An In-Depth Interview With Director/Actor Reed Clare

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Who is Reed Clare?

A pervading sense of wonder for my human experience and the human condition has always compelled my heart and mind in searching for the deeper meanings and truths of my existence.  Expressing my being and creativity through my many passions and artistic pursuits, a dreamer on this awe inspiring journey of endless discovery, renewal and transformation. 

What a fascinating and truly humbling experience of energy, soul, mind and physical form, this life of limitless potential and opportunities is.  Contemplating for a lifetime, in process, speaking less and listening more and learning all the while. 
The wisdom of letting go of this idea, “Who am I?”, a little each day as the seasons cycle by and time as we know it moves in many directions.  In essence, discovering through the expression and exploration of my creativity throughout my life in multiple mediums, travels, experiences, dreams and people, that deeper truths exist through the expansion of my mind and being.  Consequently, a greater sense of connection and relationship to all beings, a responsibility to affect all lives in a positive manner and unapologetically express compassion for all informs my awareness, being, behavior and experience. 

 

A good friend of mine once asked me what do you want most in your life and i responded with the word, “Intimacy”.  I believe my life is infused with the meaning of this word as I continue on with my journey feeling blessed and grateful.

 

Some words from the poet, Antonio Machado come to mind that have always resonated with me, “You walker, there are no roads, Only wind trails on the sea.”

 

In your own words, what is ‘Valor’s Dawn’?

Through the exploration of the lead character’s conscience and torment, this film serves as a political and moral allegory for our present day quagmires and commitment to wars with no clear end or resolution.  Whereby dishonor, thinly veiled deception and savagery is evermore commonplace and practiced.  A story of familial love and a man’s struggle for redemption amidst the vicious cycle of war and tragic loss.  The acceptance of and letting go to the ultimate truth in life, that love sets one free.

What inspired the concept for Valor’s Dawn? I see there’s a mixture of Gladiator and Shakespearean influence, was that always the intention?

Living in New York City for eight years while studying acting/theater and performing in numerous plays and Shakespearean productions, inspired my imagination to no end.  Culminating in being the impetus for the creation of my award winning film, Valor’s Dawn.  Which was born when I assembled a group of talented film-making and theater colleagues from Toronto and New York, embarking on an extraordinary journey.  We realized that collectively with our vision, energy, expertise and resources, we had an excellent opportunity to create a film that is unique to the short film genre as a micro epic period action/drama film.

Where do you foresee the film going? What do you hope to accomplish?

I see Valor’s Dawn as a great vehicle showcasing my abilities as a diversified artist.  Moreover advancing my career as a filmmaker and actor towards realizing my next film project, a character driven, action/thriller in the vein of, John Wick meets A History of Violence, currently in pre-production.  My goal was to create a compelling, dramatic and stylistically appealing action film which I’m grateful for having achieved with the essential contributions of my talented film-making peers.  While garnering respect and professional recognition for my contributions as a dynamic actor and for my abilities as a filmmaker.  

What (if any) were the challenges of shooting in both Toronto and New York City?

The challenges were many for an ambitious film of this nature, including; an expanding budget, special permits, travel, professional fight choreographers, lavish costumes and equipment, special effects, professionally trained fight extras and ancient looking indoor/outdoor locations and sets.  The Metropolitan Opera in NYC where the cast choreographed and rehearsed for a few months to develop an elaborate, complex and realistic fight sequence of sword, battle-axe and hand-to-hand combat.  The film was shot and produced in Toronto and New York City in multiple locations evoking more ancient and classical settings and architecture which we had to discover through much research and build, such as:

– Scarborough Bluffs, Casa Loma, Toronto Island and Innisfil, ON locations which were through set and production design enhanced to resemble 50 B.C. Britannia (TO).

– Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum where an ornate and antique King’s bedchamber was designed and constructed (NYC).

– Central Park, particularly Belvedere Castle, during New York’s worst blizzard in 80 years. Queens and Staten Island parks were also used in filming whereby special permits from the New York film commission were required (NYC). 

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What have you learned from this process?

The greatest lesson i learned from this film-making experience was to trust my instincts, vision and attention to detail which has resulted in the making of a good film i believe.  After a lengthy and arduous development process and despite having worn too many hats, I’ve realized my goal of producing a film that embodies the qualities integral to professional film-making: a compelling story/script combined with strong acting, provocative cinematography, professional editing and sound orchestrated from pre-production through post-production resulting in the film, Valor’s Dawn

Do you have any advice for novice filmmakers?

Exercising much passion, patience and persistence while keeping an open mind to the voices, ideas and contributions of other people is essential for the success of any film.  Always find and surround yourself with the best people you can find and not just people you’re friends with.  Bottom line is you’re making a film and want as much professional knowledge, expertise and clout as possible.  There will be heated discussions, even confrontations which is inevitable and the byproduct of a lot hard work, passion, talent and know how coming together.  Which is ultimately and should result in a net positive outcome for the film so know your work, role and drop the ego.  Always be gracious and instill confidence in others as this creates and fosters an environment for success and realizing the best version of the film.

Are there any other projects you’re working on that you’d like to share/talk about?

My next projects include a breakout film role playing the lead villain, “Stallworth”, a menacing, violent, rogue assassin of a casino boss in the gritty, edgy, dark casino crime drama, Poor Winners, being filmed in Las Vegas, NV and Albuquerque, NM in 2016.  Also, my next film project is in pre-production, which will be a character driven, action/thriller in the vein of, John Wick meets A History of Violence, scheduled to film in Toronto in 2017.

If you could scream 1 thing out to the world, what would it be?

Wake up and put down your f**kn phones!

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