BRINGS IT HOME
By Lynn Welburn
Published: Thursday, September 30, 2010
We caught up with local filmmaker Nathan Reimer, busy working on his latest movie which stars local actors Nolan G. Smith, Paul Leblanc, and Henry Bartak.
Q: Did you script this film or work with another writer? How do you work on your stories for your films?
A: On some of past short films (All But Gone, Tofino, My Beaten Heart), and on some current screenplays, Jon Silverberg and I have shared filmmaking credits, but I wrote this particular screenplay by myself… and with a lot of help from my wife, Janna; not only is she my muse, but she has great taste in music and films, so I totally trust her opinion. I bounce all of my ideas off of her, and she sets me straight.
Like anything creative, it begins with that first, half-formed thought. Even before I made my last film, Comeback Jack, in 2008, I had the basic concept for this new film: what if my chiropractor, with whom I’ve entrusted with my health, isn’t on the level. And what if these X-rays, showing steady progress, don’t belong to me at all? Six months later, while at a family reunion on the Mainland, I took one look at my uncle George’s mint condition, 1955 Chevy Bel Air, and my mind immediately paired the crooked chiropractor concept with this vintage car. However, these two ideas remained idle until this January when my resolution was to take the next step, and make a feature length film in 2010. All the pieces started to fall into place and by March, I had a solid, working draft. The story naturally evolved into what it is now; several layers have been removed and replaced, and I feel it is a strong blueprint for what will become a sixty minute film.
Q: What about this story makes you think it will make for a gripping and appealing film?
A: It’s thought provoking and cautionary, to a lesser extent. I mean, how often do each of us trust strangers to take care of us?
Whether it’s a cab ride or eating in a restaurant, we take certain public and private services for granted. It’s a scary thought that someone might be messing with my health and welfare.
Q: Do you find it difficult to cast the characters in your films?
A: I feel so fortunate to work with so many talented actors on this film. All of my lead actors — Nolan G. Smith, Paul Leblanc, and Henry Bartak — are tried-and-true actors that have each appeared in several of my films. I wrote roles specifically for the latter two, which was a lot of fun, and made the writing process a breeze.
Just in the nick of time, Jacqui Kaese came aboard, and has been a huge help in recruiting Nanaimo talent. She comes with a wealth of experience and her reputation preceded her. Over the years, I’ve heard of some the actors she’s worked with and how they’ve gone on to find international success. Jacqui was the casting director on the feature film Scourge, filmed primarily in Nanaimo, three years ago, so she has a ton of contacts. This was the first film that I’ve worked on where I’ve held auditions. I really enjoyed the process, and I’m so excited to work with all of these talented people. I was born and raised in Nanaimo and Lantzville, and my plan is to immortalize the great elements of both of these these places that I love and remember best.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of filmmaking for you?
A: Balancing the workload between my business, Reimereason Productions, my day job (Canadian Horse Journal), my social life, and this passion project is the difficulty. Luckily, my firs assistant director, Pat Carter, has been invaluable during pre-production, and her role increased as principal photography started in Maple Ridge Sept. 25.