The Vancouver Observer gets Heganized
WD: What excites you about the path you've chosen?
KH: One of my favourite moments was premiering my short film Heart of Whistler at the Whistler Film Festival. Picture over a thousand people in a packed theatre on the festival’s opening night, middle of winter, snow on the ground.
I was sitting nervously in the front section. I turned around to watch the crowd laughing at my film’s jokes and satirical action sequences. Norman Jewison was in the theatre. More importantly, my whole family, including my late father, were all with me. It was an amazing experience – and it was all finished in less than 7 minutes. That was an incredibly powerful feeling…being able to move a crowd to cheers.
WD: What was the first significant (present position related) job you landed? And what's the journey been like?
KH: My first TV writing job was for a CBC Vancouver arts show called Zero Avenue back in the ‘90s. Great gig. I wrote/narrated links and host dialogue for the show and my exec producer was kind enough to let me direct my own segments. He suggested I keep it simple as it was my “first time up river”. Great advice but I forgot to take it. Instead, I directed an elaborately epic short film called Farley Mowat Ate My Brother. It was based on my 3-minute CBC Radio play of the same name.
Based on an untrue story, Farley Mowat Ate My Brother opened with me sitting in a radio studio, telling the radio audience a chilling story about how I battled for my life with that great Canadian children’s author. It was a parody of classic CBC radio dramas and as the story unfolded, you saw wild flashbacks of me heading north to avenge my brother by killing the crazed Canadian cannibal, Farley Mowat. Oh, and my dog sled team? A bunch of stuffed animals that also included an Alf doll. It was truly a weird film and became a hit on the festival circuit.
That film lead to tons of work as a writer and director. Work breeds work.