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Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: NEVER SAW IT COMING director Gail Harvey

by Jason Whyte

"NEVER SAW IT COMING is a chilling story of double-dealing, violence and murder that will keep you on the edge of your seat with a roller coaster ride of the unexpected. It also has black comedy elements. And amazing actors." Director Gail Harvey on NEVER SAW IT COMING which screens at the 2017 edition of the Whistler Film Festival.

Welcome to Whistler Film Festival! Are you planning to attend WFF for your screenings?

I am thrilled to be attending the WFF for the first time and premiering my film NEVER SAW IT COMING. I will be at both screenings, and for the Friday screening the novelist and screenwriter Linwood Barclay will also be there. So far actor Katie Boland is also confirmed. I have never been to Whistler before, but have only heard wonderful things from all my friends who have been.

Talk to me a bit about how you got your start and your previous work in the industry.

I was a photojournalist and was fortunate enough to be on the road with Terry Fox on his cross Canada run. When they made the first movie about his journey I was hired to be the on-set photographer. So I worked on many big Hollywood movies after that and learned how to direct by osmosis; having the opportunity to watch the world's greatest actors, directors and cinematographers work.

How did this whole project come about for you?

The film is based on an incredible novel written by international best selling novelist Linwood Barclay who has been my friend for many years. We were out to dinner one night and the topic of discussion was making a movie together. He wrote the screenplay and we were shooting within a year.

What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you? How much coffee are we talking about here?

Making a movie is extremely challenging but I love it. I try to be very organized, yet open to unexpected surprises, keeping my eye on the ball and the big picture. And I try to get enough sleep and remain focused.

All projects are challenging in many ways, some more than others. What was your biggest challenge with this project, and the moment where you knew you had something?

I knew I had something when I read the novel for the first time, because it is such an incredible story. The biggest challenge was getting Eric Roberts to Sudbury, because he was starring in a TV series in Qatar and only had four days off. But somehow with the help of his genius wife Eliza Roberts we did it!

I am about to get on the technical side of things, but I would love to know about the the visual design of the movie, your relationship to the director of photography and how the movie was photographed!

I was very close to the Director of Photography James Griffith, and we spent time together discussing the film, talking about other film references, and then we actually shot some scenes using crew members before the actors arrived on my iPhone. We used a Red Dragon, and the film looks amazing. In order to make accommodation for the schedule we shot with optimo compact zooms, and two cameras, which enabled us to shoot very quickly.

What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie here in Whistler?

I am so excited to see the audience reaction to the film as it will be the first screening.

After the film screens here, where is the film going to show next?

We will be some other festivals, and the film will be released in 2018.

If you could show this movie in any cinema in the world, which one would you choose and why?

I love the Bell Lightbox, and Toronto is my hometown. Or maybe the big theatre at Cannes!

What would you say or do to someone who was being disruptive even if it was your own?

I would ask them to be quiet. Shhh!!

What is the ONE THING you would say to someone who is wanting to get into the filmmaking business as a piece of advice?

Be tenacious. You can't fail until you quit. Find a story and make a short film, even on your iPhone, and submit it to festivals.

And finally, what is the greatest movie you have seen at a film festival?

It was very moving for me to screen my feature film LOOKING IS THE ORIGINAL SIN, that starred Maria del Mar and my daughter Katie Boland at the Raindance Film Festival in London.

Read my review of this film and many others playing at WFF this year in my preview article by clicking HERE!

This is one of the many films playing at the 2017 Whistler Film Festival. For showtime information, tickets and for other general information on films and events, point your browser to the official website at!

Be sure to follow instant happenings of Whistler Film Festival on my Twitter account @jasonwhyte, including mini-reviews of films, comments on festival action and even a photo or two. You can also follow my festival Instagram Stories at jason.whyte!

Jason Whyte,

link directly to this feature at
originally posted: 12/02/17 04:45:23
last updated: 12/02/17 04:46:34
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