Brad's Status is set primarily in Boston, with some additional scenes in
Sacramento and Hawaii. While many of the exteriors were shot during a short stay
in Boston, Montreal stood in for a majority of the city's interiors. "We went to
Cambridge to get iconic spots like the quad at Harvard, the bridge and the
scullers on the Charles River," says White. "But most of the stuff in Boston was
shot in Montreal, which turned out to be a fun city. It was a real pleasure to
It was familiar territory for Bernad, who, like his father and brother,
graduated from McGill University. "I knew it would cover well for Boston, plus
it's a great city to be in," says Bernad. "I felt like my college experience was
research for this movie. A lot of the scenes on campus are actually McGill. We
were struggling to find a place that would stand in for the Harvard alumni room.
I asked my brother and father for ideas and they suggested the McGill Medical
Library. It turned out no one had ever shot there. I had to cash in all my
McGill chips to get that location."
A fast-paced 33-day shoot was aided by a lucky break in the weather, says the
producer. "That aspect of the shoot was charmed. Montreal and Boston in the fall
are notoriously rainy. Even in Hawaii, we filmed during rainy season. Every day
we flew into or out of a location, it was raining, but it almost never rained on
White says he worked with cinematographer Xavier Grobet to create a very active,
almost frenetic shooting style that reflects the restlessness of Brad's mind. "I
felt like the movie should not ever feel still," he says. "It has many short
scenes and fantasy sequences that are quick blips interwoven with longer
conversational scenes, some of them really long. We used a handheld approach,
which I don't do often, but it gives a sense of movement that feels like an
expression of Brad's thoughts. By the time we get to the end where he's building
to a revelatory moment about himself, it slows down a bit. The idea is that
consciously or unconsciously the audience starts to feel those changes and feel
the emotion of the scene in an unexpected way."
Being part of Amazon Studios sweeping slate of original films was crucial to
making the film that White envisioned, both he and Bernad agree. The company
was, both men say, the ideal partner for an unusual and ambitious movie.
"Amazon's been amazing," says Bernad. "As a producer, I salivate over the
opportunity to have a partner that is so involved. It's really rare to work with
a studio that gives you total and complete freedom. They have complete trust in
the filmmakers and in the process."
White adds that as a filmmaker his dream is to sit across from the people who
are willing to take a chance and say make the best version of the thing that you
envision. "Sometimes people are afraid that things will be too edgy or too
unusual, but they never tried to water it down or neuter it. For that I'm very
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