Indigenous music icon Errol ‘C-Weed’ Ranville had his life shattered when he survived a fiery head-on car crash that killed his wife along with four teenagers, giving him a second chance that has lead to an unprecedented creative drive to solidify his legacy and promote reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and Canada.
Writer/producer: Gary Zubeck
Director: Rick Skene
The subject of The Last Ride is Indigenous music icon Errol Ranville, who’s overcome horrific personal tragedy to fulfill an inspired new vision.
One crucial aspect of my vision for the story was to create real emotional impact for the tragic car crash. I felt the best way to achieve that was to replicate the crash and fiery explosion onscreen – old-school, using real cars. The dramatic moment of that horrific, unanticipated split-second when life as we know it shatters completely sets up the emotional context beautifully for the further narrative.
To lift the piece out of the sit-and-chat, talking heads style of documentary filmmaking, I wanted to shoot and employ cinematic transitions like dissolves and super-impositions and other visual effects to underscore the mood and meaning of the story. I feel this not only represents an exciting project from a directing standpoint but it put to work our strengths and resources as a production team. My work in the past directing stunt sequences and car crashes gave me insight and resources that might never otherwise have been available to a smaller project such as this.
I also wanted to use the recurring image of the crash visuals as a poetic device, employing drop frame and slow-motion stylization to represent that ever-present emotional scar in his life. We play Errol’s own music as the soundtrack to the haunting recurring visuals of the crash as we hear Errol narrate the story and the profound changes it made in his relationships to family and community. We follow his recovery and his choice to heal and help others heal. We see his return to music and creativity, and discover his thoughts reconciling the mystery of life and music.
About Rick Skene
Rick Skene has worked extensively in the film and television industry for over 30 years.
He is the leading stunt coordinator/action sequence director in central Canada with over 175 feature film and series credits. His expertise covers a wide range of stunt work, including car stunts, body burns, wire-work, ratchets, air rams, high falls, fight choreography, etc. He is a highly respected stunt driver and works frequently in this capacity designing and executing major chase/crash sequences.
Rick works as a director/second unit director planning the shots and directing the filming of stunt and fight sequences. He also has an extensive acting resume which includes playing the serial killer lead in Steven C. Miller’s feature film reboot of the horror classic Silent Night.
Rick teaches at the University of Winnipeg’s theatre and film department in the advanced filmmaking program. His lifelong love of documentary filmmaking, combined with the compelling story producer Gary Zubeck first brought forward, caused Rick to jump at the opportunity to direct The Last Ride.