R + J 4EVA

What if Romeo and Juliet didn’t kill themselves, but moved in together instead?

Creative team

Writer: Katherine Andrews
Director: Matthew Leslie Burke
Producers: Don Piano, Jon Bon Von Piano

Filmmaker’s statement

R+J 4EVA was a group effort. The script by Katherine Andrews was clever and funny and cinematic. Furthermore, KA provided our location and introduced me to our stellar actors (Susannah Kiernan as Juliet, Aaron Peever as Romeo), who nailed their roles so fast it felt like cheating.

Cinematographical duties were handled by partner-in-crime Josh Allen CSC, who ensured that the picture looked choice, regardless of time/money constraints or baroque directorial requests.

Our sound recordist was Darren ‘The Snowman’ Snowden, a consummate pro who made life breezy for the upstart sound designers: Count Floyd and Jonny Eargasm.

Photon Wrangler Hank Devos was the consensus selection of ‘Shoot MVP’ for his ability to do everything.

One can’t forget Ron Piano, the best steadicam op in town; makeup artist Sara Law, who heeded our last-minute call of need; the smooth vocal stylings of Bryan Hatt; and the plentiful bounty prepared by Yvonne Von Piano.

I am also contractually obligated to thank the producers – Don Piano and Jon Bon Von Piano – and to defer any accolades or appreciation of the film to them.

We made this film for $400 (half of which was spent on feeding the crew) and we’re pretty damn proud of that.

About Matthew Leslie Burke

Matthew Leslie Burke

Matthew Leslie Burke meandered onto his career path by messing around with video cameras and a linear tape-to-tape editing machine during spares in high school. He was intrigued enough by the process to attend York University’s film and TV program.

The next summer he won a Kraft Dinner video contest, appearing on three million boxes of the Canadian staple and winning enough prize money to afford completion of his BFA.

On the strength of his fourth-year film, he was hired by the major-label US band Grandaddy to create tour visuals, a documentary and music videos. This earned him enough credibility to continue to direct videos for other talented artists.

Jordan McGarry in Shots magazine: “Matt Burke’s sublime work for Zero 7’s In Time is very possibly the greatest feelgood moment in the history of music video.”

MLB’s music videos and docs have screened at festivals across the continent (SXSW, ResFest, Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival), aired internationally, and been nominated for MMVAs.

To help afford the lavish lifestyle demanded by his cats, MLB moonlights as a TV editor, shaping numerous programs of varying genres into Canadian Screen Award winners.

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