Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Cooking is like Movie Making says chef Peter Evanchuck

'Cooking is like Movie Making' - Hard to believe that comparison ... let me explain further...

Recently (end of November) and for the past 5 years, i've been co-host and chef of the ONE&ONLY art/craft show in Ottawa. The  show and my buffet are well attended by about 1,000 guests - the food is appreciated and many compliments flow to those of use who make it.

This is seldom the way it goes with Canadian movies - there's no happy commerical outlets with happy customers for our directors/producers and their work. The usual reaction of the movie goer /american run theatres is that if it's 'Canadian' then it can't be good ... unless of course it's a Canadian making movies in Hollywood then we're lauded. So another James Cameron block buster gets all the compliments while another from Bruce MacDonald or Atom Egoyan gets little notice by the commericail theatre nor the movie going public

The disparity is in the market outlets - it's much easier to get ur creative work to the public if u're a chef than it is to get ur  creative work out if u're a director/producer. The outlets for Canadian food product are welcoming; whereas, for movies it's basically closed. Try to get a Canadian movie into a Canadian movie  house and i'll wish u all the luck 'cause the American product has it all tied up.

Years back Hollywood would send Jack Valente to Ottawa to make sure any change that would benefit Canadian movies would be stopped or hindered by his lobbying. Our politicians did not and still do not stand up for our movies and demand that the theatre chains in Canada show our movies as they stood up for our music and made it law for commerical radio stations to play Canadian music and that's why our musicians have thrived .. they get played and paid in prime time.

The Harper government does not wish to enhance or increase our culture - they prefer to have us bland with American culture - so the Harperites are doing what they deem necessary to realize the Americanization of our Culture'

Of course Quebec is giving them some problems... Bravo Quebec !!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Trying to find that right reality in a well shot, unscripted Doc.

I prefer to shoot unscripted docs... what they used to call CinemaDirect or CinemaVerite. A technique well used by such great cameramen/director's like Richard Leiterman for Alan King and Quebec film maker Michel Brault. This is where the reality of an event is captured on film/video then the story line, the content line is made in the editing room - the footage determines the direction of the story/the theme. The footage is there and then the director sets out in the editing room to find the sequence of events that best tell than story - there is no script to follow except 'reality'.

Well i don't want to get into 'does anything have reality' arguement but let's say that the most reality of how the story is 'in the footage' is closer by far to reality than a scripted doc. where one has to 'make' the events fit the script. That's false sort of a Michael Moore way of making entertainment dramas wrapped in the wool of 'real docs'. Or the highly stylized techinque of Guy Madden in his 'doc.' on Winnipeg which isn't a doc. at all but a personal view of the drama, the fiction, surrounding his Winnipeg.

For this director/cameraman much of recorded reality depends not only on the camera's ability to capture the best reality but on the subject to be 'real' oblivious to the camera... Neither is an easy task...

Peter Evanchuck

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Publisher/Editor Peter Evanchuck Viewing His Motion Magazine on the Imac

self timer shot of Peter Evanchuck viewing his new MOTION magazine blog

Decades back PETER EVANCHUCK, along with a fine group of talented people, created, edited and published for almost ten years Canada's ONLY bi-monthly film/theatre/tv national magazine MOTION magazine. EVANCHUCK is shown here with his trusty iMAC working on his new web site/blogs for and MOTIONmagazine.

Although published decades back MOTION is no longer being published but still remains the world's only magazine ever devoted exclusively to Canadian film, theatre and tv. Now in his 'elder' years Evanchuck plans to put 'on line'
all copies, all articles from MOTION to make them available to interested organizations and individuals.

MOTION was and still is a treasure trove of what happened in those earlier years of Canadian film, theatre and tv... when things in Canadian film were, sort of, getting 'hot'. Articles on the Toronto International Film Festival, Peter Pearson, Don Shebib, Richard Leiterman, Claude Jutra, Genevieve Bujold, Allan King, Centaur theatre, early Canadian Film Development Corp., Donald Sutherland, NFB, Budge Crawley, Carriere, Labrecque, Donald Brittain, Luce Guilbeaut, Harry Makin, Pierre Berton, Gordon Pinsent, Garth Drabinski,  and so on and on. In fact, every Canadian film, theare and tv person of those ten year eventually appeared or was mentioned in MOTION ... it was really a unique magazine.

