Training Wheels

Jess has been secretly in love with her best friend Jack for years. Will she be able to teach Jack how to kiss without letting her crush show?  And will Jack wake up and see that the perfect girl is right in front of him?

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Ravi Steve
Producer: Tara Boire

Director’s statement

Ravi Steve says:

“I might as well just tell you the truth. The whole reason I made Training Wheels was because I was mad at Degrassi. Well, maybe not the ‘whole’ reason but it was definitely part of the reason. But wait a minute. Who gets mad at a teen drama? And even if you do get mad at a TV show, shouldn’t you just throw popcorn at the screen?

I had just finished shooting my first TV show – a three-camera comedy for tweens called How To Be Indie. I loved working on Indie as the acting coach but I really wanted the big chair. I fought for a director’s spot and the powers that be finally succumbed to my subliminal campaign of not-so-casually mentioning how awesome I was. Eventually they offered me a kick at the can and I’ll always love them for that. The shoot was great, I learned a ton and, best of all, my episode turned out to be awesome. I was hungry for more and was feeling like the greatest thing to happen to directing since sliced directors.

Being a long time Degrassi fan I thought I was a perfect fit to direct their show. Presumptuous, I know, but I wasn’t entirely crazy. I knew I didn’t have a chance of walking in there and getting a director’s spot but I loved the show and wanted to learn from the inside. I thought I’d be a great candidate for a shadowing position. I emailed production and pleaded my request but got only radio silence in return.

I know how slammed production can get while shooting so I decided to get tenacious. And by tenacious, I mean kinda stalker-ish. I hunted down the directors I knew that had worked the show and even Facebook-stalked their DOP. I got nowhere but everyone was very gracious as they declined, and not one person pointed out how crazy I must have sounded.

At this point I was a little dejected. They didn’t want me to learn from them? Fine! I’ll learn from myself! I was determined to make a teen show of my own that was better than theirs! I scraped together my nickels and made Training Wheels, an 8 min teen dramedy filled with passion, sweat and love.

And then it was ignored. Nearly every festival imaginable sent a polite ‘go screw yourself’ form letter while collecting my entry fee. I was heart broken. Maybe I was crazy. Maybe my film was garbage. No wonder the Degrassi folks never called me back – I suck!

And then things changed. The awesome folks at the CFC seemed to like it enough to let me into the Director’s Lab, and then the DGC nominated me for best short film among some amazingly stiff competition. And here I am online on the NSI site!

So did I succeed? Did I out-Degrassi Degrassi? I guess what I learned was it doesn’t matter. In then end it wasn’t about them. It was about getting better at what I love – telling stories about young people. And despite my crazy intentions there is real honesty in the film. It was a blast to make and I feel I grew as a director. Training Wheels is a film I am proud of and was one of the best filmmaking experiences I have had to date.

I hope you like it. And if you do, please share it with someone.”

About Ravi Steve

Ravi-Steve

Based in Toronto, Ravi Steve has dedicated his career to creating content about and for young people. His most recent film, the teen dramedy Training Wheels, was nominated for 2012 Director’s Guild of Canada Award in the Best Short Film category.

This past year, Ravi directed an episode of How To Be Indie for Heroic TV/YTV after working as the season’s acting coach. In 2010/11 Ravi completed Remix-to-Rio, a multi-award-winning one-hour documentary following a youth-run outreach program as they navigate the streets of Rio.

He also produced the one-hour television special Toronto in 24 for Hildebrand/OMNI, a film that has garnered over 20 international awards, nominations and official film festival selections including three Gemini award nominations and one win in 2011. In 2006 Ravi’s script for YTV’s Prank Patrol was nominated for a Banff World Television Award and also earned the show a Gemini award nomination.

Ravi and has directed, edited, written, acted and dialogue-coached for shows on YTV, Discovery Kids, Family Channel, Disney and others. Ravi is currently at the Canadian Film Centre developing his first feature film.

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