Laura Churchill and Jordan Canning

Laura Churchill (LC) and Jordan Canning (JC)
Producer and director team

Recently won the prestigious National Screen Institute prize.

So when did you hear about the award?
LC: We applied in November and we heard back in early January. January 4th we got the call.

JC: A late Christmas present.

And how did you react?
LC: Freaked out.

What does winning this mean to you? You’re basically being called some of Canada’s most promising young filmmakers… And you’re sandwiched between three teams from Toronto.
JC: We were very happy to be chosen. I think the program director said there were about 45 applications.

It’s very exciting to have been selected. Basically what the prize means—it sounds a little misleading—as though we’ve won a prize for something we’ve done. Really we’ve won support and funding to make something new. The prize itself entails three weeks of workshops, which we just completed in Winnipeg, training support throughout the process, then funding in kind, and cash sponsorship for making the film. So what it means at that level is we actually get to make our film properly, and with strong support.

For me its really exciting because I’ve always had to produce my own stuff. Tiffany Martin produced [my short film] From Here On In which was the first time but she came on late. It’s really exciting for me to have Laura and for Laura to be excited about it. One of the things Laura is meant to do is to produce. I’m really excited about having a teammate and collaborator, and not having to go forward alone.

LC: We’ve been friends since junior high, so we both know where we’re coming from. We can read each other fairly well and together it’s much easier to approach tough challenges.

Now what?
LC: We make the movie! We’re actually meeting tonight to start the preplanning process; making some dates. We’re going to shoot in August, which is really soon. But in the meantime we need to make sure all our duckies are lined up.

What does that entail?

JC: In a week the last grant application will be going out so we’ll be waiting to hear back from the other sources of funding to hopefully get some more money. Then it’s a matter of casting, crewing up, location scouting, talking to the production designer, the director of photography, starting to build a look and tone to the film, rehearsals. All that stuff. Normal movie stuff.

There’s so much involved with movies.
JC: There is. There’s a huge number of people and time and money involved.

LC: All for a five minute film.

Why? Why do you do it then?
JC: Collaboration!

Really? So the more people involved the more rewarding the experience?
JC: I think the best thing you can do as a filmmaker is hire people who are better than you in different departments so you learn. And it’s better to use people who are experienced and who do that for a living because they have so much more to offer than you and your camcorder in the basement.