There is not much that will stop the team involved in the production of Backseat Driver from making a quality film – including shooting a scene for hours in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, in -5 C temperature.
The film is a class project assigned to the students in the broadcasting television program in their last semester.
“I thought I was going to get trench foot,” said Annie Cullinan jokingly, a first-year public relations student who plays the part of Sierra in the film.
During the filming of the scene, Cullinan was only wearing a dress and boots. Coats and blankets were provided in between takes but it was still difficult to shoot. “It was so cold!” said Cullinan.
Backseat Driver is the story of Sierra and Will, a dysfunctional couple who have differing perspectives on their relationship and what they want from it.
According to the writer, second-year broadcasting television student Marian Momy, the story “challenges the idea of what romantic love is.”
However, getting a good mark is not their only goal.
“After uploading it to YouTube, we might put it in festivals and submit it to the CBC short film contest,” said Mitch Brule, Momy’s classmate and producer of the film.
In previous years, short films produced by students in the television program have been entered in local and national festivals. In 2014, Cast of One, a short film produced by Algonquin students, won the best storytelling award in the documentary category at Digi 60 Ottawa’s Digital Filmmaker’s Festival.
Ambitious goals like these, and a shared passion for what they do, is what drives this team to be on top of every detail of the production.
Scouting locations, casting, scheduling and editing are only the beginning of a long list of responsibilities that fall on the producer, the director and also the writer of the film.
“We were lucky enough to find someone in the music industry arts program who wanted to compose the music,” said Momy referring to the film’s sound designer, Jake Dangerfield.
According to Andrew Lloyd, director of the film and second-year television student, the whole process is a big team effort. “We’re like a family,” he said. “We love each other but we also hate each other.”