Iron to Rust focuses on the complicated friendship between Sophie and Tucker. His cynical depression and her sympathetic intentions explode and threaten the fate of their relationship altogether. Full of brutal honesty and raw emotion, this character study exposes an unhealthy relationship at its wit’s end.
Evan Anderson as Tucker Jake and Allyson Fournier as Sophie Morrison
Direction and cinematography by Paul Human, screenplay and casting by Allyson Fournier and production design by CJ McGillivray
The monochromatic, minimalist production design reflects the muted emotions of the main character, a trouble college student who is struggling with severe depression and disconnection from his life. His apartment is perpetually unmade, unsettled and dishevelled. The following is a series of set photographs which capture the production design by CJ McGillivray:
Photos by Allyson Fournier
Making Waves is a short film about Dawson Harrington, a fictional young musician who suffers from amnesia after he experiences a severe car accident. Frustration builds within him until he discovers a way back to recovery with the help of his younger sister, Jayme Harrington. The short film was produced in May 2015 in association with Capilano University.
CJ McGillivray as Jayme Harrington, Sam Robert Muik as Dawson Harrington and Julia Thielert as Nurse Emily
Directed by Amit Dhuga and written and produced by Ellie Linnell with cinematography by Linley Redford, production design by Thomas Kelly, music by Josh Polanco, editing by Izzy Cumerlato, costume design by Inaki Gorbena and casting by Willem Osland.
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.
The Elvish Blades are an alliance of assassins and revolutionaries who act as the moral guardians of their land. When the world falls into chaos, the alliance is seriously damaged and the fate of the land falls on the shoulders of a young half elf. To save the land, he must embark on a journey to face his destiny and uncover the past, He must dream, rise and rebel.
The medieval fantasy film, Elvish Blades, was directed by Evan Graves in association with Graves Productions. The short film was shot entirely on green screen at the University of British Columbia. It premiered at the Persistence of Vision Film Festival in Spring 2015. In her role as the goblin chieftaness, CJ McGillivray had a terrific experience learning the elaborate fight choreography and swordplay.
Still from Elvish Blades featuring CJ McGillivray and Tyler Burrows
Abbey Dutton, Tyler Burrows and Braye Dial with CJ McGillivray and Niamh Dillon
Directed by Evan Graves and produced by Eimanne El Zein with cinematography by Andy Hawkes, art direction by Andy Alvarez and make up by Silver Anderson and Vasilia Worrell.
I am confident that your walnut sized brain led you down this terrible and pathetic journey. I hope you went through a lot of suffering.
– Stan Anderson by Thea Loo, Natalie Murao and Stephanie Porter
In December 2015, CJ McGillivray worked on Stan Anderson, a hilarious and awkward short film directed by Stephanie Porter, in association with the Simon Fraser University School for Contemporary Arts. The story evokes laughter with plenty of awkward silences, deadpan expressions and quirky humour. In the lead role of Willow, CJ portrayed an unbalanced love child with strange mannerisms and hidden motives. Her character is accompanied on a series of misadventures by a hopeless though well meaning companion Greg, as portrayed by local actor Rylan Oleksyn. The chemistry is strange and uncomfortable.
Stan Anderson was shot on location in the hidden corners of Gastown, West Vancouver and Guelph Park. The production design was executed by Natalie Murao with cinematography by Thea Loo. Both Willow and Greg encounter a vibrant and peculiar colour scheme throughout the film as they meander from one ridiculous scenario to another.
Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.
– The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
In Autumn 2015, CJ McGillivray had the opportunity to take on a series of diverse romantic film roles. The short film Timeless Beauty was a curious exploration of both romance and rejection. The film was directed by Brittanie Thompson and explored the fleeting love of a stranger and a warm embrace. CJ McGillivray played the supporting role of a woman who operates without sympathy, with an absent conscience. The film was shot on location at Capilano University in association with the department of Motion Picture Arts.
