During the 10th annual Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival, Swept contributor Chase Cownden had a chance to sit with some of the filmmakers to discuss their works and their process. They were brief exchanges as the filmmakers were busy working the festival but here is just a little insight into Spencer Ryerson, the creator of the short film ‘Peaches’.
Swept: So, Spencer. You made ‘Peaches’. I remember watching it and thinking that this was an obscure subject to start with. With baking. In terms of young filmmakers, there’s this stigma that it’s all dark material or funny in a specific way…so what drew you to cooking as a vehicle?
Ryerson: When I was coming up with the story, I worked on it with my DoP (Director of Photography) who is also sort of our…we’ve now made two films together and sort of co-finance the production and produce it, to a degree. And then we were talking about things like more sensitive male characters and what I liked about baking is that it was a much more delicate process. So, I thought that usually, you don’t see a lot of male bakers…like, I know of some male bakers but generally, it’s more female-driven, so I thought it would be interesting to have it the other way around. And something you need to be very careful with as you’re making it, but also something that could use up a lot of your time.
Swept: Cool. And then in terms of relationships, did the love story just kind of jump out to you as something obvious that you wanted to do or…what was the process of making the film that you wanted? Was there a reason you chose this, in particular?
Ryerson: The reason why I wanted to make something lighter was that I wanted to make something that…I don’t like making the same thing over and over again. I like to try and change it up, so I’ve made some darker or sadder films and stories but I wanted to explore different styles and things like that. On the topic of the romance, I discussed with my DoP how he really wanted to shoot something romantic and sort of glitzy and soft and nicer. Initially, it was something like a dinner conversation or something. Just a really close scene like that. He got to do his dinner scene later, but we discussed some sort of romance and I’m always drawn to a human element of the story so I didn’t want it to just be…like, it’s a feel-good film but I didn’t want it to just be fluff. I wanted there to be more to the baker as there’s more in his voiceover and more of the inner workings and existentialism as he goes on.