by Jason Whyte
All The Time In The World - At VFF 2015
"Disconnecting to Reconnect. All The Time In The World is a deeply personal documentary that explores the theme of disconnecting from our hectic and technology laden lives in order to reconnect with each other, ourselves and our natural environment." Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Sound Recordist, Assistant Editor and star Suzanne Crocker of ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD which is screening at the 2015 Victoria Film Festival.
Is this your first movie in the Victoria Film Festival, and are you coming to Victoria for the screening?
Yes and yes! The subjects of the film will also be present at the screenings and at the Q&A.
Tell me a bit about your background and what led you into this VERY DIY (do-it-yourself) documentary!
My formal training is as a family doctor. However, I retired from medicine back in 2009 and started making short films and now film-making has become both a passion and a career. I live in Dawson City in the Yukon, which is a tiny community with an amazing arts and culture scene and lots of great filmmakers. It is the ease with which one can be creative in Dawson and the support and access to other great artists that has allowed me to go from doctor to filmmaker. Being at the end of the road in the far north, everyone in Dawson is DIY at almost everything. That is the kind of films we make in Dawson!
Also, authenticity is central to All The Time In The World. Therefore there was no crew with us on this nine month adventure. It had to be a DIY shoot!
How did this whole project come together from your perspective?
First came the decision to take our family into the bush for nine months. All our previous attempts to find balance, between the distractions in life and time with family, had failed. So we decided to do something a little drastic to see if we could get our priorities on track again. The idea to film the experience came later. There was so much curiosity from friends and family down south about what we were about to embark on that I decided we needed to document the experience. Documenting it through a camera seemed like the natural choice.
You shot most of this film yourself along with your family assisting. Was this the biggest challenge in making the film?
It is certainly challenging to film your own story, especially when the story is about trying to be present in the moment and not be distracted (by filming, for example!). So I walked a fine line. I was very careful about when I brought out the camera. The first priority was the experience, and documenting it through film came second.
What kept you going to finish the photography throughout this whole adventure?
For Christmas in the bush we all made presents for each other. I decided to make my family a short film with the footage I had shot so far. In doing so, I realized that my family was totally themselves whether the camera was on or not, and because of that I had been able to capture the intimacy and authenticity of our experience. That kept me going. Also, my family loved the short film I showed them and that bought me six more months of their tolerance for the camera!
Speaking of that, what kind of cameras did you use and how did you use them during the whole experience?
I only had one camera. A Panasonic AVC HD prosumer video camera with a good external mic and an LED light attachment as it is dark in the winter in the North! Also a lapel mic and a zoom audio recorder. And lots of batteries! I charged the camera batteries from boat batteries using an inverter.
I remember a very overwhelming response at the Vancouver Film Festival last fall. Tell me about your experiences and the reactions people had there.
I was blown away by the response in Vancouver. The Vancouver International Film Festival is a big festival. There were nine different screening venues showing films simultaneously all day and all evening for 16 days. I was worried that no one would show up to an unknown documentary from the Yukon! We had two screenings booked and much to my surprise, they were both packed. Best of all the audience was engaged throughout the film; there was lots of laughter, the audience stayed in their seats through the credits and at the Q&A they gave us a standing ovation as we came on stage! At the end of the festival, after we were already back home in the Yukon, I found out that ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD had won the Audience Choice Award for Most Popular Canadian Documentary. It was an amazing response to the first ever screening for the film.
What are you looking forward to the most about having your screening in Victoria?
It is really exciting to bring the film to Victoria and Sidney as there are many people here who have either helped or been following the post production of this film, but haven't yet seen how it turned out!
Victoria and Sidney have played a part in both our lives and the post production of the film. We had expected to come out of the bush and navigate the transition back to our life in the tiny town of Dawson City. However, due to some unforeseen circumstances, we came out of the bush and ended up moving to Victoria for three school years. It was quite a culture shock after bush life! Mike Parfit (director of THE WHALE) from Sidney Island became my editor. David Parfit from Victoria did the sound design for the film. Suzanne Chisholm and David Springbett and Maureen Levitt, all local to Victoria and Sidney, helped me navigate my producer role. Anne Louise Genest, living on the Island, also an ex Yukoner, composed and performed a beautiful song for the closing credits. There were also many other people in Victoria gave up their time to give me feed back about rough cuts along the way.
I would love to hear about the journey this movie has had on the fest circuit, and the plans you have for the movie after it plays in Victoria.
The film has just started its film festival run. It has been an honour to bring a Yukon story to the rest of the world. And the audience response to the film has been tremendous. Along with the Vancouver success, we also co-won the Green Screen Award, with Disney, at Planet in Focus in Toronto. The movie screened at the Wild And Scenic Film Festival in California where it won Best of the Festival. Last weekend it had its first Yukon screening at the Available Light Film Festival in Whitehorse to a sold out and enthusiastic crowd. The film just screened in Courtenay and will soon be at Film Festivals in Nanaimo, Salt Spring and Sooke. Festivals are also lined up for the next two months for the interior of BC, Quebec, Ontario, back to Vancouver and the USA. ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD will also have theatrical run at VanCity Theatre in Vancouver in April. There are also festival screenings confirmed as far away as Mexico, Chile, Spain and South Africa! The incredibly patient people of Dawson City have to wait until April 2nd to see the film!
So the plan is film festival run and then screenings at independent theatres. Eventually, it will be available for home viewing via DVD and VOD. And I am happy to announce that Super Channel will be broadcasting the film in 2016!
What would you say or do to someone who is talking or texting during a screening of your film in a cinema?
I think you're at the wrong film!
There are a lot filmmakers, especially up-and-comers, reading our site. I was curious if you had any advice to aspiring filmmakers, especially making documentaries like this in the do it yourself style?
Find a good story, preferably one that you are passionate about. Make sure you have good sound equipment. Test your camera and learn to how to get the best picture quality out of your camera before you shoot. Remember to shoot lots of cutaway shots and to change camera angles rather than panning and zooming everywhere in one shot. But most importantly...just do it!
And finally, what would you say is your favorite film festival movie?
Having just come for the Available Light Film Festival my favourite films that I saw at the festival were the documentary SOL, a difficult subject matter but told in an incredibly thoughtful and compassionate way and Maureen Bradley's very entertaining TWO 4 ONE.
For additional information on the Victoria Film Festival including screening times, ticketing information and other events happening around the city in the next ten days, point your browser to www.victoriafilmfestival.com.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @jasonwhyte for live updates throughout the fest including Instagram updates, commentary and links to upcoming interviews and coverage. If you see me in line, please say hi!
Jason Whyte, efilmcritic.com
link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=3744
originally posted: 02/13/15 07:33:20
last updated: 02/13/15 07:34:57