Nov 29, 2023
Sep 23, 2023
Earlier this week, Your Cinema Needs You was featured on the Homestretch on CBC Radio One following news of the Monarch Theatre's planned reopening. As part of this, CBC then ran a story about the documentary adding to a long list of features as plans for the premiere develop. Read the full story and listen to the clip from the Homestretch here.
Sep 20, 2023
This week following the news of the Monarch Theatre's reopening in Medicine Hat, I did a follow up interview with the Calgary Herald about the premiere of my documentary, Your Cinema Needs You. The story was then picked up by the Edmonton Journal. Read the full story here.
Sep 19, 2023
Aug 17, 2023
My thanks to Tourism Medicine Hat for their feature on my documentary about Medalta Potteries and the historic clay district this week. The documentary is titled Clay, Creativity & the Comeback and was released in 2019. Read more about that project here.
Aug 3, 2023
With the documentary on the Monarch Theatre (Your Cinema Needs You) finally wrapped, it's now all about working out the details for a premiere and the much anticipated release. This story appeared in the Medicine Hat News today following the official announcement on the film's completion just a few days ago online. Full article here.
Jul 30, 2023
It has been one year and seven months to the day - 577 days to be exact - since I made an announcement about the Monarch Theatre, a signed production agreement, and the new feature-length documentary I had going into production at the start of 2022.Deciding to uncover the story about a potentially significant old cinema is one thing, but you can't really appreciate just how long 112 years actually is until you find yourself face to face with what a single newspaper archive spanning that timeframe looks like up close - and worse, just how sparse the clues in those archives are when the subject you've chosen to focus on is a seldom written about single screen movie house in the middle of the Canadian prairies.
What can I say though? I do love movies and the places that show them.
It's honestly been a dream to explore, document, interview, contextualize, and uncover artifacts in connection to a cinematic landmark that (let's be honest) the vast majority of Canadians have understandably never heard of before. There's something exciting about knowing you've found your hook though, a point that only became reinforced when just a month into production the announcement about my little movie was picked up and spread nationally by the Toronto Star.
And, oh yeah, was the Monarch ever going to reopen again? This news hung over the production for over a year while plans shifted, promises changed, and I continued to pretend that I knew what the conclusion to my movie would eventually be. As the Calgary Herald so fittingly put it in their feature about the documentary, "true stories rarely have tidy endings".
So, here we are. After all of the teasers, updates, sneak peeks, rumours, changes, and behind the scenes snapshots, I guess it's finally time that I break the long-awaited news (and yes, I thought I'd make a meal out of this update too) the documentary is actually done. Scored, previewed, revised, rendered, cut, locked, and now awaiting release.
Your Cinema Needs You is finally, officially complete.
Jul 15, 2023
My thanks to Chat TV for the feature on "Your Cinema Needs You".
This is where the Monarch documentary gets a lot more fun for me again. First looks, behind the scenes, and a few more promos as we work out delivery and the eventual release date. We're getting so close to completing this thing! Read the story here.
Jun 24, 2023
The thing about storytelling is that you can't help but get swept up in the poetry of coincidence. There's been a lot of it over the course of producing this documentary about the Monarch Theatre, some of which resulted in major plot points.
I like to think about the spaghetti bowl of timelines that result in certain things lining up, even when they're inconsequential. Like how one day during production, waiting between interviews, I realized that one of the old local newspapers I'd found had the same date as the day I was shooting just from 78 years earlier.
Imagine the odds that would lead to me finding the paper in the first place, then sitting behind the movie screen of this very cinema and reading the movie listings on the exact same date one lifetime later. It was just a coincidence, but it's exactly the kind of thing that hooks you.
Jun 5, 2023
Post-production on my Monarch Theatre documentary has been through numerous stops and starts in 2023 in anticipation of the expected news about this historic cinema's reopening. A feature in the Calgary Herald in February highlighted this predicament and my "search for an ending" amidst the changing timelines I'd been experiencing in trying to wrap the project.While we are still without a public announcement about the Monarch Theatre's future in Medicine Hat, Alberta, I have to admit that I'm not entirely in the dark about what's been happening behind closed doors. This hasn't made the wait any less grueling, unfortunately. So much can still happen despite things seemingly moving in the right direction, and naturally, no documentarian wants to risk the reputation of their film on well-intentioned speculation.
