Friday, June 01, 2007


From today's Winnipeg Free Press:
Film Group shorts pack a lot of power: Local films funny, weird, scary
June 1st, 2007

THE title is weirdly reminiscent of low-budget Canadian sci-fi, but reGENESIS is actually a collection of new short films and videos by members of the Winnipeg Film Group.
Kevin Bacon packs some scary atmosphere into his three-minute horror short The Stork, while Polly Washburn delicately examines the themes of guilt and mourning in The Coffee Maker.

I was very pleased to see this favourable notice for Polly Washburn's first film, The Coffee Maker, in today's newspaper...

I was one of several dozen people that helped Polly achieve her 'delicate examination of guilt and mourning,' first by giving notes on the script and second by assuming catering/craft services duties during the shoot.

Though I enjoy cooking, I hate craft service. Partly it's because most of the other crew have specialized skills (i.e. they're useful) whereas most anyone can cut up veggies.

(Not to undermine the craft services department, who on commercial film shoots provide first aid in addition to snacks and beverages to suit a variety of dietary needs - which is vital when your day runs from 12 to 16 or 18 hours.)

As a consequence, on these kinds of shoots, I wind up feeling like the designated mum as opposed to a technician. A domestic rather than an artisan.

Part of this feeling comes from the fact that women are still somewhat of a rarity in the tech departments like grip and lighting and all too common in gendered departments like hair and make-up, craft services and costume.

Part of it too comes from the fact that as a writer, I'm mostly useless in real world situations. I can't build a cabinet or set up a light or even paint a straight-ish line.

So, basically, working craft services riles the feminist in me and highlights the fact that I won't be building a shack in the woods anytime soon.

In any event, I had quite forgotten my distaste for craft services, after having volunteered in this capacity on a Catherine Martin short a few years ago.

(Not only did I have to wash my knives and cutting boards in a washroom sink but me and my knives and cutting boards were displaced by two other departments before I found my final resting place on set.

Imagine me scowling mightily, knife in hand, and you'd just about have it.)

But when Polly asked if I could pitch in, craft services was really the only way I could contribute. And everyone was lovely, thanking me for the variety of fruit/veg/snackables, but, still...ick!

But enough about me. This post is for Polly and her determination to make a career for herself in film.

In addition to having another film in the hopper, Polly will be heading to the Banff Film and TV Festival post-haste to pitch a TV series or three.

So good luck and yay Polly!


Brenda Schmidt said...

Congratulations, Polly! Polly who generously met my cake needs in Winnipeg a couple years ago.

"Part of it too comes from the fact that as a writer, I'm mostly useless in real world situations. I can't build a cabinet or set up a light or even paint a straight-ish line."

As a writer, I'd like to take a moment to say that I can and have shingled a roof, constructed bookcases, done plumbing, fencing, operated farm equipment, worked for a road construction company, vaccinated and castrated calves... I could go on. I am, however, pretty inefficient when it comes to cutting veggies.

Tracy Hamon said...

Go Polly, go!

Anita Daher said...

Yay! This is fabulous Polly news! I don't know Polly, but I am super happy for her.

Knives scare me. I think I must have suffered cutting trauma in another life, because I break out in a cold sweat everytime I chop something...which, granted, is pretty much every day.

I think annoyed Ariel with a knife would scare me more! No wonder everyone was lovely and thanking you :-)

Ariel Gordon said...

I was prepared to be all impressed, B, until you got to the castration. Then, I wondered why such wasn't in your bio...

(Based on your visits, I'd also say you're inefficient at keeping quiet whilst a passenger in someone else's car...)

No one thanked me on the annoyed-with-a-sharp-object-in-hand shoot, actually...

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ok. The whole keeping quiet thing is way overrated.

Ariel Gordon said...

Easy to say if you're the one talking...