When Funny Laugh Productions began filming its first fashion film for Jackie Jorgenson’s knitwear business, they ran up against a serious hurdle — the director of the film was nowhere to be found.
“He ended up not showing up to set for four hours past his call time,” said Haley Simpson, the creative director of the production company.
Mary McDonald, a creative adviser for the production company, promptly filled the vacant director’s chair to save the shoot.
“She said, ‘yeah, I’ll step up to the plate. I’ll direct this,’” said Jorgenson, the lead creative adviser for the production company. “She did this fantastic job.”
On Nov. 1, the company released the film entitled “Siuil A Ruin” — despite issues with personnel and a budget of $100.
Due to its budgetary restraints, the company relied on friends and professionals who believed in the project and generously donated their time. Jorgenson said she offered cast and crew free knitwear as compensation for their work.
Both Simpson and Jorgenson said the meager budget was a motivating and focusing factor in many ways.
“If we had limitless money … I think I would be overwhelmed with how many options I have,” Jorgenson said.
According to Jorgenson, fashion films exist on a spectrum between advertising and short films. Simpson, who developed and wrote the concept for the film, said she opted to take a more aesthetic approach than that of a traditional commercial.
“I consider it to be more like a short film with really nice clothes,” Simpson said.
According to Jorgenson, the reception of the film has been favorable. She said the film is just as important to her as the clothes she makes.
“The feedback’s all been positive,” Jorgenson said. “People seem to really like it — connect with it — so that’s good.”
The three women initially met at Humber College in Toronto while studying comedy writing and performance. During their collegiate careers, Simpson and Jorgenson worked on comedy projects together, took classes together and worked together at William-Sonoma. Jorgenson and McDonald later became acquainted after Simpson moved stateside.
“Basically, we’re just a bunch of friends getting to make movies together,” Simpson said.
Simpson said the company intends to grow into a network of artists, musicians and creative people. The company hopes to provide a place to produce multiple projects based on the quality of their past endeavors.
“The ultimate goal is to make other people’s dreams a reality,” Simpson said.
The relationship between the three women who comprise Funny Laugh Productions is a tight one. Jorgenson said, while each member is accountable for their individual goals — the company provides a valuable and supportive work environment which helps cultivate creativity.
“It’s fun to be able to be creative and know that your team really wants to be there,” Jorgenson said.