is a new independent film centering around a budding young writer who is shaking off the torment of a lost love while profiling a gay club owner in Toronto.
Eric Henry, the first time director, discovered Ryan Fisher, who plays club promoter Hunter, in a gay bar in Canada and wrote the role with Fisher in mind.
Henry and Fisher visited Chicago recently where Jerry Nunn met with the duo to discuss the film.JN:
(Jerry Nunn) So you came to Chicago to promote Seek?EH:
(Eric Henry) We came in town from Toronto for the Reeling Film Festival to check things out before we start the festival circuit. I wanted to see what it was like in a different city to get familiar with that. We will premiere the movie in January or February.JN:
It will show at the Toronto gay film festival?RF:
(Ryan Fisher) Inside Out is the LGBT film festival in Toronto. We will be pushing for that.EH:
That is at the end of May.RF:
We are trying for a few queer festivals. The first one is in Kingston about four hours away.JN:
What made you want to be a part of this film, Ryan?RF:
One big draw was that it was a community piece. The couple near the end with the cross dressing husband, the drag queens, the fetish guys, you are seeing them all in the bars where they perform at or go to. Most of the actors were from Toronto.
When I first moved to Toronto all of those places really popped out at you. It was really cool to showcase it with these characters.JN:
Tell our readers about the film.EH:
The movie is about a young reporter named Evan Brisby played by Adrian Shepherd-Gawinksi. He gets an opportunity to write about the nightlife in the city for a big newspaper. One night at a club he runs into Hunter played by Ryan. This follows Adrian's journey with Ryan. You see a past relationship that Evan has had and him trying to get over that.
Through the movie you see people he encounters in different relationships. There is a couple that meets at a fetish gear website. There is a husband and wife, maybe not with the ideal relationship but they work. Evan may not be healing himself because he is looking for the perfect ideal relationship. He is possibly missing all of these opportunities in front of him. He meets an older guy and dismisses him because it doesn't fit his idea. You never know if that could have been a relationship or even a friendship. He has a mindset of what he wants. He misses that and doesn't put two and two together.
Another thing the movie is about is acceptance. Everyone is trying to be accepted and the choices they make may not fulfill them.JN:
Was the film meant to educate people to different lifestyles?RF:
It shows so many different parts to the community. I think of my parents watching it and there are so many things that they never knew before in quite a safe way. The fetish guys and married couple are based on real people.EH:
It was all based on real experiences but it was not to educate. I don't try to teach. I just try to show. I think there is a difference.RF:
It really normalizes it in a lot of ways. I feel that is what we were going for in a way when we were working on the film. I am from a small town in Michigan. I can have family members watch it because it is not overtly gay stories. It is just characters being interviewed and they are people. I think that does educate.EH:
I don't think we really make caricatures of people. I didn't want to go that route. I wanted to keep it real and not go over the top with stuff. I wanted to present it as a real story so people would care a little more. I hope that worked.JN:
Where did the title come from?EH:
The title was the hardest part to do. We brainstormed and came across the word "seek." It made sense and described looking for something. Every character was looking for something. When people see the title and poster they get it.JN:
Where will the film be shown?EH:
Our first date is in Kingston at the end of January. We want to show it all over the place. It was really important to me that a Toronto film would be seen other places than Toronto. We didn't say too many times that it was set in Toronto. We didn't want it to be too obvious. I wanted to tell a regular story that a lot of people can relate to.
Toronto is a great city. You can live a gay life easily in the city. It is a friendly, multi cultural type place. I wanted to show that to everyone. I am very excited to take the movie around and represent my community to a whole bunch of other cities, especially in the south where people may not be familiar with Canada.JN:
What are future projects with you both?EH:
I have two projects with Ryan in mind so we will see if works out. There is a drama piece set in the city and a super natural, not a horror piece, but a drama as well. I am working on the script right now.RF:
I am always working on short films. I have shoot I have to get to this Sunday I just found out about. I am working on another feature that is actually queer themed. It is called Alien Creatures. They released the trailer yesterday, which is helping them get even more funding for it. We have a few more dates on set to finish filming the party scene. It is still in production at the moment.
I am directing my first short film now. My friend approached me with a script she had just wrote and we start that soon. It is a quick little shoot, not more than two weeks. I am keeping busy.
You learn so much from being collaborative with people. Eric and I really hit it off. The audition situation brought me into Seek. Throughout the shoot I was becoming more involved on set. Even when I wasn't in the scene I would show up and see how things were going. I would help or at least prop myself in front of the monitor.EH:
Part of the difficulty is that we shoot for so long. We shot this last summer. You shoot, you edit and do all of these things to get it ready. It is a long process but we are excited now for people to see it. None of my friends have seen it. I try to build up excitement for it. The teaser trailer is online.
We tried to make the best looking film we could with a limited budget. We shot for ten days really fast with a really good camera. There is not a lot of original music but we used the city of Toronto's Philharmonic Orchestra. I wanted to keep a simple story but do the best quality that we can. I am very happy on how it turned out.
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