Once a darling, always a darling

I’ve gathered at least 20 hours worth of interviews, additional hours of location video and 100s of photographs for my film “Finding John Lingwood.” The finished film … 55 minutes.

A mountain of information to work with and a lot left on the cutting room floor. It’s not quote as bad as you might think – logging all those clips, assessing their relevance and selecting the ones you think might be part of your story.

Not every word or thought an interview subject utters is compelling or fundamental to your narrative, not every photograph adds to the complexity of a scene. 

But … 

  • The person whose backstory tugs at your heart strings;
  • The interview filled with clever turns of phrase;
  • The beautifully lit locations
  • Moments when you laugh or cry or scratch your head

The “darlings” I call them – these stand out in your mind as you begin to stitch together your story. The more you are play the clip the more it calls out to be included. Intimacy clouds your judgement.

So, it is no surprise there comes a time in the editing process when you must cut your darlings to honour the story.

But, once a darling always … well you know how that goes. 

I thought you might like to meet some of my darlings. 

As you wait patiently for the premiere of “Finding John Lingwood” later this year, I will – from time to time – be posting some the compelling moments that ended up on the digital trash heap.

First up, this clip from my interview with Eric Haldenby, professor and former director of the Waterloo School of Architecture. Here he talks about Lingwood’s command of the principals modernist design and his work on the home he created for Dr. Roy Howarth and his family in 1957.

Christmas House

I’ve been working in this neighbourhood in Cambridge, Ontario that spreads out on either side of Avenue Rd. between Hespeler Road and Franklin Blvd. It’s a modest part of the city where people seem to take great joy in their homes. Many along my drive home to Kitchener as festooned with seasonal decorations and lights.



I’m unsure of the intention of this “sculpture” that rises awkwardly above one of the Hespeler Road entrances of Cambridge Centre Mall. However it takes on a more elegant look when isolated. I wonder if the designer/artist – consciously or not – is paying homage to the famous flying Canada Geese of Michael Snow’s Flight Stop sculpture in the atrium of Toronto’s Eaton’s Centre at Young and Dundas.

Hespeler Road Diorama

Four days of the workweek I drive to the southeast corner of Cambridge, Ontario where I work as a digital media producer.
My route generally takes we along Hespeler Road, a commercial strip that has long been derided as a eyesore — a festering tribute to consumerism — ironically it’s always busy.
For me it is a diorama, a sliver of a dying car culture — frozen in time. Fast Eddie’s restaurant, a local burger chain with a self conscious branding, is a cultural icon on the strip. Its blistering yellow and red/orange concrete blocks rise from the landscape like a Lego pimple.


It is the only restaurant I know of that has a walk-up window. This nod to pedestrians only reinforces the fact that Eddie’s does the majority of it’s business through the windows of idling vehicles.
As much as I want to dismiss Fast Eddie’s as culturally crude, I’m drawn to it’s audacious glow like a moth to a flame.I can’t bring myself to eat there; I’m afraid the food will never compare to the visual treat of simply looking at the building.