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Whistler Film Festival 2013 Interview – NO CLUE director Carl Bessai

NO CLUE - At Whistler Film Festival
by Jason Whyte

“When Kyra walks into Leo's office to hire his services as a private investigator, he doesn't think to tell her that he's not a detective, but a speciality advertising guy who's too smitten to say no to a beautiful woman in distress.” Director Carl Bessai on NO CLUE which screens at this year's Whistler Film Festival.

Wait, Carl Bessai...don't I know you from somewhere?

I served on the board of directors for Whistler Film Festival for ten years and recently stepped down, so now I am able to submit my movie to the program. It's great to be a guest this year!

How did this whole movie come together from your perspective?

Brent Butt (Corner Gas) wrote a great script and asked me if I would join him on the adventure. Who could say no to that?

What was the biggest challenge in making the film, and your favorite moment out of the entire production?

Trying not to laugh out loud throughout takes, and hanging out with Brent Butt and David Koechner while they joked around on set!

What keeps you going while making a movie? How much coffee?

Adrenaline, a love of filmmaking, a lot of enthusiastic yelling, and yes, fairly regular doses of coffee.

I would love to know about the technical side of the film, your relationship to the director of photography, what the movie was shot on and why it was decided to be filmed this way.

I wanted to re-create elements of a classic film noir in the camera and design style, so the whole film has a Rat-Pack retro feel about it, right down to Schaun Tozer's amazing music. We used two Red Epics for production and the cinematographer Jan Keisser had a lot of skill with the tools to create a world of interesting angles and dynamic camera moves that are reminiscent of the film noir era. The designer Tony Devenyi made Squamish, Langley and Chilliwack look like Vancouver with a New York vibe!

How important do you think the critical/media response is to film these days, be it a large production, independent film or festival title?

Critics do play a key role in interpreting a film and its entertainment value for audiences. I think the only difference nowadays is that film criticism happens everywhere. A blogger can be more important to a film than a critic at a conventional news outlet. Either way, criticsm is the beginning of any word of mouth on a film.

After the film screens in Whistler, what is the future release plan for the movie?

The film opens theatrically in March 2014!

What would you say or do to someone who is talking or texting during a screening of your film?

You better be talking or texting about the movie!

Check back on over the next few days for some interviews and photos from yours truly while on the ground at Whistler. Also by the end of the festival I will be posting my top picks and events of the festival on the site. If you're attending the festivities, I can usually be found at Zog's Dogs inbetween screenings. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more immediate updates!

For more information on Whistler Film Festival, films screening in competition and information on screening times and events, point your browser to

Jason Whyte,

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originally posted: 12/07/13 21:19:01
last updated: 12/08/13 02:55:40
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