So proud of my dear old friend Joyce Wong and our producing team Matt Greyson and Harry Cherniak for bringing our feature film WEXFORD PLAZA to Turin, Italy this week. We shot the film, which is Joyce’s first feature, in August 2015 in the suburbs of Toronto.
WEXFORD PLAZA follows Betty, a young woman with a new job as a strip mall security guard, as she navigates the plaza by night searching for solutions to her boredom. She meets Danny, a charming bartender who works at the bar on the strip. His own feelings of financial and emotional inertia have got him eager to make a change. The two become acquainted in the nebulous waters of flirtation and enterprising ambition as they try to better their situations.
Inspired by our youth loitering in pre-gentrified Scarborough, Ontario, Joyce and I had a ton of common ground and personal experiences to draw from when we were conceiving of the film’s style. Joyce wanted to highlight the strange serenity of a place in economic stasis using static compositions and minimal coverage. We carefully storyboarded every shot, 300 of them or so, which is a relatively tiny amount for a feature film. Stylistically, we drew from Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise trilogy and our own documentary backgrounds to emphasize how the landscapes of the characters’ realities – their homes, their places of work, their unregulated shift schedules, their vehicles – generate both the energy and the apathy that shape this moment in their lives.
We shot the film with a small crew over the course of three weeks. Matt called it “family-style filmmaking” from the start, and that’s exactly what it felt like. Thank you and congratulations to my filmmaking family for this project.
The film will be coming to the U.S. soon – more on that later.