Robert Bruce Ing is a long-time musician, vocalist, sound dude, director and producer. After a long and distinguished career with a Calgary utility company, Rob decided to change course and pursue one of his passions. Rob launched a video production company, Robert Bruce Ing Productions Ltd. He has been producing corporate, business, personal and not-for-profit videos, as well as music, commercial and documentary type productions for the last twenty years. Enjoying all facets of video and audio production, he excels at helping clients across North America to achieve their project goals with professionalism, enthusiasm, and dedication. Rob and his life partner and wife, Deanna, live in Airdrie where they are close to their three children. They enjoy traveling internationally, camping, fishing and spending time with family and friends.
What is your favourite genre of movies to work on?
“ I haven’t had much experience at all making movies or films. I have lots of experience making corporate and documentary type videos. But the similarities of telling stories or directing, the entertainment or information are similar. I want to inform or entertain the audience.”
A Woman’s Voice has an honest portrayal of womanhood. How did you decide to direct the film?
“Quite simply, I was asked by a good friend Sandra Sutter to help her with this project. We have worked together in the music world for years, playing in a band together, writing songs, etc. So it was easy to say yes.”
As a male, did you have doubts before planning a movie from the women’s perspective?
“I was careful not to be involved in the writing process of this film. In fact I told the writers, Deanna Hunter and Sandra Sutter not to share it with me until it was in the final draft stage. I thought this way it would not influence too much of what they wanted to say or portray. When we finally got to the review stage, I paid attention to how they wanted the character to feel, or what type of emotions they would have throughout the scenes. That way, I could keep it true to the woman’s perspective. ”
The cast has done a great job in this project. It never seemed that they were amateurs. Tell us something about the casting process!
“Sandra has a big heart, and she is very good at including everyone she knows. Her network of friends and family is pretty big. So with that, she had in her mind who she would like to be in the film. She also wanted to be sure to have a diverse cast with Indigenous women at the centre. Four of the women in the film are Indigenous and are connected to Sandra in her personal or work life in some way.
Due to the difficulty of COVID restrictions, the ever changing rules, the availability of the talent, it was like a sliding schedule and talent swapping. The stories were initially written with certain friends and family in mind. Some of the scenes actually had to be re-written because individuals were not able to be a part of the cast for one reason or another. There are a few actors that didn’t even know what they signed up for till they showed up on the location!
The movie is emotionally charged. In which scene did you have the most difficulty to shoot?
“I believe the second scene was the most emotionally charged scene, and it seemed to come across that way based on the feedback we got. Likely due to the topic and situation. And yet, somehow it was the easiest to shoot. All the talent did an amazing job for that part of the story, with just a bit of background information and some directing.
As for the most difficult, there are two I would say that come to mind, one was technical and the other was directing.
As for Technical, the last story had a lot of things going on, and it was limited to the music bed that it is based on. I actually had to extend the song out, to fit some of the scenes so I could be sure to tell the story the way it was written. I could have actually extended it another 10 minutes if time wasn’t a factor.
For the directing difficulty, I would say it was the two young boy actors, and making them seem like ‘bad asses’. They are naturally so kind hearted and good natured, it was a challenge for me to portray them any differently. They needed encouragement but I think it turned out well and they really enjoyed being part of it.”
The film was shot maintaining the covid protocols. How has covid affected the process of filmmaking?
“It did change the process quite a bit. Our crew was in masks and had a strict protocol for everyone involved to have their shots up to the current provincial guidelines at that time. It pushed our schedule out and some of our proposed talent was not able to attend due to the schedule changes.”
Robert, as a director, what goals do you have?
I would like to continue directing, shooting, editing more shorts, documentaries as well as more music videos.
Is there any story that you wish to direct one day? If yes, then, what is it?
Since I am not a writer, if someone approached me with a heartfelt film or even a documentary on something meaningful, I would definitely consider that project.
It was great talking to you Rob! Lastly, we would love to know if you have already started preparing for your next project. If yes, would you like to share on which theme are you currently working?
Currently I am not, but always ready.