Showing posts with label Production Notes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Production Notes. Show all posts

Sep 23, 2023

Monarch Documentary: CBC News & the Homestretch

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

One of Canada's Oldest Cinemas is Reopening

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.

Your Cinema Needs You Luke Fandrich


Sep 19, 2023

Monarch Theatre Has Finally Been Sold

At last night's city council meeting it was finally made public that the Monarch Theatre has sold and is now on track to reopen! You can only imagine the barrage of messages I've already received asking if I knew about this, what this means for the documentary, and does this mean the movie premiere is finally a go? Original post here.

In short, for the better part of this year I was aware this deal was in the works. I finalized the documentary in July only after this outcome became certain, but was still at the mercy of the news becoming public before I could say anything. It's been a long, long wait, but yes, this outcome has fulfilled the ending I'd been holding out for for so many months.

While dates are yet to be determined and there are many more discussions to be had, I am thrilled to announce that we've already confirmed the grand reopening event at the Monarch Theatre will be the premiere for Your Cinema Needs You.

More details to come soon.


Aug 28, 2023

Vintage Monarch Theatre Movie Ad Prints: Series 1

Part limited-edition print release, part official merch drop for my upcoming documentary, today I released a collection of 10 cardstock prints featuring custom-restored movie ads from the Monarch Theatre in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Created as part of the production for "Your Cinema Needs You", the soon to be released feature-length documentary about Canada's oldest surviving cinema, these prints feature stylized ads spanning the Monarch Theatre's history from the silent era up into the 1980s.

Each print is 5x7" and is printed on a heavy cardstock, matte laminated on the image side, and features the documentary film logo and description on the reverse. These prints were restored from uncovered negatives, were custom edited and stylized for "Your Cinema Needs You", and each one specifically references the Monarch Theatre and just some of the notable films that played there - because of this process, this collection does not exist anywhere else.

The collection of 10 prints is available for $60 and includes a free pop & popcorn enamel pin set in addition to free shipping. Full details for this flash sale are on the Editing Luke Facebook page as of today (while stock lasts).

Prints in series one include: Silent Era 1, Charlie Chaplin, Silent Era 2, Wizard of OZ, King Kong, Gone With the Wind, Mid-Century 1, Mid-Century 2, Jaws, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.


Jul 30, 2023

One Last Chapter: Monarch Documentary

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.

Monarch Theatre Documentary Medicine Hat

As the months rolled on I was continually amazed at what I was finding, who was coming forward to share their stories, and what had seemingly been hiding in plain sight after so many decades. The story got bigger, the timeline extended, and I genuinely started to wonder when I was ever going to be finished. It was overwhelming and exhilarating. Exhausting and completely engrossing. 

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 5, 2023

A Documentary By the Pages: Your Cinema Needs You

When post-production on the Monarch Theatre documentary kicked off last year, it was difficult to describe what condensing a 110 year story actually looked like. I had 400+ pages of production notes outlining dates, archival references, transcripts, visual cues, etc. all in addition to the script I wrote and was working from. 

Monarch Theatre Documentary

Monarch Theatre Documentary

That's when we had the idea to line the aisle of the Monarch Theatre with the notes I had on hand. This is what editing a feature-length documentary actually looks like (about 30% of it anyway).

The reason I'm posting this now is because for months and months, it has felt like an unending battle to work my way through these notes. Some weeks I was a machine, some weeks I was lucky to shave off a couple pages. I became the living embodiment of the Titanic meme "it's been 84 years ..." lol. But at the moment of posting this, the number of pages that stand between me and the completion of Your Cinema Needs You? ... 9. 

Just 9 pages to go.

Monarch Theatre Documentary

Monarch Theatre Documentary

Monarch Theatre Documentary

Jun 24, 2023

Poetry of Coincidence: Monarch Documentary

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. 

Monarch Documentary Luke Fandrich

Monarch Theatre Documentary


Jun 5, 2023

Monarch Documentary: End Game

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. 


Mar 12, 2023

Finding An Oscar in the Monarch Theatre

You never know what you may find hidden in the basement of a century+ old movie theatre. And if you believe this ... might I suggest, for your consideration ... Your Cinema Needs You.

Ok, ok, we're getting way ahead of ourselves here.

A few interesting tidbits from the upcoming documentary though:

1) If you were standing in this portion of the Monarch Theatre back when it opened in 1911, you 'technically' wouldn't have been inside the Monarch.

2) If you were alive to witness the grand opening of this cinema, you would've had to wait another 17.5 years before anyone mentioned what an Academy Award was.

3) Even if you've never heard of the Monarch Theatre before, I have a good feeling that you're going to find it fascinating to discover how this unassuming little movie house became one of Canada's oldest surviving cinemas.

We're still on track for a spring premiere. And with any luck, I think we know the perfect spot. Want to meet at the Monarch?


Mar 3, 2023

Previews, More Edits & Fine Cut Progress

For those inquiring, the Monarch documentary entered another round of previews this week bringing the project another step closer to completion. Just over 80 minutes of runtime has now been locked as work on the fine cut continues to progress.

The final section of the documentary is now the focus (representing at least another 30 minutes in the 3rd act) - and about that ending, it does seem like the stars may be aligning for some news to break about the future of the cinema very soon. While nothing is official yet, it does seem like we're on track for completion leading into this summer.

Editing progress continues to be slow and steady, but we're getting there!

Documentary Updates

Vintage 3D Glasses


Sep 1, 2022

Post-Production Extended on Monarch Documentary

In an alternate timeline I'd be celebrating the completion of "Your Cinema Needs You", my latest feature length documentary, this one about the Monarch Theatre in Medicine Hat, Alberta. In production since the beginning of 2022, the project entered post-production this summer and had originally been scheduled for completion by the end of August. Well, that didn't happen.

Canadas Oldest Movie Theatre Cinema Documentary
Overall, early reception to teasers, previews, and behind the scenes images from the documentary have all been well received throughout production and there's no question that a lot of progress on this story has been made over the last few months. While nothing has gone wrong per se, it just became clear in early assembly that there was a lot more material to go through and distill than was feasible within the existing timeline - particularly because as it turned out I'd amassed enough material from this 110+ year history to make a mini-series.

The newly revised timeline will still see the documentary completed this year, but there's still a lot to do and a lot of uncertainty about what may actually happen to the Monarch Theatre in this time. Everyone is still being pretty hush-hush about what may "officially" happen to this old cinema. That said, as things continue to be refined and take shape I'm only getting more excited to reveal the incredible amount of effort that's gone into producing this story. 

"Your Cinema Needs You" is going to be amazing! With any luck we'll be able to debut it at the Monarch Theatre upon its completion. Please stay tuned for further updates.

Canadas Oldest Movie Theatre Cinema Documentary

Monarch Documentary Editing Luke Fandrich

Canadas Oldest Movie Theatre Cinema Documentary