Category Archives: Short Films

Episode 1 is in the can!

Today’s update will be short and sweet… we filmed the last scene for episode 1. It was a lot of fun and we shot a few quick inserts to make a trailer.

Andrew on the set of Amygdala
Andrew getting ready for his scene in Amygdala

While I’m busy organizing the new footage and creating a trailer, please check out our GFM page.  If you can contribute a few dollars that would be great – every little bit helps and it all adds up!

Craft services for our volunteer cast and crew is first on the list of items we need because a fed cast and crew is a happy cast and crew. High on the list is some equipment upgrades so please click this link and read up on what we’re doing and who is involved, and then decide if you would like to contribute… and don’t forget to share our GFM page on your Facebook wall and on Twitter to help us spread the word so your friends can learn about our mini-series. On behalf of the cast and crew, thank you for your support.


Amygdala – Day One

July 16, 2016 – 5 a.m.  My alarm is telling me it’s time to get out of bed because we’re filming Amygdala –a mystery/suspense story designed to be released as an episodic mini-series. The alarm was merely a precaution in case I fell asleep. I didn’t – I couldn’t shut my brain off. All the writing, rewriting, casting and pre-production were all coming to fruition, making sleep an impossibility. I head to Tim Horton’s for a coffee and pick up a bag of perk coffee for when the cast and crew arrive, and a bunch of disposable cups and stir sticks because the last thing I’ll want to do is dishes when I get back from shooting.

20160709_1334176 a.m. Repacking all the gear to make sure I have everything, double checking that all the batteries are fully charged, and printing extra copies of the script and shot list. Call time is 9 a.m. at my house for wardrobe and makeup and I requested all hands on deck for a meet and greet regardless of what time we were actually going to film their scenes. Most of them have never met each other let alone worked together, and their experience levels ranged from seasoned pro to enthusiastic newbie. I felt the initial team building was important because I didn’t want people showing up later in the day and feeling like an outsider.

CoTejH9XgAAfy8u8:50 a.m. Coffee’s on! The cast and crew start to arrive – our budget is very limited but our ambitions are not. Everyone appears to be just as excited as I am. While Ida preps Andrew for his special effects makeup, Darren arrives with several large army duffel bags filled with military gear, outfits and boots. The cast get into their wardrobe as jokes and stories are shared.

Why such a late start time?
Shouldn’t indie filmmakers be taking advantage of all the natural light and start at sun rise?
Normally yes, but when working with Mother Nature there’s more than just light to consider – low tide was at 12 noon. At sunrise there would have been an extra four feet of water flooding our set.


10:30 a.m. We arrive on set eager to start filming. We’re running a little behind schedule despite the key location being across the street from my house. In fact, the Amygdala story started with the location because I knew that stretch of coastline so well, the characters and story came later.
The tide is still going out and I position our three actors for the flyover drone shots, take a deep breath and say… “Action!”


12 noon. The scenes are going well. The drone shots took longer than expected but Carl is doing a great job flying the drone despite the heavy winds in the inlet and the glaring sun obscuring the view of his monitor. I would be calling a lunch break soon but the pizzas I ordered will not be ready until 4:30 – none of the local pizza shops are open early on a Saturday. If we had a bigger budget I would have had snacks for a light lunch, something I hope to have on the next shoot. The rest of the afternoon is spent blocking, rehearsing and shooting as we work our way through the shot list. Enthusiasm is high despite the blistering heat.

4:30 p.m. Lunch! Mine and everyone else’s first meal of the day (and Caledonia Pizza did not disappoint). We managed to get all but two scenes shot. One of us had to leave a couple of hours ago due to a bad sunburn and a touch of sun stroke, and I can tell the gang is getting lethargic. We were not prepared for the scorching temperatures and it has taken its toll on everyone. I want to reshoot the last scene, and we still have a couple more to shoot, but for health and safety concerns I say “That’s a wrap” and call it a day. We’ll get the rest on the next shoot.


Most head home to a shower or their swimming pool and a few hang around a bit longer to chat. The excitement level is still high and I consider it a really good day. When the last of them depart I pull the memory card out of the camera and copy the footage to my laptop and then to my backup drive. I want to review the footage but my years of working with audio has taught me to never edit or review material on the same day it was recorded. Let it sit and approach it with fresh eyes and ears the next day.

amygdala_sarah_002aAll and all it was a great shoot. We learned a lot about how everyone works together, which is quite well I should add, and we learned the limitations of the gear we currently have – I was not able to properly view the footage as it was being shot because I could not see the small screen on the DSLR that Aziz, our cameraman, was using. The bright sun made it impossible and we didn’t have the budget for an external monitor.

