A Look Back at Waston Street 2014: My Year in Review....

Well, 2014 was quite the year for me. I transitioned into doing video freelancing full time and it was one small step towards my ultimate goal.

The time I wasn't running around with video gear, editing I spent writing (which is my ultimate goal to do full time, like everyone else). 

In the end I did a short documentary, 3 screenplays and a short music film for a contest (which I placed in). As well dabbling in some prose. 

So here are my highlights and thoughts: 

 

"Aboriginal Fathers Love Their Children Too" 

I saw a call out for a short documentary on men who experience barriers in the Native Child welfare system in Alberta, so we went in and pitched our take, and we were accepted. That was a great feeling, and an important project.  We had a premiere at the Alberta Art Gallery which drew a packed house.

Great response at the screening last night. It was a packed house.

A photo posted by WatsonStreetPictures (@watsonstreetpictures) on

At the end of the night was a powerful discussion, and barely a dry eye was in the house.

You can now purchase the documentary from the Creating Hope Society. Proceeds will go towards a great cause, and help people in need.

We Become Archives

I entered this video into a contest for Daniel Lanois' new "Flesh and Machine" album. The finalists would be featured on his website for a few days and possibly screened at an event in Toronto.

Initially I picked a short track, but once I started editing I realized I had enough footage for the song "Aquatic" which was my favourite. 

I got an email stating that Mr. Lanois chose my video as a finalist, and it was on the website for a few days. Definitely a highlight of my life since I'm a huge fan of his music. Here's the video:

 

Screenplays

I decided at the beginning of 2014 to really focus on becoming a better writer, so I stuck my nose to the grindstone and pumped out pages and pages everyday this year. The result was three scripts, and despite being terrible first drafts i felt pretty proud of myself. BUT, the key is rewriting.

I tested a couple out on the Black List, and the resulting reviews/ratings were either "Potentially great!" or "This is a long ways away from being good". It just was a reminder that "nobody knows anything" is an adage to live by, and another challenge in writing is to remember your bearings and not take every note personal.

Favourite Movie

I try to watch as much as possible, but one movie that I just loved from beginning to end was The Grand Budapest Hotel. I didn't really enjoy that last couple of Wes Anderson films, but this one reminded me why I became a fan in the first place. 

Other thoughts:

It was a strange year, where you can see the shift happening so drastically the same way you saw the music industry change a few years ago. Now sadly, the movie industry is slowly going the same route. Digital technology has democratized the creative process, opening the doors to a "new Hollywood", but unfortunately to make a living is VERY difficult. 

Society rewards some more than others, and as always artists are at the bottom of the pecking order. It's sad really, but exciting at the same time. 

There was the bizarre saga of the Sony hack where you could see the divide straight down the middle between movie makers. It brought up a lot of issues that everyone knows has been lingering in Hollywood since....well since it was created 100 years ago. But now, despite being over a century old it's still a young art form. There's always room for change. With women now bringing in the big bucks at the box office, let's hope it changes behind the camera as well. 

2015

It's weird when you say it out loud "The year....TWENTY FIFTEEN!". Like something you would hear out of a science fiction movie. For myself I have a few goals, but since I'm on a roll so far I'm not going to make any huge promises to myself. I just hope to become a better writer, a better camera man and to read more.  Mainly I hope something comes along to revolutionize the industry in a way where everyone could win, including the audience and I hope to become a part of that.

 

Christian Tizya, January 2015.