Sometime between The Dearth of Dr. StrangeJob and Dr. StrangeJob: Borin’ Again!, the good Doctor managed to write a short-film screenplay entitled The Rose. Currently, in pre-production, the film is a sci-fi/drama about a senior (Elder) traveling 40 years back in time to meet his younger self (Junior) during a pivotal moment in their life. The film will be directed by Kenn Crawford and produced by yours truly.
I wrote the screenplay with an eye to direct and did not have myself in mind for the role of Elder, but the character began to speak through me as he was being developed on the page. Truth be told, the character of Junior also hit pretty close to home. Growing up in an alcoholic home prone to violence can drive a young man to extremes. Life can be daunting for an adolescent that is alone, lost, bullied, and experimenting with things they should not be experimenting with.
Elder and Junior are one in the same, but the struggles of Junior are similar to what many Cape Breton adolescents deal with on a daily basis. The Rose is both a “message” film and a cautionary tale on accountability for future consequences of current actions.
After completing the script, I became less concerned with directing and more interested in playing the role of Elder. I did not want to act and first-time direct, so I sent the script to Kenn Crawford for advice. I had worked with Kenn on a few of his projects and knew that he only directed his own stories, so I felt comfortable asking him for advice. As the old saying goes, he had no skin in the game.
The initial story was structured more as a play than as a script for film. However, it takes a filmmaker’s eye to translate what is on paper to what can be accurately portrayed on celluloid. After a few lengthy discussions, some suggested script changes, and a sincere offer to help, I asked Kenn to direct. Well, maybe I should say coerced, but I think we both realised that The Rose was a story worth telling and worth telling well. As a result, The Rose will be the first film directed by Kenn Crawford that he has not written.
To date, the most challenging pre-production exercise was finding a realistic prop revolver. Sadly, it appears easier to obtain a real gun with real ammunition than it is to find an authentic looking prop. That in itself, is a cautionary tale of the world we currently live.
Filming is planned for November.
More to come …