Victim of an Evil Seductress

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Made this one for the Victoria Film Festival’s “My Victoria” Film contest. They wanted a one-minute Victoria-centric film. While wandering around the immerweb, trying to figure out what to do for the film, I stumbled into the the raciest historical tidbit about my quaint little town. It’s about an architect named Francis Rattenbury. Adultery. Murder. Juicy stuff. Here is the film I made:

I ended up winning the “Capital History Award” for it, and did a little interview with the Susan McLean from the Provincial Capital Commission. I found it online here:

Rattenbury scandal provides fodder
for Capital History Award winner
March 2008 – Not only did Francis Rattenbury design Victoria’s signature buildings, including the Parliament Buildings, the Empress Hotel, the Crystal Garden and the CP Steamship terminal, but the renowned architect was a key character in the raciest scandal of the 1920s and 30s.

The steamier side of Rattenbury — from leaving his wife for a younger woman to his murder in England by his chauffer who was having an affair with his second wife, through to her stabbing death — provided a smorgasbord of tantalizing historical tidbits and fascinating imagery for Victoria filmmaker Scott Amos.

Combining archival photographs and new video footage, Amos pieced together Rattenbury’s sordid final years for his short film “Victim of an Evil Seductress” to win the Provincial Capital Commission’s Capital History Award at this year’s Victoria Film Festival.

Thanks to the internet, Scott was able to conduct much of his research on the renowned architect, accessing historical information and archived photographs. Using a 1952 16-mm Bolex camera, he began filming. Working out of his basement, Scott processed the film in buckets of chemicals, deliberately scratching the black and white film to make it look old.

Originally from Ontario, Amos hitchhiked to Victoria 10 years ago, with a guitar on his back and $20 in his pocket. It’s the story films are made of and was the topic of his second film entered in this year’s festival entitled “Waiting.”

Earning some money busking in Bastion Square, he eventually earned a writing degree from the University of Victoria, where one of his professors handed him a video camera for a film project. It was a pivotal moment in Scott’s life. “I got myself into huge debt buying equipment,” he laughed. He also started making short films.

Now a Teacher’s Assistant in UVic’s Fine Arts Department and working at Medianet, a video co-op business, Amos is a five-year veteran of the Victoria Film Festival. The My Victoria category suits his style, he says, providing an avenue to show off his work. “I make a lot of Island-centric movies.”

“The festival is a great way to be exposed to artistic work that you wouldn’t normally see,” he said. “There’s a lot of local and Canadian content and it’s great to see what’s happening in my field.”

The My Victoria competition is an opportunity for local artists to have their work shown on the Big Screen and to expose people to the unique voices of the local independent film community, he added. It also provides an incentive to film a changing world, he noted. Amos is the first to admit the world, as most people see it, isn’t his cup of tea. “The real world doesn’t interest me,” he said. “I live it every day so I don’t need to film it. I’d rather film a world that doesn’t exist or to see the existing world in a way I’ve never seen it before.”

But add an experimental twist and it’s award time for Amos.


A short film made for the 2008 “My Victoria” competition at the Victoria Film Festival that screened earlier this week. I’m tossing into my film-of-the-week collection, because it was, in fact, made within a week (2 days actually, in December.) I was just too busy this week doing a vlog for the festival, and I had to wait until the contest was over before before I could post it.
Participants were asked to create a 1 minute video about what living in the Capital means to them, how it affects or influences their lives, or what they feel is unique to living here.

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The film stars Darryl Tamney, Ishe Barrett and John Davis. The Music is by Rozalind MacPhail, from her album “Edgework.” It was Shot on a Bolex and hand-processed.
Unfortunately, “Waiting” didn’t win anything. But another film I did for the contest, called “Victim of an Evil Seductress” won the “Capital History Award.” Once the dust settles I’ll probably post that too.

And CineVic, our local Film Co-op gave me a couple rolls of old expired colour 16mm film, that I’m going to learn how to hand-process. So the weekly excercises will get a little more colourful. Woohoo!

Quicktime Version:

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Victoria Film Fest 2008

My film-a-week fell by the wayside this week, as the Victoria Film Festival is in full swing…but I have still been making films this week, they’re just different than what I’m used to doing.
It’s a Vlog that I’ve been doing for the Festival, just wandering around and getting into trouble. It’s been a great excuse to meet people and take part in the Island’s largest film festival.

You can find it here:

On another note, both Grass and Sometimes are playing at a couple more festivals. Grass was accepted to the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmaker’s $100 film Fest in March, and Both Grass and Sometimes were accepted to the Dawson City International Short Film Festival in March. I’m hoping to do some travelling…looks like I’ll need to hunt down some winter clothes….

Victoria Film Festival 2008 – Window Loop

Week 2 of the Film-a-Week project:

This is a loop I made this week for the Victoria Film Festival’s Pre-Fest Bash. It is made from an old 16mm educational film, altered with chemicals and hand-painted frame-by-frame. Paul Wilson designed the logo, and I put some of Mike Wolske’s music on the web version. Did a little digital colour adjustment to keep with the festival’s pink colour scheme too.
Hopefully the YouTube video compression won’t mangle it too badly, but you’ll get the idea. Inspired by Brakhage (of course.)

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Heading out to Nanaimo next weekend for the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival, where both Grass and Sometimes are playing along with 19 other island-made films. Should be fun.