Film editors living big-screen dreams in small-town Goderich

·3 min read

Even as the new Blackberry movie debuted in Berlin, Curt Lobb was thinking about ways to make it better.

"That night went really great," Lobb said of February's premiere. "But then there was the odd thing in the movie that" made him and his team think, "'Oh, that's just not working.'"

With his notes in hand, Lobb flew from Europe to his hometown of Goderich a day early to get started on the extra edits.

"We took about two minutes out of the movie, made all these changes and then finally locked it in," he said.

Now, several “final” versions later, the Blackberry film edited by Lobb and his team at FauxPop Media Inc. in Goderich is set to hit theatres Friday.

Directed by Matt Johnson, the Canadian movie about the rise and fall of the world's first smartphone, created by Waterloo-based Research in Motion.

The film has a comedic edge and feels like a documentary, similar to the television series The Office, said Randall Lobb, Curt’s cousin and co-founder of FauxPop Media.

It’s also “a love letter to a time and a place. It's very nostalgic for an era,” he said.

The 122-minute movie features scenes shot in Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, and parts of Southwestern Ontario, including London's airport, and was edited over six months in FauxPop’s studio in the old railway station in Goderich.

The team was involved right from the first day of filming, said Mark Hussey, the post-production supervisor of Blackberry.

“Our process was taking all of the footage every day, syncing up the audio, and sending out dailies to all the producers and stakeholders,” he said.

“And then we were also doing an assembly edit . . . of the film as they shot. So it was a 35-day shoot, and within a few days after they had finished shooting, they had a three-hour movie to watch."

Cutting the film down to its final version was a meticulous and challenging process, but rewarding nonetheless, Curt said, estimating he pulled at least six all-nighters along the way.

His secret to getting through a 24-hour editing shift? “Lots of coffee,” he said with a smile.

Blackberry isn’t the movie to bring FauxPop recognition. Curt Lobb and Hussey also produced Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, released in 2014, and director Ally Pankiw’s dark comedy, I Used to Be Funny.

Blackberry shows you don't have to live in a big city to make it in the movie industry, they say.

“This project totally proved that it was just a great collaborative environment all the way along, and I think a lot of that had to do with the intimacy of where we were in our small town,” Hussey said.

Added Curt: “Having my group of Toronto collaborators just fully trust this new formula was really cool. There was really no hesitation from them."

The members of FauxPop will embrace their small-town pride with a special screening of Blackberry and a Q&A session with its director at the town’s Park Theatre on Monday.

Randall Lobb is calling it now. His youngest cousin, Curt, and the team behind the film will receive worldwide praise for their work in the film.

“I think (Curt) is going to win an award for it,” he said confidently.

Blackberry is scheduled to play locally starting Thursday night, with listings at SilverCity London, Westmount's Cineplex Odeon and Galaxy Cinemas in St. Thomas.

The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada

Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press