Crazy8’s short film contest has been responsible for the creation of a vast amount of truly remarkable films. They come in all colors of genres and imaginations. They narrow the finalists down to six winners and the film must be completed in eight days. It is the Triathlon of filmmaking. From shooting to editing, the six films played host to over 1700 attendees at The Centre in Vancouver.
The last film to be seen that night was Grocery Store Action Movie. It’s a comedy about a male customer at a grocery store. After standing in line and reaching the cashier, he suddenly remembers that he’d forgotten an item. A confrontation ensues with the energy of a three ring circus and the mirth of a comedy club.
I was one of the lucky ones that had enjoyed a screening of the very funny film. The quality of the production is remarkable and highly polished. I also had the great privilege of meeting and speaking with it’s creator and director Matthew Campbell.
“Thank you very much Matt for meeting with me to talk about this hilarious film. I’m curious to know how the premise of this film came about. Can you tell me about the process?”
“Absolutely, I can. A friend of mine had asked if I’d be up for entering the Crazy8 competition. I jumped at the idea and immediately started exploring ideas for a film. I met these two amazing Canadian award winning comedians, Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson. They had an act they were performing on stage. They modified it and wrote the script. The script made it to the final six winners and we shot and edited it within eight days. Because the story takes place in a grocery store, it took some searching to find a location that would allow it. That store was Dunbar Market.
Working within the time constraints of the contest and a 1000.00 budget, we shot two ten hour days at night inside the grocery store. We shot the last night at my home. Once we were finished, I got ready for work. That was a long day.”
Matt works as a Greensman. Meaning, he is responsible for the landscape work on film productions. He’s created a crash site for Star Trek using stumps, logs and debris. He’s had to create the Elwynn Forest in the movie Warcraft branch by branch. Over 1300 of them with leaves needing attaching. He’s also worked on The Revenant and BFG. He’s recently accepted a job as Head Greensman on season 2 of The Magicians.
Having worked on sets for years has certainly helped him to meet others in the industry. When it came time to putting together a crew of 25-30. Within that crew he credits a very talented DOP Byron Kopman, actors/writers Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson for their performance. Caitlin Howden as Caitlin was outstanding as the girlfriend. The cashier was played by a talented actor Ryan Bell and Aaron Reid plays the role of the Stock Boy. Matt explains that the writing team of Peter and Chris were instrumental in finding most of the cast through improve groups. The music and sound were provided by Mike Selfworth. The very incredible and flawless editing was the product of Ashley Lynch.
A picture is worth a thousand words. If that picture is shot on RED Dragon in 5K it is worth many more words. That was the camera Matt’s DOP brought with him. The quality is outstanding. Shooting in RAW allows for much more post options.
In terms of performance, Matthew Campbell was so pleased to be working with pro performers Peter and Chris. He did have stunt doubles for the more dangerous scenes but was persuasive in having his two main actors perform most of their own fight scenes.
One big obstacle to overcome was trying to get the clearances for the labels and brands within the store. Without being 100% successful, they worked within the realm of what they had permission for.
This is a solid film that has successfully been accepted into four festivals. It could not have been made without the assistance of the Cray8’s contest. As a winner you are supplied with funding, services, actors, insurance and rentals from production companies.
The amount of talent that synergized to create this hilarious comedy made Matt’s job as director a fun collaborative one. Everyone had volunteered to make the film and most of the budget went toward feeding everyone.
Matthew Campbell is already in the works of creating a feature next. He’s been working with a writer he is familiar with. I can only expect that once it’s finished we will be seeing it in sold out theatres and I may be talking to him once more regarding the film.