Last year, my friend Sarah Gibbs was telling us a funny story about something that happened to her when she worked in a bookstore. That and two other embarrassing anecdotes made me want to make them into a trio of short films.

As luck would have it, Sarah decided to leave Canada in September to go and do a very important degree about George Orwell and post-truth (Sarah is probably in the top five of smartest people I know). There wouldn’t be enough time to do all three films, but at least the bookstore one was achievable.

So, a couple of weeks before she left, we shot a film, called SUBURBAN TRAUMA (in film circles, films are rendered in block capitals) in my back yard. I say “we”, but I didn’t do much at all.

To summarise:

  1. Sarah tells me a funny story.
  2. I offer to make a short film about it.
  3. We don’t have time to find a bookstore before she leaves.
  4. Sarah writes the script and changes the setting to my back yard.
  5. Sarah offers to star as a fictional version of herself.
  6. Sarah finds a fellow stage actor (SueAnn Fu-Joncic) to play across from her.
  7. I find two crew people I know (Jermaine Ilao and Riley Kearl).
  8. We find four video cameras (two of mine, two of theirs).
  9. I ask Anna Mae Alexander (my production partner) to co-direct.
  10. We shoot the entire thing in three hours, with four cameras and two sets.
  11. Yes, one of the cameras dies before we finish. It always happens.
  12. Jermaine makes me a rough cut to send to Sarah, and I make a trailer.
  13. Over the course of ten months, very little else happens.
  14. Riley and I realise we need to finish this thing, so we do at the start of August.

Here’s a poster. Again, I had very little to do with this.

Here’s the trailer for the film, using a template I found in iMovie.

The finished film is already uploaded to YouTube in a secret location, and it has been fully subtitled.

Stay tuned!

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