Behind the screen: Filmmaker spotlight with Danny Chamberlin

by | Dec 8, 2022 | Arts & Life

Watching a film as an audience member is typically quite easy. Movie-goers simply have to clap and enjoy the output of a filmmaker’s hard work. However, as award-winning filmmaker Danny Chamberlin knows, executing a film from script to screen takes persistent creativity, determination and passion.

Chamberlin is currently NAITSA’s Multimedia Specialist and the main videographer and editor of NewTab Productions, a freelance company specializing in event and wedding coverage and promotional videos. His short film, Tunnel Vision, recently won Audience Choice for Short Narrative at the Central Alberta Film Festival and Best Film at the Kimberley Horror Festival.

From a young age, Chamberlin has always had a passion for film. Through videography, he honed his passion, eventually leading him to filmmaking. 

“I think being a videographer is big. As a career, that’s what I do… But I would probably say that the moment that I decided or knew that I wanted to actually pursue filmmaking was probably over COVID,” he explained. 

His experience in videography and familiarity with production made it a little bit easier for him to get into filmmaking, especially during the production of Tunnel Vision. But taking an idea to the screen isn’t without challenges.

“The biggest thing with any kind of film is money. If you have money, you can do anything. I funded this myself … so that slows things down a little bit. You’ve got to pay your actors, you got to pay your crew, you got to pay for locations, you’ve got to rent equipment and it adds up really quickly.”

The official poster for Tunnel Vision. Photos supplied.

Tunnel Vision went through a lot of tweaking and editing during all stages of production. The original script was rewritten entirely, and the first shot was unplanned, but Chamberlin thought it was the film’s best shot.

Despite the hurdles, Chamberlin’s Tunnel Vision found its way to local film festivals. The experience was both exciting and nerve-wracking; showing his film to a theatre of people he didn’t know, he was worried about their opinions.  

“When you have your own project, you’re a little bit more invested, a little more excited to be there.” 

Meeting other directors from different provinces showed Chamberlin that there are opportunities for filmmakers outside the typical big cities, like Toronto and Vancouver. 

“Canada, in general, is booming for film production right now. I think it’s a very exciting time to be involved in film in Canada,” said Chamberlain. 

“Canadian cinema is as good as anywhere in the world.” 

Currently, Chamberlin has a few projects that he’s working on. He has a script under development for a film grant application, and he plans to collaborate on a documentary with a filmmaker from Red Deer. His eventual goal is to release a feature film.

Chamberlin advises aspiring filmmakers to learn and grow from each experience.“You just need to make films. And chances are, your firsts aren’t going to be any good. But you have to fail forward.” 

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