Mar 16, 2022

Documentary Production at the Towne Theatre

Documentary production briefly moved centre stage this week with some exploration of the abandoned spaces within the former Towne Theatre in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Those who remember seeing movies here would now be hard pressed to recognize this interior as the cinema it once was, but there are still a few clues hiding within these walls.

Towne Theatre Medicine Hat

It's a strange feeling to return to a place you so actively remember from your own childhood, not least of which because you find yourself tapping into memories you didn't know you still had. Each step just gets me a little more excited about how this documentary is coming together.

This stage of production has become about rounding out a lot of the specific visuals inspired by the stories collected during numerous interviews at the nearby Monarch Theatre. Creating a record of a lot of these forgotten spaces has been a real bonus.

Mar 13, 2022

How Would You Describe Your Shooting Style?

I was recently asked about "how I would describe my shooting style or filmmaking aesthetic" and I thought it was worth sharing some of my thoughts on that here too.

My brain seems hardwired to like organizing chaos - and by that I mean busy frames, bold colours, aggressive patterns - often showcased through symmetry, clean lines, deliberate angles, etc. If it sounds a little obsessive, it is lol. In some ways I think I'm trying to simplify the reality I'm capturing into its most notable parts.

New York Instagram

For instance, a shot of the New York skyline that's filled with information - but still a deliberate rule of thirds on the Empire State Building to draw your eye up through the image. It feels balanced even though the focal point is really in the background.

I think discovery plays a lot into my aesthetic as well.

Lots of my shots feature hidden parts of the subject I'm focused on or abstract angles of something people may already be very familiar with. This creates a lead in, particularly in filmmaking or photo essays, to encourage curiosity to see what's next.

This style, while still a choice, is also a deliberate reflection of what it's like to explore a lot of these places in person - it invites the viewer to be a part of that experience and recognize that the story and/or scene is really developed in the details.

Mar 11, 2022

Searching For Monarch Theatre Artifacts

I need your help Medicine Hat, Alberta.
With production of the Monarch Theatre documentary well underway, it's become increasingly clear that there is an extreme lack of artifacts surrounding any of the movie theatres in this area. Having exhausted numerous archives, online resources, and the locations themselves - I wanted to ask the public if you have anything in your personal albums or collections?

Monarch Theatre Archival Artifacts

Some of what I'm looking for:
1. Any photographs or souvenirs from movies theatres in the Medicine Hat area. This includes the Towne, Monarch, Drive-Ins, Empress, etc. One place to look is if you took pictures during a Stampede parade there's a chance you may have captured the theatre in the background. Really anything could be an asset as there are so few pictures from over the years.
2. Were you a former employee of a Medicine Hat movie theatre? Did you keep anything? Name tag, uniform, pictures, tickets, free movie swag, etc. Please reach out as you may have some of the only leftovers from these theatres.
3. In 1999 the Monarch Theatre gave away its old cinema seats to anyone who wanted to come and take them. Did you get one? Do you know someone who kept one? I would love to see an image or connect with anyone who may have done this.
4. This is a shot in the dark, but I'd love to know if anyone knows what happened to the old neon Monarch marquee when it was taken down? The assumption is that it just went to the dump because it wasn't working anymore, but if anyone knows anything I would love an update.
Thank you to everyone who has volunteered information and resources to help further the production of this documentary this year. With so little written or formally documented a lot of this project has been made possible through word of mouth.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch with me if you have anything to share regarding the Monarch or any of the former Medicine Hat movie theatres. Thank you!