Elliot Scott will be Canada's first action hero (2023)

The official trailer for 'Elliot'.

Former karate champion and Nova Scotian Elliot Scott wants to be Canada's first action movie star, which, when you think about it, is ambitious, weird and funny for a lot of reasons. Equally important of these is the fact that the hairy actor/director looks more like the guy you sat next to in biology class than Chuck Norris. But this underdog fight against the odds is why New Brunswick filmmakers Jarrett Beliveau and Matthew Bauckman decided to make a documentary about his search.Eliotfollows the making of the martial artist's next indie action filmBlood feudBut as the film delves into Elliot's personal life, shared with his girlfriend Linda, the line between reality and the dream world becomes hard to find as Elliot transforms from quirky outsider anti-hero to something darker and more complex. OfFubarmeetingsVillainswith a bit ofAmerican film, except that everything you see is real.Eliotit's as entertaining as reality TV, but with a sensitivity and thoughtfulness that provokes meditation on the nature of truth and the desire for fame.


Set in Nova Scotia, the film had its world premiere in Park City, Utah at the Slamdance Film Festival last week, where it won Best Documentary. For those of you not in the know, Slamdance offers a platform for up-and-coming artists (Lena Dunham and Christopher Nolan showed their early work there) and trashy cinema that fills the gaps left by the increasingly commercial Sundance Film Festival. which co-hosts the , and where "indie" films tend to have multi-million dollar budgets and Oscar-winning cast members.

Anyway, I caught up with Belliveau and Bauckman in Utah to hear more about his creationEliot.

VICE: What did you expect when you started making?Eliot?
Jaret: Matt and I knew from the beginning that Elliot was exaggerating to some degree just because of the difference between[fairly positive] newspaper articleswe read it toothe quality of his movie trailersas we saw. But mostly we thought he was a lovable guy who was trying to do whatever it took to get exposure and get his movies out there. We thought it was innocent enough.

Did you have a relationship with him at first?
Jaret: I related to him just because of the passion and the drive it takes to make films, so to us he just seemed like a lovable dreamer who had a great team of people around him.
Matthew: And what did he do with it?Blood feudit was good. We loved all these people who play the characters in his movies like Blake and Linda and Blair. In Nova Scotia, where they live, there is no real platform for them to get what they got from Elliott. They were to become stars in their own way. Eliot really delivered. Regardless of what was true and what wasn't, even if there were inconsistencies, that's what made it seem positive to everyone at first.
Jaret: The key to the film was when [his girlfriend] Linda started opening up to us, because that was the other side of the story. Elliott could only carry the film so much. It has no self-dialogue. He can't analyze his actions in a way that translates to the viewer, so we needed other people to show his world and how he works in it.


You also put your own voice in there a little bit. Was this also a reality show to balance what Elliot said?
Matthew: I think in a way Jaret's voice is like a surrogate for the audience because we wanted to take the audience with us on the journey we were on. The more Elliot delved into this fantasy world, the more tired we got because we had someone who wasn't honest with us for two years, and it's really hard.
Jaret: It was a little hard, but harder to see how it affects other people, because we have to leave. We show up for a few days, we might be a little annoyed, but we go and we know that this man comes up with big fantasies and brings all these other people into it. That's what we complained about, the way it hurt them. We included the sound of my voice a few times because we wanted people to see the kind of questions we were asking. We actively tried to get them to think more about what Elliott was doing, what role he played in their lives.

Elliot Scott will be Canada's first action hero (1)

He is an unreliable narrator, but the harmful thing is not necessarily that he is delusional, but that he is unreliable about the people in his life. Do you think he could be delusional and not hurt?
Matthew: We are all delusional to varying degrees. There is always a big gap between how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us. It's just that at this level [delusion reached Elliott] I don't think you can get away with hurting people. When you lie to people, people get hurt.
Jaret: He began to combine his films and reality. Like in the documentary when Elliot starts talking about a stalker. He had a movie to his nameThe stalker and the hero, and he is the hero, and he protects Linda. So he started taking these fantasies from his films and started making them part of the documentary-
Matthew: And part of his life.


"Elliot" poster courtesy of Jaret Belliveau and Matthew Bauckman.

There are obvious similarities between your film andAmerican film, but yours is Canadian. For you, what about Canada and especially the East Coast, seafaring Canadian?
Matthew:From where we are, specifically in the Maritimes, there seems to be an abundance of characters. I do not know what it is. I don't know if it's because everyone is spread out more, but there are a lot of unique interesting characters, like Elliot. We had another documentary subject that we had been looking at for months before we decided to do itEliot, this French-Canadian rapper called JBB or Godfather Big Boss.
Jaret: Or Bonner Bill. He gave himself about 16 different nicknames.
Matthew: All of his nicknames are related to the mafia or his penis. There seems to be a lot of characters in the Maritimes and there seems to be a lack of pretense that we really respond to. We joke about it in interviews. When people ask what people back home think of what you're doing, I say, "Well, they like what we're doing, but they're not impressed."
Jaret: In a way, it is different that Eliot wants to be recognized in America. In Canada, the way he will feel good is to get that fame not in Canada but from Hollywood or these other big stars. He wants to be Canada's first action hero, he says, but I think it's just a tool to get famous in America.
Matthew: It's funny because it's a Canadian thing. In Canada we always have this Canadian culture and media and we feel this inferiority. Elliot almost proves what it means to be Canadian in a negative way.

If someone mentions Pamela Anderson, I can't help but say, "Oh, you know, she's Canadian."
Jaret: We have a whole cluster.
Matthew: But when people ask us that we're Canadian filmmakers, I don't know what to say because I feel so much a part of the American media.

There is an earnestness to this film that feels very Canadian to me.
Matthew: People always talk about these really deep, hard-to-pin-down themes in their movies, but if we could sum it up, it would be: Don't lie and be good to your loved ones and your friends. That's pretty damn Canadian, hey, hey bud. I love New Brunswick though, I really do. If we could continue to make films there and establish a home base, that would be great.
Jaret: And it also just gives us a space to exist. We are a little lonely. Not much happens. There aren't many documentaries out there. We can just do our thing. We are not affected. We don't know what's trending in New York as a hot doc topic. In a way, this is a freedom.
Matthew: But there really isn't much money. There is not much support. It can be very discouraging.
Jaret: Of course, but who would finance itEliot? Maybe we're being hard on Canada, but it's like making a movie, this guy might be a pathological liar. We're going to China and it's going to bother the crap out of Canada. He wants to pretend to be Jackie Chan. We can complain, but we are not making a film that is a typical Canadian documentary. We can't expect to get funding because we don't stay where Canada is comfortable.



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Elliot Scott will be Canada's first action hero? ›

Kung Fu Elliot tells the story of Elliot “White Lightning” Scott, a martial artist who dreams of becoming Canada's first action hero with his new low-budget karate epic, Blood Fight.

What happened to Kung Fu Elliot? ›

The movie ends with Scott conveniently fleeing Canada for parts unknown (possibly China) and neither he nor Lum appear to have stepped forward since to confirm or deny the movie's account of the final years of their professional and personal relationship."

Can Jackie Chan fight Kung Fu? ›

Chan is a practitioner of multiple different forms of kung fu. The actor is proficient in Wing Chun, Northern Shaolin, and Southern Shaolin kung fu. He's also knowledgeable in fighting styles outside of Chinese martial arts, such as hapkido, karate, and Western boxing.

Why was Kung Fu cancelled? ›

Kung Fu is a supernatural drama, which means some extra CGI compared to a few other shows. That means higher costs. With the lower live ratings, the network wouldn't keep it going, and sadly it led to cancellation.


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