At the Langara film department, an opposite story was explored through subtlety and quiet recollection. Argentum is a contemporary coming of age romance directed by Alecia Maslechko. CJ McGillivray portrays the sweet but introverted Freja alongside Kylee Dawson as her exuberant roommate Esper. The story is one of heartbreak and discomfort after an awkward first kiss that leads to confusion between friends.
Back at Capilano University, the short film Memories of Maria was directed by Ellie Linnell with CJ McGillivray in the title role opposite Rory Knowler as her pained lover. After a sudden and unexpected death, her partner falls into a deep depression and Maria fades into nothing more than a beautiful, remembered archetype. The film is a fascinating exploration of lost love and longing for the past.
In October 2014, CJ McGillivray found her passion in the middle ground between classical music and film acting. The short film Clavicordia has an incredible narrative told through dynamic visuals and the absence of language. The film is directed by local visionary Rob Hamilton and was shot on location at Capilano University. The production features engaging cinematography by Zakk Wylde and beautifully intricate production design by Brittanie Thompson. On screen, CJ McGillivray plays the lovely but challenging role of Karen alongside local performer Robby Walker as her talented but deceased lover.
Passion resurfaces through the haunting emptiness of a dream landscape within the film. Both Karen and Toby experience crippling grief but music is the one thing that allows them to communicate and release some of their pain. Prelude No. 15 by Frederic Chopin dominates the sound design and fuels the story with a sense of depression and momentum. CJ McGillivray looks forward to continuing her exploration of the complimentary crossover between classical music and the performing arts.
I made mistakes. But we never ceased to laugh at silly little things until we ended up clutching our sides.
– Heart Beats by Savina Chen
In September 2014, CJ McGillivray was cast as a lead role in a short film produced by the Vancouver Film School. Heart Beats was directed by Savina Chen with cinematography by Cesar de Alba. The film was shot on location in the beautiful Stanley Park along with scenes in a lovely suburban home and an isolated hospital room.
In the contemporary romance, CJ McGillivray plays the leading role of Abby opposite Alex Crusafon Pont in the role of her boyfriend, Aden. Abby loves unconditionally and effortlessly with an essence of sweet sincerity, similar to the romantic female archetype seen in many classic films. The story turns shockingly heartbreaking when Abby is diagnosed with a fatal heart disease. She makes an effort to live every moment in the present but the experience nearly destroys Aden as he cannot handle seeing her suffer.
Get back from me y’scurrilous scum! Get yer mangy paws off me.
– Taylor from The Curse of Maggie Boon by Kathryn Aylwin
In May 2014, CJ McGillivray was immersed in a raucous and fiendish pirate tale, The Curse of Maggie Boon. The short film was directed by Chelsea Goodman during the Off The Grid development series at Capilano University. The film featured everything from daggers and swinging fists to elaborate rapier choreography as directed by acclaimed fight director Mike Kovac. The ensemble was led by CJ McGillivray in the title role of Maggie Boon alongside Katherine Alpen as her adversary and Cory Beaulieu as her love interest.
The Curse of Maggie Boon premiered on September 23rd, 2014 at the Rio Theatre alongside an array of local talent and emerging filmmakers. The film was also featured during an Off The Grid screening and panel discussion on September 25th, 2014 at Capilano University. The following year, The Curse of Maggie Boon was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay at The Golden Panda North America International Short Film Festival.
That is really nice of her. She is really taking you under her wing.
– Veronica from Love Empire by Erin Hughes
Near the end of her university experience, CJ McGillivray was given a refreshing, fun opportunity to work on the short film, Love Empire. This sweet romantic comedy was directed by Erin Hughes on location at Capilano University. CJ was cast in the role of the sweet and gentle Veronica, an archetype for the endearing girl next door. In a moment of helplessness, Veronica sacrifices her own love and happiness to support the academic advances of her boyfriend Stephen, played by local actor David Morea Perea. The young couple experience longing and separation alongside a tempting and somewhat manipulative older woman, played by Jacqueline Ryan. Inspired by the words of William Shakespeare, the short was filmed in the style of a stage performance with innovative and smooth camera movement to capture the play within the film.