I knew that the sound of crashing waves meant we’d have to re-record all the dialog anyway so I wasn’t overly concerned about sound, but I should have had someone running a boom if for no other reason than to let the newer actors get comfortable having a microphone hovering over their heads.

The next day when I reviewed the footage some of it was too shaky or framed incorrectly – it was impossible for Aziz to see the screen clearly in the bright sun. You only get one chance to make a first impression and after several days of serious consideration I decide this footage is not going to be our introduction…
We’re going to do it again!

13606848_10157173858515541_1585149668677302536_nI spent the last of the money we generated on our fundraising campaign to buy a shoulder rig to get steadier shots, and an eye piece to fit over the screen so I am looking through an eyepiece rather than at the screen – no more glare! I am going to “Robert Rodriquez it” and direct from behind the camera and shoot footage with Aziz. If I’m going to be walking around on set with a portable monitor it might as well be attached to a camera right? I started shooting video long before I got into photography so in a way I was going back to my roots as a camera operator. So rather than purchasing a monitor I got a shoulder rig and eye-piece attachment.

Aziz and I spent several hours shooting test footage and matching the cameras so we can get everything from two angles. (Note: Due to a heavy course load at the University, Aziz has since dropped out of the project to focus on his degree. He’ll be missed. He has a great eye for composing shots.)

Andrew built a rig so the small dolly I borrowed could be used on a couple of tripods to get more movement in the shots. What we really need now is a proper audio recorder and microphone, a better camera, and of course enough money to make sure everyone is fed and kept hydrated throughout the hot summer days.

Check out our GofundMe campaign and please consider contributing to the series. We have a great cast and crew who are all volunteering their time and talents to see this series made, but there are some costs that simply cannot be avoided so please contribute today. Every little bit helps. On behalf of the cast and crew, THANK YOU for your contribution!


Open Auditions for the Amygdala webseries

July 1st Update: All the time slots for the auditions have been filled. The auditions for the role of the young girl will be held in a few days.

Open auditions image

Three people wash ashore. Two of them have no memory of who they are… the third one is dead. Hunted by military, the two survivors must fight for their lives and sanity – never knowing if they can trust anyone… or each other.

Photo of Kenn CrawfordAmygdala is an action-mystery series with a post-apocalyptic feel, written by Kenn Crawford (Dead Hunt, The Final Goodbye) and starring Darren Andrea (Outcast, La Femme Nikita, RoboCop) with Carl Jessome, Clint Corbett and Colin Barrie.

Saturday, July 2nd, we are holding Auditions for the Female Lead, as well as other main characters, cameo appearances and background extras.

If you would like to audition, please read the descriptions below and reply to this email with the character you would like to audition for. Please remember that this is a low-budget project operating on a volunteer basis so previous experience is not required, but a passion for filmmaking and the desire to give it your very best is a must.
Filming will begin as soon as all the roles are filled and will take place on the weekends throughout the summer, but primarily on Saturdays so your must be available during the day and early evenings.

Roles that are available

Jane  – Lead Role – Female. Approx. 20-30 years old.

This character requires you to be physically fit. Jane is trained in hand-to-hand combat but previous martial arts experience is not required, our fight choreographer will instruct you for the fight scenes.

Little Girl – Age 10-14 years old

This will be a re-occurring role with the potential of being a regular cast member.
She is a mute, so her acting will be done mainly through her facial expressions and body language.

Sarg. Derrick – Main Character – Male. Age: 30+

Sarg. Derrick heads up the military force that is hunting the main characters. He is a no-nonsense type of guy who follows orders and gets the job done, whatever the cost.

Private #1 – Re-Occurring Role – Male. Age 20+

The Private is a bit skittish and not the bravest soldier.

Private #2 – Re-Occurring Role – Male or Female. 20+ years old

This character is a bit of a jokester and not easily intimated by danger.

Cameo Roles

The series will have several cameo roles such as:
Andrew and his wife Barbara are farmers who befriend the heroes. They could be in the 30-60 year old range.

There are two “rednecks” who cause a bit of trouble. Both are males, one is in his late thirties, the other could be aged 20 or older.


There are 4 roles available for military men and women. These are non-speaking roles, but they are in a fair amount of scenes. Could possibly lead to a speaking role in future episodes.

Want to Audition?

Auditions will be held in Sydney, Nova Scotia between 11am – 2pm
If you wish to audition please send us an email with the name of the character that interests you and we will contact you with more information and a sample of the dialog you will be using to audition.
If you are not on our mailing list and reading this on our website, please send an email to: