That’s how 24 year old Glace Bay native Matt MacIsaac describes he came to be in two indie bands and have his short film accepted for screening at this year’s Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax.
MacIsaac’s film, Victim, will be screened at the Oxford Theatre, on Tuesday, September 20, as a part of the CBC Atlantic Shorts Gala series.
“I’m not really sure what kind of recognition that is for my film. I know it’s recognition but I’m not sure on what scale since I’ve never had anything go anywhere before,” MacIsaac says about his festival experience. “I’m just really excited for it to go anywhere. I’m most excited to see how it is received by an audience that has no personal connection to me. To see it in a great theatre like the Oxford on the big screen is awesome as well.”
“I can’t really explain anything about the plot of the story without giving away the story itself,” MacIsaac says about his project. “I like themes a lot though. I find I’ll come up with a story and then think of what themes could the story revolve around and that seems to help me write more to the story.”
“As for Victim, I kind of had this idea about changing people’s minds about characters,” he explains. “I also like the idea of good people doing bad things. It kind of all centers around the idea of judging a book by its cover and that sort of thing. Understanding these themes is not necessary to enjoy the film. They just helped me write it and I think it adds a deeper level to the film, which I like.”
MacIsaac studied film at the Nova Scotia Community College’s Dartmouth campus, and this film was part of his course work.
“Considering I have no film training besides NSCC I think it helped out immensely,” MacIsaac, who now lives in Dartmouth, says. “I feel there are a few skills I have that I didn’t pick up from NSCC, like being able to visualize things in my head. I’ve always had a good imagination, so ever since I started getting really into film it’s been pictures, jokes, and stories in my head. It feels like that kinda comes naturally to me. Everything else, all the basic fundamental film stuff, I learned from NSCC.”
“First of all I had an all student crew and the only money put into it was my own and the equipment was all NSCC’s,” MacIsaac says about the process of creating Victim. “The camera I shot it with was a Canon 5d Mark 2 and we used no film lights what so ever. Most of it was using the lights at the bus stop we shot at which gave it a very monochromatic look of just yellow and black and that’s how I wanted it to look so it worked out perfectly.”
“Originally I was going to shoot it all in back and white and then change the white to yellow but I liked how it looked with the light so I left it. The only other scene that’s not on a street is in a convenience store. I always got pizza from Pizza Tonight so I asked them if we could shoot there and they said yes. They were really great about it and the store was closed from 12 until 5 on Mondays so we shot then. It takes place at night in the film but we shot during the day and just covered all the windows. I think it turned out great.”
“I am in two bands at the moment, Winston Wolf and Elk Lodge,” MacIsaac says about his other creative outlet. “I love combining music and film. My favorite movies are ones with awesome soundtracks like Trainspotting and Eternal Sunshine. I would like to do music videos. I’ve been thinking of a music video for Elk Lodge but I just don’t have the money or equipment to do it yet. But I will sometime.”
MacIsaac adds that for his future plans, “I’m working on a submitting and application for Film 5 with one of my classmates. That’s a grant for a film that is under 5 minutes and shot on actual film. It’s also a workshop for you while you do it. So you have people in the industry work with you to make the film.”
“Other than that I always have many Ideas in my head. Whether I actually write them down or develop them into anything is another story and I always have musical projects going on. I’m just trying to keep busy.”