Master Class: Making of "The Stairs"

Date change from printed brochure
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Thursday, August 3, 2017 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Enrolment is limited to: 

Join LIFT for a master class with director Hugh Gibson and the team behind award-winning feature documentary The Stairs as they discuss and deconstruct the making of this compassionate portrait of a group of habitual drug users living in Regent Park. Made over the course of five years, this process-driven, observational film has been described as “part Allan King/part Alan Zweig” and was awarded the prestigious Rogers Best Canadian Film Award by the Toronto Film Critics Association. In the morning Hugh Gibson and cinematographer Cam Woykin will discuss the origins of the film and practical production concerns including: building trust, deciding on an interview style, visual style and shooting approach, working with a small crew, using minimal lighting, maintaining invisibility, responding to rapidly changing conditions and planning for the unexpected. The afternoon will be a case study of The Stairs' post-production strategy with Hugh Gibson and editor Andrés Landau. Topics will include shaping the material and “finding the film,” working with multiple formats while maintaining high production values and visual continuity. Producing, planning the release and festival strategy and the opportunity to discuss your own projects will conclude the day.


This workshop is best suited to filmmakers who have completed short documentaries and/or have a first documentary feature in development, production or post-production.



Director Hugh Gibson is a graduate of York University Film and has participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus, TIFF’s Talent Lab and TIFF STUDIO. Selected credits include writing/directing the acclaimed drama, Hogtown Blues, producing the short doc A Tomb with a View and A Place Called Los Pereyra. The Stairs is his feature debut as director.


Cinematographer Cam Woykin's films, installations, and photography have been exhibited at festivals, galleries, and alternative spaces across Canada and internationally. 


Andrés Landau is an award-winning editor and post-supervisor. Selected credits include Charles Officer’s, Unarmed Verses, Cree Code Talker, Mission Asteroid, A Tomb with a View, Dead of Winter, A Simple Rhythm, A Place Called Los Pereyra and Let's All Hate Toronto.

*** Attendance through Skype