Mind the Gap (1985, Super-8)
The epic short documentary was more a tone poem than a conventional doc. Images and music to tell a story: taking the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) subway train to school and about the city.
Slightly earlier that school year (1984-85) my fellow crew and I made a Super-8 epic titled The Chase which involved some shooting on the transit system. "Yorkdale" station was featured prominently at the film's beginning; intrigue on the platform was the setup to the story. This experience convinced me that the subway would make an interesting subject for the required first-year "personal documentary". I had no desire to do a dry treatment. My interest in transportation would ensure that the mechanics of moving people about in a city would star front and centre. Also, the subway was convenient since I took it everyday to school. Pearson Airport would be a more problematic shoot. (I love the mechanics of moving people places on aircraft.)
As per the course requirements I had to pitch my film idea to my instructor, Pat. He gave the project the thumbs up after I presented the script and several pages of storyboards illustrating key moments.
The screening: The instructor was surprised by the end result. He said he was expecting something a little different.
After the class screening a few days later, Pat said: "It's a tone poem."
(Exactly. It's the better way.)
Mind the Gap is in restoration....