ADVENTURE: Shooting Eyes of a Beginner became a wild adventure for globetrotting filmmakers

Published: November 30, 2012

Chilliwack’s Mike Bemister (left) and Rob Beare (right) along with a sherpa in the Himalayas. Submitted photo

PAUL J. HENDERSON
CHILLIWACK TIMES

While making their award-winning independent film, Mike Bemister and Rob Beare ran from killer hailstones in Nepal, dodged attacking wild dogs in India and endured rogue waves in Indonesia.

And that was in between takes. Bemister, a Mt. Slesse middle and Sardis secondary grad, went to India, Nepal, Japan and Indonesia with Beare to film Eyes of a Beginner.

The movie has the look and feel of a studio picture, but was filmed entirely with Bemister behind the camera and Beare writing, directing and starring.

“It was a guerilla production and that’s something I definitely credit to Rob,” Bemister told the Times.

“He had enough foresight to write a script that was bendable so that any sort of amazing adventure could fit into the story.”

Eyes of a Beginner tells the tale of a blind young man who has his eyesight restored with a groundbreaking surgery.

The first thing his new eyes see is a photo of the Himalayas so he sets out on a journey to see the mountains first hand.

Other than Vancouver actress Maryam Mehrtash, who plays Beare’s character’s love interest, the film features mostly just Beare along with “extras” in the form of people they met along the way.

Naturally, they had to get permissions from some of those people, but given the ubiquity of cameras and tourists, Bemister said they never had any major problems making a film in any of the countries and locations they shot in.
“Everywhere we went were embraced,” he said. “It was very amazing the people that we met and the people that we got to see. The adventures that we had shines through in the film.”

Planning for the film began in 2009 with Beare’s script. They then began to prepare for their film journey.

“We did a lot of hiking around Chilliwack to get ready because we knew we had to go through the Himalayas,” Bemister said.

Along the way there was no shortage of wild adventures. In Nepal, they were trekking when a massive hail storm hit – hail that leaves welts on your body. They ran for cover and found it inside a hut. Then the steel chimney on the fireplace was struck by lightning.

“We saw the electricity crawl across the ceiling,” he said. “We were huddling in this corner hoping our camera gear didn’t get fried.”

In India they were in a very dangerous city trying to catch a taxi to a train. The area was so dangerous the hotel manager was reluctant to let them leave. They finally were let out to catch a ride, ran at full sprint and dove into the car.

“As soon as the car started to back away a pack of wild dogs attacked,” Bemister said. “They were hunting us.”

In Indonesia as the two were filming a scene in the shallow ocean water, a wave “came out of nowhere” and soaked them both from head to toe.

It damaged the camera, which they couldn’t dry out because of the humid weather, so they called Chilliwack in the middle of the night. The film’s editor, Adam Besse, also of Chilliwack, ran a new camera to Vancouver and it was put on the plane with Mehrtash who was en route the next day.

“We only lost one day of filming,” he said.

After two months of filming they returned and Besse had the massive task of editing the huge volume of footage.

There is another Chilliwack connection to the film as well: These Kids Wear Crowns band members Alexander Johnson and Alan Poettcker did a couple of songs that are in the movie.

Once it was ready, the film hit the festival circuit and had some success, including “Best Feature Film” at the Spirit Quest Film Festival, “Best Canadian Feature” at the Okanagan Film Festival International, and “Judge’s Honourable Mention” at the International Film Festival for Peace, Inspiration and Equality in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Beare and Bemister are now shopping for distribution. The two run an aerial film and photography company in Langley called Mountain Shadow Productions.

Bemister is set to move back to Chilliwack – and is getting married in March – where he has set up Allwest Film and Media, an online marketing company.

The 25-year-old says he was always creative but was initially nervous about going to school for film. Then he realized he had to just do it.

“If you have a dream, regardless of what it is, you have to give it a shot,” he said.

“Because even if you don’t make it, at least you know you tried.”

You can see a trailer for Eyes of a Beginner at www.eyesofabeginner.com. The film premieres Dec. 8 at 7: 30 p.m. in Vancouver at the Rio Theatre.

For more Chilliwack news, visit the Chilliwack Times.






