A short film that highlights the beauty of the Creston Valley and the talents of local skateboarders has been selected as one of the recipients of a merit award for the 2020 Canada Shorts national film festival.
“Wheels” is a four-minute-long montage of moving images that “captures the poetry and ballet of skateboarding.” Filmed over the August long-weekend, filmmakers Mark Wolfe, Marty Agabob, Perry Ditzler and Kerry McArthur gathered footage of young skateboarders and teens on scooters performing a wide variety of tricks and maneuvers at the local skatepark.
“It’s kind of a state of the art facility. It’s so beautifully positioned on that hill, looking out over the playing field towards the west Creston mountains,” said Wolfe, who served as the film’s producer, director and lead camera operator.
The crew didn’t have a shot list going into the filming process, and instead “followed their lenses,” said Wolfe, who is also the co-founder of the Kootenay Film Society.
“I think that most of good photography is serendipity,” he said. “If you’re paying attention and open to what is going on around you, good things happen.”
It wasn’t until post-production when Wolfe said that he knew that the crew had captured something special.
“We thought it would be fun and we might get some good footage that we can use somewhere. When we brought it in, ingested it and started looking at it in the system, it was like ‘wow’,” he said.
It was McArthur, the wife of Wolfe, who edited and pieced the film together.
“She did such a beautiful job of stitching the sequence together with jump cuts and all kinds of things. She also found the music by Moby, which is perfect not only musically, but the title of it,” said Wolfe. “Everything That Rises is the title of the song, which is nice because the skaters are just flying up in the air.”
The film had its premiere at the first showing of the second annual 7th Siding local film festival on Aug. 17, which is a program that Wolfe helped to organize.
7th Siding used a film festival portal site called FilmFreeway to collect entries, which resulted in over 1,000 projects from filmmakers from countries all over the globe.
Through FilmFreeway, Wolfe came across the Canada Shorts film festival and decided to submit the short-film shortly after its premiere.
He said that he was pleasantly surprised to receive the notification that the film was selected for a merit award.
“It was very gratifying,” he said. “In fact, I had forgotten all about it. It was a complete surprise.”
The acknowledgement, he continued, has encouraged him and the crew to produce more short films in the future.
“We have a couple of ideas. One will be in the same vein as Wheels, but it won’t be skateboards,” he said. “The other one that we have in mind is to do a short, dramatic film that could be a trigger for a longer, feature film of the same vein.”
He added that the win is a signal that there might be a film community brewing here in town.
“There’s an energy here. I think it really started to coalesce into something material and valuable when Kerry and I — who co-founded the Kootenay Film Society — were invited to talk about putting on a festival of some kind,” he said. “That collaboration resulted in the 7th Siding Festival of Film, and that has been an extremely enjoyable and productive collaboration that we look forward to building on as we take on new projects and do more things.”
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