Interview with Squeaky Shoe writer/director Richard B. Pierre

Shot on 16mm, Squeaky Shoe is a charming “silent” comedy, written and directed by Canadian filmmaker Richard B. Pierre. As our protagonist attempts to fix his titular squeaky shoe that has alienated him from society, it becomes clear that the shoe is not the problem. A short, light-hearted commentary on life in the city, Squeaky Shoe is about finding your place and making friends. Afterall, if the shoe fits… wear it!

Squeaky Shoe is the perfect accompaniment to the feature film of the evening, the Harold Lloyd classic silent comedy The Freshman, a film that also explores finding your voice, making friends, and laughing along the way.

CP: Your film is paired with a classic silent comedy, The Freshman, featuring comic genius Harold Lloyd. Squeaky Shoe seems to take inspiration from classic silent comedy. Can you discuss your cinematic influences on this delightful short film?

RP: There's no question that I have enjoyed silent comedy over the years, [Charlie] Chaplin and [Buster] Keaton in particular. But when I wrote Squeaky Shoe, I never had classic silent film in mind. I was more interested in telling a visual story about an outcast who decides to embrace his oddness and maybe even celebrate it. I also wanted to play with sound, and Evan Jerred, my sound designer, really helped to make the film come to life. Was Charlie Chaplin floating around in my subconscious? Possibly. Only Charlie knows.

CP: Can you tell us a bit about what it's like to make a low-budget, ultra-indie film in a public space, like a busy city street? There must be some challenges!

RP: Shooting with a low-budget is always a challenge. I forget what our budget was initially, but it was basically for film stock, processing and limited art direction. However, with a fantastic crew sometimes money doesn't matter.

As far as shooting in a public space, we were careful to be very smart about scheduling. We started early in the morning and planned our day and locations around when we thought there would be the least interference. In the end, we had minimal takes ruined and not a whole lot of interference.

CP: What are you working on now? Any upcoming projects?

RP: Coincidentally, as I write this, I'm putting together a grant application for another silent film. This one is much different than Squeaky Shoe. It is a thriller about an intruder who breaks into a suburban home. A life or death struggle ensues, but things aren’t quite what they seem. It's got a hint of a political undertone and a twist ending that has gotten some excellent feedback so it will be interesting to see what happens!

I do have other projects on the horizon, as well. I'm waiting to hear back from Telefilm Canada about a micro-budget romantic comedy feature that I'm hoping to direct with my producer, Sabrina Moella. I'm developing a sci-fi feature with my producing friend, Sidney Chiu. I'm also in the process of pitching some web series comedies to the CBC. I'm very excited about this one because it's a new platform that I had never really given much thought to, but was very influenced by High Maintenance and Insecure on HBO.

Oh yeah, and I just directed a short film which I am sending off to festivals, called Check written by the multitalented Chattrisse Dolabaille and coming to a festival near you soon! So to answer your question, not much!