"The Colour of Spring" is an award winning Canadian arthouse feature shot in black and white by Paul Andrew Kimball, a Canadian filmmaker based in Halifax. Paul Andrew Kimball has written, directed, and produced a wide variety of programming for television, including the television series Haunted, Maritime Museums, and Cinema 902. He adapted and produced the drama special Julius Caesar for Bravo in 2000, and produced the 2002 Canadian indie feature film Dying Fall.
His feature films as a writer / director include The Cuckoo in the Clock (2013), Roundabout (2014), and Exit Thread (2016). Paul has also served as the Executive Producer on the feature films Aliens With Knives (2018), The Last Divide (2018), Creepy Crawling (2018), and Shadow In the Mirror (2019).
His most recent feature film, The Colour of Spring, was released in November 2020.
It is our pleasure to speak to Paul Andrew Kimball regarding his latest feature project.
What was the inspiration behind the making of "Colour of Spring"?
We all make mistakes. I certainly have. So I wanted to explore the concepts of forgiveness, and redemption, and how love can lead us to a place where we can forgive the transgressions of others. Love not only of the other person, however, but love of self, and an understanding that we’re not perfect, either. In order to be forgiven, we must first forgive ourselves. In order to be redeemed, we must help others find redemption. Those are the themes that formed the foundation of the story, and the journey taken by the two main characters.
What were some of the challenges of making this indie feature film?
The biggest challenge was making sure we got the casting absolutely spot on. I called in Matt Western, a British casting director with whom I had worked on my last feature film, Exit Thread, because I trust his opinion, and value his willingness to push me to think beyond my own preconceived notions of the type of person who should fill a certain role. Having the right casting director on board is critical to the success of a character-driven independent film, and Matt is the best. In the end, we got it right – just an amazing cast.
When did you realize that you wanted to work in media and make films and what was the first film project that you created?
I don’t look at it so much as making films as I do telling stories, and I’ve wanted to do that my whole life. Just ask my mom – I was always telling stories when I was a kid. So when I was presenting arguments to a judge as a young law student, I was telling a story. As a songwriter after I left the law for music, I was telling stories. Now, as a filmmaker, I tell stories. The key is to make the stories interesting and meaningful to the audience. That’s where the fun begins! The first story I told as a filmmaker was a TV documentary about Stan Friedman back in 2002. He was the world’s foremost UFO researcher, and he was also my uncle, so it was a good place to start.
Which directors have been influential in your work and why?
I enjoy the work of a lot of directors, from Steven Spielberg to John Ford, but I always circle back to Ingmar Bergman when people ask me this question, because I learn something new every time I re-watch one of his films, not just about filmmaking, but about life. He was a master of bringing all of the elements of storytelling together in the visual medium, but most important, he was perhaps the most honest of all filmmakers about shining a light on the corners of our souls. All of his films are explorations of the human condition in one way or another, and they are all open and truthful and challenging in their examination of it. That’s a wonderful gift that he gave to the world, even if sometimes it can be a bitter pill.
What genre of filmmaking fascinates you as a director and which genres do you prefer to work on?
I’ve always been fascinated by science fiction. At it’s best, like Blade Runner, for example, science fiction addresses the same themes that Bergman did in his films – who are we, why are we here, where are we going, and how do we get there. In the end, however, it always comes back to a simple question: is the film telling a story that means something to me, and do the characters resonate with me. If it does, and they do, then I’m probably going to enjoy the film, regardless of the genre.
What is the most challenging aspect of making an independent film?
The most challenging aspect of making an independent film is the same as the most challenging aspect of making a big budget blockbuster – always trust the people you have on your team, both in front of the camera and behind the camera, not only with your vision, but with their input. In short, the biggest challenge is leaving your ego at home every day you go to location, because it’s not about you – it’s about the film. Everything has to be in service to that.
How can cinema change the world and have an impact on society?
It comes down to the fundamental nature of cinema, and that must be truth, and authenticity. The story has to be true and authentic, the characters have to be true and authentic, the emotions have to be true and authentic – all of it. In a world where it gets harder to tell the truth from the lies with each passing day, the mission of the artist is to always be truthful, to be honest, with the audience.
What is your next film project as a director?
On all of the films I’ve done, I’ve been the writer as well as the director. I would like to work with someone else’s script next time, because that would be an interesting challenge. So I’m open to suggestions! Until then, I’ve got lots on my plate as a producer, including a dramatic series called The Last Divide, written and directed by Dillon Garland, who was the DOP on The Colour of Spring. That starts shooting for Eastlink here in Canada this summer, along with Cinema 902, a series of three independent films that my producing partner Ron Foley Macdonald and I created in order to give up--and-coming filmmakers here in Nova Scotia the same opportunities that others have given me, to tell their stories in their own voice. As I get older, I realize that it’s the most important thing I can do.