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Nathan Douglas

Cinema Sacramentary

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I'm currently working on my next project, "Cinema Sacramentary," which is a cycle of three one-shot, one-take short films that focus on an individual for 7-8 minutes as they cope with a moment of sudden emotional upheaval. All of the films can function as standalone pieces (and will be treated as such for festival purposes), but are loosely related in how they each feature a person seeking to connect with an absent loved one; at the same time, their words could be understood on a certain level as a prayer, hence the "sacramentary" in the series' title. A brief breakdown:

 

"Son In The Barbershop:" A teenager getting a haircut eavesdrops on a middle-aged man's phone call with his estranged son. As he listens, he begins muttering his own responses (in Russian) to the man's questions, filling in the silent gaps with his own slowly unfolding history.

 

"Ad Orientem:" A distraught woman seeks quiet within a downtown cathedral, but her prayers are interrupted by a persistent phone call. As she dialogues with her caller, she wanders around the cathedral's aisles in a haze, trying not to disturb anyone, but becoming more and more lost in her desire for the one she's speaking to. This is to be filmed in one wandering, unbroken following shot, and not showing her face until the very end.

 

"Prayer To The Virgin For His Daughter:" A tuxedo-clad middle aged man drives down a rural highway, heaving out prayers of sorrow at his failings as a father. He pulls over to regain his composure and is interrupted by his daughter's phone call, demanding to know why he's so late for her wedding.

 

We shot "Son" last weekend and I'm quite pleased with the results. "Ad Orientem" is currently participating in a Vancouver-based competition for $10,000 grants being awarded to 10 productions that win enough votes. If you're interested in supporting this work, please do check out the page, sign up for free, and vote. Whether we win a grant or not, I'd like to get this in the can by end of summer.

 

"Prayer" will hopefully be tackled within the next year, but it's on hold for the moment as the location is out of province and I'm basically funding these out of my savings. But we'll get there.

 

All in all, it's a good time. I'm really glad to be working on these little films.

Edited by Nathan Douglas

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This concept sound well realized. I really like what you've come up with here! Let us know how your progress is coming! I hope it does well and is a great success!

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