Every movie set has its share of nerve-wracking challenges – whether it’s an unprepared cast member, post-production fixes, or too many directors on set. But what’s the biggest challenge of all? Ask Hayden Currie and TJ Derry. According to the best friend/cameramen duo, creating a movie that’s exciting and gut-wrenchingly more hilarious than your average Hollywood blockbuster on a shoestring is as hard as it gets.
The Film Student Movie – a comedy mockumentary that chronicles the trials and tribulations of one man’s rise from film student to star – has gained traction in the Toronto film scene for its witty script and guerrilla filmmaking style. Now in post-production, what began as a joke about lax film school admission requirements four years ago has since evolved into a full-length feature film.
With over 15 years of combined experience in the film industry (Hayden left film school and works as a director for Dollface Films and TJ is a retired pro-snowboarder who is now Director of Hard Citizen, a Toronto production company), the filmmakers knew they could cut costs by taking on multiple roles; together they wrote, cast, starred in, produced, directed, and edited the film. They even used their Toronto apartment as the primary filming location.
“I always knew I wanted to make movies,” says Hayden when asked about his inspiration behind the film. “I come from a small town where nothing seems possible. I knew I could do it; I just had to figure it out.”
“We needed to do it. Every day that passed I was dying a little on the inside,” adds TJ who was also the first to admit that he and Hayden couldn’t have done it alone. Luckily, they have a long roster of skilled, dedicated, and connected friends to which they could turn.
Scott Taylor – a music supervisor with Girth Music and close friend who both acted in and executive produced the film with Hayden and TJ – financially invested in the movie before even reading the script. This plainly proves their shared passion for film and a mutual trust in their creative abilities. Scott and Girth Music have also headed up music supervision in post-production.
TJ adds that the unbelievable support they received from William F. White made a significant difference in the film’s production value by providing access to top-notch equipment. Relationships with Pabst Blue Ribbon and Toronto’s George Street Diner added elements of credibility on a local and international level. They also credit Sebastian Kennedy and Zach Dulmage for invaluable support during the post-production phase.
After sharing a beer, lots of stories, and a ton of laughs with Hayden, TJ, and their friends, it was obvious how these charismatic guys were able to create a movie that has some big-time companies showing serious interest in marketing the film.
They’re proof that likeability, creativity, and tenacity can go a long, long way.
Be sure to keep an eye out for these guys. Don’t be surprised if you see them at Sundance or TIFF in the near future. For more information on the film’s progress and to learn about upcoming screenings, check out www.thefilmstudentmovie.com or follow them on Twitter: @thefilmstudent_ #theherp
WORDS: KERTNEY LYNN RUSSELL
PHOTOS: PAUL STEWARD
HAIR & MUA: LEXY ROBIDOUX
PICTURED HERE: TJ DERRY, HAYDEN CURRIE, RYAN LONG
TREVOR DUWYN, SOFIA TROOP, SCOTTY TAYLOR, JAREK HARDY
ZACK DULMAGE, SEBASTIAN KENNEDY & DARREN CHOW