The Long Way Around: Update On The Documentary

seanianPhoto: Nordica Photography

It's been a while since the last update on the documentary (almost a year in fact). Much has happened since then, so I figure it's high time to share it.

First, let's go back to early 2009. Sean and I had asked everyone to help donate towards the film, to help us pay for post-production expenses like footage logging, and shoot new interviews with Sean's previous employers in far-flung places like Edmonton and Toronto.

Meanwhile, I continued to edit the film, and was finally able to complete the first 80 minute assembly cut. This is equivalent to the first draft, where your work may contain solid elements, but still has a long way to go.

Enter Company X

Around May 2009, out of the blue, Sean and I were approached by a fledgling company in Miami – we'll call them Company X. They were interested in creating a website geared towards job seekers, and understandably, they loved Sean's project. In exchange for helping cross-promote their own soon-to-be-launching website, they would invest some funds in the film to see it to completion.

Considering we still needed a substantial sum to finish post-production, Sean and I agreed to the partnership. Company X invested in the film and hired a production company (let's call them Company Y) to bring their expertise to the table.

Around August 2009, I sent my initial cut and raw footage down to Company Y (also in Miami) and they spent the next 2 months re-crafting the film.

Welcome to Miami


In late October, Sean and I flew down to Miami to finally meet everyone in person. We watched the first re-cut of the film from Company Y. We sat on the beach and drank beers. And we generally had a great time. Things were proceeding along.

In November, Company X decided to dissolve.

Sean and I weren't privy to the full story, but suffice to say, they were no longer building their new career website, and therefore, we decided to part ways. This also meant retrieving our footage from Company Y, and returning the production back to Vancouver.

Taking It Home

So in Dec 2009, here's where we stood: it had been almost a year since my first cut of the film. Aside from some helpful, but mostly cosmetic, changes from Company Y, the film remained the same.

Sean and I decided it was time to retake matters into our own hands.

We assembled our own team in Vancouver. We enlisted the expertise of Jessica McKee, goddess editor, and Caroline Manuel, music supervisor extraordinaire. And finally, we asked the creative collective Vividus FX to design original graphics and animation to illustrate Sean's story.

The Present Day

There's a saying in the book writing industry. “When you think you're're halfway.” This truism also hits home for documentary filmmaking.

But now we're in the home stretch.

The film has gone through a major finesse, we're collecting amazing indie bands for the soundtrack, and the FX are stunning.

On the eve of Sean's upcoming book release (late March in Canada, May 4 in the US), the film is on track for completion this Spring. While challenges remain (for instance, licensing expensive media clips), when we consider how far we've come, and the unwavering support from friends, family, and strangers along the way, we know the goal is attainable.

As we gear up for a big year, we'll keep everyone posted!

Thanks again for joining the journey.

- Ian

Update On The Doc and Book

Who would have thought: writing a book and editing a doc are extremely challenging endeavours. Luckily, Sean's already polishing his second draft of the One Week Job book.

Myself, I've completed almost 60 minutes of the initial documentary rough edit, and am very pleased (so far). I believe the final result will be an inspiring story, captured in such a way as to remain topical and timeless.

Of course, thanks to all our generous producers who have donated towards the film.

I have extended the deadline for contributions until May 1, which is when the first cut of the doc should be completed.

One Week Job Surpasses $3500 In Documentary Funding

Outdoor skating makes me pump my fist in the air!Photo: Outdoor skating last week while filming in Edmonton

Thanks to our wonderful supporters, we've now passed $3500 in doc funding. This is a huge milestone! Sean and I are supremely grateful for your dollars and every bit helps us bring the One Week Job doc closer to completion.

For those that wish to support us in other ways, check out 6 ways you can help spread the word.

Last week Sean and I were in Edmonton shooting an interview with Henri Ferguson of Lotus Soul Gym (for those who remember Sean's week as a yoga instructor).

I've also shot interviews with Sean's parents, sister, friends, and also an interview with Sean himself. This means 90% of the shooting is complete. I've also managed 25% of the initial edit - which means we're right on track for a summer 2009 release.

Doesn't get more exciting than that!

Shooting More Interviews, And Testing The Lighting Kit

Now that we're officially done logging the tapes, I've actually started the editing process! That's right, the documentary has entered the editing stage. Having attempted for the last week to edit the opening, I quickly realized: I'm still missing some key interviews. That said, January will become "the month of shooting follow up interviews."

In preparation, I've started playing around with lighting, something I didn't do during the actual One Week Job project. (When you're shooting on the fly, lighting just isn't possible).

I spent the last 5 minutes playing around with Ikea desk lamps to see if they'll work in a pinch. Here's the result below, including an adlib on my part:

Doc Interview On FreshFM In London, Ontario

Retro RadioIf you're from London, Ontario, you may have caught my interview with Jeff Kelly on FreshFM. We discuss how you can become a producer for the doc, and the project as a whole. Check it out in 3 parts below.

