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Convergence is a story about a scientist who brings a teenager over from a alternate universe. Where this young man is from, history is a little different. The physicist who brought him over must convince his partners of who this stranger is, and ultimately, try to find a way to send him home.


Introduction

I'm a independent filmmaker and 'Convergence' is my baby, my pride and joy. It's my most successful production to date. It was a movie that was shot and edited in the Winter/Spring of 1995 in my final year of High School. It originally started out to be just a class project, but eventually became much more. It went on to be aired on television several times and won 1st prize at the '2nd Annual Cinefest Videomakers Competition'.

Genesis         The Convergence          What came to be...            Other Pages

Genesis...

Technically it is a 'video', it was shot entirely in Super VHS, however I just like the sound of calling it a 'film'. :) In my final semester at Sudbury Secondary School (in Ontario, Canada) I was asked to do a project for my 'Communication Technology' course. I had previous production experience and wanted to pursue a career in film, so I decided I was going to do a movie. Of course, it being a 'communications' course, our project had to do with something of that nature. I went with the angle that by doing this film I would be 'communicating' an idea or theme. Luckily, the teacher of the course (George Sykora) was a very easy-going man and loved the idea. :)

I then went ahead and wrote the script. The theme I wanted for the film was "that if we are to get anything significant accomplished as a society, we must work together". With that and the idea that people from two different worlds would be 'converging' I decided on the title 'Convergence'. I felt it had the perfect double meaning, plus that seemed to be the only title I could think of. :) I like to steer away fom 'one-word titles' in my films, but this time I was willing to make an exception I suppose. In the future, unfortunately, the Fox Television show 'Sliders' would premiere. This was about a month later to be exact, and is only unfortunate, because to this day many believe that this is where I got the idea for the film. Despite having my film compared to Sliders, I still like the show. :)

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The convergence

I had assembled a very enthusiastic group of classmates to be my cast and crew of the film. Everyone played a part in front of and behind the camera at one point or another. Despite their lack of experience, I believe they all did a excellent job. During the 2 months of shooting we all became good friends. Even our amazing teacher at the time, George Sykora, was extremely generous in his help toward getting the movie accomplished. He was responsible for much of the visual effects during production. Without him, the film would have been pretty lack-luster. It was a learning experience for all of us that I don't think we will never forget.

Production had it's troubles however. One cast/crew member dropped out a couple of weeks into shooting and another could not be reached toward the end. However, we still managed to put together something that I feel is timeless. The fun shoots, the difficult shoots, the improvisation... all of it was captured. As Robert Zemeckis once said, "Pain is temporary, film is forever." :)

 

Then came the unruly task of editing. Luckily, I had recently gained a significant amount of video-editing experience, so then added the title of 'Editor' to my list of chores. They say it's always a good idea to have the director present during the editing process, in this case there was no worries there. :) As with production, everything in post-production was completed using the school's equipment. Editing only took about 4 days. This is where everything was cut and pasted, and music, special effects and titles were added. Soon after I went to the liberty of creating a 'blooper tape' and put it to music. The first time the class had seen what we had done, there was a rousing applause... just what every filmmaker is looking for. I was very happy with the finished product. :)

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What came to be...

At the suggestion of our 'executive producer' George Sykora, I submitted Convergence to the local community cable station here in Sudbury for broadcast. The program manager of the station at the time was thoroughly impressed by the film and said he'd love to air it. I was also asked to come in to tape an 'interview segment' that would be used to accompany the feature. The interview was used to give some info on myself and my experience for budding young filmmakers of the region. It was also used to begin a new regular program at the station, "Access TV", now local individuals finally had the chance to do the same as myself and showcase their talents.
It was a big year for me in '95. Just days after the interview I had my high school graduation ceremony, but it doesn't end there. George Sykora also suggested that I enter Convergence into the 'Cinefest Videomakers Competition'. Cinefest is a big annual film festival in northern Ontario, I didn't even know they had a 'Videomakers' competition at all. Well, I really didn't think Convergence would do much damage at a competition like Cinefest. Despite it being such a huge organization, I entered it anyhow.
That summer, my film was aired on the local community cable station several times and even had a time slot in the Sudbury edition of the TV Guide. When the summer came to an end it was time for me to head off to Confederation College in Thunder Bay where I would be taking their Film Production course. Near the end of my first month, I discovered that Convergence was chosen as a finalist to be screened at the Videomakers Competition, then just days later, I discovered it had won first prize. It was the greatest moment of my life and unfortunately I was 650 miles away. (Here you will find the 'Sudbury Star' article detailing the entire event.) However, when I returned home two weeks later for Thanksgiving, I was presented with somewhat of a 'local boy makes good'-welcome at Sudbury Secondary. :)

Many have seen Convergence since and I have received good reviews over-all. It's more then just a story about a stranger in a strange land. It tells us that if we all just worked together we could accomplish anything. I am happy that it has became what it has, and even more so, if it has inspired someone with similar interests to do the same.

-Dan Carriere

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Convergence at Cinefest

Images from the film

Reconvergence
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