Personal Demeanor & Gratitude Goes A Long Way

“Yeah, I think their mandate really fit in with the type of work that I wanted to do. National Film Board Canada has always been interested in Canadian stories and stories that deal with everyday people, culture, history, things from other cultures and histories, as well. It’s had a large mandate that really fit in with my interests.

It was a good fit for me. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but you’re going in to work with a technician who’s wiser than you are on your topic or in your level of production, whatever stage of your post that you’re in. For me, oh, you’re the guy that did such-and-such a film. I love that film. I’m gushing over the technician, where the Hollywood model’s a bit the other way around. I guess, going in there with a certain level of humility and saying like, “I didn’t study this. This is my first film. I’m coming into this, I’m open to get your feedback.” Kind of a change in a room when you present yourself in that capacity.

I think that was a strength for me because, what it did, is it, all of a sudden, they would go the extra mile. I think personal relations and how you work with people, your personal demeanor is and showing gratitude, all these things, it goes a long way. It’s something I learned through my career and it’s only brought good things and good experiences and great people.

I grew up with some fantastic editors and camera people and stuff. Because it’s not the high-budget filmmaking either, it’s made me do a lot of things that, I don’t fall under one title, as just the director. I produced, directed, animated, line produced, got on camera, so it’s nice to have had the opportunity to be in someone else’s shoes, as well. Again, it brings a certain level of humility to the practice.

I love the teamwork of filmmaking, too. That’s another thing. You know yourself. It’s not about one individual that drives the project or makes things work. It’s about the team effort and working collectively. I knew that from being a musician but I didn’t know that from being an artist. An artist was very solo, very solitary.

I worked in an art collective at one point, which was like being in a band with all its chicane and its good and bad. Filmmaking, I don’t know, not saying that doesn’t exist there, too. It seems that everyone’s role’s really defined so you know where you stand, you know what your job is. I feel well in filmmaking, for that reason.”