Ashley McKenzie is the type of director who does it all. The Canadian multi-hyphenate runs her own production company, writes her own scripts, and directs all of the company's films. When she’s on set, however, she gives up almost all notions of planning and control to make her shots as organic and in-the-moment as possible.

For her debut feature, Werewolf, which has won awards at almost every regional Canadian festival she’s brought it to, this included throwing the actors into real-life situations, adding events into scenes without telling them, keeping the camera rolling after the scene had cut, and even casting non-actors as key characters at locations on the fly.

The film itself follows a pair of outcast methadone users who push a rusty lawnmower door-to-door to cut grass for money to feed their addiction. Back at the Toronto International Film Festival, I sat down with McKenzie and her two lead actors Andrew Gillis and Breagh MacNeil to discuss their intensely real collaboration. 

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This episode was produced and edited by Jon Fusco.