The Birder, a sort of revenge-of-the-bird-nerds comedy set in Ontario, was recently released on DVD — you can read our review here. Director Ted Bezaire took the time to fill us in on the making of the film.
One reviewer has called The Birder “A truly good Hollywood type production at a budget 50 times less.” To make an exceptional film on a relatively small budget, what are the aspects you had to focus on?
When making any film I believe that you need to focus on character and story first and foremost, but even more so when dealing with a limited budget. We really tried to focus on making the characters as strong as possible so a lot of the film could easily rest on their shoulders. I find humour in putting mismatched pairs of people together and seeing what happens, and that’s basically what we did here. Plus we were extremely lucky in assembling the cast we did, and they brought so much to the table as well. On top of the stellar cast we tried to assemble a great crew behind the camera. Leading the charge as DOP was Arthur E. Cooper who made the film look much more expensive than it actually was.
As well as directing, you wrote the script along with Michael Stasko. How did you divide the work?
This was our second feature film we wrote together so we already had a bit of a process set up. We beat out the initial story and treatment together, then each of us would go off and write little chunks of the script. Then we’d swap our scenes, re-write each other, then move forward to the next section of the story. Our strengths and weaknesses really compliment each other, so it was nice to have that other voice help fill things out. As we got closer to production we sat down together and did one last pass.