by Dave Stewart
Joey Weale has been a part of PEI’s film and theatre scene for longer than you’d think, both onstage/on camera and behind the scenes. What’s uniquely characteristic about Joey’s film work here on the Island, to this point, is his use of Super 8 film stock to create short action oriented films that are completely without dialogue.
Dave: How’d you get started filmmaking?
Joey: Back when I was going to UPEI Steve Balderston did a class on Super 8 filmmaking at the Arts Guild. I made a film called Death by Frisbee. Then I bought a Super 8 camera, and in a few years made a film called Flagwar. Dave Moses was very supportive of the film, and hired me at Moses Media where I’ve worked ever since as the cameraman.
Dave: How would you describe your filmmaking style?
Joey: I like to do it all myself! That’s why Super 8 works so good for me. It’s just me, the camera, and the actors. No sound, no lights, and you can go, go, go. So, it’s not a very polished thing I go for. I think many of my favourite films have a bit of dreamlike quality to them, so I’m drawn to that. I like a lot of action and a lot of moving bodies. I like long takes and tracking shots, and just letting the actors do their thing in real space and time. I base everything, including the writing, around the actors. I find it impossible to finish writing or planning for a project unless I know who’s going to be in it.
Dave: Tell us about your film work.
Joey: Flagwar was about a giant game of Capture the Flag on the streets of Charlottetown. Home Guard was about armed conflict in a snowy rural community, but it’s very similar to Flagwar in a lot of ways. They’re both about thirty minutes long, silent, Super 8, and action based, with huge casts of people running around and falling on the ground. My latest project is a big departure because there’s sound and dialogue, its shot in HD, there’s a cast of four, and no one dies, except a tree. It will be done in November, and it will be interesting to see if it feels at all like the others when it’s done. I’ve also shot a lot of Sketch-22’s videos, and I helped shoot Vast by Harmony Wagner and Jason Rogerson’s Lucky 7, both of which are in the Atlantic Film Festival. I collaborated with Mille (Clarkes) on a Nudie and the Turks video too.
Dave: Where can we see your films?
Joey: In Steve Balderston’s attic! That’s a joke, but I’m really behind the times, and they’re not on the web yet. I used to dislike the whole idea of people watching them on their computer, but I’m going to break down and get a Vimeo account. This latest project I’m now completing will be on the Charlottetown City web site along with works by four other filmmakers awarded funding for the city’s Cultural Capitol of Canada designation. After that, I’ll probably focus on some other aspects of my life for a while, read a novel, and maybe then something will come to me. If all else fails, I’ll just do a Flagwar sequel.