When Troy, a weathered youth pastor and former Christian rocker sends his favourite youth group member Michael off to college, he offers him a warning: the temptations awaiting him are unimaginable. Obsessively concerned that Michael's struggle with his sexuality may push him off the righteous path, Troy follows him to school to keep close watch over his devotion to God, and to Troy himself.
As a filmmaker, I am interested in stories that look at the pull between the internal and external self - how is a character's behaviour changed when they believe someone or something is watching and passing judgement? In Big Brother, I aim to look at this conflict and the innuendo that arises to protect our deepest being.
This film is part of my look as a director into the darkness that often simmers beneath the veneer of normal life. My time at a biblical skateboard camp as a kid in Alberta introduced me to a world of contradictions, where ideology and behaviour were not as in sync as they first appeared. It is the surreality of that experience, along with my interest in the incongruities of what is being said versus what is meant that motivated me to write and direct this film.
Big Brother is drenched in a moody atmosphere, exploring the darkness that lies below surface normality and the struggle between the public and private self. Through colour, lighting and camera movement, the film aims to create an isolating world. The misty blues and greys of dusk in the Pacific Northwest are paired with bleak, dimly-lit interior spaces. The camera floats subtly and creeps almost imperceptibly through locations establishing a deep tension beneath the seemingly mundane. Shot on a RED Epic Dragon with vintage Clairmont Anamorphic lenses, Big Brother has a unique visual style that sits in the valley between reality and the surreal.
Audio is another essential component of Big Brother's dark atmosphere, the sounds of breathing, drones, self-affirmation therapy recordings and Christian rock coming together to create a soundscape that follows Troy's descent into his conflicted self. This ambience works together with camera to sustain a tension throughout the film. Original Christian rock tracks from Troy's band “Crossroads” (composed by Jeff Zipp) provide narrative subtext, seemingly innocuous lyrics for songs like “I Will Follow” and “Watching You, Watching Me” taking on different meanings when paired with images of watching intently from afar.
The film is being produced as part of the University of British Columbia's Film Production program in Vancouver, Canada. Filmmaking is expensive; our program does not provide us with production funds for our films, and as current students, we are not yet eligible for public grants and bursaries, meaning our films are entirely self-funded.
Visual texture, colour and complex sound design are core elements through which the story and world of Big Brother are evoked. Though we were able to shoot the film ourselves, certain post production processes require a special level of expertise to execute properly. Professional sound mixing is key to building the detailed soundscape endemic to the film, while professional colour grading will ensure aesthetic cohesiveness and accuracy when dealing with raw footage.
- Colour Grading: matching and adjusting thematic colours to solidify the overall mood and look
- Sound Mixing: shaping the soundscape to complement the film's atmosphere
- Festival Submissions/Publicity: creating a website and publicity materials, burning DVDs, paying for festival submissions and festival DCP
Writer / Director / Editor / Sound Designer
Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Lucas Hrubizna is a filmmaker currently in his final semester of the Film Production Program at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver. After directing and editing the 30-minute documentary Will (2010) in his senior year of high school, Lucas has gone on to write and direct Cutie Suzuki (2012) and Hard Card (2014). His films have screened at VIFF, MWFF and FCVQ amongst other festivals across Canada.
Cinematographer / Editor
Born and raised in Vancouver, Blake is a working cinematographer in his final year of study in the Film Production program at the University of British Columbia (UBC). In 2012, Blake co-founded Lawn Party Films, a successful full-service production company, and has worked in the camera departments of projects that have been screened at VIFF and MWFF. Blake was awarded Best in Festival prize at the Surrey International Film Festival in 2010 and 2011.
Producer / Production Designer
Born in Montreal and raised in Toronto, Patty is in her final year of study in the Honours Film Studies program at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She has previously worked in producing and art direction for short films, including Lucas' previous film, Hard Card (2014) and David Findlay's Nephew (2015). Currently she is working towards completing her written Honours thesis, which uses feminist film theory and apparatus theory to locate and discuss feminist representations of women, particularly mothers, on screen.
Born and raised in Quebec City, David is a combined Film Production and Film Studies major at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in his final year of study. He has produced many short films, including Lucas' previous film, Hard Card (2014), and ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for his own film Nephew (2015), which is scheduled for release this coming May. His past short films have screened in festivals worldwide including Warsaw, Cannes Short Film Corner and MWFF.
Sean Anthony is a graduate of Theatre Humber's performance program in Toronto, Ontario. He has performed on many stages in Canada, the UK and Australia. Sean is also a singer/songwriter and has performed his own material as well as fronting the bands Sea Shepherd, littlemanhands and, most recently, Echo Hermits.
Alexander is originally from Edmonton, Alberta, having moved to Vancouver to pursue an acting career. Since graduating last year from the Vancouver Film School (VFS) Acting Program, Alexander has booked several parts on various short films and commercials.
Noah is an actor, filmmaker and fellow Film Production student at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Noah has acted in a number of short films, and his directorial debut, Their Son Ryan, is set to premiere along with Big Brother at UBC’s POV Festival in May.
What You Get (Rewards)
You are important to us in this process, and we want you to know it. Here are some perks to thank you for your contribution:
You'll get your named credited as a "thank you" in the film's credits.
The above + you get a download link for the film's soundtrack (which includes all 3 original Crossroads songs and the film's original score), as well as a private link to see one of Lucas' recent short films.
$50 The above + a private link to see Big Brother upon completion, as well as a limited edition 8x10" printed still from the film.
The above + a custom DVD package (which includes a physical DVD copy of the film and soundtrack CD, plus a booklet with exclusive behind the scenes photos and film stills) and a ticket to the premiere of the film at UBC's POV Festival in May.
The above + an invite to a private cast and crew screening of the film in Vancouver, a 18x24" Big Brother poster, and 2 festival tickets (pending festival acceptance).
$500The above + you'll get the giant, one-of-a-kind custom-painted 6x8' "Hip Hop" Jesus mural featured in the film.
The above (excluding the "Hip Hop" Jesus mural) + Associate Producer credit.
Risks and challenges
As with any film, time and money are two key concerns as we move into post-production. With program deadlines fast approaching, we've established a detailed post-production schedule and are well into the editing process to ensure the film is complete on time for professional mixing and colour grading.
Not only will professional involvement ensure that the film is completed on time, it will also allow our creative vision to be fully realized so as to be shared with wider audiences through promotion and festival submissions.
Having worked collectively on several short film projects in the last two years, and having had the opportunity to screen our work at festivals, we understand the demands of working under time and budget constraints and are committed to following our vision to completion.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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