Sunday, April 23, 2017

Maurice Devereaux Films and Jokes

Today I took a bit of a break and watched two making-of docs: "Playing with Your Nerves - The Making of Slashers" and "End of the Line - A Splatter of Faith". (Both titles were directed and edited by my longtime friend Jean-Denis Rouette.)

Canadian filmmaker Maurice Devereaux is a talented guy. Although he hasn't made a feature-length film since 2006, his most recent one, End of the Line, proved, illustrated, that he knows how to work in the traditional narrative form and do so with flowering aplomb.

Devereaux has been vocal about how film distributors treat independent filmmakers very poorly; which is a nice way of saying that they are, as the director likes to term them, "sharks". They want everything for nothing.

Watching the above docs brought back memories of seeing End of the Line at its TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) premiere in September of 2006. After the thrilling screening, we, members of the cast and crew who journeyed to the city, and I, settled down on the Pilot Bar's rooftop patio. Not long after we took our seats and drinks Maurice was called over to another table. He was chatting with the party for a while, about forty-five minutes or so. With little fanfare Maurice returned to our table and told us the news. They were distributors from Japan and their offer for the Asian market was something that our filmmaking friend could not refuse: $60,000.

On a more pleasant note, the conversation was fine. At one point I was asked something; with some understated reserve I said, "I just wanna be the Irwin Allen of Canada". What I considered to be nothing more than a statement or answer born of humbleness got quite the laugh from everyone at the table. It may have been due to the fact that I was only kidding -- I hope.

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