Part I [audio:ian_july_21.mp3]

Part II [audio:ian_pt_2_july_21.mp3]

Part III [audio:ian_pt_3_july_21.mp3]

What do you think of the interview? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Producer Profile: 5 Questions With Kyle MacDonald

We're be profiling the producers who have donated towards the One Week Job documentary film. Would you like to be featured? First, become a producer!

Kyle MacDonald is a fan of trading things for other things. He's also a fan of One Week Job! Here's 5 questions with Kyle:

1. What was the worst job you've ever done? What was the best?

Worst = data entry at a bank Best = modeling Italian soccer jerseys in Thailand

2. What are the types of things you're passionate about?

Trying out new things, traveling, having fun, and 1990 Burgundy Dodge Caravans.

3. What do you find most interesting about the One Week Job project?

Sean had to do something new each monday morning and he often had no idea what he'd be doing the next week even on the Sunday night. Triage decision making at its best.

Also, Sean's hair.

4. Why did you decide to donate toward the One Week Job film?

Because I don't want Sean and Ian to couchsurf at my house for the rest of their lives. Also, when I watch movies I usually eat popcorn. And popcorn is delicious.

5. What do you hope to see represented in the film?

Sean's "can do" attitude. And by "can do" attitude, I mean drunken late night soul searching ramblings and extraordinary unexpected and unplanned daytime adventures. Also, film maker-subject tensions to increase ratings.

Become a One Week Job documentary producer - Donate online right now!

One Week Job Meets Lord Of The Rings?

In Week #46, Sean worked as a Park Ranger at the Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. A few afternoons were spent walking across miles and miles of incredible hardened lava flows - and there was one rise in particular that caught my eye. As Sean and the crew topped the ridge, it made me think of the iconic scene in Lord of the Rings when the fellowship strikes out on their mission. So I made them go back and I shot the footage.

Now, months later in the editing room, I found the footage, and couldn't resist adding the music.

Producer Profile: 5 Questions With Leslie Evans

As part of a new feature, we'll be profiling the producers who have donated towards the One Week Job documentary film. Would you like to be featured? First, become a producer! 1. What was the worst job you've ever done? What was the best?

Leslie Evans

Leslie Evans likes rollercoasters. Hates spiders.

The worst job I have ever done is....sorting fruit when I was young, my first job. It was the worst because of all the spiders - I HATE spiders!

The best job would have to be one I didn't actually get paid for, so maybe that doesn't count as a job. I was an assistant coach with a community Special Olympics swim team.

I got to wear the craziest hats I could find, and no matter what the day turned out to be, you were always certain there were happy people at the end!

2. What are the types of things you're passionate about?

Smiles. Laughter. Seeing people accomplish something and the look on their face when they do it. Rollercoasters. Yes, definitely passionate about those!

3. What do you find most interesting about the One Week Job project?

The fact that someone is doing what everyone has always wanted to do. Trying things you would never in your right mind think you would enjoy, but trying anyway.

4. Why did you decide to donate toward the One Week Job film?

I donated to kick up my karma count! Joking!

I donated because if I can't do it, why not help someone who can, someone who will have the ability to show young people its okay to search, really search, for the things you want to do in life.

It's hard out there for young people (even older) to find a career they love, there is so much pressure to know from the time you hit high school that someone proving we all don't know right away what we want to do is something worth giving to.

5. What do you hope to see represented in the film?

I hope to see choice represented. The choice to like or not like a job and celebrate in that choice.

Become a One Week Job documentary producer - Donate online right now!

Lindsay Jackson Joins The Documentary Team

Lindsay JacksonHi loyal readers of One Week Job and new visitors alike! I'm very excited to be able to introduce myself as the newest member of the One Week Job family. My name is Lindsay Jackson.

For those of you who graduated from high school with Sean, you would probably know me as Bryan Jackson's little sister.

Now a Documentary film student at Capilano University, I am very pleased to be able to join Ian and Sean in the making of the One Week Job film.

Currently assisting Ian in the task of logging footage, I will also be posting on the website and helping in the post production stage of the film, helping with film festivals and publicity.

If you have any questions or just feel like dropping a line, you can always reach me by email at or just leave me a comment on the page.

Once again, I look forward to the next several months of hard work!

- Lindsay

One Week Job Officially Announces Documentary!

IMG_6941Greetings all! It's been a few months since the last blog post, but both Sean and I have been busy. You may already know that Sean is hard at work writing his book, based on his experiences during the One Week Job project (to be published Spring 2009).

Myself, on the other hand, have the task of taking all the footage we shot (over 80 hours) and assembling it into a rip-roaring, educational documentary.

With the launch of a brand new website One Week Job: The Documentary it's now official! The film has started production.

But there's a twist.

We're asking all our fans, supporters, and guardian angels to help support the film by donating an hour of their wage. We know, we're crazy.

But we think, just as the One Week Job project was only possible with the support of others - whether they lent us a few bucks, their couch, or gave us a ride - the documentary will be made possible through others.

Along with your donation, you'll get your name on our Supporters Wall (coming soon) and in the credits of the documentary.

We're also looking for business sponsorship, so if you know/have a company that would be interested, let us know!

To learn more, read the official press release.