Filmmakers turn to web to kickstart festival ambitions

Three years after revving up their creative engines for the vehicular thriller Trunk, three Victoria filmmakers are ready for a fill-up.

“We’re trying to top up the tank,” says Brian Paisley, who co-wrote the screenplay with Keith Digby. Producer, director and editor Martin de Valk’s claustrophobic suspenser is driven by the interaction between a mostly unseen driver (Johanna Newmarch) and her reluctant passenger, a mysterious dude (Kayvon Kelly) locked in the trunk of her fast-moving 1966 Chevelle.

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While production wrapped on their self-financed film last year, the three men in the driver’s seat for the Chiaro Productions project — Digby and Paisley are also producers — are steering Trunk onto the film-festival circuit. It hasn’t been as bumpy a ride as expected, but they did have to launch an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise the $10,000 required to complete post-production.

The online campaign ends April 22 and will hopefully help them complete the film in various formats for release theatrically, on DVD, as a Video On Demand selection or on a specialty cable network. Their top priority now “is to segue into the festivals,” said de Valk, who struck a Canadian distribution deal with IndustryWorks Pictures after he took his film to Santa Monica for the American Film Market. If 500 people were to pledge $20 for “gas” in its Up and Running level online, the collaborators say they could drive their project onto the big festival screens.

It won’t be the first time IndustryWorks has been tied to a feature made here. The Vancouver-based distributor released Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber, director Dana Lustig’s comedy based on Adele Lang’s social satire that stars Jennifer Love Hewitt as a self-absorbed advertising executive climbing San Francisco’s social ladder that was filmed here in 2004.

Trunk supporters willing to kick in more than $20 can do so at other levels with perks — the $50 Accelerate level, or Full Throttle for those investing $100 or more.

“We’ve made fabulous progress,” said de Valk, whose tight local crew during a studio shoot in Sidney’s former McClarty’s Gifts and Furnishings store included director of photography Sean White. Paisley said it’s amazing how much the independent film and television business has changed since they first conceived the idea for their little genre flick over a beer three years ago.

“I don’t think there’s a faster-changing industry now than the telling of stories on screen,” said the Belfast-born filmmaker [Lies Like Truth] who suggested they shoot on the smallest set possible.

“The fact all three of us can still watch it after looking at it so many times says a lot,” adds Paisley, who volunteered to document hundreds of shots, time codes and titles required by the distributor.

“When I went through it like that it still held my attention,” said Paisley, who didn’t realize what a monumental task it would be. “Martin really has done a tremendous job. It’s very much his film.”

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