Posted: July 31, 2012
Fredericton, New Brunswick born and based writer/director Gia Milani is in the midst of making her movie.
The script for which has already garnered international recognition – taking home the Script Accessible Award at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
After what we'll soon discover has been a four year journey from first thought on paper to first shot on film – Gia is directing her first feature. It took time to get the story to the point that is would rise above thousands of other scripts to win awards and time to get all the pieces of the production – from locations and wardrobe to the all important cast – in place and ready for 'action'.
And now that the right time has come...
Ms. Milani is beyond busy with ALL THE WRONG REASONS – but we couldn't let this movie making milestone pass without a smidge of insight from the filmmaker herself. Gratefully, what follows is our Q & A, as they say, with Gia Milani
SABS: First thanks for making the time I've gotta believe these are busy days for you... or should I say nights. With the movie being based in a store – you must need to shoot in the off hours?
Gia Milani: Indeed, we are shooting a lot of nights. We’ve actually done a full week of nights so far, so conversations at 4:30 a.m. are getting funnier by the day. The store is fully operation, so we have no choice but to go in when it's closed. And the film takes place over the Xmas holiday season in Halifax – from about the end of November to mid January – so the store is dressed in Xmas décor nightly. I'm lucky to have an amazing art department who dress and undress the store daily.
SABS: When we think about a movie being made it's easy to imagine it begins when the cameras start to roll – but this project has been in the works for a while – and has scored some tremendous recognition along the way. But take us way back now - when did the idea for ALL THE WRONG REASONS first come to you.
Gia Milani: The film deals with post-traumatic stress disorder. I have friends in the military who deal with PTSD. And although my characters are not in the military, the story is, at least in part, rooted in their experiences – how they cope with re-integrating back into a safe society after being in life-threatening situations and witnessing severe trauma.
I wrote the first draft in my friend’s coffee shop, Reads Café, in Fredericton in 2008. The final version is much different than the original, but it got its spine that year.
SABS: The story itself sounds amazing, but with such a confined setting and such a small group of characters – so much of its success depends on a great cast – and it seems like you've assembled just that. How long did that process take.
Gia Milani: We started the casting process last fall with our casting director Heidi Levitt, who cast THE ARTIST. She sent the script out to agencies and it got immediate attention. I was really surprised. And flattered! We tried to cast character by character so they really complemented each other. And seeing it all come together now, they have the most amazing chemistry.
SABS: Before I let you go.... after all this time... now that you're finally shooting your first feature... give me one sentence to describe the feeling.
Gia Milani: Humbled to be working with such a dynamic and seasoned cast and crew. And right here in Nova Scotia, is just the icing on the cake.
SABS Background & Backing...
The film is about choices made in the aftermath of severe traumatic stress and hinges on four lives that intersect in a big box department store. Through complex character development, the film explores relationships, intimacy and redemption with humour."
Shooting July 18 - August 15, the film is scheduled for a theatrical release in 2013, and a subsequent television release on TMN and Movie Central for 2014.
ALL THE WRONG REASONS is produced by Milani, Tony Whalen (Shore Road Pictures) and Phylis Laing (Buffalo Gal Pictures), with cinematography by Genie-nominated Stephanie Weber-Biron (Heartbeats), in collaboration with Telefilm Canada, Pacific Northwest Pictures, Myriad Pictures, the province of New Brunswick, and Film Nova Scotia tax credits. Vancouver-based Pacific Northwest Pictures will release the film in Canada, and PNP’s Emily Alden will serve as an Executive Producer. Myriad Pictures will handle all international rights outside of Canada.
For more information on Gia's company Shore Road Pictures Inc. visit www.shoreroadpictures.com