Born and raised in the Vancouver area, Doug always had a fascination with science fiction and cinema in general. He doesn’t remember a time when he didn’t know Star Trek and Star Wars, but doesn’t hold one in higher regard than the other, so please, let’s not debate. Always wanting to make movies, he pursued acting and writing, and later went to school for directing. He’s a jack of all trades… except for dancing. He really can’t dance. Doug has been writing movie reviews since 2004 and has been writing movie reviews that are worth reading since… maybe 2009?
Doug is a co-founder of the independent film crew, the National Super Heroes Guild and hopes to shoot his first feature film in 2016. He is also the co-host of the Music A to Z Podcast and works in downtown Vancouver at Trees Organic Coffee where he is known to make the best London fog in town.
Doug hopes to be a voice of reason and bridge the gap between film critic and mainstream movie fan, believing that films are made to entertain, but should have substance and deeper meaning regardless. That is his objective with the Checking the Gate Podcast, to dig for the deeper meaning in cinema. Also, he can’t help but talk about movies so he might as well record it and see who will listen.
Mason is not just a pretentious film snob; he’s a tall pretentious film snob. Other than having no original opinion about classics like Citizen Kane, he is unapologetically a fan of the super hero genre. Except Spider-Man 3. And Superman IV: The Quest For Peace was a train wreck.
Mason grew up in a suburb of Vancouver, BC (in Canada) and through his time in high school and college he really only ever paid attention to classes that involved acting, film, or philosophy. His grades were questionable, but he maintains that he doesn’t test well—which is why his results from the ASQ shouldn’t be trusted. Mason’s love of film started when he was 14 after a friend kidnapped him and showed him Fight Club. The case and disc were remarkable examples of graphic design, but when movie started, his mind was blown even more.
Mason feels it is important to look at film and media not just in a quantitative good/ bad sense, but look at the underlying messages, and themes of it. The conversation about stereotypes and treatment of women and minorities is important because, as Marshall McLuhan said, “the medium is the message.”
Paul Grenier is a rising actor in the Canadian film scene, with a part in the German TV movie Gold and a recurring role in the award winning show Blackstone. His first professional speaking role was in the TV show The Killing, where he says the now iconic line “We don’t have your phone, sir.” The Emmys overlooked him, tragically, but he still stands undeterred. He is now working hard at many independent short films and just wrapped his first shoot as director.
His appreciation for film started at an early age, particularly in science fiction. He grew up loving Star Trek and will politely, but firmly, put you in your place if you needlessly bash it. But seriously, the dude knows so much about Star Trek. He is a big fan of the films of David Fincher and loves the Marvel super hero movies, but admits that if he had super powers, he’d prefer the powers of the Dragonball Z characters because hey, they’re awesome.
Paul loves burgers and keeping it gangster.
Steve Ferguson’s earliest memory of film may be that scene in The NeverEnding Story when the Gmork is revealed. That’s some scary stuff for a kid. But it set off a fascination for the medium that he still carries to this day. Film, he believes, has a way of reaching out and touching people and a really good film makes a good bond. (…James Bond.)
Steve went to school for psychology, but never lost his interest in acting and film making. All through out high school and college, he and his brothers made silly film projects for school assignments, in the vain hope of getting unfairly high grades. In 2013, the four co-founded NSHG Films in the vain hope of getting unfairly high recognition (still waiting on that).
Steve divvies up his free time between writing, filmmaking, and co-hosting the Music A To Z podcast, because music is just as awesome as film sometimes.