Watching movies with his father was always a pastime for fourth-year RTA School of Media student, Alex Weiditch, but this was threatened when his father went blind in his late 40s.
The two would overcome this challenge by watching dialogue heavy films, or when needed, Alex served as a visual narrator for his father. Now, after their long cinematic journey, Weiditch is writing and directing films of his own.
At the moment, he is putting the final touches on his thesis film, Sound & Vision. The film follows Rory, a man who loses his sight and is forced to learn how to navigate the world in a different way than he is used to.
While he admits it’s a challenge to create a visual experience about a man who lacks sight, Weiditch says he, his sound engineer, Michael Smith and the rest of his crew are up for the task. Weiditch said the film will experiment with audio to “fill in the gaps.”
“This whole backstage of, you know, when he’s at a concert, all those things he’s hearing, the score and the way it plays into it, the way he hits a puddle and the way it sounds,” he said. “All those things are going to contribute to what he is really experiencing, because obviously he’s not going to be able to see it. I really want to put the audience in that place, where it is, what they are hearing that is creating everything around them.”
Ryerson alumnus Kevin Shaw served as a consultant for the film. He is currently the program manager for entrepreneurship and innovation at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). Shaw said films like Weiditch’s are important for destroying misconceptions about the visually impaired community. “For people to see blind people not as heroes or victims but just as regular people, that is key,” he said.
Sound & Vision is currently in post-production, and Weiditch is planning to première the film at Ryerson in February 2019. If you’d like to get involved with the film by supporting the production, you can head over to its IndieGoGo page to donate.