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