Chaos Theory: The film project that set a new direction
In January 2014 I had a vision of doing something much more introspective in terms of a web series. Currents had been a way to learn (or at least begin to learn) the documentary form, Made In Canada took that one step further with storytelling, but with Chaos Theory I wanted to throw that all out completely and take it to a whole other approach. To do this I had to stray from the normal approach of find a story and let it guide me.
The main source of inspiration was my love for whitewater and how it compels me in levels much more than just paddling down a river. It connects to my soul and provides me more focus than anything else. The only thing I found I could make the comparison was various forms of art. Specifically in the beginning it was percussion.
To me percussion is something that from the outside can be so chaotic but there is always a calming pulse below the surface. Class 5 rapids are the same once you get to understand how to translate that initial turbulence.
Articulating this project to the sponsor/distributor was a lengthy process and ultimately the project got support. However, when it came to any of the drafts and the final project, the company ultimately did not support it. I will not mention the name of the company because I still work with them and have a good relationship.
Losing this support from the company that helped get the project off the ground was a hard pill to swallow. The worst part was that there was never an explanation. So in the end, I had this project that really took a lot for me to produce with travel, work, shooting, etc and as well really took a lot of me emotionally and ultimately was dropped with zero feedback. It is hard to really understand what made that happen from an artist’s point of view but impossible not to take personally when you put your heart into something.
I was really proud of the project and finally decided to go ahead and release the project on my own. It was actually the first project that I released under my own name. In a way it was a turning the page.
I found out how hard it is to get people to see your project with no support from bigger name sponsors. It wasn’t like previous projects that would have a good amount of success right off the bat. Really, no one knows who I am as a filmmaker is what I thought. People know Five2Nine and the various companies I have represented.
In the end, Chaos Theory got positive feedback. It also got negative feedback which I had anticipated. It wasn’t a typical whitewater adventure film. It broke a mould.
I decided to submit various components to some film festivals. For the ones that it was accepted to it received awards and honours. It also took top honours at the National Paddling Film Festival (an award I have always strived for).
What I love about film festivals showing my work is that I know that people are there to see these films and allow themselves to be captivated by the images and stories on the screen. To receive an honour from a film festival is the ultimate recognition for me. It allows me to know that people truly enjoy the work beyond just a view or a like. As an artist that put together a hard project this is truly redemption for the difficult road it was to get people to see my vision.