Grad Update: 2011 Halifax Grad Dillon Garland

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Who I Am

My name is Dillon Garland. I’m originally from down Barrington Passage way (aka the lowest tip of Nova Scotia) but I moved to Halifax in September of 2010, and ever since, I’ve called Halifax my home. I came here to take part in the Digital Filmmaking program at the Centre for Arts and Technology.

I chose the program because I had a love for film at the time, and I wanted to take that love and turn it into a professional career. I didn’t start directly after high school. I actually waited until after the summer; I worked through the summer to save money for school and living. The program was fantastic, and it was really worth all the time I put into it.

What I’m Doing

I just finished a music video for the Halifax based band, The Town Heroes, and it was for their song “Slag Heaps”, off their amazing debut album “Birds and Fear”. Yes, that was a cheap plug for the band. I got involved with the band while filming another music video for another band, Jackson Jha, during the summer of 2011. In that video, The Town Heroes tackled a Halifax Moosehead to the ground, which was actually our producer dressed up.

About a month after the music video came out (which went on to get 13 thousand hits on YouTube) the boys from the Town Heroes sent me a text, asking if I wanted to shoot one of their music videos, but there was a catch: I wasn’t going to get paid for the video, because they were fully paying for a trip to New York City to shoot it. Umm, count me in!

That video is hitting YouTube near April. But in the mean time, we decided to shoot “Slag Heaps”, which is the video I just finished. My role on the video was director, producer, editor, and cinematographer. So, pretty much everything. This video was made for absolutely not budget, but luckily we had some great volunteers to help out on the shoot. Some of these volunteers included Chelsea Comeau, who is currently in the Digital Filmmaking program at the school, and Patricia Brown, who graduated with me in December. Both of these ladies helped out with the make-up and made the lead character’s face look legitimately bruised and bloodied. You can watch the video here. [Mature content advisory].

My Life as a Freelancer in the Film Industry

Since I’ve graduated, I’ve been insanely busy, past the point of having normal sleep patterns. I’ve been shooting/planning new music videos, working on scripts for new films, working at Dalhousie on various projects, as well as working for Canada’s Got Talent!

I’ve also been submitting my short film, “The Sister” to various film festivals. I feel so strongly about the film and I really hope it gets seen by a lot of people. It’s definitely the film I’ve been hoping to make since I began my filmmaking journey so long ago.

My set goal as a filmmaker is to be a film director. I know it will be a long adventure to that point, but it’s going to be an amazing ride getting there. Right now, the industry in Halifax is pretty dry. The reason? It’s winter time so there is not a lot of productions going on. But, since it’s almost spring, I have a feeling the productions are going to start up again and the industry will be booming once more, which excites me! However, my time may be limited in Halifax because the plan is to head to Toronto for late spring/summer to work, and gain experience as well as some cash.

My “company” and I use “company” loosely because it’s not a legit company (yet), is Garland Film Productions. My main goal with it is to create original content that means something. In my eyes, every film should have a meaning, and that’s what I set out to do whenever I make a film.

I’m excited for what the future holds, and I know I wouldn’t be as prepared for the coming adventure without the Centre for Arts and Technology, along with all the great people I met during my time there.

If you’d like to keep up with my adventures, you can find me on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

Tags: digital filmmaking

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