It hit me about an hour before midnight on Saturday. After calming that all-day adrenaline rush with a few frosty pints I realized “holy s*&t…we did it.”. It blows me away to think that just over a week before we had no idea what would become of Warmland and the Khatsahlano Music and Art Festival. That 4 days before we didn’t even have a budget. And that 36 hours before our production team was huddled in the living room trying to finalize the plan of attack. And yet, it happened- the miracle that was Khatsahlano. I was asked to summarize the day as I had the good fortune of directing this one and -if only for a few moments- got to witness the day as it unfolded from the perspective of all 31 of our crew. I must apologize in advance as I know I’m going to miss so many of the finer details that made the day what it was, but alas here goes anyways:
6:15am: The producing team (led by the miracle that is my film sister Marie Witt and film brother Chris Kummerfeldt), my actual brother Sean Avery, my assistant and lovely Alicia Margetts, and myself arrive on site to begin setting up in our production office and to document (timelapse) the ten city blocks as they transform into the greatest street party I’ve ever been to. It’s raining and I’m very close to a mild panic attack because of this but I’m too tired at this point to get there.
Over the course of the next 6 hours, a steady flow of familiar faces and some new ones march in and maybe it was my sleep deprivation but it seemed to me that the look on all their faces said “I am ready for war”. About 11 am, we have our interview team(directed and hosted by Darshan Rickhi, camera Sean Cox, sound JJ Hwang, A.C Janene West, and stills Nao Sugita) head out into the action where they would work tirelessly to interview tons of the bands, performers, festival-goers and most importantly- Nardwaur. That’s right, the human serviette and Canadian music journalism icon- Nardwaur. Darshan even got “Doot, dodo do doo’d” which I’m told fulfilled a childhood dream of his.
Around about 12 noon our hard hitting units A (Sean Avery, Bjorn Hermannes, Johnny Erwin, Cory Trembley, Nick Robinson, Grant Cunliffe, Paul Cho) and B (David Avery, Amy Hwang, Jaselle Martino, Alex van Nieuwkuyk) begin for them what will be a very long day in the sun on stage and in front of a crowd that spans into the thousands. By that point our ‘nomad’ teams had also taken off on foot which include Chaglar Turhan, Javier Arenales, Anthony Fabro, Andrew McCall, Humberto Corte, Alicia Margetts, Kim Tran, and Jory (who will be credited properly once I know his last name). The sun had come back by this point which at first I’m happy about but soon am fearing.
Back to the office- which is running as smoothly as if it had been in operation for years not 6 hours. We’ve got Warmland’s intern Emily Moe holding it down at the tech station, Daphne Batistella on communications, and Jaselle (who I’ll rightfully credit twice) with the brutal task of keeping track and recording the equipment of all 13 camera teams and 4 sound teams (and pulled it off). It’s about 2 pm which means I’m 9 hours in to my day and I don’t even know I’m hungry until the lovely Kalina Casey and Gabrielle O’Neill-Montgrain present me with the most delicious Panini and curried salad. These two made miracles happen with minimal time and budget and kept all our team in the game.
I would spend the next 8 hours walking back and forth on those ten city blocks watching an extremely talented crew capturing an extremely talented Vancouver music scene. It dawned on me very early in the day that this was the kind of project that I could see myself and Warmland repeating for many years to come. Warmland has always been community driven and this festival being for the community by the community made it such a perfect fit. I want to thank everyone that was involved from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the Warmland Family. It was a day we will remember for the rest of our lives. We’re now heading into Post-production for the project and will be releasing clips as soon as we can wrap our heads around the 30 hours of footage…could be around the same time next year…kidding…kind of.