Nanaimo actor Frank Moher portrays Lucien

Nanaimo actor Frank Moher portrays Lucien

Nanaimo director Jeff James Monson creates independent film about friendship and betrayal

NANAIMO - Nanaimo director Jeff James Monson creates independent full-length film The Ol' Amity Blues.

Love.

It’s an intrinsic component of every film created by Nanaimo’s Jeff James Monson.

“To me everything in life is about love or the lack thereof,” said Monson. “Just ask the questions: Is it enough? What is love? I like examining it and ripping it up and putting it back together.”

Monson recently completed filming his full-length independent movie The Ol’ Amity Blues.

“The film is about betrayal,” he said.

The film explores the fragile friendship between Felix and Max, which is tested when Felix knocks on Max’s door looking for a place to hide out.

He’s on the run from the mob over some gambling debts. Felix believes he has found a safe sanctuary, but Max is holding onto an old grudge and rats out Felix to the mob.

The majority of the film features interaction between the two main characters in one room.

“I like the theme of claustrophobia and how that changes someone,” said Monson. “You see different personalities come out and how they can change in different circumstances.”

Monson said he’s interested in people, what they do to each other and how they think.

The Ol’ Amity Blues stars Brandon James Mason as Felix, Blaine Nosworthy as Max, Frank Moher as the mob boss Lucien, Sydney Howlett as Jade and Vincent Wells as a mob henchman.

Monson describes himself as an actor’s director.

“The most important thing for me in the film is the actor,” said Monson. “It’s not the technical stuff. I’m much more interested in the actors and what they have to offer the role.”

He said he wants the light and sound to be well done, but he’s much more interested in the interaction between the actors.

“I really think that rehearsing is vital to getting a good performance,” said Monson.

The actors rehearsed the script for about four months. Monson said he wanted to actors to “rip apart” the characters as much as possible, to analyze them, and get to know them.

“I just wanted a good solid script. A script that was solid and not all over the place,” said Monson.

Monson shot the film over 10 days from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the morning.

The Ol’ Amity Blues is Monson’s seventh film, and second full-length movie. It’s filmed under the moniker of his Out to Launch Pictures company.

Monson said the film is currently in post-production and he hopes to submit it to film festivals in the spring.

He said it’s important for people to try and do something with the films they create, not just create them and put them on a shelf, where they can gather dust.

Monson left Vancouver four years ago and moved to Nanaimo. He said the film community in the city is very supportive and growing. Monson said artists in Nanaimo of all disciplines frequently create events with various art forms and are cross promoting each other.

“People in this city are hungry for art. Art heals. In our current world, profit is the primary reason to work at something,” said Monson. “People are waiting for something truly meaningful to come into their lives that’s main intent isn’t selfish or competitive, but rather a shared collaborative expression of self that may bring people together and create peace. I think downtown Nanaimo is making huge progress as far as that goes.”

For more information about Monson or the film please go to The Ol’ Amity Blues Facebook page, www.facebook.com/amitybluesfilm.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman who was killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Nanaimo artist Melissa Anderson has paintings on display at White Rabbit Coffee Co. for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter showcases coastal Island views in first exhibit in two years

Melissa Anderson presents ‘Seascapes’ oil painting exhibit at White Rabbit Coffee Co.

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read