Updated: Sep 11, 2019
Athar Alvi by Experimental Experience
I'm Here With Magazine interviewed Athar Alvi a new film maker in Calgary that has quite the story. We met him through Morgan LeBlanc who is one of our last cover stars from Edmonton, who stars in ‘One Last Chance’, Athar’s first feature.
Watch the trailer! Throughout the film you will see its pretty deep within the grittiness of relationship. And about betrayal and lust and love. So beautifully shot, when we saw the trailer, we wanted to reach out and see how you did this? What was the story behind how you made it? So when we met with Athar recently, we heard all the gritty details and I'll tell you guys he went through quite some big hurdles.
Athar is a dreamer a new film creator and now he wants to share his inspiration.
Well guys, I reside in Calgary. I can say it’s been a change in career for me from working for the oil industry for almost 20 years as a mechanical engineer. Suddenly there were no oil jobs for many when the price of oil came down and was laid off. I thought what I am going to do with my life now. I felt so depressed, so one day I decided okay, let's do something new and that I’m passionate about. I know I have to die one day or the other so doing something which I was curious about since my childhood, was filmmaking.
I said; okay let's make a feature film because that's my dream to do something big. That inspired me some reflection to start and write a story. Which are from my imagination how someone experiences love and betrayal.
I went to Victoria soon after. I met one guy there had asked him if he could help me make a trailer of this script I had wrote, so that I can like push it to the different companies and promote it a pilot. So he said yeah for 25k which is like a big sum of money. I say the good thing with me my character is I always like to what I want and I never give up. There is no harm in trying because at least if I try something I don't feel any regret. So anyways, so first thing what I did, I went to the Banff TELUS storytelling festival. I met so many people there's a roundtable conferences there. And I remember there's some AMPIA Higher Management Delegate was there and he asked me okay, what you do? I said I want to do something in this the film industry. I wrote a story and want to make a movie. So he gave me some tips. I had created my new production company called The Elemelons Entertainment and Media House Ltd . Everyone was shocked it was my first experience and I was there.
I researched myself how to make a movie off Google. So I kept working on it and I did auditions for ‘One Last Chance’. I remember that well and then we found some good faces, new faces and some experiences talent like Morgan Leblanc.
Starring Carter Cook, Bailey Starkey and Morgan Leblanc
I already found a good Cast and Crew, I'm so thankful for them. Especially my cinematographer LK. So the first main leads a guy and girl said to me that I'm sorry, I've noticed there are some intimate scenes in the movie and they opted out. I called my cinematographer. He said I know some other actors. They are good. I again held auditions. What I had to do was picked the scenes of the movie which were the most intense scenes and shoot them first to make a decent trailer.
So I called Bailey who was all the way in Kelowna, who was originally cast in one scene and I boldly asked her if she was okay with becoming the lead female. She was so happy. I'm so thankful for her and her Mother. They flew from Kelowna and came to Calgary for her scenes. Then we keep moving and moving and then we finished filming. I was misguided with thinking post production would be easy.
A friend of mine told me to come to Dubai for editing help as he he had good connections in the Indian Film Industry, which was a great help. I came back to Calgary and I met a great contact in Victoria, Darryl who helped me as well with the re-edit.
Remembering that I don't know anything about the industry then Darryl told me to go to AFM (American Film Market) in Los Angeles, California. So I think I remember I sold my iPhones and use all my reward points so that I had money to go. I bought a ticket I went to AFM! When I arrived I was already two days late, but I reached out to about four, five hundred delegates.
So my entire night I could not sleep. I sent email to all the delegates. I don't know who is who. I just sent to everyone, my press kit. The next morning I found there were around 25 companies saying to meet and pitch to them. I went and met all of them, there was one lady there she asked me hey Athar your film looks good and it looks like you're very passionate about your work. What's your expectation in terms of how much money you want to make from this? I said listen, the thing is that for me this is my first passion project. You want to live or you die tomorrow? She said, of course, I want to live. If you ask me I don't care because this is my dream project and I'm so happy to even be here as it was my first time in the U.S.A. that to be with my debut English feature film.
Athar Alvi by Experimental Experience
So that's the thing is I just love it. And then when I came back from AFM, I got five contracts. Everybody wants to sign me. I was like what the heck like this is crazy. And then I told Darryl I am really thankful to you to advise me to go there and now everybody wants the see the final screener of the movie.
I always say your network is your net worth. So this my net worth, I met so many people in this industry and I love to meet people. When I saw myself the first time on IMDB, I was almost like burst into tears like bloody. I was on LinkedIn as Engineering Professional and now on IMDb, it’s an awesome feel. Wow, this is what I have built and dreamt for my life.
I already wrote another story to try to start a new project in November or December. I love this industry and always work hard and as my father said to me there is no substitute for the hard work and don’t give up. I love everything from start to finish.
The Elemelons Entertainment