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Monday, June 15, 2009

Interview with actor Scott Beaudin on "Victoria Day"

I recently had the chance to interview actor Scott Beaudin, on his role as Noah in Victoria Day. Here is the interview, which happened via email. Please be warned that we do discuss the film, so there are spoilers. Check back tomorrow for my interview with Mark Rendall and John Mavro, who play Ben and Sammy in the film.

-John C.

I noticed in your bio that you used to provide the voice of Peep on the children’s TV show Peep and the Big Wide World. Someone I know (John McGrath) used to voice a fish and a crow on that show. Do you remember working with him (directly or indirectly)?

90% of the time I was working in the room by myself and the other 10% of the time I would work with Jamie Watson (Quack) and Amanda Soha (Chirp). I never actually had the pleasure of working with Mr. McGrath personally, but I would love to, he certainly has an impressive resume.

How were you cast for the role of Noah in Victoria Day?

I originally auditioned for the role of Ben. I also received a call back for the role. After the call back, I was asked to come in a third time, but reading for the role of Noah. The rest is history.

How does Victoria Day compare to your previous work?

A trend that has appeared with much of my work is that of a large, young ensemble and Victoria Day kept to that. Working with other teens or young actors is a very enjoyable experience. You can relate to the other actors, and it is helpful to learn from your peers.

What was the hardest scene to film?

I am an atrocious hacky-sackerist. My hardest “acting” moment came not from facial expression, or body language, but simply just trying to keep a rally of more than two going when playing outside of the school with John (Sammy) and Mark (Ben). The shot of me doing a fancy kick seen in the film was the only shot available. I thank our editor Roderick for choosing to make me good at hacky-sack. Ah, the magic of film making.

What was your favorite scene to film?

Without a doubt my favourite scene was the fireworks scene. I’ve always been one to simply observe the fireworks, not have them whiz past my ear as I run full tilt into a patch of mud. I’m sure audience will be dazzled at how real the fight looks. That’s because we were all actually hitting each other with them. I guess that’s what a 17 year old finds fun.

I know they filmedVictoria Day in 21 days, but for how much of that time were you actually on set?

12-14 of the 21 days

What was it like working with director David Bezmozgis?

As the writer/director, this was David's baby, and he had a crystal clear vision of what he wanted from his performers. However, unlike most directors I’ve worked with, he rarely told me how to say my lines, which although it was different, was still effective as he trusted me to make my own decisions, which was a breath of fresh air.

How did you feel your character, Noah, was central to the story?

Noah and Sammy are supporting characters for Ben’s storyline. We help the audience see what Ben’s life is like prior to the accident and helps his character develop during the rising action of the story. Noah is also a good representation of society in a tragic scene such as this. Noah tells Ben what he wants to hear when he is down, but at the end of the day he isn’t losing any sleep over the incident. He only showed up to the search because Ben told him to, and comforts him in the car because he’s nice.

What did you think about filming the fireworks “fight” scene?

The fireworks scene was shot over 2 days. The first night of shooting was torture. The temperatures were around freezing and the ground was wet. After about an hour the three of us were quite tired of all the sliding we had to do. Luckily for John Mavro and myself, we were able to sneak away to a costume trailer heat our shoes up with hair driers. Mark wasn’t so lucky, but that’s what he gets for being the leading man, I suppose. Night 2 was a much better environment. The ground was all clear and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. We were also given a little more freedom with the fireworks. Our clothes were flame-retardant, we were wearing hoodies, had professionals standing by, and weren’t carrying any live fireworks in our bags. We figured we could have a little fun with the scene.

What is the maximum number of takes you did for a single scene, and what is the least number of takes?

Well they don’t call me Scotty “One-Take” for nothing. I kid, of course. Most scenes (for me) would take 2-3 takes per camera angle. The amount of angles can vary depending on the amount of action in the scene, and I would get more and more comfortable with it as the filming progressed. There have been times when I blinked and a scene was over and there have been other times that I have nearly been in tears, begging for food, pleading for only one more take.

What do you personally think happens to Jordon at the end of the movie?

I personally think that if Jordan doesn’t get himself killed (which is quite probable), he’ll end up in a life-threatening situation which would get him hospitalized.

What are your thoughts on the finished film?

I think the final product is a great example of the quality of film that Canadian film makers have to offer. It’s a great piece of entertainment that can reach out to many different demographics with balanced performances from all the actors.

I’ve seen the film and I loved it, but how have audiences been reacting to the film and how do you think audiences are going to react when they see the film?

I have not seen a screening of the film that hasn’t been a cast/crew screening, but I hear that the unbiased audiences really enjoyed it, and that it was very well-received at the Sundance Film Festival.

Are there any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?

To all casting directors: I’m not working! I haven’t been working! Call me! Although there hasn’t been much going on film-wise, I have been performing frequently in a post-punk/indie band called “The Italics” as the lead singer. Other than that, it’s just baseball and school to worry about.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today.

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