Laura Adkin and Krista Rand: Re: Uniting

Re: Uniting is a drama about long time friends, shot on Bowen Island, BC. 

We subsequently had a chance to sit down with writer, director, producer Laura Adkin and producer Krista Rand at the Whistler Film Festival (WFF).




HNMAG: To help finance your film, you approached investors directly. You were honest by saying that film is a bad investment in terms of a return but they gave you money anyway.

Laura Adkin: Crowd-funding was suggested but I think it’s easier to ask one person for a larger portion of money than asking a lot of people for a little bit of money. The majority of our investors are entrepreneurial women. Women who are successful in their own fields and want to support women making something. 


HNMAG: Did you find them through Women in Film?

Laura Adkin: No just through referred contacts and word of mouth. 

Krista Rand: We also put a lot of our own money into it. 

Laura Adkin: It was really important, to ask someone to invest in me, I was also going to invest in myself.

Krista Rand: They also became shareholders. We gave them producer credits as well. 


HNMAG: Did you get a lawyer on board?

Laura Adkin: Oh yeah.

Krista Rand: Oh yeah. Very important!


HNMAG: The Big Chill is the first thing I thought of when I saw the trailer, so way before I watched the movie. Now that I’ve seen the movie, it was what I expected. 

Krista Rand: Awesome!

Laura Adkin: Great, perfect. 

Krista Rand: That’s good to hear. 


HNMAG: Coming from an acting background, does that inform your approach as a director or are you more focused on the shot?

Laura Adkin: I think it has to be a combination of both those things for me. I’m a very hands-on technical director. My DP (Director of Photography) works very closely to create the look and the tone of the film based on my vision. Being an actor allows me to communicate with actors that I might not have been able to do before. It also allows me to trust them. Casting is essential. If you have a group of actors who know what they’re doing, bring ideas and are collaborative, then it’s easier for everybody. Bronwen Smith, Michelle Harrison and David James Lewis all came on without even reading a script.

Krista Rand: That’s a lot of trust. There are a lot of people who put their trust in you, Laura. 


HNMAG: You wrote the character of Danny with David Lewis in mind?

Laura Adkin: Yeah.


HNMAG: For me, that’s the most surprising of the casting. 

Laura Adkin: That’s way closer to David’s actual personality than most of the things he plays on TV. 


HNMAG: That character was not what I would expect from a misogynist macho guy. Even his wardrobe seemed….

Laura Adkin: Mostly his own clothes. 


HNMAG: It doesn’t look like some asshole womanizer. 

Laura Adkin: There was never anyone else who was going to play that role. That was definitely very close to who I think David would be had he not had children and had he not married me. 


HNMAG: Was Colin’s (Roger Cross) character based on Michael Strahan?

Laura Adkin: Hilariously kind of. A mix of a lot of people but that type of character. There are a lot of athletes that go into broadcasting. 

HNMAG: Who’s house did you film at?

Laura Adkin: A friend of ours let us shoot there. Krista went to high school with them. It was their family Island getaway.


Krista Rand: We didn’t just shoot there, we stayed there. Some parts of what looked like their house was the house across the street. It’s Bowen Island, so everyone is amazing. So supportive. 

HNMAG: Like the Big Chill, you had popular songs as well. She’s So High by Tal Bachman, Jesus Jones, Right Here, Right Now and others. It’s an ultra-low budget. How did that work?


Krista Rand: A lot of our budget went to the music. 

Laura Adkin: Krista knew right from the beginning, that was really important. We had amazing music supervisors who did a great job of getting us the songs. When you open a movie with a song that you recognize, you are permitting them to buy into your movie. 


HNMAG: There are a lot of secrets. How does that inform a character?

Laura Adkin: It gives levels and dimensions. It gives them subtext. It creates conflict and tension. You want every scene to have conflict and that’s the easiest way to do it. 


HNMAG: Have you ever lost a close friend?

Laura Adkin: Never in the type of way that I knew ahead of time. 

Krista Rand: One of the things that spoke to me when Laura first came to me with this project was part of that. I lost my father when I was twenty-two and it was very sudden. My sister also passed away and I had a cousin pass away this week. Being a mom in my forties, there are more levels of how this story speaks to me. I said yes to it on a synopsis. I was so happy when I read the speak. The characters are so layered and real. 


HNMAG: Is it going to any festivals?

Krista Rand: We are unable to say much right now but it will have a theatrical release. 


HNMAG: Do you have any other projects coming up?

Krista Rand: We’re going to take a break….from each other (lol). The cool thing about this is we still text each other every day. 

Laura Adkin: For the rest of our career, if there is a project that speaks to both of us, we will do that. What’s so amazing, is that Krista put a project on hold to produce Re: Uniting. I’m moving into the TV directing world. 


HNMAG: Do you envision yourself making American films or do you want to create Canadian Stories?

Laura Adkin: A bit of both. I’d love to do big American Features that have huge budgets so I can come back and make more Canadian independent films. 


HNMAG: Which organizations helped make Re: Uniting happen?

Krista Rand: William F. White was a huge sponsor and Telefilm came in for Post-production. It’s all about the authentic relationships that you have fostered along the way.


Re: Uniting is a dialogue-driven drama that has the feel of an updated Big Chill. Maybe It’s a Gen-X, Canadian, Big Chill for 2024? All the performances were terrific and required a small group of actors who trusted and supported each other. 

Re: Uniting will be in theatres across Canada in March 2024. 

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