When Graham Fortin begins his filmmaking process in the editing room, he likes to envision that he is a project’s inaugural audience member. He is the first person that gets a glimpse of the potential each scene, moment, and production as a whole might be. As an avid movie lover, he knows how to tell a good story, and he applies those principles to each and every project he embarks on.
“There’s an excitement when putting together footage and seeing it come together for the first time. It’s thrilling to take raw material and make it come alive. Being able to take all of the different elements, picture, sound effects, and music and getting them to sing together is exciting,” he said.
Throughout his esteemed career, Fortin has shown time and time again what a natural born storyteller he is. His work in narrative films such as Hardworking Man, Roam, and Pour Retourner has captivated worldwide audiences, combining artistic editing styles with a talent of allowing viewers to be fully encompassed by what they are watching. Fortin is also extremely accomplished in the documentary genre, evident with his work on Khalid’s new movie Free Spirit and the television series Abandoned, The Wrestlers, and most recently, the pilot episode of Viceland’s Mister Tachyon.
Searching for the cure to his invisibility, Mister Tachyon follows an invisible man wearing an all-black suit named Mr. Tachyon, who travels the world to meet visionaries, dreamers, and eccentrics and discover ideas that exist in the fringes of science. The show combines fictional protagonist, real interviews with scientists and documentary approach to fringe science ranging from psychic abilities to alternate medicine. What locked potential do our minds and bodies hide?
“What I loved about the story of the project was the approach to the mix of real life and fiction, tackling real life subjects with a fictional character was incredibly unique. The story of how and why people believe in fringe science was cool. I got to dive into the history of orgonite and chemtrails which was something I never expected to dig into,” said Fortin.
Mister Tachyon involved mixing both narrative and documentary genres, a fun challenge for an editor. It took a lot of work for Fortin to find a balance between these two styles and not get too deep into the nitty gritty of the science to keep the audience interested. The visuals were also a big part of the project, looking very slick and clean, which helped dictate the cutting as well. Above all else, he says his success with the project can be attributed to having a unique sense of humor.
“I loved how weird it was. I loved the visuals of the project. I also enjoyed diving into fringe science, something I knew nothing about before taking on the work. You kind of just have to dive into a whole world with these kinds of projects. You find yourself going down wormholes learning about new and bizarre things, things I knew absolutely nothing about before signing on. It was weird times,” said Fortin.
The project debuted on Viceland in Canada, promoted online and on television all over the country. It was an instant hit, receiving a lot of attention from fans, with many online discussions about the show’s titular character.
“It feels fantastic to have been a part of the project. It was great seeing people’s comments about how much they enjoyed the show. You don’t always work on material that’s received that way. It was cool to be part of such a unique project. Reading about other people’s reactions to the fringe science we covered was interesting as well,” said Fortin.
Undoubtedly, Fortin has had a formidable career as an editor, with Mister Tachyon being just one example of his extraordinary talent. It wasn’t always an easy road to get to the seasoned position he holds today, but he encourages all those looking to follow in his footsteps to stay true to their passion.
“Say yes to anything early on. You’ll never know where the job may take you, even if it’s stressful or seemingly unfulfilling. You’ll make contacts and develop your craft,” he advised. “I was once asked to edit a surprise birthday video for a friend. I didn’t want to at all, however someone at the party found it funny. They asked me to work on a short comedic PSA which eventually led to me editing a sizzle reel, which eventually led me to edit some assemblies of scenes for a documentary, which led me to a pilot episode of a TV show and then finally four episodes of a series on Viceland. All from a birthday video. Who knew?”
Photo of Graham Fortin by Katrin Braga