Bowen O’Brien, a 15-year-old filmmaker, took home two awards from HorrorFest in Kelowna Oct. 26. (En Queue Film)

Vernon teen wins Best Film in Kelowna HorrorFest

Bowen O’Brien and Brian Taylor’s Adulthood took home two awards from the Oct. 26 event

He may not have been allowed to attend the festival, but that didn’t stop Bowen O’Brien from delivering an acceptance speech.

O’Brien, a 15-year-old filmmaker and Vernon Community School student, went up to bat at Kelowna’s HorrorFest 10 — a celebration of Okanagan indie horror flicks brought to The Habitat Oct. 26 by the Okanagan Society of Independent Filmmaking — with his five-minute short Adulthood and took home Best Picture and Best Story awards.

Written and produced by Vernon filmmaker Brian Taylor of En Queue Film, Adulthood marks a step forward in O’Brien’s blossoming career as he took on the role of director and editor.

“HorrorFest is held in a 19-plus environment so Bowen was not allowed to attend, but I made a video call with him so that he could be there for the presentation of our film — they showed ours last — and he was even able to make an acceptance speech, with myself holding a microphone up to my phone,” Taylor chuckled. “The audience was surprised to learn that Adulthood was made by a 15-year-old.”

Related: Vernon actress up for Joey Award

The Taylor-O’Brien duo began when Taylor was filming a documentary about local artist Destanne Norris, Beneath the Painted Surface, and Taylor met O’Brien’s teacher Murray Sasges.

Taylor said Sasges planted the seed when he suggested Taylor ought to help O’Brien hone his interest in film. O’Brien met Taylor at Tim Horton’s near Beairsto Elementary, and Adulthood was born.

“We talked about what we like and we came to a point where we were like, ‘Let’s make a movie,’” Taylor said. “I went home and thought, what can I do with a bunch of kids?”

Adulthood is a dejected and comical take on the process of aging as kids look upon their maturation as becoming zombies.

Taylor gathered a cast, crew and home filming location and left the rest up to O’Brien.

“Bowen directed the entire production with only gentle suggestions from myself mostly about usage of time and moving on to the next thing,” Taylor said.

“I’m very used to coming up with a project myself,” O’Brien added. “I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But besides the fart joke, I had no problems with the script.”

While Taylor may have written the piece, he said the piece is channelled through O’Brien’s vision and in essence becomes an O’Brien film.

“It was definitely a really new process. It was really interesting,” O’Brien said. “I’ve always just been working the camera myself. For the first hour, I was like, ‘Wow. I have a whole cast and crew. How can I make this the best film?’”

After the 12-hour day of filming Aug. 25, O’Brien took the clips home and began the long and arduous editing process.

“I thought this was going to be easy; I love editing. It became very, very difficult,” O’Brien said of the estimated 50-hours of editing.

Related: Taylor, O’Brien review The First Purge

Prior to the collaboration with Taylor, O’Brien said his filmmaking largely consisted of homemade videos with his friends. He would grab his camera and whoever was available, go outside and see what happened.

“I just really enjoyed making them,” O’Brien said. “I found my passion for filmmaking.”

That love of film is the product of watching Pirates of the Carribean: At World’s End when O’Brien was four-years-old.

Adulthood is currently before several film festivals. As such, it has not yet been released to the public, but Taylor hopes to have it screen locally soon.

Psyched on the end result and their two awards, Taylor and O’Brien have begun to work together on another film dubbed Fear and Love: everything you need to know in under a minute. That timeframe will also pose new challenges for O’Brien, he said.

“Because it’s a one-minute film, we need to know that shot is a four-second clip. It will be much more planned,” Taylor said.

En Queue Film is always looking for people interested in filmmaking, acting or behind the scenes, Taylor said. In particular, Taylor said they are seeking an actress aged 20-to-40 and a young girl aged five-to-eight.

After Fear and Love wraps, O’Brien said he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.

“I just want to keep making films and then win the Oscars and all that jazz,” O’Brien laughed. “This is definitely what I want to do when I’m older.”


@VernonNews
parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

First pot shop, more development coming to Lumby

Village growth includes bike park, plans for senior housing, hotel renos

Students call for climate change in the Okanagan and far beyond

Students from the Okanagan and around the world walked out of class in a call for climate action

Vernon Curling Club to kick off star-studded season

Talent, expertise and world champions will shine on local sheets

Shuswap elementary school suspends operations due to ‘musty odour’

Arrangements made for affected Sicamous students to attend class in three other schools

No injuries at car crash in front of Butcher Boys

It’s at least the second vehicle accident this September at the intersection

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Climate protesters temporarily shut down road in downtown Kelowna

Protesters are demanding politicans take action to stop climate change

Security footage shows grab and go of cash in South Okanagan business break-in

Marla Black is asking for the public’s help in identifying the man who broke into Winemaster

Vehicle taken by gunpoint in South Okanagan carjacking recovered

Penticton RCMP said the criminal investigation remains very active and ongoing

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

Most Read