Patch Town Interview with Director Craig Goodwill

Posted 7 years ago by myetvmedia

Craig Goodwill is an award-winning director/producer/writer. Goodwill first received international attention in 2011 for his short film “Patch Town”. The 28 minute short, which premiered at TIFF, earned Craig the Director’s Guild Award for Best Short. He followed up this success with the completion of his first feature, a full length version of “Patch Town”, which premiered in January 2014 at the 25th PSIFF. He has also recently directed a new short, “The Spirit Game”, which held its World Premiere at Cannes in 2013 as part of Telefilm’s “Not Short on Talent” program.

We caught up with Craig during the production of full length version of “Patch Town” to discuss the inspirations and challenges involved with his first feature.

Patch Town

Popcorn Pictures

Genre: Comedic Horror Thriller
Director: Craig Goodwill
Writers: Christopher Bond, Jessie Gabe, Craig Goodwill, Trevor Martin
Starring: Zoie Palmer, Julian Richings, Scott Thompson, Rob Ramsay, Jon Cor, Peter DaCunha, Stephanie Pitsiladis.

How the story began:

Patch Town” the 28 min short was Canadian director Craig Goodwill’s first film. It immediately caught the attention of international critics at TIFF, Cannes, and Palm Springs. Craig always intended the story to be a full feature film so the next task was to make this a reality. He started working on the idea for “Patch Town” over 8 years ago. Finally with the script in hand for the feature it was time to make it a reality. Unfortunately the script and the budget did not have quite the same vision, but with skill Craig and his team managed to turn things around. Craig points to great success both with the cast who perfectly fit the characters he had envisioned, and a lucky find of the 2 story building on Frazer in Toronto. The building that initially seemed like a dud turned out to have all the components needed, including a jail. With some careful tweeking, use of classic filmmaking techniques and a great animation team that story became a visual reality.

The cast was particularly vital to the story and needed to fit the very distinctly different characters. The day before they went to camera Lisa Ray, a main character, became ill. Fortunately Zoie Palmer was able to fill the role, bringing with her a big fan base from her TV series Lost Girl. Julian Ritchings is superb as the villain and on track to become a Canadian screen icon. Stephanie Pitsiladis (Hairspray) took on the role of the wife and has an incredible booming voice perfect for the character. Rob Ramsay who plays Jon walked into an open casting call and turned out to be the perfect ‘big guy’ at 6’7”, commanding a great screen presence.

Craig says his inspiration all stemmed from Monty Python, and Terry Gilliam’s creativity with production design. He feels Canadian filmmakers have a tendency to make really dark films but says these films cannot be too dark. It is essential to find levity within those moments and therefore find your own style.

Patch Town was filmed on location in Toronto and at Pinewood Toronto Studios and premiered in Palm Springs, California at the 25th PSIFF Jan. 5, 2014 as part of the Spotlight on Canada.

Canada received the PSIFF spotlight for this year’s special focus on a country or region of the world making extraordinary strides in cinema. Included in the showcase was an opening weekend reception and ‘Canadian Film Day’ highlighting Canadian filmmaking guests, sponsored by Telefilm Canada. Twelve films were featured in the program including Patch Town.

“Another highlight is Patch Town, a Disney-esque live-action film about a doll’s search for his mother, which gained momentum at the Palm Springs International Shortfest. Inspired by Russian fables of babies hatched in cabbage patches, first-time Canadian director Craig Goodwill employs musical numbers to broach deeper topics of love and abandonment.”

       – JASMIN ROSEMBERG LA Confidential

And oh yes, there really is a Patch Town Hospital where Cabbage Patch Kids are born. Picture of the Cabbage Patch Kids Babyland Hospital @BabylandGeneralHospital where the kids are born which Craig found and put on his instagram.


@patchtown @Telefilm_Canada #EyeOnCanada #CndFilm

Moira Romano

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