Date: 17 Sept. 2017
Case Study: The Making of ‘A Legacy of Whining’
Filmmaker: Ross Munro
A Legacy of Whining throws gasoline on the familiar cinematic trope of the male mid-life crisis then gleefully throws a lighted match onto the proceedings! Inspired by early 1970’s American buddy films, this shaggy dog comedy tells the tale of two former high school friends, Mitch (Ross Munro) and Dunc (Robert David Duncan) who reunite after thirty years to resurrect the faded corpse of their “glory years” only to find during their desperation-soaked dreamlike evening together, that perhaps, the past ain’t all it’s cracked up to be… Angie Descalzi, Keilani Elizabeth Rose and Emily Haine (Fargo, Deadpool) joined the boys in this hilarious romp. For the producing partners of Ron Heaps, Ross Munro and his wife of 19 years, Maria Munro, A Legacy of Whining is a labor of love.
indieactivity: Tell us about the festival run, marketing and sales?
filmmaker: A Legacy of Whining had its premiere on April 7th 2016, a SOLD OUT screening at Vancity Theatre Vancouver, BC; followed by a festival screening at OFFA (Oakville Festivals of Films & Arts) on June 25/16 at film.ca cinemas, Oakville, ON. A Legacy of Whining premiere created a buzz, collecting a number of positive articles and reviews.
On July 2016 LEGACY the “Snotty Punks” were invited to participate in the Canada International Film Festival (Canadian Film Competition & Music Video Competition respectively). The Snotty Punks is a music video of a ‘punk song that was the anthem song of Mitch & Dunc on their teenagers years’ written & performed by Ross Munro; the song “Young, British and Snotty” was created for the movie and the video for marketing purposes. Since the popularity of LEGACY in Vancouver, another screening was added to the theatrical run at a well-attended screening at The Rio Theatre on June 7th/2016.
Shortly after on August 1st/2016 A Legacy of Whining secured distribution with the LA based distribution company ‘Indie Rights’; and since is available online on the following platforms and or territories:
Amazon: FREE on Amazon Prime or rent/buy on Amazon (US, UK, Germany & Japan)
iTunes: Rent/buy on iTunes (Worldwide)
Google: Rent/buy on Google (Canada, US, UK & Australia)
Vudu: Rent/buy on Vudu (Canada, US, UK & Australia)
YouTube: Rent/buy on YouTube (Canada, US, UK & Australia)
indieactivity: ‘Dramatic Feature
– Director: Ross Munro
– Producers: Maria Munro, Ron Heaps, Ross Munro
– Budget: $100K and a lot of help from our friends!
– Financing: Self-financed
– Production: Shot in 27 days over five months (Mar-Jul) in Vancouver, BC, Canada
– Shooting Format: Digital
– Screening Format: Blu-Ray
– World Premiere: Sold Out Premiere April 7th 2016 at Vancity Theatre Vancouver, BC
– Website: Link
indieactivity: Give the full official synopsis for your film?
filmmaker: Logline: The ghosts of both past and present collide as two former high school friends reunite after 30 years and embark on a darkly humorous nocturnal fever dream of a journey where old emotions and resentments bubble to the surface once again.
One paragraph synopsis
Mitch hasn’t seen Dunc in 30 years and he now awaits their first meeting in the airport for what Mitch hopes will be a chance to relive the good old days. As he waits in the airport he encounters a strange series of people foreshadowing a strange evening to come. Once Dunc arrives, Mitch and Dunc head off in Mitch’s old car to revisit their youth stopping at several of the old haunts only to discover how the old places and Mitch and Dunc have changed (or not) since they last met, and nothing is as expected. Each has followed a different path and neither particularly successfully – a broken marriage for one, a struggling acting career for the other. After these events trigger memories of what it was really like, they finally join together for one last symbolic gesture of the past.
