As the 2014 Vancouver Queer Film Festival rolls on, I wanted to remember Emily Carr alumnus, David Nguyen’s Insert Credit which won 2012’s Gerry Brunet Memorial Award for best short film created by a BC director.
Something we have seen in the history of video gaming is a shift towards games that feel like movies. However, what about the other way? What about a movie that feels like a video game?
Nguyen’s autobiographical story shows us just that. Insert Credit takes the form of an animated side-scroller from the 1980s complete with MIDI soundtrack and reminders of a time when many of us started thinking about the potential of technology, where humanity was heading, and where we saw ourselves fitting in with that.
The film includes some distinctly Vancouver things: (1) orca whale (2) hockey sticks (3) one of Vancouver’s most famous buildings, Harbour Centre. It’s interesting that for a city that is consistently rated as one of the most desirable places to live on the planet, we seldom see artists make a point of their setting being Vancouver. It’s something I would love to see more of.
As someone who grew up with video games like that depicted in the film, I was engaged not just because of its originality and smart story-telling but because of all the positive feelings and memories that came rushing back to me of when I sat in front of a TV for hours playing on a ratty blue couch that if you took a stick to it, you’d have a cloud of dust that took minutes to settle. The only time breaks were taken were to eat, play hockey, sleep, or get involved in random mischief. Good times. There might have been some school in there. I don’t remember much about that, though.
It is amazing how I could go without seeing anything like Insert Credit in over 30 years of living on this Earth. That an artist was able to have a creative impulse, act on it, realize their vision, and unlock thoughts of a wonderful past many of us might have forgotten is a special accomplishment.
The Emily Carr University of Art + Design is arguably Canada’s best fostering the talents of countless amazing artists. If you’re ever looking for something to do in May, check out the school’s showcase when the public is treated to the output of the school’s graduating classes in the areas of design, visual art, and media. Paintings, films, sculptures, modular furniture are only a few examples of what can be seen! You will be surprised, inspired, impressed.
asian diaspora stories, david nguyen, Gerry Brunet Memorial Award, short films, vancouver, vancouver queer film festival, video
Insert Credit is featured on YOMYOMF (You Offend Me, You Offend My Family) network’s Short List featuring some of the best when it comes to films with an Asian angle. It is curated by artistic director Anderson Le.