Introducing Our Film Mentors


This year we are excited to launch an additional component to our Community Film Festival: a Short Film Workshop led by amazing film mentors. Our idea is that today, people have access to smartphones, tablets and other equipment that allows them to create short films more easily. In addition to showcasing these films at our Community Film Festival (happening in October), we also wanted to make sure that we could encourage those with little or no experience to create their own short films by getting them started with basic film making skills through a workshop lead by industry experts. We are planning a Short Film Workshop that will happen the weekend of August 23rd and 24th. More details, including the application process and curriculum are now available on the Short Film Workshop event page. We again thank the Vancouver Foundation Neighbourhood Small Grants and the Artist Enhancement funds for supporting our project.

For now, we’d like to share the confirmed film mentors who will be leading our film workshop:

David Phu

David PhuDavid Phu is passionate about community-based arts and has lived, worked, and played in Berlin, Germany and right here in Vancouver, BC. David is the Creative Director and photographer at Vancouver Cycle Chic, Director at Vancouver Cycle Chic Films, Musician in the indie band City of Glass, and Co-Founder, Director, and Composer at Unfamous Creative. As a serial collaborator and advocate, David is excited to be a mentor of the Broadway East Art Walk Community Film Festival and Workshop and to be help tell stories of Mount Pleasant residents through film.

More about David…

BEAW: Why did you get into film work? Is there a specific moment when you knew this is what you wanted to do?

DP: After years in music, web marketing, and photography, my projects just somehow led to producing and directing video projects. Video was previously just to complement my music, web, and photography projects but it has drawn so much attention that I’ve shifted towards developing video as part of a creative service. The market demand for video definitely motivated me significantly. It was all a natural progression because it combines all the art forms I love and already work closely with.

BEAW: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?

DP: A great story is always important to me. I love FX and big budget films but I always think (for all filmmakers) simplicity and patience is best. Don’t use tricks for no reason, stay away from glorified and overused sounds, and always get advice on things you don’t understand in post-production. People can smell hasty production and cut corners.

BEAW: What films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

DP: For the purpose of indie and low budget filmmaking, the Duplass brothers inspire me. Their ability to get the most out of their story and actors with little more than a scene guideline (ie. no script) is the essence of capturing “moments.” This reminds me of music production, something that I’m already very familiar with.

BEAW: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life creating film?

DP: Assuming your artistic passion, determination, and love of learning is already in place, and you’re no stranger to Googling advice and cheezy quotes, I would recommend having as many short coffee dates with as many people from different backgrounds and fields as possible. Don’t ask questions about film. Just chat about anything. You always walk away with something whether it’s a professional idea or a story idea. Stay in touch and stay human.

Back to Top

 

Jennifer Shanse

Jen Shanse_ThailandJennifer is thrilled to be part of the Broadway East Art Walk’s Community Film Workshop + Festival. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at UBC in Film Studies and continues to pursue her passion in the world of film. She’s worked on independent films in London, England and at Rainmaker Entertainment in Vancouver. Jennifer has also volunteered at a community television station in Cape Coast, Ghana, shooting news, documentary and narrative pieces as well as a Public Service Announcement for UNICEF. More recently, Jennifer has completed a short documentary she shot and directed on the Thai-Burma border. She is excited to be mentoring amateur filmmakers in Mount Pleasant and seeing the stories that emerge from the community.

More about Jennifer…

BEAW: Why did you get into film work? Is there a specific moment when you knew this is what you wanted to do?

JS: When I was about 12 or 13 I tried to meet the writers of a TV show I really liked because I wanted to work for them. That didn’t happen, but I did start writing scripts – or at least stories in a quasi-script format – around that time. In high school I switched to a school that had a film and video program, and by that time I knew I was hooked.

BEAW: Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking was not just a hobby, but that it would be your life and your living?

JS: I recognized quite early that film would be my life, but making a living at it has been a challenge. The indie work I got in Vancouver was low-paid (or more often volunteer) and sporadic. So I went to London thinking I’d try something different … and ended up working low-paid and volunteer gigs while holding down a day job. For the most part, I’ve stayed in film by saving up money and doing projects as I am able. Videography has taken off, though. Companies are increasingly needing video content for their websites, and freelancing keeps me behind a camera and on top of new technology.

BEAW: What films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

JS: Some movies I saw as a kid have stayed with me. The Neverending Story had a big impact on me, and I still see its unconscious influence in scripts I write. The Last Unicorn was a big inspiration to me as a kid, and it was also the reason I went to London – there was talk of a British company remaking the film and I wanted to be a part of that, so I got a working holiday visa and a plane ticket. It wasn’t made, but the producer introduced me to some amazing people in the industry.

BEAW: Do filmmakers have any responsibility to culture? Do you feel that being a creative person requires that you give back or tell a particular story or not do something else? Why or why not?

JS: If they have any responsibility, I would say that it’s to tell their own stories. That doesn’t mean it has to be autobiographical – I just mean tell the stories that are burning inside them. I would say it’s more a responsibility to themselves rather than a responsibility to culture – I think culture is always changing and it’s a reflection of the people who make it up, rather than an ironclad identity that the people have to stick to. If you make a film, it is part of the culture – maybe even more so now. Short films used to be screened at festivals if they were lucky and maybe seen by a few hundred people. Now anything can be broadcast over the internet and could possibly reach millions of people. If more people told their own stories, maybe there would be more understanding.

Back to Top

Jon Warne

Jon WarneJon Warne loves making films and continues to hone his skills in writing, producing, and directing. His participation in the Vancouver 24 Hour Film Race, Crazy 8s Film Festival and continued collaboration with local talent in the Vancouver filmmaking community has allowed Jon to expand his portfolio of comedic short videos and especially in the emerging platform of web series videos. Recently, Jon produced the short film Body Language as part of the Crazy 8s Film Festival, which was accepted and screened at the Short Film Corner at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. You can see more of Jon’s work on his YouTube channel DecoyShark.

More about Jon Warne…

BEAW: Why did you get into film work? Is there a specific moment when you knew this is what you wanted to do?

JW: When I was much younger, around 11 or 12, I begged my parents to get me a Tyco Video Camera. It was a kids’ toy that had to be attached to a VCR to record anything. And it only shot in black and white. A friend and I spent days making a zombie movie with just the two of us in it, it was terrible. But at one point we figured out how to do a ‘special effect’ involving a zombie jumping out of a room. Everyone who saw the movie was shocked. They would beg us to tell them how it was done and we’d refuse. We had created something that amazed people. That’s when I knew I wanted to make movies.

BEAW: Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking was not just a hobby, but that it would be your life and your living?

JW: I’m still trying to get to that level as I have to have the day-job to pay the rent each month. But after producing a movie for this year’s Crazy8s film competition I know that it won’t be long until the film work engulfs all of my life.

BEAW: Do filmmakers have any responsibility to culture? Do you feel that being a creative person requires that you give back or tell a particular story or not do something else? Why or why not?

JW: I don’t necessarily feel qualified to answer this question; however I believe that fictional films should be an escape from the real world, more of a place where dreams (or nightmares) can come true and the audience can become completely lost for 90 minutes. I think that documentary movies are very important though, but I don’t believe fiction films should have any other agenda but to entertain.

BEAW: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life creating film?

JW: Don’t go to film school, join forums to meet a bunch of people, then get together and make lots of terrible movies. Those ones are the most fun and they make you better in time.

Back to Top