Meridian

by David Tenniswood


Meridian - Short Film

Four university graduate students travel to the desert to test a time machine for the first time and it all goes wrong. 

More coming soon.


Escape - Short Film

by David Tenniswood


Escape

'Escape' is a steampunk-universe retelling of the Icarus legend set in a subterranean world. Escape was one of the last Compendium shoots at Vancouver Film School and I was asked to come back to direct the shoot. Compendium is one of VFS's Entertainment Business Management campus's big projects where they get recent graduates from several campuses (film production, writing, acting, hair and make up, visual effects, digital design, etc.) together to shoot 5 high-production value shorts over five days. Historically they've all be directed by instructors from the school but since this was the last round they asked alumni who've continued directing since leaving the school to come back and mentor a group of producers through the process from pre-production through delivery. I've always loved teaching so this was a great experience for me. I got a great group of student producers who were eager to learn. 

The actual shoot was pretty fun despite starting 3 hours behind. We managed to set off the studio's hair-trigger fire control system 3 times in the morning, despite being assured repeatedly that it was "definitely off now." Each time requiring the entire building to be evacuated. We managed to pump through set-ups pretty efficiently and shot the entire script in 11 hours. I have to give kudos to our DP Naim Sutherland and gaffer Corey Jacques for lighting the set so quickly, without their fore-thought we never would have made our day.

The project is currently in the vfx stage and will be premiering mid-August, I can't wait to share it with everyone involved, it looks wicked already.


MacKenzie Porter - Misfit Parade

by David Tenniswood


MacKenzie Porter - Misfit Parade

All I'm gonna say is that lighting and entire performance set up with fireworks is equally stressful as it is amazing. The still below doesn't really do the performance shots justice but believe me, they're wicked. 

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MacKenzie Porter - If You Ask Me To - Release

by David Tenniswood


MacKenzie Porter - If You Ask Me To - Release

Today myself and Scopitone Films finally got to release my favourite video to date: If You Ask Me To. Starring MacKenzie Porter and Sebastien Gacki.

 

We actually shot and finished the video last summer but had wait to release the video for several reasons.  This shoot was by far the most stressful but ended up being the most rewarding. 

To get the most bang for our buck we piggy-backed this shoot with MacKenzie's previous video, Never Gonna Let You, meaning we shot them back to back and used the same crew and gear. In total between the two videos had over 25 locations in five towns spanning over 160kms. When we tallied up our location scouting mileage we came just shy of 1000km of scouting over a month! We're pretty OCD when it comes to finding perfect locations. If You Ask Me To was shot mostly in Ladner B.C. to capitalize on it's vintage feel which helped sell the 1960, 70's and 80's era scenes.  

The car we used for the shoot was a pristine 1960 Pontiac Catalina Convertible, graciously rented to us by Joey and Sheldon Kopelow. We couldn't have asked for a better picture car visually, it fit all of my requirements that we set out in prep to a T.  Unfortunately 1960's cars have 1960's parts and just before wrap on our first day of shooting part of the steering linkage broke rendering the car undriveable.  If you watch the video the scene that starts at 0:51 is actually where the car broke. We lost steering of the Catalina while U-Turning on a old country back road while coincidentally lining up the shot where the car breaks down on a family road trip. But it broke facing a beautiful sunset, so we said screw it, we're here and the tow-truck is going to take 30 minutes to show up, we may as well roll something, so I had Sebastien and MacKenzie improv a fight and we all loved it so it made the cut.  

We ended up limping the car into position for one more shot the next morning, the wedding scene, but after that we called it. We waited a month for the exceedingly rare parts to get replaced on the car and picked up the remaining scenes a month later.  Just to add insult to injury we had one last nail biting moment while shooting the Martini shot on the pick up day... We were shooting the scene where Sebastien proposes to MacKenzie, the plane that flies above them, distracts MacKenzie and Sebastien pulls out the ring. We planned to wait for the sun to set more to give the two airport scenes different looks, but what we failed to realize in prep was that air-traffic gets diverted at night at YVR so jumbo jets are buzzing Richmond at midnight. Instead the approach from the ocean side of YVR.  I hustled Mac and Sebastien into the car we we decided to shoot a rehearsal with a plane just to figure out the timing for the scene, and as it turned out, that was the last plane to land all night. Luckily they nailed it on the first pass. Thank god for good actors.