For All Time
A film directed by Madison Thomas, produced and starring Kevin P. Gabel. Debuting 2016.
Locally-made film starring Jacob Tierney and Jessica Pare. I have a minor part; my mom is a background performer in my scene.
I nabbed a part in this Abigail Breslin film. More info to come after shooting my one-day scene on the 14th of September.
Cast through Next! Casting, I was picked to portray a nurse with an accent; they wanted any ethnicity to come in with an accent, so I worked on my Jamaican patois, listening to my dad and watching Jamaican movies (The Harder They Come, Dance Hall Queen, Third World Cop, Shottas, Rockers) and shaped Sue the Nurse. Dawning my pink nurse’s uniform and working with Tina Keeper and Eric Schieg was delightful. Seeing my good friend, Tyhr “Geoff” Trubiak on set was also great to see a familiar face. I keep hoping they’ll bring me on as a re-occuring character. They may do a season 4.
A Question of Taste
Sara Arenson participated in a 48 hour film contest that also wrangled Yvette jones as we tackled this project. With outdoors weather, delayed filming, shuffling of crew members and long hours, we finally grinded out a short film that Sara gave me a copy of and it also on YouTube. I missed the public debut, but it didn’t win a prize. Anyway, it was fun to make.
I had the chance to do only my second student film in years and one of my colleagues happen to be Stephen Eric McIntyre, Alison Everett, Steed Crandall & Darren Felbel, written and shot by the young and talented Lief Palmi. If it were a big budget film, a star-studded vehicle, a whatever, there was still some humour in between takes and set-ups between us. It brings out the “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” feeling to the project, in fact, I never call acting work, even when I forget momentarily that hard work is involved. The film never made it to the film festival and we never had the chance to see it. Something about technical glitches.
You get the types of roles that you tell yourself as an actor that you refuse to do them. Playing a black slave or maid has landed in my lap, and this time, I played a runaway slave with my husband and child in tow. The thing about this type of role is to flesh out this person and steer clear of stereotyping; it’s too easy to get caught up in these types of roles, and with the scarcity of black actors in Winnipeg, I was up for the challenge. It took only one day to do and I have yet to see it. It was shown here but I couldn’t attend.
You Kill Me
After an audition and a callback, I got the call to do my first Hollywood film (shot partially in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada).
High-Point: Being on set with Sir Ben (as everyone refered to him) and having to make direct eye contact with him and Luke Wilson. Low-Point: The trailers we were given had private toilets, but they hadn’t been cleaned out in a long while, so the odour whafted throughout the rooms after every flush. The whole time I’m there, I’m disbelieving my luck and ecstatic, yet making sure I don’t geek-out in front of the celebrities like beg for their autograph or have my picture taken with them. The shooting of my scenes were two days, starting each in the evening and ending early in the morning when most people were just travelling to their place of work. There was a whole 11 hours before having to be on-set again for everyone there. It would’ve been fun to share scenes with my friends Aaron Hughes and Scott Heindl, the latter I hadn’t seen since we were on set for The Dead Zone. This also got me my final credit into the actor’s union, making me a full-union member, but just doing the film was the most natural high I could get. The Sweet Six were: Omar Khan, Katie Messina, Will Woytowich, Joanne Rodriguez, meand Micheline Marchildon as pictured on the right.
The Chosen Family
This girl Erica, whom I’d only met a few times, gave my phone number to Maureen Bradleyone day to audition for her then-titled movie, It’s Me, Margret. I had just found out about this when Maureen called me to ask if I’d audition for her film. I walked to Video In on Main street and auditioned with Maureen and Morgan Brayton, (A former-member of one of the coolest all-girl comedy troupes 30 Helens), who was the lead and had worked with Maureen before. I only had a couple of lines that were faxed to me days before, so they were easy. It was a simple and painless process; whenever I audition for a film or stage production, I put it behind me so I don’t get neurotic about it like I use to. After arriving home, my phone rang: It was Maureen telling that I’d gotten the part of girlfriend #11, that it was union and I could acquire a credit! I was delighted, for I hadn’t any at this point. Usually, when I’m on a movie set, I’m a background player, so you could imagine my joy at being there as an ACTOR and being treated better. I’d stumbled upon my lines a few times but Maureen was very patient with me. After finishing my one and only scene, Maureen announces, “Everybody, that’s a wrap for Lorraine James!” and the cast and crew applauded! I’d seen the final cut of the film but it was edited again and I have a copy of that which was shown at the Out On Screen Film Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival with a bunch of other shorts.
There was a notice in The Georgia Straight needing actors for a student film, Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design to be exact. I used a monologue and Joao Cardiero ended up casting me. I eventually met with the rest of the cast and there were several rewrites of the piece. Jennifer was the writer who attended most of the rehearsals. The one scene that I appeared in was shot on location in West Vancouver, shot in this old house belonging to Jennifer’s parents, which no longer stands there. The shooting process was somewhat tedious, as most filming in one spot can be, but we had as much fun as we possibly could to chase away boredom. We were crammed in the dining area where our scene was shot; the jazzier scene didn’t have me in it and I had no idea what it looked like. When the film premier months later, at the Pacific Cinematheque, I brought my neighbour-friend Suzanne along to see it. We waited through the other student films being shown until ours came up. That was when the magic of filmmaking really hit me. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was impressed with the outcome. I have a copy of that tape too.
A fellow alumni from the Gastown Actor’s Studio, (Wendy Niamath), submitted my name for a film being shot. Since I don’t drive, I travelled all the way to Richmond B.C. by bus and found the address without a hitch. Jason and Heather Coleman were a great couple and they simply asked if I wanted to be in their film. They put me through the audition and asked me again and of course I said yes (I was non-union at the time so I didn’t know any better), arriving late to the first read-through. As difficult as it was getting there at night, I got there. I was given the role of Anita, the wife of a black politician who hired an assasin to have him killed. Later on, there were problems with the original actor playing my husband, as he had conflicts with his work schedule, so that storyline was cut and so was I. They felt bad about it and recast me in a smaller role as a mute killer. Eventually, the original scene was recast and shot with other actors. I didn’t hear much of what happened to the film, but I ended up buying a copy of the VHS Cassette for 30 bucks! I had a great experience working on the film and they were a great bunch. I hope they’re still going about their filmmaking.