FILM DIARY - PETER EVANCHUCK
THE LONG's AND SHORT's OF MY MOVIE LIFE
After more than a decade absence from my filmmaking life, I returned to create with digital - not easy for me to learn, not easy for me to do much after a decade of fighting my cancer and near death surgeries and problems. Not fun but in many ways a very dramatic learning experience and proves my great affection for creating.
Due to a major decrease in energy, memory and strength and massive changing times old school film folks like me had to give up or learn the ‘new school’ way of digital.
Many filmmakers I knew gave up since they could not learn ‘new school’ or they turned to other creative pursuits like photography, art, writing…. even sculpture. For various reasons they did not see the magnificent opportunity digital offered the low budget/no budget artist/filmmaker/videographer.
Digital is the holy grail of independent filmmaking. One with equipment can basically make a movie totally alone from script to screen for peanuts. They just have to burrow into learning something very new, very complex and very competitive
In the 80’s I was one of about 30 feature filmmakers in English Canada. PLATINUM came out at the Montreal Film Fest to original reviews since it was not a common way to make a feature or to structure a feature – I found myself with Jutra, Agoyan and MacDonald on panels fielding questions – heady days as the saying goes. Around that same period I was editor/publisher of MOTIONmagazine highlighting Canadian film.
Since dramatic ‘longs’ (features ) were my past interest, I headed in that direction with digital but my illness curbed that notion since long days, exhaustive schedules and dealing with numerous people put me back on the cancer list.
Of course my love of creating using image/words never terminated.
I thought that an easy alternative was docs and even easier is my style of shooting: reality as it shows up on location: no artificial lighting, no scripted scenes, no producers telling me what to do, no agencies involved. Just the creative moments of making/creating ‘art’ …. Raw Art - the best kind.
After doing some promotional/industrial projects to learn and make money, I swung into making LONG docs with BACHELORS. Of course, I overshot my diminished abilities and doing a cross country dramaDOC put me back on the cancer list. Tests revealed a rise in blood count and a lesion was detected in my brain which simply put means, the end of it all.
These experiences put me on a path back to photography with my partner Helene Lacelle creating a new style of embellished photos called MARVELOUS REALISM in a way taking from the famous Mexican style of MAGICAL REALISM – things went very well and we had fun back into our lives as well as unique ‘art creations'.
Then, back to digital movie-making when EUREKA the light went on and I swung into the dreaded SHORT doc. And like most fears proved to me an awakening rather than a hinderance of higher creative workings.
Since both shoulders suffered torn rotator cuffs/tendons and required replacements, I could not lift my CanonA1s so I bought a very light tiny PanLX7 – basically like all modern cameras a still cam with HD video. This proved a great easy tool to make SHORTS without pain then came the PAN770 another full HD camcorder. ( I tried PANfx1000 4K but not for me at this time )
Since that early SHORT on NIAGARA FALLS , I included my love of solo kayaking to combine solo KAYAKING with SOLOdocMAKING recently completing several shorts using both (shot around Chipman our new homesweet)
I have found my grail – from LONGS to SHORTS and Peter's SHORTS are getting shorter ….must be something to do with being an elder mmm??
P.S. after putting BEAUTIFUL BACHELORS on hold Helene and I bought a Featherstone nobel prize winning Plastic PIG for a pack of smokes and thus began CANADIAN PIG GIRL IN WONDERLAND, a new movie - but designed to be shot when i could with minimum actors and marvelous scenery/scenes/places - a sad tale of redemption and discovery of how a girl lost herself and found her voice through her friendship with a pig - starring of course Helene Lacelle.