Friday, February 24, 2012

Opening Tonight (Feb 24th) in Select Theatres!

After a fun festival run (including last week's Pan African Film & Arts Festival in LA), 'Donovan's Echo' is opening tonight (Feb 24th) in select cities across Canada!

Visit our official website, for theatre and showtime info. And don't forget to follow us on Facebook.

Hope you can come out, or spread the word on our little movie to help our opening weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Well, it’s been a quiet summer since wrapping a few months ago, but a couple of things have been in the works including the beginning stages of a creative marketing campaign. DE is now on Facebook (as well as a director’s page), where we hope to continue providing regular updates with the movie. Please follow us if you haven’t already.  

In other news, as it’s now September, film festival season has officially begun, and we're now gearing up to finally screen in a few cities...

Here is our rundown:

Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival

Gala Reception: Sunday Sept 18th

“Currently screening approximately 135 films, including full-length features, shorts, documentaries and animation, Cinéfest Sudbury provides cinephiles with first-class film works and industry discourse each September.”

Click HERE for more details. 

Calgary International Film Festival

Festival Opening Gala Reception: Thursday September 22nd

“Always one of the most celebrated announcements of the season, CIFF rolled out the carpet today at its brand new Lifestyle Lounge in Chinook Centre and announced its Opening and Closing Gala films to the anticipation of the gathered crowd.”

Click HERE for more details. 

Edmonton International Film Festival

Feature Film, Oh, Canada!: Saturday the 24th

“Our Festival is about 'discovery'. We strive to uncover cinematic gems and celebrate unique new voices in independent filmmaking. EIFF is about films and the people who make them.”

Click HERE for more details.

Vancouver International Film Festival

Canadian Images: Sun Oct 9th and Tues Oct 11th

“Each year the best current features, documentaries and shorts from all regions of Canada are presented in what has become one of the largest annual public exhibitions of new Canadian film in the world. From an average of more than 600 submissions, our programmers select the top 100, and the Vancouver public responds very enthusiastically, making this one of our best-attended series.”

Click HERE for more details.

We’re very excited that DE is being embraced by these festivals. Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Final Touches

The whirlwind continues.

Since locking the picture edit last month, post-production entered its final phases with colour-correction, digital FX, music composition, and sound design. During these final touches, a new team of creative artists came on board. Beginning with a series of meetings to discuss the overall vision of the movie, each new member brought their unique talents forth to add a whole new level of depth to the film. 

Here's a basic rundown:

Colour Correcting

If you’ve ever viewed a movie’s deleted scenes, you'll often see what the raw untreated film looks like. Colour correcting makes the movie as lush and vibrant as possible.  This process was done at Vancouver’s Technicolor, and really added a new dynamic to the overall look of the movie.

Colour correcting can also augment the tones or mood of the story on a scene-by-scene basis. Working with the colourist, we found many creative ways to emphasize key moments and entire scenes with a slight adjustment of the palette (a darker, lonelier scene might see more blues and greys for example) . It’s a subtle thing, but it can create an unconscious effect on the viewer.  Some really interesting ideas evolved in this process.
Digital FX

Digital FX were created by artist Brett Keyes, who creatively enhanced various elements in the film, such as digitally erasing unwanted components in a shot (wires used in a stunt for example), to adding new elements (a few stars twinkling in an otherwise black sky), and even entirely digitally composed shots. While DE is certainly not an FX film, the subtlety of Brett's work has really added some additional overall value.

Music Composition

Our music composer is the very talented Terry Frewer. Terry has done an incredible job capturing specific emotional moments and heightening tension. His score is rich, beautiful, and even haunting at times, going above expectation.

Sound Design

Miguel Nunes led the sound design team. Miguel too has created some fantastic elements for DE, from low eerie drones and subtle background noises, to complex dream sequences and flashbacks.  Miguel's talent, ears, and imagination have really brought something special in telling Donovan’s story.

Final Sound Mix

Working again with Miguel, this last week has been spent at Vancouver’s Post Modern Sound for final sound mix. 