If this already complicated timeline stretching back to 2021 has demonstrated anything, it's that a lot can change quickly. When production first started we were still in lockdowns, for example.
For what it's worth, this has been exhausting for everyone involved. I feel like I've been teasing this documentary for so long and disappointing people with the continued uncertainty about when they can actually watch it and what we can share. Point being, it's time to wrap this up.
I've come to realize that I need to end this story while it's still fresh in my mind and there isn't much point in waiting any longer. Whether an announcement is made a week from now or months from now, my biggest concern is in telling a good story. So, how do I strike a balance and end this documentary properly?
I'm happy to share that I have worked out an ending that I think will satisfy both the story and my increasing anxiety. I won't spoil anything here, but this does mean that completing the final stages of Your Cinema Needs You is currently my top priority.
I have to remind myself sometimes that I've already wrestled with just how much there was to fit into a single movie, already revised numerous times, and that a lot is going to continue to change surrounding the Monarch Theatre regardless of my efforts. Who's to say that there isn't room for a follow-up to this doc anyway? Here's to a story worth the 112 year wait.
May 28, 2023
A few visual highlights from this year's Rise Up Hot Air Balloon Festival in Medicine Hat, Alberta. These images were captured across 4 days around various launch sites within the city.
Mar 23, 2023
Zellers has temporarily returned with a series of new pop-up shops inside Hudson's Bay locations across Canada. Medicine Hat, Alberta was 1 of 12 cities that rolled out this nostalgic retail throwback inside the Medicine Hat Mall on March 23. The Zellers pop-ups will increase to 25 locations in the near future. Are you interested in going back to Zellers?
Mar 17, 2023
Feb 20, 2023
Yesterday I posed a question to my audience about whether they'd show up to a premiere for my new documentary "Your Cinema Needs You" if we held it in the historic Monarch Theatre. As the theatre is at the centre of the documentary, naturally the expectation was that the responses would be favourable, but I was blown away by the support and engagement that this question elicited on Facebook and Instagram.
As we're still awaiting news on the outcome of the Monarch Theatre's purchase and reopening, further encouraged by my feature in the Calgary Herald this month, there are still quite a few details to iron out as this documentary officially wraps up and 'finds its ending'. All that said, I'm excited to finally see all the pieces coming together for the eventual release of this movie. It's been a long, drawn out process and I can't wait for everyone to finally see it.
Here we're some of the top responses on the post:
Feb 9, 2023
A full page write-up appeared in today's Calgary Herald about the story surrounding my upcoming documentary on the Monarch Theatre in Medicine Hat titled "Your Cinema Needs You".
My thanks to Eric Volmers and the Calgary Herald for this generous feature, particularly as the documentary still has a few final hurdles to overcome towards completion. Everything is still pretty hush hush surrounding what might happen at the Monarch, but there's potential I may still get the ending I've been holding out for before this documentary truly wraps.
Link to the Monarch Theatre documentary story in the Calgary Herald here.
Jan 14, 2023
Dec 30, 2022
What I wasn't prepared for was the trailer for "Your Cinema Needs You" inspiring a few tip-offs about the potential future of the Monarch Theatre, and the preview convincing the only hold out interview of the entire documentary to finally request a sit down.
Dec 23, 2022
Dec 21, 2022
Dec 15, 2022
As we roll into the yearly recaps for 2022, I was feeling like I hadn't done that much outside of work on a documentary all year - which granted, has been a lot. But when I dug up all of the "official reshares" on my travel content this year it was ... well, awesome lol ... New York, Berlin, Miami, Brussels, Dallas, Winnipeg, Seattle, Calgary, Paris, Los Angeles, Montreal, Victoria, Honolulu, Osaka, Edinburgh, Ottawa, and on and on.
I did a lot of experimenting in 2022 to get my work seen by travel partners while being very strategic about not just building a profile to be mined for content. It's a complicated trade-off, but it seems to be working. The variety of locations in these features is a solid achievement given how competitive this is - and for that, let me say thank you and express how grateful I am to have found eyes for what I share here and on the Editing Luke site.
Now the real question - where to next?