Actress Dana Mobray

Actress Dana Mobray

Nanaimo filmmaker creates short film at Castaway Motel

NANAIMO - Five-minute film shot at Nanaimo's Castaway Motel features a femme fatale.

Brooke isn’t what she seems.

She’s a con artist, a femme fatale, but skillfully convinces a man named Dale, whom she met by chance, that she is an expectant mother in need of his help.

In a mere five minutes, the story of the two unfolds in the film The Castaway Motel, created by Nanaimo filmmaker Kerry Patten.

She constructed the film using only two actors in the motel. Dana Mobray plays Brooke and John Patten plays Dale.

The idea for the film was sparked more than a year ago when Patten was browsing through a photography book that featured the work of American photographer Gregory Crewdson. His work had a film noir theme.

It gave Patten the idea for a short film revolving around two people in a motel room.

Eventually, Patten said she hopes to write a full-length version of the film.

She decided to film at the Castaway Motel because of the neon sign.

“The sign is amazing,” she said. “I thought that would be cool for a film. That would be a cool 1950 feel.”

The film is currently in post production. After it’s completed, Patten hopes to enter it into film festivals. Patten hopes that if she can get the film into festivals it will attract attention to secure grants to write the full-length version.

Patten worked with Raymond Knight on the film. He handled the sound.

As a director, Patten said she tries to give the actors as much freedom as possible.

One of the things the crew had to contend with at the hotel was noise. Patten said you could hear trucks or people walking by outside the room so they had to dub the sound over the scenes after. It was a little challenging because in places the actors had improvised.

Her writing process is very regimented. Patten dons her tuque every time she sits down to write a script.

“I have this Where’s Waldo? tuque. I always wear it when I’m writing. It doesn’t matter how hot it is outside,” said Patten.

She attended film production courses at Vancouver Film School. While she was attending the film school she also worked as a location scout for movies.

She got involved in scouting locations by chance when she was living in Doune, Scotland.

She was out walking and came across a big production filming. She learned that they were looking for people in the location department and joined the team. The location job was for Game of Thrones.

“It was really cool. No one had heard of it,” said Patten.

Later, she moved to Glasgow and the location manger contacted her again to scout locations for World War Z. They wanted nighttime shots of the streets.