During this phase, all of the recorded sounds (music, sound design, etc) are combined into different channels involving each signal's level, frequency, and position. The process takes place on a mix stage, like a small theater. The goal, to find the right balance and emphasis on key moments: Is the music score more important here than the sound design? Can we adjust the audio slightly on these key words spoken? Should we fade away all of the background noise here, to put more emphasis on this moment? With ingenuity and grace, Miguel and his team did an incredible job. 

After watching our film many, many times throughout these last few months of editing, it's such a tremendous joy to see Donovan's Echo evolve into a whole new movie these last few weeks. 

I am entirely pleased with everyone's talents and efforts, and very much look forward to sharing the finished product with all of you a little later this year.

Monday, March 7, 2011


It’s been said by pretty much every filmmaker, there are three movies that you make: the one you write, the one you shoot and the one you edit. When you shoot a film, you often discover that elements within the script are not as practical as you thought.  Maybe the weather wasn’t cooperating that day, turning the scene into something else (possibly even for the better). If you’re lucky, you may discover something far more interesting on set than you originally imagined -- a unique adlib or performance by the actor which adds a whole new flavor that wasn’t on the page.

When it comes to the art of editing, the process will redefine the film once again. A film editor’s job isn’t to just cut every scene together. With hours of footage and multiple takes of a scene, a film editor needs to creatively find the rhythm of the movie, working within the layers of images, story, dialogue and performances. That being said, I don’t think we could have found a better editor for this film than Mark Shearer. With a strong artistic eye, and tremendous energy to boot, Mark considers himself more of a story editor as he asks tough questions and raises excellent story points that reflect a changing film. I’m very pleased to work alongside such a talent these last two months.

The greatest joy however, is just seeing the movie come to life. A few private screenings we’ve had over these last few weeks have helped to shape the editing process, by letting us know where the film’s pacing needs to be readjusted, where the story needs more clarity or elements that come across as a little too obvious. These next 5 days will allow us the opportunity to adjust any remaining areas we’d like to improve, and make the film the best it can be.

Next stop - music score, sound design, visual FX, and colour correction.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Congrats Bruce!

Congratulations to Bruce Greenwood who will be honoured with the ACTRA award of excellence in Los Angeles on Jan 27th. The prestigious award recognizes a member's career achievements and contribution to fellow performers and the Canadian industry. 

Read more here.

Friday, January 21, 2011


After many long days, multiple locations, and an overall tremendous group effort - production has wrapped on ‘Donovan’s Echo’ (Actually, it wrapped over a month ago…)

With early mornings, 12-15 hour days of shooting, and late night prep for the next day’s work, filmmaking is an exhausting experience – both mentally and physically. Everyone has a job to do, and even with schedules planned well in advance, every day is a race against the clock. Fortunately, we were blessed with an incredible team – from the extremely talented performers to an amazing crew behind-the-scenes. There seemed to be a real overall synergy.

In pre-production, there were many hours of discussion with all the creative departments as they worked to bring every little detail off the page. Wardrobe used unique colour palates and accessories to help suggest the mood and personality of each character.  Hair and makeup tackled multiple time periods. Set design completely transformed each location with the perfect décor, and props went to great lengths to determine what each important piece should look like – such as Donovan’s journal.

After many auditions, we were grateful to have found such a gifted array of actors. Sonja Bennett’s audition for Sarah wowed the room with both her purity and passion. David Lewis, who had previously nailed his auditioned for a different role, later inspired a call back for the pivotal role of Kit – where he nailed it again. We were excited to welcome the talented Ian Tracey on board as Ray, who brought a new dimension to the character not on the page. And Natasha Calis, an amazing young performer, was just destined to be Maggie. As for all the other characters, each individual managed to bring a little something special in their own way, and really added an overall texture to the film.

Meanwhile, we can’t say enough about Danny and Bruce’s chemistry on screen. Both gave tremendous performances that really brought the characters of Donovan and Finney to life in ways we never could’ve imagined.  
Now with hours of footage to sift through, a new phase has begun – editing (More on that soon...).

In the meantime, DE has continued popped up in new sources including The Hollywood Reporter, Playback, and Moviehole.

Monday, November 29, 2010

DE In The News

Vancouver's "The Province" newspaper published an article about Donovan's Echo in the Sunday Entertainment section.

Click here to read.