Native Men's Magazine/ Entertainment
The Q&A Interview with Trevor Mack
Photos provided by Trevor
Q&A Interview by Eli Secody
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Tell us about Trevor Mack?
I'm just a 21 year - old kid who likes to jump out of planes and make films. I started taking interest in media creation when I was in 8th Grade. In high school I would go home every single day at lunch, make my etsu (grandma) lunch and play videos games. From those videos games I would make videos of me destroying people online and those videos ended up getting hundreds of thousands of views online. I became this kind of celebrity in this online gaming video world and I was only in my teens which was pretty cool. I would be getting messages like, "Hey man your editing is the best I've ever seen! Can you make a video for me please? I'll pay you $500."
From there I would slowly move into real-life videos by making videos such as trampoline trick videos, little comedy skits, etc. I would then end up being apart of a pretty cool freelance videography/ editing/ motion graphics group called 'Viral Design', then we were sponsored by a massive gaming gear company called 'Steel Series'. They ended up flying us out to Dallas, Texas where we created any kind of video they wanted us to make. Our lead guy in the group Victor Laranja ended up giving me $100 to start off a short film. He knew my artistic abilities and essentially told me to do it as an 'assignment' for Viral Design, haha. And now, here we are.
Why did you want to make “The Blanketing”?
Well it all started from one of my buddies in Viral Design telling me to make a short film to give something to watch to our Youtube subscribers. Just as that was happening, I had just moved down to Vancouver, British Columbia from my hometown of Williams Lake (an 8 hour drive from each other) and I was discovering myself. I was figuring out who I was culturally. I also had just started dating Kawennahere Devery Jacobs (now the star in the Native film Rhymes for Young Ghouls) and she really pushed culture into my life, which was amazing.
I was in my script-writing class at Capilano University and submitted a script that I really, really liked. I ended up getting a pretty terrible mark on it, which led me to bring it home and improve on it. I must have wrote 4 - 5 more versions. I was into it so much that every time I went to bed I could almost visualize the entire film. That's when I knew this is what I was going to do.
How can you relate to the main character? Was there similarities between you and main character?
The Blanketing is a lot more existential than that, I think. It's about an entire race, an entire nation. It's even about how Native Americans have been perceived in films throughout history and where we are now. As I was experiencing more of my culture I also looked at the situation my Tsilhqot'in (Chilcotin) people were in. We had a horrible time back in the mid-1800s where we lost around 90% of our entire population and around the same time The Chilcotin War was taking place. I combined the two of those stories, added a little bit of my own thing, and that was it.
Which was the most difficult character to cast in “The Blanketing?”
This is going to sound ridiculous, but the most difficult character to cast was actually the main white character. I needed 2 strong warrior - like Native American actors with long hair and I thought to myself, "Ah damn it this is going to be hard to find these guys." And next thing you know I post an ad on craigslist and almost instantly I got a reply from a pretty well known actor named Sean Wei Mah. We met for coffee and he ended up bringing his friend William Belleau. Both guys are absolutely amazing and William's home town turned out to be right near mine. So just like that I was able to find the those two actors, but I was having a really hard time trying to find an old, scraggly gold miner-looking actor. We ended up using a friend of the family and he did a fantastic job. I couldn't have asked for better. The lead actress, Kawennahere Devery Jacobs, was my girlfriend,. That was an even easier casting decision, heh.
What was the hardest part on filming the film?
Wow. I mean everything was hard with “The Blanketing.” I was only 19 years old and I thought I could do everything myself. Which, was not a good idea, haha. I wrote, directed, produced, camera operated, costume designed, video edited, sound designed and promoted it. Of course there was help from my entire family in a lot of cases, and even from my entire nation. But the nitty and gritty stuff I did all myself. The 15 hour shooting days were hard, organizing hundreds of film files onto my computers were challenging to, at one point I accidentally deleted an entire memory card worth of footage, the post production was even more difficult, and actually a week before we were scheduled to premiere the film in my home town, 80% of the entire film was deleted from my editing program. I literally had to RE put together my entire short film just a week before we were having this massive event. I wouldn't change anything for the world. I'm glad I took this massive risk and experienced all of it. Life is about trying your hardest on your dreams. You really have to believe in yourself. When you fail, getting back up and try even harder. I'm not saying I failed, but there were a lot of challenges we faced. Now I have a better idea of how to tackle it.
What was the evolution of the project and how long did it take to put together?
It evolved pretty naturally. I completed the very first draft in October of 2011, shot the film in August of 2012 and finally completed editing in May of 2013. All for a short film that's roughly 10 minutes long. It was just because I still had film school going on. I was only 20 years old and I still wanted to experience the city life. There was months, where I didn't even want to look at it. Not even think about it and it essentially took a year and a half to fully complete. Jesus, thinking back on it I could have easily finished it in a lot less amount of time, haha. Ah well, see now I guess I can promise to myself to finish a project earlier and earlier.
After all that work. What's the feeling like, now that your ready to premiere it?
Premiering the film in front of a packed theater in my home town was literally one of the greatest moments of my entire life. I'm so thankful that I could have gotten to experience that feeling at such a young age. At the premiere I did a talk, showed a lot of my older videos and we ended with raffles draws and food. It really brought the community together, no matter what race you were, which I really enjoyed. It went full circle, the film,
“The Blanketing” was supported by the community, and then we decided to reward the community with a great event.
What's next for you?
I'm actually heading to the imagine Native Film + Media Arts Festival this October where “The Blanketing” will be screened! I can't wait for that. I'm also co - writing a feature film with author Glenn Terris. I’m planning the development for my next short film called “The Clouds of Autumn” which is being co-written and co - directed by myself and my roommate and fellow filmmaker Matthew Taylor Blais. To be even more specific on what I'm going to do is, I'm going to finish this plate of spaghetti, go for a run and make people laugh. WOO!