The Lexicographers' Note: According to IMDb, our Zach Shields is credited as 'himself' at Fox 7 at Fifty documentary (2002) but that's "another" Zach Shields who happens to be a Morning Meteorologist on FOX 7 from 4:30 to 10:00 a.m.
In 2012 The Lexicographers had the chance to talk about "The Most Beautiful Thing" with director Steven Hoffner, who kindly provided enough material and information on his motion picture to build this epigraph. Thanks so much Steven for everything!
Zach Shields: Not all the cherubs wake up in a good mood
According to Hoffner, the film in large measure was a learning process for both him and Zach Shields, who were at school when filmed the movie, but the ones who have the chance to see this collector's piece will find a compelling tragic love story about lost hopes, redemption and what it means to overcome one's past, all developed in a pretty charming and touching script, beautifully brought to life by an interesting mix of equally trained actors and actors in training.
The story flows fluently between present and past, using grainy black and white for the flashbacks and powdery fainted colors for present. Viewer travels guided by the main character's narration, getting to discover what made this young and boastful track star drastically change physically and emotionally. The always alluring split screen technique to highlight some of the character's reactions and the word "Fin" at the end of the movie are just a bonus in this curious piece.
Born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario, Steven Matthew Hoffner is a director and producer who specializes in independent film and commercial documentary.
Graduating from the University of Toronto, Steven has emerged as an edgy storyteller with a niche towards realism and cinema verite.
In 2005 he won for Best Feature Film for "Wooditis: An American Gothic" and in 2010 for Best Comedy Generico: "The Recession Proof Professional" at the U of T Film Festival.
Hoffner has also gone on to produce short and long form documentary for the NHL including profiles on star players and personalities Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan Nugent Hopkins, Patrice Bergeron, Bill McCreary, and other associated artists including Drake and Three Days Grace.
The director is currently producing the short drama "Cliffside" in 2012-2013 and hopes to launch himself into directing feature length pictures.
Korean dissent and writer by trade Massimo Park met Steven Hoffner through Hoffner's mom, becoming business partners in "Massive Productions".
Before "The Most Beautiful Thing", Park and Hoffner co-directed a student feature film called "Wooditis: an American Gothic" which was about a gang of protestors standing up to the "authority" winning Best Feature at the U of T Film Festival in 2005.
When Park wrote "The Most Beautiful Thing" script it was supposed to be directed by another up and coming director, however, circumstances did not work out and Steven was then thrust into the role of directing the feature.
Both pieces were learning projects conceived and made while Hoffner and Shields were still at school.
Steven Hoffner: "It was very tough at times to balance with school but shooting this was something very special for me"
In winter 2003 Massimo Park begun volunteering at Toronto hospitals working with the physically handicapped. Through this experience, Park realized people with physical handicaps are like everyone else because of their constant struggle to overcome the obstacles thrown at them in their everyday lives.
With this in mind, Park drew inspiration from two religious sources; the story of Jonah and the Whale and an ancient Buddhist Monk tale. The sources allowed Park to craft a modern day story about suffering, faith and finding redemption through love.