A chance meeting on the set of a Vancouver-shot television show proved to be a creative stroke of luck for Vancouver actor Patrick Currie.
No stranger to the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, having shown his film The Outlaws in 2014, Currie is back again with Meet Cute, the story of two strangers who share an unexpected kiss at a wedding. Their kiss changes everything they thought about themselves and their sexuality.
“Brendee Green and I were working on Proof and we struck up a conversation and I told her about The Outlaws, and she said there was so little in the way of bisexual content and she wanted to explore it,” says Currie.
Teaming up on Meet Cute – Currie is director and co-writer with Green – the film began life as a web series before the duo pitched a version to the Crazy 8s Film Festival earlier this year.
“Initially we were going to play the main characters and decided to take to Crazy 8s film competition, but when we won I decided to direct and not act as it was too much,” says Currie.
No stranger to the Crazy 8s, the Vancouver competition in which filmmakers must produce a finished film in eight days, this was Currie’s second go at the contest having also participated in 2010. In Crazy 8s, filmmakers are given three days to shoot the film, and an additional five to hand in the completed project. Currie found the intense filmmaking process both exhilarating and challenging.
“Enjoy is a term I would use loosely,” he says with a laugh. “It had its joyous moments. Essentially it is like going to film school in eight days. ”
In the three days of shooting his film, Currie says the biggest obstacle was not being prepared for the weather.
“The other filmmakers are in agreement with me on this one. In Vancouver we should be ready for rain and no one ever is,” he says. “My first shot was outside St Paul’s Church and there was a torrential downpour and the actors were freezing.”
Fortunately, part of the Crazy 8s win included the help of a seasoned pro, and Currie found himself being mentored by Vancouver actor Amanda Tapping. Her number one piece advice to Currie? Breathe and stay calm. That advice served Currie well, as the entire production team came through in the end, ensuring they were able to get the shots they needed during the storm.
While Meet Cute is a complete narrative in a concise 15 minute package, Currie does acknowledge the ambiguity of his film’s ending.
“Leave them wanting more,” says Currie who is now working on a feature length version of Meet Cute. ”We wanted people to understand that bisexuality is a large group within the LGBTQ and it gets buried with all the other labels. In the end the two characters decide not to label themselves.”
Meet Cute plays as part of the Coast is Queer at the 2016 Vancouver Queer Film Festival. Visit http://queerfilmfestival.ca for tickets and information.