It lasted for almost ten years 'cause it was supported for those years by devoted Canadian rental houses like Wm F. White, Quinn Labs, FIlm House, Alex Clark, Panavision, Kodak, NFB, CBC and eventually by 10,000 Canadian subscribers.

EVANCHUCK considers MOTION's impact on those areas of Canadian culture significant. In these times of Harper's desire to remove our culture or rather transform it into 'Harper's no Culture, Culture' MOTION's revival is even more important than ever. The historical articles of those formative years will help younger and new people understand the importance of what made and what continues to make our film, theatre and tv what it is today - American involvement, the difficulty of raising monies for Canadian movies, few theatres receptive to show our movies due to American hold on them and few tv stations willing to take Canadian product for fair monies still haunt Producers. When legislation demanded Canadian outlets play Canadian music in prime times, our music industry thrived and continues to produce dozens of great bands, musicians and music.

If theatres and tv stations were legislated to play Canadian content in prime time, like out music, our movies would have fair and reasonable chances to do as they did. Amereicans would loose hold of content. Canadian Movies and TV would soon enough hold the world's attention just like our music does now.

All that being said EVANCHUCK is looking for about ten missing MOTION magazines since he does not have a full set of the magazines produced - anyone with good pristine copies of MOTION contact Peter Evanchuck who is willing to pay up to $50. for good copies.

please go to  then click on MOTION MAGAZINE to see the copies we have - u will see all the covers displayed if u have one that is not displayed then contact Evanchuck at 

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Peter Evanchuck muses on movie 'PAGE EIGHT'

{photo is a self timer one that's Peter Evanchuck with his handy mini full HD Sony HC3 equipped with Sony mini shotgun HGZ1 a very fine mini unit that really does the job - on iMAC screen is the famous  Cdn Photographer, Edward Burtynski, (Manufacturing Landscapes et al.}

It's only 17 hours to TIFF from tinyTOWN, NB (Chipman) but it was worth it to chat with Bruce MacDonald et al and to screen the closing entry at Toronto's Film Fest - PAGE EIGHT. David Hare the writer/director of PAGE EIGHT is a brilliant man to listen to and learn about sciptwriting and making films. He's not got a cliche in him as opposed to most others who only talk in trite cliches. PAGE EIGHT is a must see for movie makers. It's a thriller/suspense movie that has such a quiet reality the viewer is taken aback. Once again a film that all filmmakers should put on their 'must see' list.

Another fine filmmaker is Canadian Bruce MacDonald. Bruce has a unique way of raising moola for his movies (he was showing a follow up to his amazing HARD CORE LOGO) by selling credits - yes you read right, Bruce is selling producer, director, etc., etc., credits to raise money for his movies! Now that's a really dedicated filmmaker i.e. make 'em at any cost and isn't it in the making that counts not the buffet or the prestige or the baloney one encounters along the path of the making of the film - the great act of creating something, like David Hare, that shows others something they never quite thought of before in a way they never really though of... wow that's Voice in the BIG sense, eh?

Bruce never really told me exactly how raising money that way was 'raising enough money' for his movies. (by the way, pass that old cheese sandwich was heard on his frugal set.)

Monday, 12 September 2011

Peter Evanchuck & Marco Polakewski on screen

PETER EVANCHUCK has a very strong viewpoint on video/film-makers. 'To all those filmmakers who call themselves 'filmmakers' I'd say if you make films/videos you have to be involved in all aspects of the process before you earn that title; otherwise, you're just a director or camerman or editor. I do think that those of us who really want to show the world our viewpoint on a particular subject/story have to learn all aspects of documentary video/filmmaking. If the 'maker' doesn't shoot and edit his project they loose vital parts of the process that will show their unique point of view. This is especially true when it comes to docs that are not factory structured/designed but those docs that allow the reality of the subject/location to allow the maker to 'feel' his subject. I never pre-structure my own docs. I always know my subject, have to some degree, lived my subject. Taking the time, making the effort to learn all that, allows the 'maker' the uniqueness of 'voice' that can never come with pre-structured designs of docs. I never have meetings 'cause I'd be the only person at that meeting since my crew is 'a crew of ONE'.... me.'

PS: When Richard Leiterman was shooting A MARRIED COUPLE with his Elcair NPR for Alan King, he made that movie as much as King made it, in that he took over that first stage of putting the subject on film ... King directed/shot nothing; he was never there for more than a few moments. King would go on to make the movie in the editing room with Richard's footage and there was lots of it - Richard should have been given credit as co-director since he shot it ... right?

