YOUNG SAINT JOHN FILMMAKER
wins major award
Fredericton, NB, Nov 08 2004 Saint John filmmaker Tim McDonough has won a Silver Wave Award for best Short Drama at the Tidal Wave Film Festival.
Shot in black and white, McDonoughs film deals with the layered and complicated nature of relationships and family. In this case, a lonely deaf girl who endures an abusive step-father against the backdrop of her own lover; and, the dynamics of the triangle.
With the award, McDonough has now established himself as someone to be watched, and by default, entered a new level of professional filmmaking. His award-winning short, Passing Through People, was an ambitious undertaking from a story point-of-view; a risk that has paid off for this young, promising filmmaker.
Image courtesy Tidal Wave Film Festival
Was he surprised to be nominated considering he had no previous project to point to?
No, says McDonough, who quickly adds that he was very surprised to actually win, given the quality of the other filmmakers work.
"... my first thought [after being announced as the winner] was that people would say, who the hell is that guy?"
My first thought was that people would say who the hell is that guy?, then added, Im completely thrilled with receiving the award.
A 2004 Nova Scotia College of Art and Design film graduate, McDonough has already exhibited the traits of someone intent on making quality a hallmark of their existence. Although he worked over time to develop the script, he still was not satisfied with it, even as he was going to camera. Wisely, he consulted with friends and professionals with varying levels of experience before entering production. He gives credit to his production team, but singles out A. A. Scott McClellan for special praise.
I credit him with the look of the film, he says of his production advisor, who graduated from NSCAD the previous year.
You learn who your friends are, laughs the affable McDonough, as he relates the punishing schedule that is a trademark of the independent filmmaking world. Shot over several days, over the course of several weeks, in Saint John and in Halifax, McDonough had a set constructed for his short; an impressive and unusual approach for a first-time filmmaker whos crafting a short.
"you learn who your friends are..."
We built our set inside a big, empty space in Halifax, and had to shut off the heat to get enough electricity to turn on the studio lights, reminisces McDonough, and, I borrowed props from a production that had just finished, and got some stuff from CBC and the university too.
And the music. Appreciating its ability to kill a scene or raise it to a new level, McDonough brought Montreal band Esmerine into his project, crediting the group with taking the project to a new level.
The music did a lot for the scenes. It was perfect. Im totally grateful to Esmerine.
As for what comes next, McDonough is working on a feature script, and new short material.
PASSING THROUGH PEOPLE
Writer / Director / Editor / Mixer
Director of Photography
A. A. Scott McClellan
Lisa Lipton, Christian Sparkes, Bill Forbes, Howard Darcy
Beta Cam SP
** EDITOR'S NOTE **
Congratulations to local filmmakers Gretchen Kelbaugh (Voyage with a Dragon - 28 minutes) and Greg Hemmings (East Coast Breakdown - 45 minutes), who were the only runners-up in the "Best Short Documentary" category at this year's Tidal Wave Film Festival.