Trevor Holt’s life of late has been a story of transition and, in truth, it’s his own transition from doting caregiver to filmmaker that has set the foundation for his latest film project.
Part of that transition has involved moving to Sooke and finding himself in love with the place and the people he’s met here.
“If I hadn’t come here, I’m not sure I’d be pursuing a film,” Holt said.
“This is a community where the people are just amazing and supportive and it’s such a change from Vancouver. Living and working here has already changed me.”
Those sentiments have led Holt to engage with the community in his film project by using locations in Sooke to film his scenes as well as convincing local residents to participate as actors in his shoots.
“I just happened to meet him,” said Sooke resident Tony Fantetti, who spoke of how he unexpectedly became a part of Holt’s film.
“He talked me into playing the brother of one of the main characters and it was so great. I had a couple of lines and he did a great job of explaining who my character was and was so helpful to make sure I got it right.”
Although Fantetti had done some acting in high school, he had never dreamed of playing a role in a feature film.
Another Sooke resident, Kaitlyn Gibson, was at her job at the Sooke Harbour House when her boss approached her with Holt’s request that she plays a waitress in a scene he was filming at that location.
“I’d done some modelling in the past so I wasn’t really nervous. It turned out to be a lot of fun,” said Gibson. “I’m in two scenes and I’m looking forward to seeing myself in the movie.”
Another Sooke resident, Marian Schultz, was similarly pleased when she was asked to be in the film.
“I played a waitress, too, and I guess I still have one scene to shoot with Trevor,” said Schultz with a chuckle. “I have three kids who are all excited about this and now they all want to be actors.”
Until about 18 months ago, Holt’s days were taken up with caring for his 107-year-old grandmother during the day and working with at-risk youth during the evenings. He also wrote screenplays and did some work experimenting with and learning about film.
Then he was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident that caused him to require significant healing time and sent him spiralling into a state of depression.
He gained a lot of weight during that period because, as he tells it, “the pizza joint became my best friend”.
Holt finally realized that he needed a change in order to save himself and made his way to Sooke where he fell in love with the community. He was inspired to re-write one of his earlier screenplays; a screenplay that is, not entirely coincidentally, about transitions.
In the film, Holt plays a man who, suffering from PTSD, is attacked by the antagonist of the film, played by Julian Paul (Ghostbusters, the A-Team, iZombie). He isolates himself in a cabin and over the next six months, transforms himself while losing 150 lbs.
“I will be losing that weight during the filming so people will actually see my own transformation on a physical level and appreciate the internal transition that happens at the same time,” explained Holt.
Beyond Holt and the local actors he’s employed, Holt has tapped the acting skills of Jason Burkart (Miracle, The Tooth Fairy, Once Upon a Time), and Saskia Wedding (All about Sara Niles, 7 Demons).
The film will complete the shooting schedule within the year and then go into post-production. No release date has been set as yet, but Holt is hopeful to be included in film festivals as soon as it is completed.