After Prince Charles Secondary School graduate Sarah Kapoor turned down a position on CBC’s National (covered in Part 1) to work with business partner David-James Fernandes, she wrote the screenplay for The Bad Mother in 2013. Then the duo had to decide how they were going to cast the film, ultimately deciding that Kapoor would act in it…
“That was a really tough decision,” said Sarah Kapoor. “I am actually quite a private person and I enjoy my privacy. I am an introvert, an ambivert at best. You’ll see that the main character in the film, Tara Dubay, is very much an introvert who really struggles to do what her voice is needed for in the world, which is part of where the comedy comes from.
“We felt it was more important for us to start now, use the energy and the enthusiasm we had for the script and go for it.”
About 70 per cent of the movie was filmed in three weeks in Hamilton in August 2014.
“We had actually hoped we could get all of it done, but we way overestimated what could be done in that much time. But we had still critical scenes that we had to shoot. What are we going to do? Well, bring it here to Creston. We filmed another 10 per cent of it in October of last year right here. You’ll see the rec centre, my mom’s house, Valley View Motel.”
Even after the intense three-week shoot in Hamilton, The Bad Mother still didn’t have an actor to play Tara Dubay’s mom. Enter Kapoor’s mom, Sadhna.
“My mother could not say a single line from the script that I had written, so we said, ‘Mom, you get the gist of it. Say whatever you want.’ There were times when the crew was slayed. We had to stop rolling because she was just so naturally, uh, offensive! In that motherly way! My mom is a superstar in this film. People will enjoy her.”
Tara Dubay’s mom, is not intended to be Kapoor’s mom, she insists.
“My mom is both sweeter and more terrifying in real life,” she laughs. “This character is a caricature.”
Still with scenes left to shoot and strapped for cash, the partners embarked on a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising funds online from donors.
“We had self-financed it all to that point. We had put everything we had into it.
Then this great miracle happened. There’s a character who plays Tara Dubay’s ex-boyfriend and I got this idea that it should be David Avocado Wolfe.
Wolfe, who has a huge Internet following, has been described as “the rock star and Indiana Jones of the superfoods and longevity universe.”
“It was a major coup. I just wrote him a letter. He read the script. He agreed to it.
He’s funny. He doesn’t intend to be, but he is just funny.”
To launch the Kickstarter campaign, Kapoor and Fernandes made a movie trailer.
“We found this huge positive response and demand,” she said. “There is market research that says there is an audience that wants this film. They haven’t seen their story on the screen. It’s the Field of Dreams. Build it and they will come.”
The trailer (at www.badmothermovie.com) got national recognition.
“CBC covered it, Global TV covered it. One Mom blog called Scary Mommy — on that site alone more than 40,000 people shared it,” Kapoor said.
Filming wrapped up in the late spring and the production team spent the summer editing. While the post-production work was pretty much complete at summer’s end, Kapoor and Fernandes have been adding final touches right up to last week.
What’s next for The Bad Mother? The production company, Pollinator Films Inc., hopes to attract a distributor to get it into theatres. To that end, 20 per cent of the film’s equity is being sold through a unique crowd-funding arrangement that “turns donors into owners.”
And Creston will get its chance to see the movie on the big screen.
“Maybe at Christmas or for Mother’s Day,” Kapoor said. “That would be fun.”
She describes the making of The Bad Mother as a learning experience.
“I hope there will be several more films.”
While she prefers directing to acting, she doesn’t rule out future appearances. But for now, Kapoor’s attention is on The Bad Mother.
“The test for me for whether this is good or not is if people are moved. If the molecules inside them are moved, whether through laughter or tears, if their chemistry changes through watching this film for 90 minutes, that will be a success for me.”
A happy consequence of not being tied to an office, working from wherever there is a high-speed computer connection, is that Kapoor and her family are able to spend time with her mother. Kapoor’s husband, John, is working in Kingsgate and their seven-year-old is attending Adam Robertson Elementary School.
“We walk the same road to school as I did,” she smiles. “John hates Toronto and I am not a huge fan of Vancouver. So we have split the difference and chosen Creston!”