DAVID BRENNAN: AN ADVENTUROUS OUTSIDER
This comedian’s unique perspective adds an extra layer of entertainment to OAFF.
When Ottawa Adventure Film Festival Director Mike McKay decided to launch an online event during isolation, he wouldn’t have dreamed of doing it without funnyman David Brennan as a virtual host.
Brennan joined the OAFF team as festival host in 2019, and added the “chemical x” McKay had been looking for.
“I really spent a lot of time kind of looking,” McKay says.
Upon meeting, McKay immediately knew Brennan was the right fit. Not just because he was funny, but because he could offer a fresh perspective on the world of outdoor adventures.
“He’s not trying to be me, he’s being himself looking at it from the outside and I think that’s what makes him special as our team member,” McKay says. “I basically said to him: ‘You’re on, you have no choice.'”
Brennan agrees that being new to the scene, he could bridge the gap between adventurous patrons and regulars at the Mayfair Theatre who love film in general.
“This content is crazy. You do get all of the great adrenalin and the Go-Pro shots and everything like that but, some of the films at the last screening in November were just these beautiful art pieces,” Brennan says.
“It kind of worked out great,” he says. “I think my involvement as sort of an observer led to a lot of the onstage jokes because why pretend I’m anything but an observer here? That’s the role of a comic a lot of the time.”
When it came to translating that experience to the digital world, McKay and Brennan were pleasantly surprised with the outcome. OAFF launched its first ‘From the Couch’ edition on May 2nd, 2020.
McKay trusted Brennan to deliver some fun content and, after using some creative uber-ing to get him the right equipment, gave him full creative control.
“I wasn’t given too much instruction or direction for my host video pieces which I think was a great thing because I just did what felt natural,” Brennan says. “I’m here with my wife so she was my camera director. I just tried to direct my bits and my focus to the camera, as if just imagining somebody watching on a small screen or whatever people have at home.”
McKay has been overjoyed with the positive feedback they’ve received on the event and is excited to use what he’s learned for the next one on June 13th.
“I feel very positive,” McKay says. “Even if things get back to normal, we plan to build on the success from the first From The Couch event. I think the hybrid of digital to experiential is kind of where I’m heading to.”
Brennan has some ideas for his next turn as an online host. When asked if he’s been inspired to go from outside observer to outdoor adventurer, he says he’ll stick to the funny business for now.
June 13th’s From the Couch is available as a pay what you want system and tickets are available here.
For more David Brennan, check out offerings from Ottawa Storytellers on Patreon.
Brennan will also be hosting a Halloween event with the Ottawa Storytellers on October 22nd at the Arts Court theatre called “David Brennan Ghosts You.” The event will be conducive to whatever situation Canada is in with isolation at that point.