After being ridiculed by his classmates at a birthday party, Milo heads home and comes upon a mysterious pencil lying on a field. He soon discovers that the pencil has the ability to bring what it draws into reality, and begins to use it as a tool for coping with the idiosyncratic characters that inhabit the fictional Canadian suburb of Breton Heights. The Blackwing will be playing in select festivals throughout 2012 and 2013.
The Blackwing was conceptualized from a desire to develop our storytelling and filmmaking skills whilst leading a full-fledged independent production. It was a project driven by our inability to instill boundaries around our vision, and a necessity to create an enthralling narrative with captivating characters.
We sought to create a lead character who is defined by his flaw. In the case of The Blackwing, the story quickly began to revolve around Milo’s obsession with stationery and how he would evolve after finding a pencil that could bring his desires to life. That was our premise. However, combining the ideas of a Spielberg-nesque coming-of-age tale with the theme of power and responsibility, and giving it the black comedy undertone we wanted was no easy feat.
In the coming months, we worked with our scriptwriter, Todd S. Gallows, to put together a film that we were truly excited to bring to life. We immediately dived into the pre-production stage, arranging auditions, while simultaneously crafting the look of our film through production design and preliminary cinematography (simply put, storyboards). We paid particular attention to how these two production elements defined Milo’s character and how it could be used to present his obsession with stationery.
With a script full of quirky characters guiding the audience through the story, our job quickly became giving Milo, who has a mere 16 lines of dialogue in thirty minutes, a voice. Referencing our colour palette, we began to build the scene of the crime, Milo’s room. We realized the best manner in which to introduce his passion was by intercutting slides and still shots of different stationery props with the act of using the Blackwing for the first time. By juxtaposing these images, we not only define his character, but present the tool by which this character will transform throughout the narrative; presenting his flaw, and the very object that will instill a definitive change in our character.
The Blackwing has been an amazing project to work on. It has been the result of an endless year of work, and a passion to bring our vision to life. We pushed ourselves to do things we had never done before, and are incredibly proud of the resulting product. If it is able to instill some sort of impression on you - even a fleeting one - then, our work has been successful.
— Victoria & Ricardo
Co-Director / Production Design / Story
Co-Director / Director of Photography / Story
Todd S. Gallows
Location Sound Mixer
David Knoll as Milo
A.J. Haygarth (Voice) as Adult Milo
Jessica Ryan as Prudence
Kurtis Vanwallegham as Morrison
Marisa Ferreira as Mrs. Ronan