A world of fairies and childhood imagination comes to life under the direction of Nanaimo filmmaker Andrew Jones.
Inspiration for the film, Finding Fairies, came when he was walking with his family in Beach Estates Park near his home and his eight-year-old daughter Lilah said “this looks like a place where fairies would live,” said Jones.
“It really is a story that builds upon and expands the cultural mythology that surrounds the tooth fairy and expands it a little more,” said Jones. “This little girl gets a behind-the-scenes look at the tooth fairy and what she does.”
The film explores concepts of childhood wonder and love used to overcome fear. Visual imagery used in the film borrows from Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Narnia.
“None of the story is the same, but that is the feel,” said Jones.
The costumes, designed by LuLu Bee Creations, enhance the fantasy quality of the film, he said.
Jones created the digital short film Finding Fairies with a $10,000 grant provided by Telus’ StoryHive project.
Grant winners were chosen by online voting. Jones said the community really got behind the project.
After filmmakers submit ideas there is an online voting period. Completed projects enter another voting round to select the top two projects, one for each province. Winners receive a scholarship to the Banff World Media Festival, distribution of their film on Telus platforms and career training.
Jones has worked on several independent filming projects before, such as directing music videos and commercial and training videos, but said digital shorts give people a chance to use visual storytelling in a different way.
“The thing about doing a short film is it gives you a chance to tell a story in a really concise and meaningful way,” said Jones.
He owns Checkered Owl, a media and arts company, with his wife Sarah and business partner Nathan Fast. He moved from Grande Prairie, Alta., to Nanaimo a few years ago.
Filming Finding Fairies was a family affair. The digital short stars his three children Lilah, 8, who plays Anna; Caleb, 6, who plays Benny; and Lucy, 4, who plays the tooth fairy. It also stars Ninjer the rabbit.
Shooting the short film took about four days in January and then the remainder of the month was spent editing the footage.
StoryHive funding also allowed Blake Mattson, who was born and raised in Nanaimo but moved to Vancouver, to assist with the lighting for the digital short Umbrageous by Vancouver filmmaker Jesse Pickett.
Mattson said good lighting is something audience members shouldn’t notice, even though it can influence the story’s mood.
“I quite enjoy lighting; it’s almost like a puzzle,” he said. “A lot of what you do there goes unnoticed.”
Mattson said the use of light to enhance shadows can make a character seem sinister or ugly and softer light can give a character a more angelic look.
For more information about StoryHive, please visit www.storyhive.com.