Featured

babe SEXY BOLLYWOOD desi

B.C.’s Miss India Canada pageant contestant sues ex-boyfriend to pay for tuition for failed class after breakup

KAMLOOPS THIS WEEK KAMLOOPS — A 22-year-old B.C. woman is suing her ex-boyfriend to pay tuition for a class she says she failed due to distress…
Continue Reading »

Longtime Surrey politician and former mayor Bob Bose is pictured here near his south Surrey home on Monday, November 21, 2011. Jenelle Schneider/PNG

Former Surrey mayor Bob Bose backs Barinder Rasode, says no Surrey Matters slate coming

AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — Though Coun. Barinder Rasode has yet to officially announce her intentions to run for the city’s top job, she’s…
Continue Reading »

A Pakistani-Canadian blogger has released Pakistan's first-ever anti-homophobia children's book. Submitted photo/Nicemangos.blogspot.ca.

Toronto-based blogger releases Pakistan’s first anti-homophobia children’s book

VANCOUVER DESI A Toronto-based Pakistani blogger has written and released Pakistan’s first-ever anti-homophobia children’s book. Blogger Eiynah, known for her site Nice Mangos where she…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

babe SEXY BOLLYWOOD desi

B.C.’s Miss India Canada pageant contestant sues ex-boyfriend to pay for tuition for failed class after breakup

KAMLOOPS THIS WEEK KAMLOOPS — A 22-year-old B.C. woman is suing her ex-boyfriend to pay tuition for a class she says she failed due to distress…
Continue Reading »

Longtime Surrey politician and former mayor Bob Bose is pictured here near his south Surrey home on Monday, November 21, 2011. Jenelle Schneider/PNG

Former Surrey mayor Bob Bose backs Barinder Rasode, says no Surrey Matters slate coming

AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — Though Coun. Barinder Rasode has yet to officially announce her intentions to run for the city’s top job, she’s…
Continue Reading »

A Pakistani-Canadian blogger has released Pakistan's first-ever anti-homophobia children's book. Submitted photo/Nicemangos.blogspot.ca.

Toronto-based blogger releases Pakistan’s first anti-homophobia children’s book

VANCOUVER DESI A Toronto-based Pakistani blogger has written and released Pakistan’s first-ever anti-homophobia children’s book. Blogger Eiynah, known for her site Nice Mangos where she…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

jail sex

B.C. Supreme Court to decide if Kamloops Mountie watching women have sex in jail is a crime

THE CANADIAN PRESS KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A judge wants to hear arguments from lawyers about the legality of the charge against an RCMP corporal accused…
Continue Reading »

Rice Bucket India poverty

India’s Rice Bucket Challenge gives a ‘meaningful twist’ to ALS ice bucket challenge

VANCOUVER DESI India has created its own “desi” version of the ALS ice bucket challenge that has swept the globe. While the original icy cold…
Continue Reading »

India

Man proudly wears world’s largest turban weighing in at 100 pounds and 645 metres long unwrapped

VANCOUVER DESI A 60-year-old devout Sikh in northern India appears to be the proud owner of the world’s largest turban – weighing in at 100…
Continue Reading »

Elephant headed god

Gallery: India prepares to welcome elephant-headed Lord Ganesha

VANCOUVER DESI Preparations for Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival marking the birth of the elephant-headed god, have taken off in India as Hindus prepare to welcome…
Continue Reading »

Witches Burned Victim Alive In Front Of Family

Witches burn Indian dad alive in a bizarre ritual in front of his wife and 10-year-old son

CEN AGENCY Witches who burned a man alive after chopping off his arms in a bizarre ritual have been seized by police in central India….
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Newly-elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament and Indian Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal arrives in Parliament in New Delhi on May 20, 2014. India's Narendra Modi is expected to formally declare his intention to form the next government May 20, days after his Hindu nationalist party won the first parliamentary majority in three decades. PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

No one else can play the role: Paresh Rawal on Modi biopic

IANS Mumbai  – Versatile actor Paresh Rawal, who will soon start shooting for a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, says he is the right…
Continue Reading »

hot photos desi actress bollywood sex

Gallery: Deepika Padukone photo shoot

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood beauty Deepika Padukone, who is creating a lot of buzz with her upcoming film Finding Fanny, poses for the camera. Related Stories:…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood desi boobs sex

Bollywood’s bold babe Sherlyn Chopra strips for Playboy

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood actress Sherlyn Chopra marks the first-ever Indian model to pose for Playboy magazine, according to eonline.com. While the 30-year-old announced she’d be…
Continue Reading »