How to make a movie in two days

Moira Sauer took 48 hours to make her first film. It ended up taking her to the Tromso International Film Festival in Norway. She made it as part of Cold Snap, a 48-hour filmmaking festival.

Moira Sauer took 48 hours to make her first film. It ended up taking her to the Tromso International Film Festival in Norway.

She made it as part of Cold Snap, a 48-hour filmmaking festival that happened in 2011 in Whitehorse.

Now, she’s ready to do it again at Yukon 48, a two-day filmmaking competition happening this weekend in Whitehorse and in Dawson City.

Her film, The Provider, was first in the yet-to-be-completed Northern Gothic Trilogy of silent, black-and-white movies.

This weekend, she and filmmaking partner Ian Stewart will expand into new genres.

“We decided that it was just yet another awesome opportunity to try something totally different for us,” said Sauer.

This weekend happens to be Sauer’s birthday weekend, when she has traditionally thrown a bonfire party.

“I stay away from providing beer, wine or food, because it all just freezes.

“But vodka’s great. I can just chuck a bunch of bottles into the snowbanks around the fire, and then have – I make ice glasses leading up to the party – and then everyone can just drink out of the glasses until they’re bored of it and then chuck it in the fire as well.”

This weekend’s bonfire will be featured in a documentary or mockumentary about Yukon winter parties and “the fact that I feel like I’m getting ancient,” said Sauer.

“I’m turning old,” she said when pressed for her age.

“It was something that I realized. ‘Wow, this is just part of our life up here, but maybe it could make for an entertaining 10 minutes for everybody who doesn’t get to a bonfire in the Yukon every winter.’”

How will it all come together? Sauer herself still has no idea.

“I don’t know what the footage is going to be, I don’t even know who is going to turn up or what they’re going to say.

“That’s all going to end up being cut together on a manic Sunday, as I try to paste together a film totally hung over.”

Sauer never wanted to make films. She’s a theatre actress, by training.

But when Neil Macdonald, executive director of the Northern Film and Video Industry Association, roped her into participating in Cold Snap two years ago, it opened her mind to a new world, said Sauer.

“He just took my arm and twisted it all the way around me and said, ‘Don’t be stupid. You just have to be able to tell a story, and you can totally tell a story. Go tell one.’

“Now I’ve realized, ‘Man, you know what? You can make a movie and then you can show it to whoever you want for as long as you want. You don’t need your five actors and the stage and the props and the set and the theatre house.’”

Macdonald is also helping to organize this year’s festival.

Yukon 48 is being put on jointly by the Northern Film and Video Industry Association, the Yukon Film Society, and the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture.

The competition will be held simultaneously in Whitehorse and Dawson.

KIAC has hosted a 48-hour filmmaking competition in Dawson for several years now, and this year’s event will take a similar format, said Macdonald.

Participants may plan out their films ahead of time, but all shooting and editing must occur during the 48-hour time frame.

Films can be of any genre, but can be no longer than 10 minutes and filmmakers should “keep it PG,” said Macdonald.

All the films will be screened a week later in Whitehorse and Dawson.

The teams will receive free tickets to the screening, plus a few extra for friends and family. The event will also be open to the public.

The winning film will be screened at the Dawson City International Short Film Festival in March.

New participants are invited to apply to the festival as late entries. The deadline for regular submissions has passed.

Teams can also opt-in to have their film screened on Whitehorse Cable 9.

The fee for the festival is $15 per team, and it’s not too late to register.

Interested participants in Whitehorse can email info@nfvia.com or info@yukonfilmsociety.com.

Those in Dawson can email filmfest@kiac.ca.

All Whitehorse teams will gather at the Yukon Film Society office at 212 Lambert St. at 5 p.m. on Friday. Those who have not registered can do so at that time.

Teams will have staggered start times after that.

The purpose of the event is to create more interest in filmmaking in the Yukon.

Sauer hasn’t looked back since Macdonald convinced her to get into the business.

“Oh my God, I’m so glad he did,” said Sauer. “And the poor guy hasn’t heard the end of it, either. Every time I see him it’s like, ‘You made me get into this. Now you’re stuck with all my silly questions.’

“He’s a very patient, magnificent mentor, that Neil. We’re so lucky to have him in this town.”

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Most Read