“Filmmaking interests everyone. It is the recording of the human experience. As writers, we love the ability to shape the words before they go into your head, to carve out our sentiments unchangeably before we pass them on to you. It’s this control of expression that we love. Filmmaking is much more complicated and is much more complete an artistic expression than writing. In this sense, I see filmmaking as sort of a natural extension of the written word.”
Jason Wan Lim has been captivated by film his entire life, but only recently ventured into the director’s seat. “My journey into film was kind of a sudden one,” says Jason. After years of waiting tables and writing plays and stories that never saw the light of day, he realized that no one was going to come knocking on his door to ask to produce one of his scripts. He enrolled in SAIT’s Film and Video Production program at age 36.
On a break between the first and second years of his program, he took $10,000 and ten of his smartest classmates off to Drumheller for six days to shoot a 37 minute short film – a virtual business card to promote their work.
As luck would have it, an influential party became interested in the short, and challenged Jason to write a script for a marketable film. After three weeks locked in his room, writing away, he presented a script he thought would appeal to the main movie-going demographic – males from age 15 to 25.The rest, as one might say, is history.
Now Jason’s first feature film, Gettin’ In, is set for a four-night run of engagement at Canyon Meadows Cinemas in South East Calgary in mid-October. There will also be two rock concerts of Gettin’ In’s live soundtrack, shown with Gettin’ In as a double feature. Details are still being worked out, so check www.gettinin.ca for updates on the events.
The film is an inductee into the classic genre of teen sex comedy.
“I got to retrieve every juvenile thing I’d done or encountered in my teenage years. I created a couple foolish 17 year old boys and threw at them every disaster and insult I could think of. I made a mishmash of all the morons I knew in high school and formed out of them the slimiest of characters. And then I thought up the most ridiculous impediment in the world for a teen hero to overcome while trying to get the girl,” says Jason.
Joey Wald (played by Joe Perry, a Mount Royal graduate), is one sexually frustrated 17-year-old. Between dealing with his changing feelings towards his best friend Sherry and his inappropriately hot stepmom, Joey mistakes a “sure” signal from Lucy – the girl of his dreams and Shelly’s big sister. Embarking on a mission along with his best friend Larry, Joey has to brave a variety of hilarious obstacles to get ready for his important date night with Lucy.
Jason also had a few challenges with the making of the film – maybe less ridiculous than those faced by Joey, but difficult nonetheless. “I struggled with each process in the making of this film, but I loved doing it, especially as each process was finishing,” says Jason. “We’ve been so lucky! Each time there has been a hurdle, we’ve managed to get over it. When I know more and can apply my education and experience on future films, I will continue struggling to become a better filmmaker.”
And, as delays and struggles go, the ones Jason put up with sound pretty funny. “The star actor of the film once decided to put on a pair of handcuffs he found on set, assuming the key must be nearby. That was one of the more enjoyable delays we had.”
Gettin’ In was shot entirely in and around Calgary. When you’re watching the film, keep an eye outfor Eau Claire’s Barley Mill, Sandy Beach Park, and Rundle Convenience Store, as well as other local spots and homes. Local actors also take the spotlight in the film, with many of the main parts going to actors from Jason’s earlier short film (Joe Perry, Josh Brennand, Matt Molyneux, Sarah Cook, and Derek Losoncy). The film also stars Loose Moose Theatre Company mainstay Andrew Phung, who, according to Jason, does his best to steal the show.
Although the film began as a challenge to create something marketable, it quickly became much more for Jason. “Though it wasn’t the project I originally set out to create, I want to make it clear that it was the project I fell in love with,” he says. “I could not in fact think of a situation during my life that I’ve better enjoyed.”
To check out the film’s trailer, visit: http://gettinin.ca/