Natalie Lisinska Gabrielle Miller The Sheepdogs
Stage for CBC Live! Viggo Mortensen Shiela McCarthy and Deb McGrath
Catherine De Lean David Cronenberg Gordon Pinsent

The 2012 Genie awards provided me with my second opportunity to do some film-related photojournalism. All this is connected to an as-yet-unannounced project on film-making in Canada.

It's an interesting experience. Twenty plus photographers, representing everything from the major newspapers through to small industry web sites, half of us jammed on a 4x8 riser, stepladders everywhere, all competing for that one great shot.

On the other side, handlers struggle to get sheets up telling us who we're about to shoot and why they're significant (nominee, presenter, performer). Simultaneously they're trying to control the flow of people in the background. Our subjects stand there, getting a barrage of instructions from every direction "over here", "top left please", "one more to the right please".

It's easy to tell which ones are accustomed to being in the public eye. Most of the actors perform with a natural precision, offering a motionless instant for every request. The shot is there for you if you're ready to take it. The others, the writers and behind the scene people either just stand there, likely overwhelmed by the deluge, or they try to respond in a continuous scanning motion, never stopping and thus never perfectly sharp in the camera.

The range of equipment there was interesting. Lots of Canon equipment, a little Nikon, some shooting with iPhones. The area was lit with stage lights so I just cranked up the ISO setting on my Panasonic GH2, making the originals quite grainy. Most – but not all – of the big media folks were shooting with flash. The only drawback to that was that whenever there was a "perfect" moment everybody tried to get the same shot. The result is a washed out frame and nothing useful.

I shot about 650 images in just over two hours. Of those 133 were acceptable, 100 "good". I've taken the best 50 of those and put them in this Flickr Photoset.