IN CONVERSATION WITH THE CREATIVE TEAM BEHIND "TRASH"
“Take care of your trash, before it takes care of you”
Last October, Ian Etheridge was working on a mask from his home in Iqaluit- not a particularly uncommon chore for the season. The mask began to take shape and he noted it resembled a wet and drippy trash bag. It was creepy. It made noise. It had personality.
What began as a backup Halloween costume, took life and became the foundation of the great myth of Trashman. The dark beast would eventually go on to win best villain at the Dead North film festival in Yellowknife, NWT.
The brainchild of Ian Etheridge, Nik Kavanagh, Heather Nice, Alicia Rice, and Suzanne Etheridge, the short genre film Trash plays on the folklore element of Iqaluit’s city dump fires, tokened as “dumpcanos”. Amongst the ghostly ashes, Trashman emerges from the residue and takes care of the little children who litter the land.
Ian, and his wife Suzanne have no formal training in filmmaking, but when we sat down at NFDC to “Trash” talk (along with Nik Kavanaugh), their fanatical love for the movies was immediately clear. There was eagerness and enthusiasm in the office, a sentiment that too often fades as the skilled become more established. The crew babbled over each other, chucking anecdotal stories left and right, and reminding one another of memories from the creative process. That spark was refreshing.
Transforming the vision to their first ever film was no easy task. Filming in January, only a mere 70 km from the Arctic Circle, made for a less than cozy environment. Blizzard after blizzard created major delays in production. The film ended up being produced in a mad two-week span. The caveat to the whole production was their camera “gear”. Being a resourceful and cost-efficient crew, they resorted to their smartphones for filming. While brilliant in theory, the arctic conditions provided several limitations. They were extremely short on battery life in the icy temperatures. However, with a little challenge comes innovation and opportunity. The crew created foam insulators for their phones and attached hot packs to give them an extra few minutes of rolling time.
The phones were frosty, but for the cast and crew, it was literally bone chilling. “It is -56 outside, and here I am, in a trash bag on the Plateau” said Ian. Let that sink in.
The learning curve in post-production was steep. Ian would be hours into editing, his eyes bleeding from the absolute overkill of screen time. “I am learning, but I hate this. I am learning, but I hate this”, he would chant repeatedly. It didn’t take long to develop a great respect for the hours that go into story editing. “I can see in milliseconds now!”, he added between the waves of laughter in the room.
The Trash team was inspired by the curious nature of their first-time child actors. They had no previous experience, yet days into shooting, the kids took storyboarding into their own hands. The whole production became a true collaboration. Suzanne noted the collaborative aspect of the process was the most rewarding part. That and making eerie soundscapes with her violin.
Half of the Trash team trekked westward to watch their film on the big screen amongst friends and total strangers to the Dead North Film Festival. Dead North is the world’s only circumpolar genre filmmaking festival. The festival expressed how it has been a long time since they had Nunavut representation. They were thrilled to have the three territories present, and the Trash team was thrilled to be there to have Trashman bring home best villain! “People have said he is the anti-hero. Let that sink in. He eats dogs, AND he is considered an anti-hero!” Ian joked.
Trash is currently doing a festival run including the Indie Short Fest in LA and Dumbo Film Festival in Brooklyn. Trash was nominated for Best Horror Short at the Indie Short Fest. “I think it’s pretty cool because our budget consisted of cookies for the actors.” Ian humbly laughed.
You can follow the film's journey on their Facebook page, as well as see fascinating pictures of the creation of Trashman!
NFDC hopes that Trash's entry into the film world inspires you. Get out and shoot! We would love to hear your ideas and help you get started. Drop us a line to have a chat. We're friendly, would never win best villain, and always here to firstname.lastname@example.org
FILM INDUSTRY TRAINING WORKSHOPS
COMMENCE IN CAMBRIDGE BAY
The first Nunavut FIT (Filmmaker Industry Training) Workshop was held in Cambridge Bay May 13-16. The workshop hosted nine participants, who represented several communities including Cambridge Bay, Kugaaruk, Kugluktuk and Taloyoak.
It provided hands-on experience while participants worked towards the completion of a short film or documentary. The workshop, led by Nunavut film professionals focused on media literacy, camera, lighting, sound and editing. Stacey Aglok MacDonald was the workshop coordinator.
Upon completion of the four-day workshop, individuals are eligible to apply for professional development grants to further enhance their skill levels.
We would like to extend a warm thanks to KIA and Julia for helping us facilitate the workshop.
We look forward to the next one in Kugluktuk (home of the Grizzlies!) at the end of August.
ISUMA PARTICIPATES IN VENICE BIENNALE
Congratulations ISUMA! This marks the first time Inuit artists were represented at the Canadian Pavilion. A wealth of headlines in the media portrayed a celebration of Inuit Art and Culture aimed at challenging preconceived stereotypes of the north. Several sources (including CNN) highlighted the Canadian Pavilion as one of the best of the festival.
Watch the historical moment where Igloolik is featured at Venice Biennale live from the floe edge. People from across the globe are connected via highspeed internet, while at the Pavilion Inuktitut music fills the air as Inuit are peppered amongst the eager spectators beaming with pride.
Pinnguaq has received a $10,000,000 prize! The money will go towards developing technology and digital media skills to youth across the territory.Click here for more information.
Stay tuned for the production of Slash/Back, an Alien Invasion flick set in the hamlet of Pangnirtung! Slash/Back is being produced by Mixtape VR, Scythia Films, Stellar Citizens, and Iqaluit's Red Marrow.
KITIKMEOT MEDIA FUND
KIA has created the Kitikmeot Media Fund to provide financial support and
incentives to media content producers, particularly those based in the Kitikmeot region. The purpose of the fund is to provide funding that supports
the development of Inuit Language media content for broadcast in order to help recover and revitalize the two dialects of the Inuit Language in the Kitikmeot region, Inuinnaqtun and Nattilingmiutut.
CBC NORTH IS HIRING! CBC North is currently looking for a Reporter/Editor, an Announcer/Operator,
and a Producer who are bilingual in Inuktitut and English Click here for more information and the application form