Prey, a film chronicling a sexual abuse survivor’s court battle with the Catholic Church, recently won another national arts award -- this time for Best Editing in a Feature Documentary at the Canadian Cinema Editors (CCE) Awards, announced on Twitter October 2.
Edited by School of Creative Arts’s (SoCA) film faculty member Nick Hector, Prey follows the story of William Hodgson Marshall, a Basilian priest and former Windsor Catholic school teacher who was convicted of abusing 17 young people over his 38-year career. Survivor Rod McLeod subsequently sued the Catholic Church and won a $2.5 million judgement.
The piece, filmed and edited at SoCA with the support of FAHSS's Vincent Georgie, was directed by CMF alumnus Matt Gallagher with a crew that included students Alysha Baker, Randi-Lyn Miller, Cri Kosti, and Steven Boere, went on to win the Rogers Audience Award for best Canadian documentary and the DGC Jury Prize at Hot Docs, as well as the LiUNA People’s Choice Award at WIFF.
Hector joined SoCA’s film faculty in 2018 where he teaches editing to third and fourth-year film students and MFA Film and Media Arts students, as well as a first-year time-based media course in the Visual Arts program.
“The critical success of this project proved to me that I can do good work at the university – I work in a very supportive and nurturing environment,” Hector says.
“This kind of film (Prey) it’s more like being a literary editor where your author hands you a 100,000 page first draft. Matt shot about 200 hours of film. So, it’s a process of elimination, pulling things out and revealing the gem that’s in there.”
Hector says Gallagher shot the film over a two-year period following in real time the court case and appeal. As the story unfolded over time he says he was tasked with figuring out the film’s narrative purpose.
“I would say that constructing the emotional arc, how the film engages with you and triggers your emotions over time is the most significant challenge,” says Hector. “To figure out the logic of the structure is the craft. Working out the emotional structure I see as the art of it.”
The awards were announced on Twitter October 2nd.