Peter Evanchuck & Nelson Adams second pic Peter E. taping music for Doc.

Producer/Director PETER EVANCHUCK with his Canon A1s and Rode shotgun mic documents NELSON ADAMS of Lincoln, NB narrating tales of his times in Lake Harbour, Baffin Island in the 1930's. Mr Adams was one of the first of five Canadians hired by the Hudson Bay Company to run their trading posts in the high arctic in the 1930's. Previously, they only hired Scotsmen from the northern Scottish islands who could handle the remoteness and weather of Canada's Arctic. Mr. Adams, a Newfoundland at the time, figures that he and the four others were hired by the Hudson Bay Company due to political pressures (the depression of the 1930's Canadians seeking jobs) and their choice of hiring Newfoundlanders who were from outports because they could stand the isolation and harsh conditions of the high Arctic as good as the Scots.

Filmmaker Evanchuck along with 4 or 5 scientists intend to sail next year from NB north along the coast to Nfld & Labrador then into the high arctic and arctic ocean heading thru the north west passage in a 32' C&C sailboat. 'We all think the passage will be clear enough of ice to allow a sail through' - this small adventure will be recorded by Evanchuck and narrated by Nelson Adams who recently celebrated his 95th birthday.


Producer/Director/cameraman Peter Evanchuck recording music tracks for his documentary THE DECLINE, FALL AND RISE OF PAYNE - a 30 min doc that traces the life of street poet Robert Payne over two winters 2010 and 2011.

This is called 'smartBUDGET' movie making, used to be called 'low' or 'no' budget moviemaking - as you can see my MACbook Pro 17" is on table with Lacie 1T remote HD - we screen a sequence - I babble about the 'feel' I'd like the sequence to invoke in the viewer then BROCK LEMINKSI and HEATHER MACDONALD would improvise on some of my suggestions - since they are very talented student musicians from UNB, then got it fast and furious. After only 3 hours we had laid all the music effects bed tracks and then worked on laying down some BACH they had already used in their final recitals for entry into advanced music studies at McGill - so they were happy with the money I paid them for 3 hours work - I was happy too since I got all my original and classical public domain music/music effects for my 30 min doc. - now that's 'fast and furious' moviemaking in the cowboy manner i.e. in the 'smartBUDGET' manner.  I used my CANON S1 and RODE shotgun to record both sound and image which is very easy to log and capture on FCPro - get rid of the image and only use sound where required - BINGO!!

Peter Evanchuck & Robert Payne

In making docs, I do not believe in wandering into a scene/story/subject without having gone through it myself for a reasonably long period of time; otherwise, one can be fooled into making something 'not real'. An example of that is my recent project, now 'in the can' called THE DECLINE, FALL and RISE of PAYNE which traces the life of Robert Payne over a period of a couple of winters. I've known ROB for over a decade and have had a long term friendship with him. He's been an actor in my previous fiction films as well as in my theatre pieces. In other words, I've known him through thick and thin, ups and downs so he can't pretend some things that he's not - for all of us who really have experienced our subject, the truth is not only 'out there' but 'in there' i.e. in the doc.

Another problem when making a doc on a homeless person; how do you find him or her? Well I’ve managed and volunteered in various soup kitchens in Toronto so know the scene and the people in that scene. This enables me to wander through it asking the right questions to find ROB. Each time I travel to Toronto to shoot I have to 'search him out' since he does have regular digs called 'the cocoon' a blued tarped 'home sweet' in an alley south of Queen West but he sleeps/rests at very irregular times so I search him out knowing the places he eats and rests which usually proves fruitful but sometimes it takes a day or so to connect with him.

This type of doc also requires the filmmaker to camp out to do what they now call 'urban camping' so to 'get the shot' one wanders through the night and day searching not only for the subject but also for the shot .... one becomes homeless; albeit for a short period of time a few days or a week rather than the 4 years that ROB"s been on the street.

If you want to get old fast go on the streets one year equals ten... ok I'm off to find ROB; he didn't show up where he said he was going to be....

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Movie-makers, Peter Evanchuck & Helene Lacelle greet u to our new site in progress

Hello, please be patient we are now constructing our new site's web page - so far we've cleared the name, paid the provider and now we're setting it up and populating it with some goodies...