Filmmaker focuses on his Cannes’ debut

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It’s said that it’s possible to create something positive from disparate circumstances.

Filmmaker Girard Tecson proves this point, as his Cannes nominated short film, “This Moment,” was inspired by the drudgery of an indie film.

Tecson fell asleep during “Gettin’ da Munchies,” and upon awaking realized it was due to its unfortunate acting and production quality. Baffled by the terrible tale’s ability to acquire a DVD distribution deal, Tecson knew he was far more capable of creating something of value.

At first, Tecson, who teaches E-Portfolio classes at LaGuardia Community College, and his friends “fooled around with the camera” and produced videos about ninjas and gangsters.

But eventually he opted to focus more seriously on this new passion. His hard work and sincerity paid off.

Tecson formed Dayside Productions, and enrolled in production courses at LaGuardia Community College, where the fledgling filmmaker built a foundation for a career in cinema. He made a few shorts at LaGuardia, “Art of Cool” (2007), and “The Girl is Mine” (2008), before transferring to Hunter College, where his latest, “This Moment,” won the award for best picture at Hunter’s Campus Movie Fest.

“This Moment,” which Tecson shot around the borough, is the moshpit-sailing youth offspring of Harold Ramis’ “Groundhog Day.” When Rick (Seth Baird) finds himself waking up the same way for months, he must conquer his enemies in order to change the vicious cycle he has endured.

With such a concrete narrative, Tecson was able to incorporate all of his cultural passions into one piece.

“I love mixing different genres into one,” he says.

Not only does the director like to meld cinematic genres, taking cues from his predecessors like Spike Lee and Jackie Chan, but fusion can be discerned in all of his tastes. An avid pop-punk fan, Tecson was able to plug his friend’s band, Up For Nothing. Their song, fortuitously titled “This Moment,” screams “what are you waiting for?” and slides into the film’s thematic structure like a slice of American apple pie.

“Putting everything I learned into one short film was challenging, but rewarding,” Tecson said.

It’s rare for all of the pieces to fit together, but he was fortunate enough to have a harmonious production team steeped in focus and dedication.

“We initially just made videos together for fun,” Tecson said, “but this time we knew we wanted to win something.”

Tecson relays how his team worked in bad weather conditions and with minimal food, “but everyone stuck together.”

It’s this type of unity that allows work to breakthrough the mass of projects being made in New York and stand on its own. In a place where thousands of young hopefuls come to take their creative talents to new heights, sometimes the brilliance of one idea doesn’t matter if each member of the team is aimed in a different direction. It’s encouraging then to see such a sincere effort emerge from the borough of Queens, and touch upon the realm of “high art.”

The film was shot in parts of Queens and Manhattan, although it’s hard to tell considering the cyclic nature of the film’s narrative, as scenes and locations become repetitive to serve the story. However, the film’s festival success is not just a win for Tecson and his team, but for Queens alike. Whereas Brooklyn and Manhattan have been known as hubs of filmmaking, with a plethora of their own fests (Brooklyn Film Festival, Brooklyn Short Film Festival, The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, Brooklyn Girl Film Festival), Queens hasn’t been allotted the same reputation.

Tecson’s win and Cannes nomination is therefore not only a victory for LaGuardia Community College, but for Queens as a cultural birthplace on its own.

Although his movie will be screened at next year’s Cannes Film Festival, success has not spoiled Tecson.

He continues to take classes toward his degree and to work as an editing room lab technician.

And even after achieving something most filmmakers never realize, he remains excited about his passion.

When news surfaced that the film was selected to screen at Cannes, Tecson was ecstatic.

“It was unbelievab­le,” he said. “It was like a dream.”

Updated 2:58 pm, July 10, 2013
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