A vulnerable teenager must confront her traumatic past when she meets a troubled musician with nothing left to lose. The pair end up in the same psychiatric care facility where they share an intimate connection that goes beyond words and can only be expressed through music. Ben was produced by Craft Productions and shot on location at Capilano University in March 2015.
Kat Jansen, Aaron Post, Corina Bizim, Michael Yeung, Olivia Sara Grace, Joel Montgrand, Gavin Langelo and Audrey Smallman
Directed by Allyson Fournier with original music and production design by CJ McGillivray, cinematography by Paul Human, costume design by Michelle Grossmith and fight coordination by Ryan McNeill Bolton and Mike Kovac; produced by J. Edward Davis and Allyson Fournier; co-produced by Max Morrow with executive producer Nathalie Perreault.
Ben received an audience choice award for best picture in the Northwest is Best category at the 2016 National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) in Seattle, Washington.
Here is a selection of production stills from Ben featuring production design by CJ McGillivray:
The film was shot on location at Capilano University, including a series of bedroom scenes in a psychiatric facility, which were shot in converted classrooms. Flashback scenes were shot in an apartment set located in the Bosa Centre for Film and Animation:
The resolving action and indeed much of the present day conflict was filmed in the library building at Capilano University, converted into a psychiatric facility activity room. The design incorporated an upright piano as the focal point of the narrative and of the physical space:
The production design for Ben incorporated six major settings shot in four primary shooting locations over the course of three and a half days. The set decorations, paint supplies, instrumental rentals and props were sourced with a modest budget of $350. The design was implemented with a five person crew led by CJ McGillivray with the support of art direction from Sarah Jane Fogel and set decoration by Natalie Murao, Ben Pilger and Mary Webber.