Dec 2016 18

With Canada gearing up for the 150th Birthday celebrations next year, I was contacted by The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this week. They’ve been compiling a list of the 150 Essential Works in Canadian Cinema History.

And I’m proud to say that ‘Start The Car!’, a commercial I was the writer for back in 2005, was named to the list.

It was selected by a 200 member cross-country wide panel as part of Canada’s cultural legacy, one of 10 commercials to make the list.

So yah, that’s pretty cool eh? When Allan Mah, my creative partner at the time, and I cooked that up back at the ad agency, Zig, we had no idea it would resonate like it has for the last ten years. I still remember shooting all night in the IKEA Etobicoke location, and then in the morning we moved production outside into the parking lot. A snowstorm blew in just as we were getting our last shots, but we managed to squeeze in at least one good take of our Heroine in the car celebrating ‘Whooooooo!’ before weather shut us down. There wasn’t enough room in the tiny red car for me. So I was listening to the performance on headphones as I watched the little red car drive maniacally around the parking lot. Once I heard one that sounded crazy and unhinged enough, I knew we were good to wrap. And it snowed for a couple of days after that. We were lucky.

As for the spot itself, I guess it taps into a human truth about feeling like you’re getting away with something. And as Canadians, we’re so polite and law-abiding, even when we think we’re breaking the law we do it with a bit of guilt.

‘Start the Car!’ and the entire 150 list will be part of celebrations, starting in April of 2017.