If you follow any of my various Social Media networks, you could hardly escape knowing that I was part of the team that created a web series called Grimwell this Summer. Â The full first season previewed this past Autumn as part of an evening of short films at Artsweek, and then the episodes were released online weekly. Â We’re currently running an IndieGoGo campaign to fund Season 2; we’re not bringing in the kind of money we’d hoped for, but the support is there, and because we’re running a ‘flexible’ campaign, we’ll get whatever we raise.
Much as I love most of the work I do, nothing lights me up like working in film. Â I’ll happily spend 12 hours working on a set and be raring to go again the next day. Â Though I’m primarily an Actor and perhaps a Producer, I’ll cheerfully hold a boom or do makeup or whatever, really; I just like being there. It feels right. Â It feels joyful and exciting. It’s often hard work, but nothing is more satisfying. And those times I’ve gotten the opportunity to work on a film, I’ve been happier on the worst day than on a good day in any other job.1
I’ve been making movies since I was a kid, my sisters and I messing around with our parents VHS camera2 for fun. But ‘way back in 1999, Bill and Matt and I worked together to write and produce Flick, an indie feature-length film that involved just about everyone we knew at the time. Â It was easily one of the best Summers of my life; get up in the morning, go to the set, shoot all day, go to Buckhorn and write all night, go home and sleep and do it all again the next morning. We put in 17-hour days and were poor as church mice, but I loved it. Â ((We even made a couple of web-series before there really was such a thing – B3 World, Phil’s Useless Facts, StockBastard TV))
When we premiered it at Galaxy Cinemas here in town, we sold-out the show; when I sit in theatre #9 at Galaxy now, a little part of my mind remembers that night. Better than any milestone – birthday, graduation, whatever – a film premiere in a packed theatre, filled with friends and family and all kinds of people from the community. Â There is nothing better; I suspect your own wedding would not be more wonderful.
I knew, after that, that this was what I wanted to spend my life doing. After a long detour from acting, theatre, and film, to focus on the festival and arts admin, I’m coming back around to it. I finally feel like I’ve got some collaborators whom I enjoy working with here in the city again, and we’re working on the kind of project I like. For all that I sometimes feel like doing violence to the person of our Director, Sean Bruce,3 he’s got a lot of talent in many fields, and is a lot of fun to work with. The same is true of Mat Crough, the star of the show, and a long list of cast and crew, all working for free to make something we hope will be good.
Is Grimwell Season 1 the best we can do? Hell, no. Â I could point out a billion things that are wrong with it, from my hair to ummm, my hair.4 But we know the problems, and we can fix a lot of them,5 though our micro-budget will only stretch so far.
Which is where you come in; my dear friends, my ambivalent acquaintances, my fierce detractors;6 so far, 14 people7 have ponied up their hard-earned cash towards a second season of Grimwell. Maybe because they think what we’re trying to do is cool, maybe because they want to support independent artists, maybe because they want me to shut up about it already and they figure if I’m busy shooting I won’t have time to beg for money.
Whatever their reasons, every $10 contribution feels like a million bucks; rarely have I worked on anything where people were willing to lay down money to make sure I could keep doing it, and that kind of support feels like heaven.
So whether you love Grimwell just as it is, or wish we’d fix a million things, please think about contributing to our IndieGoGo campaign; whatever amount you can throw in our hat will go directly to making sure the next season is better, cooler, and more interesting, with lots of guns and explosions and stuff. Â If you contribute enough, we may even be able to afford character development and side plots!8
Please know that if you contribute, whatever you can contribute, you’re supporting a dream – both my own and that of a large crew of people who really are doing this for the love of it. Â W can’t do it without you.
- Excepting Background work, which is pretty damn dull, no matter how much you like film. [↩]
- Ew. [↩]
- I kid, I kid!
In reality,Â I actually feel like strangling you all of the time, Sean. [↩]
- I may focus a bit too much on my own performance, to Sean’s lasting despair [↩]
- Does anyone want to volunteer to do hair & makeup? [↩]
- I don’t really have any detractors, I just occasionally get people grouchy enough to bitch about me over a pint at the local. [↩]
- Christine Jaros, Rick Dolishny, Jon Cross, Justin Mohareb, Kate Tilley, Jim Truswell, William Thomas, Gord Gibb, Justin Heggs, Diane Robnick, Greg Saul, Anonymous, Wayne Elliot, and Rachel Carson – you are wonderful, thank Â you, thank you, thank you! [↩]
- Again, Sean, I kid – I love your scripts! Please don’t write in a sex scene for Rachel with Jerry! [↩]