An epic lightsaber battle between Reagan and Gorbachev, from The Creators Bureau
"As a kid, movies allowed me to have something of a regular childhood."
This video is part of The Collective, a CBC Arts digital project that invites artists to tell their own stories. Learn more about the project, and watch more Collective videos.
Collective: The Creators Bureau
Film: The Equalizer
Synopsis: In a homage to cinema and its ability to unite people, two world leaders (Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan) duel in an epic light saber battle.
The Creators Bureau is a multi-platform film and video group from Toronto. Their Collective video was inspired by the way that the movies can help bridge geopolitical divides — and what better way to symbolize that than with a lightsaber battle between two Cold War rivals, Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan? (No, really.) Intercutting that fight scene with interviews of people who grew up under oppressive regimes, The Equalizer is a testament to the unifying power of cinema.
Here's what the group's founder, Filip Terlecki, had to say about the project.
Your video features a lightsaber battle between Reagan and Gorbachev. Why those two?
The concept came from my personal experiences growing up in Poland during the 1980s. At that time, Poland was essentially stuck between these two great "West versus East" superpowers. Reagan and Gorbachev were the two iconic figures that everybody in the country recognized, so it made sense to include them. At that time, as far as entertainment was concerned, it was stories like Star Wars, ET, and Superman - so that's where the lightsabers come in. The video reflects my combined experience of politics and movies growing up.
You interview people from various countries about their experience of cinema. What do their stories tell us about the power of film?
I tried to find people that came from places that were foreign to people in Canada. Not a lot of people know much about Iran, for example. So I thought would be very poignant to speak to somebody from there, and just to kind of learn: "Oh gosh, they watched animated movies too." Or, "They grew up watching this." Even in foreign places with often-turbulent political situations, they had these same shared experiences.
How did the Creators Bureau get its start?
We've been around for two years. Our model was inspired by the filmmakers of the 1970s, people like Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas, who worked in a sort of collective-company hybrid. They surrounded themselves with like-minded collaborators, and they did both commercial work and passion projects together. That's what we try to do.
How would you describe your creative philosophy?
We like to tell people that we turn innovative ideas into compelling motion pictures. Our goal is to make content that people want to watch, rather than have to watch. This particular video is a good example: It's an art project that hopefully gets people thinking, but at the same time it's entertaining.
What do you hope people will take away from your film?
Films are full of artistic elements that provide people with experiences — and by virtue of those experiences, people get a chance to live, I think, a regular childhood. As a kid, movies allowed me to have something of a regular childhood. When I was watching ET or Star Wars, I experienced the same emotions a kid in the United States or Canada would. It speaks to art's ability to unify us.
More about The Creators Bureau
The Creators Bureau is a multiplatform production company that works with creative agencies, entrepreneurs and organizations to tell stories. The Toronto-based company, founded by Filip Terlecki, has a mission to turn innovative ideas into compelling motion pictures.
For more on The Creators Bureau, check out the group's website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
A Film by Filip Terlecki
Produced by The Creators Bureau
Director of Photography
1st Assistant Camera
Joel Gendron (Influence Media)
Patrick Marlon Bender