“Baldur’s Flats” served as my introduction into the world of documentary filmmaking. After first discovering my love for the medium in late 2019, I spent the next six months creating a series of narrative and experimental shorts to teach myself the basics of the craft. Later reflecting upon this experience, I realized that I had omitted the entire genre of non-fiction filmmaking from my self-education. Interested to see how the skills I had gained over the past few months would translate to a new mode of storytelling, I made it my personal goal to produce my first documentary over the summer break.
Immediately, I was faced with a litany of challenges unique to non-fiction filmmaking, the first of which proved the most difficult: finding a real-life story worth telling! It wasn’t until after weeks of fruitless brainstorming that a fateful ride through Gibbons Park reminded me of the Viking stone and the public intrigue it had generated the previous summer. However, unlike its investigative CBC article, I had an inside scoop: the stone’s “mysterious creator” was one of my closest high school friends!
Another obstacle presented by “Baldur’s Flats” was the fluidity of its development. I'm usually a meticulous filmmaker, but the documentary format had little room for the usual storyboards and scripts I had come to rely on during the more active phases of film creation. Instead, the film’s narrative was discovered through the course of filming, demanding a much more collaborative process than I had experienced with any of my previous projects.
Ultimately, these challenges forced me to realize the depth and humanity which new perspectives can add to a project. By combining my familiarity with the art world and Owen’s deep knowledge of Norse mythology, I believe we crafted a documentary which speaks to both our interests while simultaneously addressing larger societal themes. In doing so, I have come to appreciate the value which non-sanctioned artworks can add to a community and hope that viewers of this film will become more aware of the small, artistic gestures found in everyday life.