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Last Stop for Miles
2015, 78m, drama, romance
January witnesses the brutal murder of her friend, Kee, and blames herself for what happened. Two years after Kee's death January meets Thomson, Kee's ex, and they fall into a love affair. Kee's murder continues to plague January and as the relationship with Thomson deepens she spirals further out of control.
10 questions with Last Stop for Miles director, Celia McBride at the half-way mark.
Thursday, August 25th, 2016
1Congratulations on the film! I understand how hard it is to be the writer, director and producer. How does it feel having completed the journey from script to distribution? It's a good feeling. And I'm incredibly thankful to all the people who helped me take it from a screenplay to an actual movie that people can watch. I had a lot of help along the way. It takes a village to make a film!
2Last Stop For Miles is based on your play and 16 years later you made the film. How did you develop the story for the screen? I knew it would be really different from writing a play. So I studied screenwriting. Took a Syd Field course and used his book for reference. I plotted it out, used the formula, really did my best to follow the guidelines that resonated with me. Pictures speak louder than words. Hook them in the first 10 minutes. Plot points, turning points etc. Then I gave it to people to read. Worked with a story editor. Listened to feedback and kept shaping it. In the end, budget determined a lot of how it turned out. What we could shoot and what we couldn't. And coverage. What we got and what we didn't. There are holes and yet it still holds together so I'm pleased about that.
3What was the inspiration for the story? It says "For Every Kee" at the end of the credits. The original inspiration was just to write a play for a couple of actor friends that I wanted to work with. Later I realized I was kind of telling my own story. It's a fictional film and yet January's journey: trauma, addiction, forgiveness, transformation, is a story that I know first-hand. The dedication at the end is for every First Nations woman who has been murdered. I didn't want Kee's death to be a sensational "plot point" at all. I have a desire to honour that these things happen in life and the experience is real and utterly devastating for some people.
4Claire Ness gives "an absolutely luminous performance" as January. She's very open and honest. How did she prepare for the role? She just showed up with everything she had and she gave it her all. She threw herself into it. I don't think she really knew what she was getting into! I mean, of course she'd read the script but it wasn't until she was having to do these brutal scenes that she was like, OMG, what am I doing? It's a very impressive performance. She was fearless.
5The above quote is from a rave review on your website by Steven Hanulik. Is he a local filmmaker? It must feel great to receive a review like that. He's a Whitehorse filmmaker who now lives in Calgary and he's been following the film for a long time. His support has been fantastic. So many others have supported the film in that way. It does feel great. Because it means a connection has been made. Not everyone connects with the movie but those who do REALLY connect.
6From the opening image we're taken into January's out of control world of drink, but I was still surprised when I fully realised the extent of her problem. Do you think alcoholism can creep up on people? I do. Not everyone knows they're an alcoholic until they hit the bottom. Some people know long before that and keep on going. Some people get help. It's an insidious disease.
7Could you tell us how the Yukon Economic Development Film & Sound Commission supported the film? It sounds similar to the regional funding available in the UK. They've been there from the beginning when they first funded the short version I made with my sister, Clara McBride. Actually, the short is an excerpt of the feature screenplay but it no longer fit into the feature! So over the years I just applied for all the YF&SC funding the film was eligible for and thankfully received it. The Film Commission is not without its issues because its government but the staff have always been there for me and the funding has always come through so I thank them from the bottom of my heart!
8How did you find your crowdfunding experience? I was pleased with what we brought in. It was tough because we created the Indiegogo campaign early on when I had producing partners and when it was a much bigger budget film. So by the time I was finished with my $15,000CAD movie I had to honour all these perks and it was just me in the office. But one of the women who gave a donation to that campaign showed up at a recent screening in West Vancouver! All these years later. That is the kind of connection that is the most meaningful to me.
9You're a Certified Yoga Instructor. I love yoga and will start practicing again in September. How does yoga benefit your creative work? Breathe.... relax.... strong body.... quiet mind.... OMMM.
10What's next? I'm writing a book. It's a spiritual memoir. I wasn't raised in a religious family but I ended up in a convent. How does that happen? And there's a screenplay contest with a Sept. 30th deadline. I have another play I'd like to adapt so I may jump into that next month.
About the Interviewer: Paulette Caletti
Paulette Caletti is the writer/director of The Cake Maker movie based in London. She's currently writing a new feature script and developing 360/VR projects. http://paulettecaletti.com
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