Meet three talented Airdrians making their mark
Chris Reid believes his passion for filmmaking began with a childhood love of Hot Wheels cars.
“I had a bucket of those filled to the brim; that’s where my passion for cars started. Then it was like, ‘why can’t I go out and make cool videos of cars?’”
That’s how it started, this 25-year-old says, and now he has his own company, Vital Productions.
However, this backstory has a second chapter; one where Reid enrols in the video arts program at Bert Church High School.
“It was there I learned to write a script and to light a scene,” he says, adding that he also saw how filmmaking was a team effort. “A group of people go out, have some fun and they shoot a five-minute video.”
Reid prefers the role of cinematographer, though.
“I enjoy being the guy behind the camera. Figuring out if the scene is lit properly, the frame rate, the aspect ratio, all of that.”
As his skills grew, he began making videos of his friends’ custom vehicles, which has led to contracts for local car companies.
Reid also graduated last spring from the film and video production program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT).
“They further instilled the purpose of story, and especially how all the parts come together to make a whole,” he says, “and that’s what I really enjoy about filmmaking.”
He continues to do contract video for corporations and even weddings, but it’s not enough to go full time – yet.
Reid also works for Mercedes Benz in Calgary as an internet sales co-ordinator, photographing and videoing lot inventory.
“It’s my first job out of college. I can’t complain; it’s pretty good.”
The goal, however, is full-time filmmaking, which means, he says, “You never say no to an opportunity.”
Reid’s submitted a five-minute short film, The Caretaker, to the annual Airdrie Film Festival.
It was a group project he made while at SAIT, where he was the writer and cinematographer.
He’s also working on a project with Mitchell George, owner of Airdrie’s award-winning Crooked Cinema Productions.
“I can’t talk about it yet,” he laughs.
The two were both in the video arts program at Bert Church, and have stayed in touch.
“We teamed up on projects in school. He’s a great guy.”
Reid admits that building a career in filmmaking takes time, but he’s OK with that.
“Right now, it’s baby steps.”
Not many 18-year-olds can say they know what their calling in life is, but Izaha Cochran isn’t your typical young man.
This confident Airdrian is about to begin his second year at Toronto’s prestigious Sheridan College, in its musical theatre program.
“That was always my calling. When I tried to figure out what I wanted to pursue, there was really no other option but to do that,” he says, laughing.
His introduction to musical theatre was through George McDougall High School, but he graduated from Central Memorial High School in Calgary, taking advantage of its specialized theatre arts program.
Cochran says he’s always loved performing in front of a crowd; singing in Grade 4, show choirs in Grade 6, and then musicals in Grade 9 at McDougall.
“It all started with singing, but moving to musical theater really freed me.”
It allows him, through song and acting, to convey a message to the audience. “When you watch (musical theatre), you say, ‘oh, they made me sad, they made me think, they made me ponder.’ I feel there’s a lot of power in that.”
He gives the example of West Side Story, which he performed at the University of Calgary when he was in Grade 10.
“The music is fantastic, but (the story) touches on a lot of issues that people don’t want to talk about, like racism, sexual assault, and class differences.”
Choosing Sheridan College was not difficult.
Cochran did his research, and found that the college was considered better than most comparable ones in the U.S.
However, leaving his family was hard.
“I’m young, and it was challenging … I couldn’t just have my parents come out and help me.”
As for his future, Cochran is his normal confident self.
“I plan on working in musical theater and doing shows.”
Jillian Frederick, 17, is always moving, on stage and off. The George McDougall Grade 12 student took a few moments to tell us about her love of dance.
airdrielife: What’s your earliest memory of dancing?
Jillian Frederick: I was on stage at four years doing the bird dance and I kept moving out of line to go stand with my friend. Knowing those were not the rules, she kept telling me to go back to my spot in the line while we were on stage performing.
AL: What is your most embarrassing dance moment?
JF: I was performing my first-ever solo and I had a section of turns that travelled across the stage. I underestimated the depth of the stage and ending up turning into the back curtain. I got all tangled in the backdrop and missed a chunk of my solo trying to get myself untangled.
AL: What is your most cherished dance moment?
JF: The moment I cherish the most was being offered a duet with my big sister Andie. It was my first duet ever and I am so lucky that I got to experience that with her. She is my biggest role model and I am so blessed to have shared that sentimental time with her onstage.
AL: Was there a costume you absolutely disliked?
JF: Absolutely! There have been more than one, but every choreographer has their vision and they know more than I do so I trust they would never put me on stage looking ridiculous.
AL: How many hours a week do you dance?
JF: I spend seven hours and 45 minutes at the studio in strictly training classes working on technique and preparing for exams. That does not include my competition rehearsals and any hours spent teaching.
AL: When did you start teaching?
JF: I joined the Teacher’s Assistant Program at Ambition Performing Arts (APA) five years ago. Through that I was in the classrooms as an assistant learning how to handle my own classes. Last year I was offered opportunities subbing classes and taking over some of the classes I assisted. This year will be my first year with my very own set of classes to teach and I couldn’t be more excited.
AL: What has been your favourite teaching moment?
JF: There are so many it’s hard to choose one specific moment. I love being able to connect with the kids through something I am so passionate about. I love when the students achieve their goals and I get to be a part of that with them.
AL: Favourite dance movie?
JF: My favourite dance movie is actually a documentary about the Youth American Grand Prix which is an international ballet competition. The documentary is called First Position and follows different dancers as they prepare for the competition.
AL: Favourite dance style to perform?
JF: They are all so different and I get excited performing them all. If I had to pick a favourite it might be lyrical. It’s a fusion of both ballet and jazz techniques with the addition of emotion. It always feels so good after I come offstage after performing lyrical.
AL: Do you plan to dance after high school? If so, what are your goals/plans?
JF: There is nothing I want more. My biggest aspiration in dance would either be to be part of a Broadway show, or to dance in one of the opening numbers for an award show. I think I want to move to Vancouver to train at Harbour Dance Centre to start my career and then we’ll see where I go from there.