Playing Through Now Available Online!

January 19, 2012 at 12:18 am

Playing Through Now Available Online! | Independent Short Film

Playing Through is finally up on YouTube!

The film tells the story of Brandon & Nathan. Two friends playing a round of golf terribly. While Brandon does his best to distract his friend, every thought Nathan has rests on a looming phone call. A call that will reveal whether or not he has been diagnosed with cancer.

The film stars John Steptoe, Michael Clarke & Alyssa LaPlume.  It was written and directed by Jason McKinnon and produced by Eric Gamache.

Playing Through Short Film Festivals & Awards | 17 West Productions

I had an absolute blast making Playing Through.  It was the first film I directed with a professional crew and it was also the first film I edited using Final Cut Pro.  Software I purchased along with a sweet new iMac in order to complete the film.  I’m extremely proud of the work our cast in crew poured into the short.  I also have to thank Clear Springs Golf course in North Bay, Ontario for allowing us to make this film on their course.  It was a gorgeous week I’ll never forget.  I’m extremely happy it didn’t rain!

Hope you enjoy the film!  Pass it along.

There is still one more giant announcement to come regarding this movie in 2012 so stay tuned.

Playing Through independent short film 17 west productions

The Climb Trailer!

October 5, 2011 at 9:36 pm

The Climb Trailer | Independent Short Film

Last week, I finished the rough cut of The Climb and while a few final tweaks are being made, I decided it was finally time to release a trailer for the drama.

The Climb is the story of Cameron and Destiny and their struggles living on the streets.  Each of them must face their terrible pasts in order to move on.  While Destiny lost all hope long ago, Cameron holds to his belief that he will find a way to change things one day.

Expect more on the trailer soon!

Check out for more information about our films and upcoming projects.

Follow the project with regular updates posted here.

A New Poster For THE CLIMB Has Arrived! | Independent Short Film Toronto

‘Playing Through’ Gets Honorable Mention At NSI Short Film Festival

April 15, 2011 at 10:07 am

'Playing Through' Gets Honorable Mention At NSI Short Film Festival | Short Film | NSI Canada

Recently, Playing Through was accepted into the NSI Online Short Film Festival and we just got word that our film was given an honorable mention for the A&E Short Filmmakers Award!

Check out the news story here.

I’d like to congratulate ‘Remote‘ directed by Marc Roussel for winning the award and I’d also like to congratulate Hugh John Murray for getting an honorable mention as well for his film ‘Desiderata‘.  It was the first time there were two honorable mentions.

The NSI Online Short Film Festival is a fantastic collection of Canadian films and we were thrilled to be a part of it.  Here are some of the nice things the jury said about Playing Through.

“Solid storytelling by the filmmaker and great chemistry between the actors combined to make a touching and heartfelt film.” Juan Riedinger

“This simple golf afternoon is intelligently layered with complex emotion.  I respected its patience and its humble approach in unraveling private anxieties within one simple setting.  All elements were nicely in sync in this story – photography, editing, performance, direction, and script.  It is a lovely character piece about friendship that is respectful of its medium.” Anneli Ekborn

This unabashedly sweet and unique portrayal of male relationships captures a moment of reflection on what matters most.” Danis Goulet

You can head over to NSI and watch Playing Through in it’s entirety right now.

Special Thanks to NSI Canada for their support.

Playing Through independent short film 17 west productions

Click here to visit 17 West Productions.

Playing Through Official Selection 2010 NSI Online Short Film Festival

December 6, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Playing Through Accepted Into NSI Online Short Film Festival

Playing Through has been accepted into the 2010 NSI Online Short Film Festival!

We’re extremely honoured to be a part of a festival featuring 100% Canadian content.  The site adds new films each week and it’s completely free to watch.

I will post again when Playing Through goes live but head over there regardless and check out some amazing Canadian Filmmakers at work.

Playing Through Official Selection NSI Online Short Film Festival

Playing Through is the story of Brandon & Nathan.  Two friends playing a round of golf – Terribly.

While Brandon does his best to distract his friend, every thought Nathan has rests on a looming phone call. A call that will reveal whether or not he has been diagnosed with cancer.

The film was written and directed by Jason McKinnon (Me) and Produced by Eric Gamache.  It stars John Steptoe, Michael Clarke and Alyssa LaPlume and was filmed at Clear Springs Golf Course just outside of North Bay Ontario.

I’d like to thank the festival organizers for including Playing Through in their program.

Check out the trailer below and stop by for more.

Does This Poster Sell My Independent Short Film?

November 10, 2010 at 1:51 pm

17 West Productions Toronto short film

Producing independent short films is fun.

Marketing them yourself without any training at all can be stressful.

Honestly, I don’t know a lot of the fundamentals of graphic design.  I’m not a trained Photoshop expert.  I don’t have a degree in marketing with a large list of clients who depend on me to sell their products.

I’m neither of those things.

But I work for free and when you have a production company that’s just beginning to pick up steam, you have to do the best with what you have.  Producing low budget short films is challenging enough.  There aren’t many budgets that allow for marketing expenses when you are just starting out.

I’ve been teaching myself design and Photoshop for years so I at least know a little.  I’ve gone through countless books, websites and tutorials picking up as many techniques as I can.  So far, I’ve designed 4 websites and a lot of promotional material for our films.

With our latest short film still in post production, it’s time to start thinking about the best way to sell it to the masses.

It started with a poster:

The Climb Short Film 17 West Productions

Visit The Climb’s Home page here.

The poster is fairly straight forward. 2 unhappy main characters in a less than inviting environment.  A title that stands out.  No doubt there are probably issues with the overall composition but I quite like this poster.

We shot the film in May and I’m still trying to free up as much time as possible to get it edited and ready to be seen.  It’ll take a while yet but the process is as fun as ever.

I’m a huge fan of launching Final Cut Pro and losing track of time editing a movie.

Still, I wanted to make sure to start promoting the film so it doesn’t appear that I’m lazy.

After a few months, I decided to start messing around with a different style of poster.  Just to see what I could come up with.

The Climb independent short film from 17 West Productions

Does this poster sell my short film?  Do either of them?

These are the questions of uncertainty I’m forced to deal with on a daily basis.  It’s been the same way for each and every poster I’ve designed over the years.

My goal at first was to produce material that didn’t suck.  I think I can confidently state that neither of these posters are terrible but will they do the job?

Do these posters encapsulate The Climb?

The beauty of handling the post in house is I have all the time in the world to produce posters, ads and trailers.  I can keep going until I’m 100% confident in what I produce.

First and foremost, the movie has to be good.

The next step is to convince other people.

At the end of the day, it’s all about creativity and inspiration.

In other words: Fun.

Looking to watch movies online?  Check out’s new online streaming service.  A pretty sweet site with thousands of movies that you can watch anywhere and any time.