---Jonathon Styler is creating a thesis on homelessness and substance abuse; his medium is video.
After becoming weary of the typical patterns seen in his downtown subjects he decides to investigate a long abandoned motel far from home---where a reclusive baglady is
rumoured to dwell.
Armed with camera gear and a pair of friends, he penetrates the overgrown wreck of a building.
They find their baglady but she is a young woman; impeccably groomed and clad---a newlywed on her honeymoon who lacks only a husband....and a sense of reality.
Jonathon is fascinated by the discovery. He and his company soon form the theory that she is a 'poser' intent on emulating the tragic historical figure known to the area.
Overstepping his role of observer , Jonathon urges the woman to give up her delusions and return to the world.
Neither her spirit nor her flesh is willing to leave the motel....
...And each of the investigators become a part of her delusion; a part of her past; servants to her story.
Finally the team itself breaks apart; and their own estrangement proves tragic."
How This Project Materialized
In summer of 2008 I, like countless other motorists, drove by the old abandoned motel sitting somewhere between Kingston and Gananoque, Ontario. Intrigued, I drove back
and pulled in. The place looked forlorn, but somehow stately, as if it refused to forget it's glory days.
I entered the place through a window at the upper landing--as everything else was locked or boarded. I was surprised to see blankets and furnishings and toiletries from years
past---as if someone had just up and left....Expecting the motel to wait for their return.
This was the only time I felt creeped out by the place.
The following year I revisited the location and saw that vandals had stolen and destroyed much of what I had seen. The motel no longer seemed scary, as light through the
ravaged drapes illuminated a pathetic mess. The old girl deserved better....But how to represent her---or whomever might dwell within?
I learned that it was once called the Golden Slipper Motel, operating since the 1940's. I also learned that a bustling Golden Slipper Dancehall once stood beside it----a
renowned hotspot for past swing dancing generations.
The dancehall is now a weedy ruins and the motel stands stalwart but brooding over her abuse and neglect.
I decided to make a film about her---even though I had zero filmmaking experience.
I gathered some friends and we just went at it---I had a skeletal storyline and we proceeded to clumsily improvise, while learning how to operate our single camera.
Since that summer of 2009, writing improvements have been made, half a dozen participants have quit, more cameras, lights, and a generator have been bought, experience
points have been gained, and new contacts have been befriended.
It's spring, 2011 now::: Vandal season. It's time to revisit the glorious old girl, paint a little, repair a little and just let her know that she's still Golden. Genevieve, Jon, Jessie
and the rest of the team will gather there again, to finish up her story.
Wish us luck