It can be a terrifying moment, the day you walk away from your college or university campus with that big piece of paper in your hand that says you’re ready to jump into the real world.
Especially when you’re not sure exactly where to go.
Gregory Breen is a film writer, director and producer. He graduated Humber’s film and media Bachelor of Applied Arts program in 2013 after already earning an advanced diploma in the Film and Television Production program in 2011.
Breen had a clear vision of where he wanted to go.
“Greg knew from the very beginning he wanted to be a director,” said Ivo Solan, a professor in the BAA film and media production program who taught Breen for four semesters.
“When he came to my class it was clear this was his path,” he said.
Breen’s short film, Steven Myerschmidt Bites the Big One, is the final product of his fourth-year BAA production project, essentially his thesis. In the dark political comedy, Steven Myerschmidt is the morose manager of a solar panel manufacturing company who must subdue a worker’s revolt, regardless of the curry stain on his tie.
Myerschmidt has won multiple awards, including Best Student Film at the 2013 Hamilton Film Festival, and has very recently been selected for the 10th annual Toronto-based ReelHeART International Film Festival.
Myershmidt was a bit of a switch in genre from his first short film, For God and Ulster, an intimate story that explores the “aftermath of the troubles in Northern Ireland,” Breen said.
It has been screened in eight film festivals and won best drama at the 2012 Canadian International Film Festival in Vancouver.
Breen moved to Kingston, Ont., in 2006 from Killiney, a town south of Dublin, Ireland, and now resides in Toronto.
His ambition is admirable. Since graduating from the BAA program last year he has already completed a third short film, Clara, and is currently working on his very first feature-length film, The Long Night.
Breen describes The Long Night as a “descent down the river type story.”
“It’s (about) an ordinary guy who gets involved with some unscrupulous characters and spends the night running from the police and gangsters (while) trying to win the heart of a good woman,” he said.
Breen’s transition from school to the industry has been bright thus far, but he still faces difficulties.
“It’s been hard,” Breen said.
“The nice thing is, certainly with camera equipment, a lot of my friends from school who gravitated towards camera (work) or cinematography have their own equipment so we’ve been able to sort of borrow, beg, and steal to get stuff made,” he said.
But Breen has friends from two graduating classes who are able to help in more ways than technical work. Matthew Finkelstein graduated from Humber’s film and television diploma program along with Greg and is a co-writer and script editor for The Long Night.
“Humber was wonderful for meeting people,” said Finkelstein.
“Seeing…whether or not you can mesh with them and trust their vision,” he said. “You get to see where your strengths are and where your shortcomings fall and someone else you believe in can step in, help you and bring your vision together.”
Breen launched an Indiegogo campaign for The Long Night on Friday and can use as many helping hands as he can get.
“I just want to keep making films and get to where I’m going,” said Breen.
Watch Breen’s short films below:
For God and Ulster
Steven Myerschmidt Bites the Big One
Visit Breen’s web site for more information and updates regarding his projects.