In 2008, I received the Winnipeg Film Group’s First Film Fund grant and made a short film called Sonata for Christian on Super 16mm. It’s my one and only 16mm film and it couldn’t have been made without the wonderful and talented cast and crew I had at my disposal. Together we brought to life this vision of suburban ennui and sexual awakenings. I learned so much while making this film and am eternally grateful to Sean Garrity who mentored me through the entire process and generously gave of his time to answer all of my questions and put to rest my many concerns. I must also thank Onalee Ames who not only accepted a leading role in the film but also granted me access to her acting studio which allowed me to meet so many talented actors, some of which ended up in the film. Jason Heke, the Director of Photography, was so committed to the project and it amazed me how we were so often on the same page. While scouting locations, we would toss around film titles such as The Straight Story and The Virgin Suicides, trying to close in on a look for the film. The technical team he assembled for the shoot was second to none. I’ve never been so spoiled on a set. Kevin Bacon, our sound guy, came through for me when I was desperately searching for anyone who knew how to work a sound recorder. He did a magnificent job. I also have to thank Natalie Dacquisto, the Production Designer, who not only dressed the sets and found amazing props, but also assembled an amazing team for wardrobe, make-up and hair. Thanks also to Mark Borowski, the Production Manager, and Sara Stouffer (formerly Atwood – she actually met her husband Ben on the set of Sonata!), the Assistant Director, for paying the bills, coordinating permits and keeping us on schedule and well fed. I couldn’t have asked for a more professional cast. Ben Beauchemin, Onalee Ames, Claire Thomas and Hannah Anderson delivered great lead performances and were a joy to work with. I’m proud to say that out of the alumni of the Sonata cast, Ben, Hannah and Lauren Donnelly all ended up leaving Winnipeg in pursuit of acting careers. Ben and Hannah now live in Toronto and Lauren is out in Vancouver. Thanks are also due to Jaimz Asmundson who co-edited the film with me and in a certain way, saved it. He was the fresh set of eyes that found a way to piece all the scenes together when I had lost all perspective and couldn’t see the forest for the trees. He also came up with the idea for the credit sequences which I’m very fond of. Merci to my good friends Nadia Gaudet, who composed the starkly beautiful and minimalist piano score for the film, and Eric Gosselin, who recorded it all. Thanks also to the ever so professional Edgar Ozolins who ensured the overall sound mix of the film and didn’t charge me an arm and a leg. I’m eternally grateful for that. Thanks to everyone who was involved with the film, who let us film in their houses, who lent us props and gear and who supported us through it all. It was so much fun. Sonata for Christian went on to screen at the 2011 Gimli Film Festival (Gimli, MB) and the 2012 Canadian Film Festival (Toronto, ON).
Here it is for all to enjoy.