Richard Olak

An epic journey.

Richard Olak, Alumnus

Most film students leave school hoping for an entry-level position in the industry, or at best, to make a short independent feature that can help catapult them to steady work. After graduating from Digital Film Production’s inaugural class in 2004, Richard Olak skipped these steps and set his sights on the impossible: turning a project he started while at Langara, The Battle of Burgledorf, into a bona-fide epic.

The feature-length fantasy adventure stars Olak – a professional actor before entering the program – and is co-produced by Guy Judge, who graduated from the same program the following year. Burgledorf  since ballooned into a 70-day shoot and multi-year project, employing a cast and crew of more than 150, including professional fight choreography and a VFX team – all on a shoestring budget.

"Taking the Digital Film Production Program at Langara was my filmmaking foundation. Learning every aspect of the production process, then implementing what you've learned by creating your own project from scratch gives you a realistic experience of the realities of Independent and 'micro budget' filmmaking: a world where you never have enough time, never have enough money, but you are surrounded by talent and if you focus on what's important, magic can happen."

In the time it took to create Burgledorf, Olak has made a name for himself writing and shooting music videos, commercials, video games, and award-winning short films. His first short out of school, the environmental documentary Block 486, was a catalyst towards establishing a protection zone in British Columbia’s inland rainforest.

After eight years in production, Burgledorf is finally hitting the festival circuit in the fall of 2014.

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Posted on: June 26, 2014