Friday, December 1, 2023
December 1, 2023

Short films connect islanders

Time on their hands and the wish to reach out to others has inspired some islanders to refine their video production skills over the past few weeks, while others are making their existing content available at an opportune moment.

Salt Spring puppeteer Jesse Thom — creator of the show Some Bunny Loves You — offered a moving message of support via his Facebook page last month, filming a performance of Sending Love (A COVID-19 Isolation Song). Thom made the video available to share for anyone who might need it, although it’s particularly suited to young children.

National improv champion Jo Gaffney didn’t get to help defend Gulf Islands Secondary School’s title in Ottawa this year after the pandemic cancelled all events, but at least she’s had more time for her filmmaking practice. Viewers can find some of her haunting creations on YouTube such as a song-length look at an empty Ganges during quarantine.

A filmmaker for the past two years, Gaffney’s latest short film is Sheets, a spooky version of the “boy crushes on girl” story. A friendly ghost (Marcus Degenstein) crushes on a girl (Kahlila Ball) and tries to get a message to her. Gaffney demonstrates “unrequited love is hard, even with spirit worlds between them.”

Odessa Scott is a 10-year-old artist, fashion designer and musician. She completed the short film The Lonely Bride Lonely in recent weeks. Dressed as the bride, the young girl performs a wiggly dance in several vacant city locations at night.

“The premise for her film was developed when Odessa thought it would be fun to dance in an abandoned gas station while wearing a wedding dress,” explained her mother Emily Goodden. “Once she started filming, fuelled by gas station candy, she wanted to try dancing in other locations as well.”

Footage was captured before the COVID quarantines. Isolation and loneliness is a topic that can permeate even the best of days, but as Goodden observes, the theme is now more poignant than ever. Find the video at The Lonely Bride Lonely.mp4

Odessa’s uncle Hugh Goodden helped with filming and editing. See his Instagram account @huba.gooding.jr for more interesting video content.

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Most of us could use a laugh at this time and Tom Messer can certainly help produce it. Known for the hilarious sketch films Sh** Salt Springers Say as well as his top bartending skills at the Salt Spring Inn and the annual Glowtini contest, Messer has responded to popular demand with a “Salt Spring Quarantini” how-to. Instructions include throwing the martini shaker overboard because what people really need in isolation is a one-litre drinking jar.


Daniel Squizzato’s many talents include comedic acting and teaching, which he has put together in a series of weekly videos. It started with a back-to-school message for SD64 classes, who found spring break ended without their ability to return to a physical school.

Squizzato’s hilarious replay of how he would normally have welcomed all the different grades from kindergarten to grade 12 was followed up by an April 6 video on top-five tips for keeping a sense of humour.

The April 13 video includes Squizzato’s trademark humour but takes a more serious turn, helping students cultivate empathy in difficult times. 

The Salt Spring Arts Council has created an entire stream for the short video medium on Facebook. Viewers can find musical performances, art lessons and more on the page SSI Cultural Connections Channel.


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