Canada is a large, beautiful country. If you haven’t been I highly suggest you someday pay a visit. When people think about Canada, the cities most likely to pop up in an Internet search are Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. Though those cities are fantastic, I do not live in any of them. And when I talk about my script RED LIGHT and its success being part of ’50 Kisses,’ it is the fact that I do not live in a large metropolis that makes me most proud.
I live in Thunder Bay, a city of just over 110,000 people located in Northwestern Ontario. We’re known for living beside the largest fresh water lake in the world, being the hometown of Paul Shaffer of ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ fame, and we’re also well known for a pastry called the persian. When it comes to filmmaking, I’ll admit we aren’t on the map, but international projects like ’50 Kisses’ helps bring smaller communities into the picture.
Technology has not only shrunk the world, it’s also given artists the ability to create quality work no matter where they live, and in many cases at a fraction of the price. Writers can be in Canada, while their scripts are being produced and communicated about all over the globe. In the case of RED LIGHT I was fortunate enough to see produced films from England, Australia, the United States and Russia. Had it not been for ’50 Kisses,’ chances are the only produced version that would have seen the light of day would have been my own. Seeing my written words envisioned by other filmmakers was a great experience. An experience I owe to ’50 Kisses.’
I remember the day I found out RED LIGHT was chosen as one of the fifty winning scripts. Instantly, I looked at where all the other scripts were written, and it was to my disbelief that no other scripts were chosen from anywhere else in Canada. RED LIGHT was the only Canadian script to make the cut, and I live in a town of just over 110,000 people. I mention this proud fact in all screenings I attend on behalf of the film, and often tell other filmmakers that in today’s digital age it doesn’t matter where you live. Just tell the best story you can with what you have available to you.
It’s been years in the making, but finally ’50 Kisses’ will be released. From day one it was the intention of the ’50 Kisses’ team to have a global, feature-length film produced. I would like to congratulate all those who worked hard and helped turn this project from an idea to a reality. Furthermore, I cannot forget to applaud all the other writers, filmmakers, musicians, graphic designers and production personnel who all worked tirelessly for the benefit of ’50 Kisses.’
In closing, I’m excited to announce that I will be making the trip to London for the ’50 Kisses’ big-screen premiere. And upon my return home I will surely speak to my family, friends and filmmaking peers about the premiere, but moreover, about how I was the only Canadian screenwriter to attend.
See you soon,
Ryan La Via
On Twitter: @ryanlavia