After walking around and taking in the natural beauty, checking out a unique local business, or talking to an interesting resident, it isn’t hard to get inspired in a community like Sooke.
This holds true for filmmaker Trevor Holt, who took four years to write a screenplay, but then rewrote the entire thing in two weeks after coming to Sooke.
For six years, Holt was living in Vancouver taking care of his grandmother during the days, and working on-call for an organization that helps at-risk youth at night.
Holt has also worked writing and helping shoot commercials for companies in Vancouver, but his dream was always to write his own movies, documentaries or films.
“Over the years it got more and more difficult, and I put all of my film work on hold,” said Holt.
Then, two years ago, Holt was in a car accident. He injured his left arm and was unable to use it for seven months.
“Things were not going well after this. I put on weight, my depression was horrible and I ended up with diabetes,” said Holt.
Holt knew it was time for change, so he contacted a friend and ended up moving to Sooke.
“I came to the realization that no one is going to save you except yourself. So I said ‘OK, I am out of here’, and within two weeks I moved,” recalled Holt.
He has now been living here for 10 months, and since rewriting the screenplay has added multiple people and locations in Sooke.
“This film is kind of my love story for Sooke,” chuckled Holt. “It’s so different here than any other place I’ve lived, but in the best way. The natural beauty, and all the genuine people, I just love it.”
The film, called Beyond Four Walls, is about a man with PTSD living in a small community, and finds it hard to do day-to-day things due to his mental illness.
He later finds himself beaten and left for dead in a cabin in the woods, and has to fight for survival.
“He’s an emotionally isolated man that struggles to survive in both his surroundings and his own mind,” Holt briefly described the film. “It’s a transformation story, and it kind of reflects what I said about my own life, that no one can save you except yourself.”
The movie is transformational in more ways than one, as Holt noted that he is playing the main character, and plans to lose 160 pounds and grow his hair and beard out during the six months of filming.
Filming started two weeks ago and is scheduled to finish around the end of December.
The entire film will be shot in the Sooke Region, featuring multiple local businesses, the Sooke Potholes, a property in East Sooke, the East Sooke Store, and more.
“I’ll even be wearing clothes with the 642 logo on it, using Bad Dog Brewery for the beer in the film, and local people are going to be acting in it,” said Holt. “One scene is going to be shot at a barber shop in Langford as well.”
This isn’t the first time Sooke has been used as a location for a film; just last summer, the Hollywood film Elsewhere was filmed in the area.
Holt plans to submit his film to local and provincial film festivals, but to hold the first screening of it in Sooke.
“This is me finally chasing my dream, and I hope it will create more opportunities for me moving forward,” said Holt.