Over the past year I have spent most of my time working with Paul on the shape of FDC and AFDC through numerous discussions and e-mails. A great deal of time was put in by Ian, Todd, and Simon on the PnP, glossary, discussions on what the FDC registry should be. Most of what I have worked on will be covered by later reports at the AGM.
I would be remiss in not giving a strong shout out of thanks to Jessica Nottell. She has simply been doing a super-human effort behind the scenes with our website, membership communications, and general office work. I know things were quite confused in the beginning but I want to thank and congratulate you, Jessica, for soldiering through and bringing us to where we are today.
With Janine Holdder's help I looked into getting fight direction recognized among the various awarding bodies across Canada. Most were not receptive to talking to someone from outside their geographical area and in the case of the Doras in Toronto they had just completed a revamp of awards and will not look into new ones for two to five years. I was told that in the cases where fight direction is recognized we are lumped in with choreography and generally are overshadowed by dance. An example of someone who has just recently received recognition for his fine work is FDC instructor Karl Sine who won the Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding Choreography on Shakespeare's Land of the Dead. Congratulations Karl and thank you for showing the world what our art can do.
Another task I took on was to help clarify the legal use of firearms in theatre. I approached some of our sister organizations such as Equity, Actra, CITT (Canadian Institute of Theatre Technology), as well as the Chief Firearms Office of Ontario. None are interested in the foreseeable future for further development of a firearm for stage policy. This is problematic because of the poor understanding of the legal use of firearms in our theatre and non-union film community and the lack of any consistent guidelines from the federal or provincial governments concerning our use of firearms. I and FDC did have an opportunity to join CITT for a firearms talk and presentation during what was to be our Nationals in Montreal but the scheduling did not work out on CITT's end.
Finally, because of the cancellation of the nationals with the college of FM's agreement and Paul's blessing I proposed the fight instructor workshop that ran in Toronto during July 30- Aug 2. We had a fantastic volunteer turn out for our instructor candidates in all three levels of actor combatant Thank you, as well as fight masters JF Gagnon, Simon Fon, and Todd Campbell for making the event such a success. I would like to once again welcome AFDC's three new certified instructors: Andrew Ingram, Nathan Bitton, and Robert Montcalm to our membership.
What I would like to see this coming year is a far more visible presence of the board. In the past we had a report each month from one board member to the membership and I will be reinstating that. I am hoping this will spur more communication from the membership to the board as at present I have been told that people are unsure of where they should go with their suggestions and ideas for workshops. Paul and I are very eager to help see these workshops succeed and there is support for our members to make things happen. We will be reporting on different events that have succeeded this calender year and how members can either take part, or learn how they can run their own.
I am also presently working on more outreach with past AFDC members who have focused on different parts of our profession and are looking to bring what they have learned back to AFDC as well as non AFDC artists who would be a great addition to our community. I am looking forward, with the help for Simon Fon, and other FDC members, in running a motion capture workshop as well as wire and fighting for film workshops did not occur but I will continue trying.
If I missed anyone who has helped to improve FDC and AFDC during the past year the fault is mine and does not reflect on their contributions.
If you would like to communicate with me or anyone on the board please send Jessica an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel Levinson, President
Fight Directors Canada