Mila + Keith // XBOX Origins


What do you get when you put a Microsoft employee and a stunt actress together? In short: an action-packed love story.  

A while back, one of our corporate clients, Keith, approached us for personal matters. We sat down to catch up and the news was out: he was engaged to his fiancée, Mila, and was looking for some help with wedding videography – an area in which we happen to have some experience. We nervously offered some of our wedding videography services, but Keith was not interested in any of them. He was looking for a breakthrough experience for his guest and needed help coming up with a brilliant idea. 

From previously spending some time with the couple, we knew that Keith was a geek and a gamer, while Mila was a black belt martial artist and a stunt actress.  We merged their qualities together to come up with this short piece: an action film about love, Halo characters beating each other up, and lasers. 

This is every boy’s dream come true and we were delighted to make this idea come to real life!  

To make this a worthwhile experience for everyone, Gord reached out to his long-time friend and independent filmmaker, Mike Donis, to direct this short. We were able to put together a professional film crew in just a few weeks. Keith searched long and hard to find proper-looking Halo costumes that turned out looking  awesome on camera. Mila was also able to use the help of her stunt actor friends to help perform all the fight scenes and stunts.   

With the limited time we had to prep for the shoot, we had to choreograph the action and the camera work all on the day of. What started as 12-hour shoot turned into a 24-hour shoot. We spent the first half of the day coordinating the fight scene and figuring out how to light an office space (which was offered to us by a friend!). Our goal was to make the space as man cave-like as possible. This meant have the lighting as dim as possible while still having a lot of accent lighting. Using a smoke machine really added another layer of mystery and fantasy to the entire image.The fighting was definitely one of the most fun and challenging parts of the shoot! Even with all the changes and massive delay in schedule, the entire crew and actors were not discouraged and continue to strain forward to finish. 

We are so encouraged to be able to work with so many talented artists and experts in the GTA. We really hope that those who watch this film can see all the hard work that each individual put into this film. As always, enjoy!

Director: Mike Donis
Screenplay: Gord Poon & Mike Donis
Director of Photographer: Gord Poon
Assistant Director: Thomas Scott
Sound Recording: Randy Resh
Grip, Slate, PA: Ian Kwan
Wardrobe: Jimmy Taggart & Michael Wojtas