Jason Wan Lim learned lessons creating ‘Gettin’ In’

Gettin’ In’ is a film created in the style of American Pie and Superbad. The movie follows a teenage boy on a mission to lose his virginity, complete with a memorable group of friends.

“Teen comedy was at the top of my list,” Calgarian producer Jason Wan Lim said. “I’d written a dark, moody film to start, and my investor basically said he wouldn’t pay for that one, but he’d pay for something in this genre if we managed to make it marketable.

“We turned out some scripts together, had some readings, and it turned out to be a lot of laughs so we ran with it for awhile.”

The movie was filmed in Calgary and Drumheller, in particular the communities of Rundle and Marda Loop, The Barley Mill in Eau Claire Market, and Wan Lim’s own home.

Joshua Murdoch, a Calgary actor and Mount Royal University theater alumnus, plays the best friend of the lead character, Joey Wald (played by fellow MRU alumnus Joe Perry).

Murdoch said that he has come to appreciate just how much work goes into creating a feature film.

“I don’t think anyone really realizes the effort it takes and just the amount of time it Murdoch, Wan Lim and Brennand discuss the hard work they did on Gettin’ In.

Photo by Nicolle Amyottetakes,” he said. “Before I even came on to audition, things were already being worked on for five months.”

Josh Brennand plays the role of Wald’s father. He went to high school with Wan Lim and said that the opportunity for this film was basically a fluke.

“Jason’s a personable guy, and he walked into a great situation, meeting some people with the right connections who had similar interests to us,” Brennand said.

“If he hadn’t met one guy it wouldn’t have gone like this.”

Wan Lim said that in film schools, the business of marketing and distributing a film isn’t a focus, and that it was something he had to self-teach upon the film’s completion.

Brennand shares this sentiment.

“We all come out of school thinking that we can make beautiful movies and people will want to see it,” he said.

“I said those exact words to Jason. It took a businessman with money invested to say, ‘No, no. We’re going to try to make money.’ Then we started to realize if we could make more money, we could make more movies. I like that.”

Wan Lim said that in the film industry, “everybody is taking advantage of everybody.”

“Distributors take advantage of the filmmakers, filmmakers take advantage of actors,” he said. “It’s a vicious cycle. But everyone loves the movies.”

“You love the movies; you’re willing to sacrifice pay, reasonable hours, tons of things just for that movie.”

Though pay and reasonable hours are sacrificed, Wan Lim said: “Movies are a visceral common experience and it’s an amazing thing.

“You can watch a movie from your house and enjoy it on your level, and somebody in Japan can watch it and feel a similar experience.

“Movies are experiences to us. They mean a lot. Some of my best memories are associated with movies; I like movies a lot better than a lot of girls I’ve dated.”

Gettin’ In’ will be premiering Oct. 17 at Canyon Meadows Cinemas, and will be screened Oct. 18, Oct. 22 and Oct. 24. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online.

namyotte@cjournal.ca