Say Yes To The Pants are also examples of this. The pacing just hits my sweet spot.
- David Dineen-Porter’s Visionary Times, Katie Crown’s Dress, and the two films by Kathleen Phillips, are super creative and original. I’ve never seen anything like them before. Both DDP’s and Kathleen’s films were all handled by themselves. Kathleen literally makes her own cartoons in her house with whatever she can use. And Katie Crown’s film is a cartoon collaboration with a friend of hers from Yo Gaba Gaba.
- I have to admit the three 30 second commercial parody shorts I wrote and acted in with my friend Brian Barlow and which are directed by Dan Tahmizian are in the festival just because I THINK THEY’RE RAD! And also we’ve screened them at local shows around town and seem to be a hit. Plus they’re the perfect parody if you’re a starving actor or comedian in Toronto and you’ve gone out for 1 million Tim Horton’s commercial auditions.
- The other shorts are just chock full of good gags like, Sheddies by Nick Flanagan, Tim Gilbert, and Brian Barlow, SWHD with Levi MacDougall and Charlene Yi, and Scr__ble by Dan Abramovici.
What is next for you after WSFF?
I do stand up all the time and I travel all over Canada and the States doing that as my first love. I’m developing some ideas to pitch as TV shows with funny fellow friends. And I’m always writing new ideas and working with different directors and comedians to create as many funny shorts as I can so that when I die people can still vote “DIE” for me on Funny Or Die.
Where to find out more: