Chère

When a CBC TV employee is downsized he decides to invest his severance pay in a friend’s bizarre theatre production.

But when a beautiful choreographer comes between the two men, the production begins to unravel. A mockumentary about love, desire, friends and furniture.

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Brian G. Smith
Writer: Ken Hall

Director’s statement

Brian G. Smith says:

“This film came about principally because of the location. The entire second floor of the building where my office is located in downtown Toronto has been vacant since the eco-crisis. The space is so beautiful. Everytime I walked past it, I wondered ‘What film could I make that would work in there?’

Then I went to see 2 man No-Show, a sketch comedy production at the Toronto Fringe Festival this past summer. One sketch in particular stood out to me – Ken Hall’s clown ‘concept piece’ about a man falling in love with a chair.

When Darryl’s annual Hard Liquor and Porn Film Festival came around this past fall, I decided to enter the 69 Hour Film Challenge. As is often the case, there were several criteria we had to include as part of the film challenge: i) a pie ii) a robot and iii) a specific line of dialogue (about ‘doing it’ on all fours).

Recently, I had decided to start acting again and wanted to cast myself in a film. So I asked Ken to deconstruct his chair piece with me in a mockumentary about the development of the theatrical concept.

I added the character of ‘Lydia’ to the film to create a central conflict around which the relationship between theatre director and actor could fall apart. There was, as is usual in my films, a lot of improv involved; Ken was a student of mine at The Second City.

We shot the whole thing in five hours and cut it together that night. It was Nuit Blanch in Toronto that Saturday so there was a lot of energy around for our all-nighter. But the beautiful old warehouse location is, for me, the fifth Beatle in this little film.”

About Brian G. Smith

Brian-G-Smith

Brian is a filmmaker, actor and teacher specializing in comedy. An award-winning alumnus of Toronto’s The Second City, Brian’s work has been broadcast on television throughout the world at many international film festivals.

Recently, Brian co-produced a nine-part web series about NOW Magazine, Toronto’s number one weekly free magazine. The series is considered a Canadian landmark both in terms of content (a hybrid doc-mock combo) and social media promotion (seven non-profit agencies were given free ‘community partner’ roles).

Brian also teaches improv at The Second City Training Centre in Toronto. He is owner/director of You and Media, a creative production company in Toronto.

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