The grain elevators that once shipped wheat from the prairies to the markets of the world are falling one by one to fire and the wrecking ball. As they go, so too does a way of life.
Maurice Lemire of Val Marie, Saskatchewan (Pop. 137) shares memories of his father and life in the shadow of the elevator.
He is one of the many people in the village working to raise money to preserve the elevator - to honour those who came before, and to save their little prairie town.
This was shot in about two hours over three days while I was visiting the area in Nov. 2009. I really had very little idea how I would assemble the story at the time. I have a background in television news, and thought to add music and a voice over to hold the story together. But as I began to cut, I felt Maurice's voice was so rich and his way of speaking so natural and unscripted, that a VO would just be distracting. I searched for music that would suit the feel, but eventually decided that the wind really is the music of the prairie and gives a much better sense of place.
Shot on a Sony V1U in HDV with a handheld Rode NTG2 shotgun mic and cut in FCP7. I slightly adjust colour in a handful of shots (the rolling shot of the modern elevators had a blue cast from the car window), but most appear as they came through the lens.
Questions or comments are welcome!