One of the things I've discovered with the program is that I love telling stories through film. For this one specifically, the only direction we were given was to make a 5-min-max documentary about "a place." Many ideas were tossed around but when a teacher suggested checking out the bookstore, it was like a match made in heaven. Being one of the oldest bookstores in Montreal, The Word is a world lost in time—there is no Wi-Fi, no automated system—only cash—and they still make their calls rotating the dial, but it's also the story of a family that built a cultural institution and continues to prove the world that print is indeed still alive.
A penetrative narrative tells the story of two generations of wordsmiths, Adrian and Brendan King-Edwards—father and son. The first half of the film focuses on the sunrise of the store, beginning with archival photos and transcripts. Narrated by Adrian himself, the first half of the film is a tale of community and ambition. The second half of the film is carried by Brendan, a laidback thirty-year-old-something set to continue the legacy of his parents. This section of the film explores the changing landscape of print literature and the sanctuaries bookstores have become during a day and age that doesn't measure its steps when it comes to technological progress.
Amber tones, warm temperatures, slow-motion shots, and close-ups all compose minutes of anecdotes. To enhance the story, the bookstore is also treated as one of the characters with its qualities and personality: rustic, crammed, welcoming, dusty, and lost in time.
Making the documentary took four long sessions of filming, two for interviewing and the two others for B-roll—not to mention countless visits to get to know more about both Adrian and Brendan. After acquiring a clearer perspective, the next step was composing a careful questionnaire for the interviews, making sure they followed a common thread to complement each other when it came to editing.