Interview with Kathleen Hepburn of Never Steady, Never Still

A fine young film about a young man, and his mother. Never Steady, Never Still showcases a mom named Judy (Shirley Henderson) who goes through struggles day after day as she has Parkinson’s disease. Meanwhile, her son Jamie (Theodore Pellerin) stops by to visit the small-town where he grew up. Jamie has problems of his own, though. Specifically sexual and emotional problems. This film is an amazing work of art which shows what can happen between families at times when things get shaken, if you’ll please pardon the term. But what went into this, you may be wondering? I asked Kathleen Hepburn all about it in an interview and she explained some very fantastic details about this lovely story.


HNMAG: Can you describe your experience with directing Never Steady, Never Still?

Kathleen Hepburn: It was very challenging, it was my first feature, and it was quite ambitious. We were shooting 12 hours North of Vancouver, in locations with no running water. There were a lot of challenges, but it was also very exciting.


HNMAG: What other kind of challenges did you face? Can you describe them?

Kathleen Hepburn: Trying to learn everything as we went, trying to work out logistical challenges, and crewing up. It was very challenging to get crew at the time because Vancouver was so busy. It was one of the busiest years we’ve had in the city for the industry, so just getting things like a camera truck was a bit of a nightmare but we managed to get through it.


HNMAG: How many crew members did you have on the production?

Kathleen Hepburn: We had about 25 on average.


HNMAG: Where did the concept for the feature’s story come from?

Kathleen Hepburn: The idea sort of came out of my mother’s story. She’s had Parkinson’s for 24 years, so the initial spark sort of came from, trying to explore what effect that’s had on our family over the years. But the story itself is very fictional.


HNMAG: How did you manage to find the locations?

Kathleen Hepburn: The town we shot at, the script was written initially for that town. That’s where our family has a small cabin on the lake, so I’m quite familiar with that area. But we were hoping to shoot closer to Vancouver for production reasons. But because we needed a lake that froze completely that was that size, we ended up just deciding to go all the way up. We needed something for sure that was going to freeze up in the winter. We were committed so we went up, did a location scout, and it was just a lot of knocking on doors and talking to people in the town and getting recommendations from them. We cobbled up the location from 3 different houses that we found there.


HNMAG: Are there plans for a sequel or even some other films?

Kathleen Hepburn: I am working on a few other projects with some other local directors. I’m doing a collaborative piece with LMI Tailfeathers who’s a local director, and that’s a drama set in Vancouver about two indigenous women. It’s a real time story about their relationship after a chance encounter. And I’m also writing a feature for Trevor Mack. So I’m doing a lot of collaborative work.


HNMAG: What would you say was the best part of filming the whole movie overall?

Kathleen Hepburn: I think the best part was working with actors of that caliber and also the key creatives. Just having such dedication from other people and getting together to collaborate and create something that we all felt proud of. And just getting to understand the acting process a little bit better from people who have a lot of experience than I do. I think that was very rewarding.

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