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The making of Perle


In February 2020, I started talking with someone that I met online. She lived in Montreal. We texted each other all the time and got along. We had really similar interests, such as writing. I’ve never talked to anyone more than her over the course of two weeks. 


Since we were both interested in the arts, I wanted to make a short film with her. I wrote the script in a couple of days and asked her if I could use one of her poems in it. She said yes. So the script was done and now I had to plan my trip to Montreal to shoot the film. I spent a lot of time planning this because I was going to go there by myself and do all of the film crew jobs by myself as well. We were both going to be in front of the camera as actors. I packed my camera equipment, bought a bus ticket, rented an Airbnb, and reserved a rental car in Montreal.


While I was planning all of this stuff, I obviously asked myself why I’m going to Montreal. It was a weird and spontaneous decision for me since I was only talking to this girl for two weeks now.  I did it because I wanted to experience something adventurous and new. I was also planning on going to Montreal before this, with my friends, but since they were busy with school we couldn’t go. So I took this opportunity to go.


We were still texting each other every day. Everything was going well. We were planning on what our costumes were going to be like. We decided on everything. The day before I leave for Montreal, I get a message from her saying that all her feelings were wrong and she doesn't want to be part of the film anymore. After seeing this message I was in shock. It came out of nowhere and it baffled me. I didn’t know what to do at first because I spent lots of time planning and paid lots of money. Did this mean that all of this effort and time spent was for nothing? I was extremely upset and became more ambitious as a result. I had to be positive and keep going forward. This meant that she was not going to act in the film. So I quickly went to actor hiring websites and joined Montreal acting groups on Facebook. At the end of the day, I had 4 actors ready to help out. Since I had more actors now, I had to change the script.


The next day I got on to my bus at 6 AM and decided to write a new script on the way to Montreal while keeping some of the concepts from the older script. My stay in Montreal was only for two nights. I spent the first day finishing the script, the second day shooting and the third day going back to Toronto. 


Once I arrived in Montreal, I checked in to my Airbnb and finished writing the script. When I woke up the next day, I went to the car rental company and got the car. I picked up the two actors that were going to be in the first scene. After we shot it, I went back to my Airbnb and the other two actors came there. We were five total strangers in a room filming a scene. And everyone was getting along so well. I couldn't believe that it was happening. One of the actors said that this is a surreal experience because everyone got together in such short notice, and it truly was. By the end of the day, we were already good friends, laughing and trying to help each other with the lines. When I was back in Toronto I added a new scene to the film, as well.


This whole experience and this film wouldn't have happened if the girl I was talking to wanted to do the film. Or if because of her, I decided not to go to Montreal and make this film. I know that the final outcome of the film is much better than what would've been. Overall, this was a really cool experience to be a part of at the age of 18. 


The lesson here is to always go forward and not let anyone pull you back from what you want to achieve. Be curious - I thought about cancelling everything before I left my house in Toronto but I didn't. I went with the flow and wanted to see what would happen. Keep doing your best, be ambitious and the universe will help you out by solving things without you knowing it. In the end, I'm grateful that things didn't work out the way that I once wanted them to.

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