Ryan O’Toole gears up for another showing at Silver Wave Fredericton’s Ryan O’Toole and Sam Kamras team up in what appears to be a beautiful film relationship Dylan Hackett The Aquinian
Ryan O’Toole and Sam Kamras share a relationship that’s worthy of the big screen. The two are working on a film titled On the Last Day that will premiere at the New Brunswick Silver Wave Film Festival in November. O’Toole wrote the script, directed and starred alongside Kamras as his leading lady. “Artistically we are on the same level. We understand each other creatively and that’s rare,” said O’Toole. Kamras was accepted into the New School of Drama in New York to attain her Masters of Fine Arts last year but stayed in Fredericton for personal reasons. But the 2012 St. Thomas grad still plans to go to New York and continue her education. O’Toole is in his last year at the University of New Brunswick. They’re relationship began last summer when the two became close friends during filming for That Cowboy Kid. The short film was in the Silver Wave Film Festival last year. “It’s about this kid [Dirk Douglass] who dresses up
On the Last Day tells the tale of love and death (Michael Mohan/Submitted)
as a cowboy and has a crush on a girl,” said O’Toole. Douglass was played by St. Thomas student David Cheney who went to high school with O’Toole and is good friends with Kamras. The film won excellence in art direction for O’Toole and best actress for Kamras’ portrayal of the character Molly.
“She [Molly] was fun, vibrant and full of laughter. She bounced on her feet as she walked,” said Kamras. “It was a lot of fun. There were five or six of us on the set. It was just making a movie with friends. I loved it,” said Kamras. A constant theme in O’Toole’s film career is working with friends. He
said he loves that he can do both, work in filmmaking and work with friends. Another friend and STU student, Cedric Noel, did the soundtrack for That Cowboy Kid and his now working on the music for On the Last Day. The front man for Fredericton’s Redwood Fields is Kamras’ roommate. The new film is about
facing death and being in love. O’Toole’s knack for creating complex characters is brought to the forefront in the leading character’s relationship, said Kamras. “He has an entire history for these characters which is why I think the chemistry that you see on screen is so precise,” she said.
“When he started talking to me about On the Last Day I got very excited. We’d go for wings and beer and talk about the script, talk a lot about my character because she’s fairly complicated and not like me in anyway.” Michel Guitard is the director at CinemaTick, a local studio, and he picked up on O’Toole’s talent at last year’s festival. Guitard volunteered his time and equipment for On the Last Day and filmed the entire short. “It has made On the Last Day a lot more technically appealing,” said Kamras. “Technically, the movie is stunning. Bruce [LeGrow, Fredericton Film Co-op] and Michel have done some crazily-creative things and rigged some ridiculous shots for us. It’s been wild.” The film runs 25 minutes. O’Toole is enthusiastic and eager to make much longer films but for now enjoys the NB short-film scene. “There’s a definite scene for young filmmakers in Fredericton,” he said. O’Toole is inspired by directors like Paul Thomas Anderson, “Sofia Coppola, Mike Mills and Martin Scorsese.”
STU celebrates the 40th anniversary of The Godfather Composer Nino Rota’s Waltz makes all three Godfather films memorable Luke Shea
Sitting in a dark theatre, hundreds of eyes watch as the projected images move across the screen. The Godfather was released in 1972, and audiences were mesmerized. The importance of film scores in cinema was celebrated and the film was a success. “The composer [Nino Rota] is a master of his art. He was the composer of [Federico] Fellini films and [Luchino] Visconti films, who were among the best directors of the 20th century. He had superb technical skills and mastery of the medium,” said Martin Kutnowski, professor and director of the fine arts program at St. Thomas. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of The Godfather release, the great books program at St. Thomas will host a series of events over the span of three nights this week. The events include a screening of the film, a panel discussion of the themes and a lecture based off the music. “Music creates a stronger communication with the audience,” said Bruce LeGrow, long-time member of the Fredericton Film Co-op and owner of Insurmountable Sounds Inc. “The big thing about a film score is that it really sets a context how the viewer supposed to feel. It can also elude something that might be happening in the film.” The Francis Ford Coppola film, The Godfather, is an American crime drama that’s composition has created some of the most memorable and
compelling film scores in cinema. “In respect to The Godfather, it uses great Italian background and traditional music. Especially the Waltz and the song during the wedding scene are really such emotive pieces that really set the tone for the whole film,” said LeGrow. This particular Rota piece, the Waltz, has been used in each of the three Godfather films and is often considered to be one of the most recognizable pieces in cinema. Kutnowski will deliver a lecture on the music as part of the great books program’s retrospective on The Godfather. “Music has a strange role in film,” said Kutnowski. “In many cases there is symphonic music which we know as background music, that has no logical justification, but we however accept it and continue to watch the film. This convention is intrinsically tied to the beginning of film where silent movies were accompanied by piano.” Composing over 150 film scores and being ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the greatest film score composers, it was no secret that Rota contributed to the outstanding success of The Godfather series. “There was music in movies before there was dialogue, so in a way a film score can be just as important to the story as dialogue,” said Ryan O’Toole, Fredericton amateur film director and screenplay writer. Many silent films relied on live pianists in the theatre to accentuate the scenes and actions of the characters. Improvisation from the sheet
music was used when the musician felt like the scene needed it. Film makers often use scores to help tell the story and create imagery. The music may be used to shape each character or scene with tempo, pitch, range and melody. However in some cases it may be that the lack of music creates the anticipation and suspense the filmmaker may be looking for. “No Country for Old Men. That [movie] is not using music to great effect. That movie has such a great feeling of isolation and suspense that I think
music would detract from that,” said LeGrow. “The score to The Godfather is important,” said O’Toole. “Like in any film, music gives an extra layer to the underlying message. Depending on how it is used, music can change a scene completely.” The Godfather film screening will be held today at 6pm in the Ted Daigle Auditorium, themes in the film will be discussed Wednesday at 12:30pm in the Holy Cross Conference Room and a discussion of the film’s music will be Thursday in the Recital Room in McCain Hall at 4pm.
Music was in film before dialogue made an appearance (Paramount/Submitted)