Jordan Canning on “Thick And Thin” and “Not Over Easy”

Jun 26 2012

Still image from "Not Over Easy" (2010)

Jordan Canning is the director of such acclaimed shorts films as “Countdown” and “Oliver Bump’s Birthday”, as well as the popular music videos like “Best Served” by the Pathological Lovers. Two recent shorts, 2010′s “Not Over Easy” and 2012′s “Seconds” recently placed in two competitions: CBC’s Short Film Face-Off and RBC’s Emerging Filmmakers Competition, respectively (you can vote for the shorts in both competitions).  Adam Clarke recently caught up with the Newfoundland filmmaker who looks back on her second short, 2006′s “Thick and Thin”, and CBC Face-Off finalist, “Not Over Easy.”

THICK AND THIN (2006)

Things begin to change for two best friends when quiet Selena visits confident Kathy’s house for the first time. 

The script:

It is an epically overwritten film. It’s got its moments. The girls in it are great: Sylina (Jones) and Marthe (Bernard). The film is 23 minutes long, which is ridiculous. I edited it on my own using AVID. I was working at Pope Productions at the time and I had gotten a job working on Legends & Lore Of The North Atlantic. It should’ve been 5 minutes shorter.

I’d written the script. The Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Council had a screenwriting workshop that they did and I wrote it through that and workshopped it through that. Then I funded it on my VISA.

The Crew:

I’ve always had the greatest fortune with crew. Jamie Lewis was the first AC (Assistant Camera). Tim Baker worked on it. This was before Doyle… this is years ago when there was maybe one feature done a year.

NOT OVER EASY (2010)

In this colourful stop-motion comedy, a disintegrating relationship is played out from the perspective of two quarrelling eggs.

The idea:

We wanted to make a film by stripping out the dialogue and making it more universal. “Not Over Easy” came out of this weird idea I had. Then Jody (Richardson) suggested ‘maybe it goes into Egg World’.

I had this idea, years and years ago, which is pretty half-baked… it was the first 45 seconds of “Not Over Easy.” Just this really short idea of how your emotions can flip. How one little thing can make you doubt all your choices. And I had always had the image of the eggs, these two eggs. I had thought of the most innocuous cute thing that the boyfriend could have left.

The Eggs:

I had asked (Jody) “is the egg thing stupid?” And he said ‘no, it’d be funny if you saw the eggs be the couple’. I said, ‘what, what’re you even talking about?’ He suggested something like a comic book. Hand-drawn. It would be static. Then we wrote the script, trying to get it down to the essence of the comedy. How little do we have to do to make these jokes land? Then it was (producer) Sam (Pryse-Phillips) who suggested maybe we consider stop-motion.

To view and vote on “Seconds” and “Not Over Easy”, be sure to check out RBC’s Emerging Filmmakers Competition and CBC’s Short Film Face-Off.

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