A Kamloops filmmaker currently shooting his first feature-length movie says his experience growing up homeless helped inspire his ambitions behind the camera.
Dylan Ginther has been making short films on Youtube for years, but the Kamloops-born filmmaker is making his first attempt at a feature with his upcoming film The Sacrifice.
Ginther said after winning Vancouver’s Bridge Fest award for best first-time filmmaker in January for his short film Painting on the Wall, he immediately had a script in hand for his feature.
“That was kind of like a huge motivator for me to move on from short 27-minute, 30-minute films to planning a feature length film — so an hour 20 minutes,” said Ginther
Ginther said the films will be inspired by 1980s horror movies and could serve as a franchise-starter.
“Group of kids who find a gypsy book that they read and it kind of like grants them wishes," he said.
"But every time they make a wish they start to like deteriorate and turn evil."
Ginther said he’s already spent a day shooting his film, but still has another 12 days of filming over the next couple of months.
“We're going to be filming pretty much as I get paid and as I get a yes on the location,” he said.
“It's not by any means easy, because I'm practically starving myself so much just to be able to make these projects happen, right? But it's because I genuinely love filmmaking.”
Ginther said that the film will have a budget of approximately $10,000 and is entirely self-financed.
He said he thinks his motivation comes from the six years he spent homeless, beginning from when he was about 12 until he was 18.
“I was actually abandoned when I was about 12 years old. I was kicked out of my parents and told never, never look back or never go back because I'm LGBTQ,” Ginther said.
“So I think that was a huge part in kind of that whole, you know, them telling me, you're never gonna make it, you're never gonna do anything with your life.”
Ginther said for six years he spent almost his entire life in the Lansdowne area downtown.
“I spent a good six years feeling sorry for myself, you know, and wondering, why the f--k am I in this place? You know, I see all these kids around me, they've got good jobs, they've got like families and s--t,” said Ginther.
“And then I'm here picking garbage out of a f--king trash can.”
Ginther said he became motivated to improve his life while homeless after a near death experience with a car crash.
“I think that film and art in general has kind of been that medium for me to go to where I know, you know, that I can do something with this. It's just finding the right supports and the right balance,” he said.
“Now I'm making movies and slowly working my way up. I'm happy. I'm proud of myself. I'm just I'm excited to see where this where this first feature length film goes.”
Ginther said the biggest challenge to filmmaking in Kamloops is the lack of support for new filmmakers. He said that the bigger names in film don’t provide support for new filmmakers, and it can be hard for someone to find a group to work with because it can be so cliquey.
Ginther has had to reach out to other cities to find the right resources, including locations in Kelowna and Vancouver, which he said are friendlier to indie film producers.
“That's the big thing that needs to be worked on is just more more community support from the people who are established here,” he said.
This lack of support motivated Ginther to become his own director and to shoot with crews his own way.
“I’m going to be the kind of that person that I want in this town,” he said.
“I want somebody who picks up new filmmakers and give them an opportunity and isn't just focused on professionalism and a huge budget right now.”
Ginther said he first started as a one-man crew, but has since established a crew of 20 to 30 people who help with the filming process.
He said that his passion lies with creating art, not in finding financial success through his films.
Ginther said that he’s hoping to continue shooting his feature film by mid-June before beginning the editing process in September and October.
He said he hopes he’ll be able to release his film sometime next spring.
“We have some huge gory scenes we've got to plan out," he said.
"It'll be a fun event for sure. I'm excited to show everybody."