A Toronto director with time on his hands shoots an ad for the industry

As a live-action director based in Toronto, Brad Dworkin saw work dry up pretty quickly last month.

For now at least, any projects in development are using either stock footage or animation, which means there really isn’t much he can do but wait. “I’m a planner, definitely. So all of this living in the present, day-to-day stuff is hard for me,” he says.

“I just kind of turned inward, focused on family, personal creative projects…” It’s about then that Dworkin has to pause the interview for a minute. He’s out for a walk with his four-year old daughter. “She saw a worm on the ground and that was a big deal,” he says.

After about three weeks with no work, Dworkin felt he had to make something. “I was feeling a bit of a creative itch,” he says. So, he put together an ad of his own—a PSA of sorts for the film and commercial production industry, reminding everyone that while things are quiet now, they will come back.

He did it all himself (of course), combining a series of shots of tools of the trade left unused during the shutdown. “When the world is ready to roll again, we will be too,” says the closing super.

“It was just about creating a conversation,” says Dworkin. The video was posted to Vimeo, shared on Reddit and social channels and got people talking. “Everyone’s feeling like they’re alone, but we’re all alone together,” he says. “It was an opportunity to say I’m feeling what you’re all feeling, and you’re not alone in feeling that.”

And he is seeing other encouraging signs of the industry pulling together, sharing expertise with others who suddenly have time to learn about other aspects of the business, for example. “I think people are stepping up.”

Dworkin knows it will be tough for the production industry for a while at least. “But the film industry thrives on Murphy’s Law—we’re ready for anything to go wrong at any time. And that resourcefulness is going to stand us in good stead as we try to figure out what comes next.”


David Brown