Friday, October 16, 2009


"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." So said C.N. Parkinson in 1955, but having just observed something rather extraordinary, I can attest that in the world of student independent film making, the reverse is often equally true. "Work compresses to fit a madly optimistic shooting schedule." From October 12 - 18, 2009 an enthusiastic film crew assembled at Simon Fraser University prepared to work their tails off. They were joined by a troupe of talented actors who collaborated on the production of IMMINENT CONTACT, a science fiction script written and directed by my son, Philip Jack.

Philip Jack directs IMMINENT CONTACT at the SFU studio. This view looks forward over the shoulder of an OMNI trooper at the flight crew of the drop-ship. [a Cedric Yu photo]

My role was logistical - the picking up and delivery of loads of building materials, props, costumes, and assorted consumables. I must admit that on the Monday I delivered the first load of wood frames and paint to the set at S.F.U. I was a tad dismayed. An abandoned set, comprising an entire apartment with bedrooms and furniture filled the studio from wall to wall, and it had to be cleared by the crew before IMMINENT CONTACT even had a floor to work on. And yet it WAS cleared quickly and efficiently so that construction could begin on the large drop-ship, a simple yet effective design which Philip had laboured over for months.

Student filmmaker Cedric Yu rigged an overhead camera to shoot a time-lapse film in HD, capturing the last stage of demolition and then two days of construction of the large drop-ship set. Yu's film makes for four minutes of fun viewing, and is posted on the IMMINENT CONTACT Facebook page, along with dozens of photos of the cast and the film crew.The cast of the movie includes actors Kate Crutchlow and Sam Spear as drop-ship flight crew, with DENYC, Steven Stiller, Donovan Cerninara and Sebastian Bertoli as OMNI's.

Four OMNI troopers featured in the movie IMMINENT CONTACT. They are Gunnery Sgt. Avery (Donovan Cerminara), Petty Officer Shepard (Sebastian Bertolli), Commander Grey (Steven Stiller), and Master C.P.O. Kurita (Denyc).
[a Cedric Yu photo]

Donovan Cerminara plays Gunnery Sgt. Avery in IMMINENT CONTACT.

OAKALLA to get its first screening. Yeah!
I got word today that my documentary short OAKALLA was selected for the Black Box Film Series which is running at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby. Oakalla will get its first screening on Monday, October 19th at 7 PM, and I am grateful for the opportunity as it contributes to the momentum for the feature length version THE GHOSTS OF OAKALLA, which I am currently researching and writing, and which needs to secure financial backing.

The Black Box Film Series is run in partnership with the Film Circuit, a division of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). My ten minute DOC will precede the feature HEAVEN ON EARTH (2008) made by acclaimed director Deepa Mehta.

Post Screening : It was startling to view OAKALLA, which had been edited on a MAC, projected onto a full size theatre screen. Geraldine Parent gave the film a spirited introduction and I was gratified by the interest. I answered nearly a dozen questions from the audience before remembering to yield the floor to Mehta's feature film.

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