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WillowWood Meets Hollywood

by Andy Hall


Graduation from WillowWood School is not the end of the story. We are always delighted to welcome back our former students. The pandemic and inability to welcome guests into the building has meant losing contact with some of our alumni for a while. However, we are still here and looking forward to re-establishing these friendships.

Conor Forrest, graduate of the class of 2017, reached out to me two months ago, firstly to ask after everybody here and secondly, to discuss the possibility of a new and exciting opportunity for the school – a location for his latest in a series of short or “micro movies” that he has written and directed during his time at York University’s Film School. Obviously, we were delighted to help where possible and support Conor in his latest project.


I seriously underestimated what is involved in the process of making a movie, even one with a $12,500 budget. Expecting 5 – 10 people, I was quite taken aback when a whole mass of Actors, Parents, Camera Crew, Sound Recordists, Make-Up Artists, Producers, Set Assistants, and of course, the Director himself, Conor, descended on the parking lot and playground on Friday 13th May. Luckily for everybody, the weather was cooperative, and a good number of scenes were shot throughout the day.


Watching the whole day unfold I could not help but be amazed by the sight of Conor running around, seemingly without a plan, conducting the whole orchestra to produce short moments of creativity. A real sense of pride swept over me as I remembered the Conor of Grade 9 way back in 2014. He has come a long way in that time and speaking to many of the cast and crew it was clear that he is held in high respect by his peers.


These scenes shot at WillowWood will gradually be edited and pieced together over the Summer into his latest project – ‘The Two of Us.’ Conor promises that he will return to show the finished movie in the Fall. He will hopefully join us for the Career Fair in November as students get the chance to talk about what it takes to make a start in the movie business. Conor is at the very beginning of his career and everybody wishes him well on his journey. Our playground may not be a New York City street or a Los Angeles studio set, but for a few chaotic hours, it certainly felt that way.


Learn more about Conor and his projects at https://littlecatpictures.com/