Three paragraph synopsis
The past ain’t all it’s cracked up to be especially when one tries in vain to recapture the former glory and innocence of their cherished youth as two former high school friends reunite thirty years later in a painfully comedic and bittersweet rollercoaster of an evening…
Mitch, a struggling actor and inveterate whiner bent on recapturing the “old magic” at all costs, waits in heightened anticipation in the “Arrivals” section of the airport until finally spotting his ex-school chum, Dunc, now an overweight boozer and womanizer, leading to an awkward embrace that starts the clock ticking on these long lost friends’ nocturnal fever dream into the heart of darkness of old wounds, unrealized dreams, and dashed hopes.
The following morning’s sun announces a new dawn as an exhausted and disillusioned Mitch, having already abandoned his old friend to the night’s misadventures, manages to show up in the nick of time to his acting audition where, standing all alone and emotionally naked up onstage, suddenly comes face to face with the totality of his life’s choices…
indieactivity: Development & Financing?
filmmaker: Ross developed the script as a concept he presumed we could shoot “quickly” (nice try!)- A simple idea based on his own personal experiences as a person facing middle age wondering what his life has amounted to (especially as a filmmaker). So he was able to write the completed screenplay over the course of around six months with the idea that we were going to use our own money to make the film and that he would act in one of the leads. Our co-producer Ron Heaps was able to shoot the film using his own camera gear, which helped defray costs a little bit.
filmmaker: We took the shooting approach of filming the movie over the course of approx. 5 months- treating essentially each location’s shoot like it was a short film. We’d secure the location (15 in total), dress it, shoot, wrap and then start the process again at a different location a week or two afterwards. We didn’t worry too much about deadlines at first- we just wanted to get the best footage we could obtain but near the end of the shoot we looked at the upcoming Whistler Film Festival submission deadline as a motivator to finish.
We were able to secure existing locations for the shoot (most of which we had to pay for) although the film’s climax at the Revolutionary Bordello was a studio set that we built/designed from scratch to create the surreal intended look. Editing took a few months on and off (along with VFX) and we were able to bypass ADR as we were able to use all our actor’s dialogue recorded on set (all later to be cleaned up by dialogue editing). The film’s sound mix took two days as did the color correction process.
indieactivity: Festival Preparation & Strategy?
filmmaker: We decided to target around twenty high and mid- profile film fests (especially those more local and Canadian as we are a Vancouver, Canada based production). We also made sure during filming that we hired a professional stills photographer as well as a videographer to ensure we had top quality promotional materials for all film during all stages of publicity and for a “behind the scenes” doc (that is completed) for any upcoming promotions i.e. DVD special features, etc.
indieactivity: The Release?
filmmaker: We eventually decided to launch the World Theatrical Premiere in our hometown Vancouver at a sold out screening at Van City Theatre- with a hosted QandA with cast/crew. We hired a local publicist for this event and ended up getting a great deal of print, online and tv/radio coverage for our screening which turned out to be hugely successful in creating buzz and attention for Legacy.
indieactivity: Advice from the Filmmaker?
filmmaker: It was a challenging but rewarding experience making our indie budgeted feature A Legacy of Whining. In the future, I’d prefer shooting a movie completely over a smaller shooting schedule as it’s very difficult to shoot over a long period of time (actor availability, wrapping and then having to come back later and shoot, re-renting extra lights, gear, etc.). Also, using our own funds to make the film was also very demanding and not something you can repeat obviously. But the most interesting aspect of making a feature is that, as we proved, if you have the passion and drive to make it happen you can always find a way to succeed!
Filmmaker Bio – Ross Munro
Ross is a filmmaker based in Vancouver, Canada who specializes in edgy, character-driven features, documentaries and shorts. After graduating with a degree in Film from Humber College in Toronto, he wrote and directed his first feature “Brewster McGee” (2000) followed by the short documentary “Broken Palace” (Official Selection- Vancouver Int’l Film Festival ’14).
His latest feature (which he also starred in) is “A Legacy of Whining”- an homage to ‘70s buddy films which had its World Premiere in Vancouver in April ’16 and is currently available on iTunes.