Langley filmmaker revamps award-winning documentary about his own addiction story

A Ravaged Soul: Anatomy of an Addict was originally released by v12films in 2014

Langley resident Brian MacDonald recalled sneaking around between classes to score drugs throughout the 1990s.

He was an instructor at the time, owning and operating Vancouver’s Broadcast College in the midst of a career that had taken him on-air and into the management side of the industry.

MacDonald told the Langley Advance Times that was also the time an addiction to heroin took over his life.

After cleaning up in 2002, MacDonald decided to follow a passion for film and start his own production company – v12films.

“We produce documentaries on the human condition and struggle,” he said. “Stories of redemption.”

MacDonald began with his own story and began to explore the journey of addiction through a one-hour documentary called A Ravaged Soul – first released in 2014.

“It takes a look at the downtown East Side of Vancouver,” MacDonald explains. “It’s an ugly story and hard to watch.”

The filmmaker said he left no stone unturned, frankly discussing sexual and physical abuse that preceded his addiction.

Key members of his life speak in A Ravaged Soul, including MacDonald’s mother and his ex-wife, the mother of his child.

He credits their son as his major inspiration for turning his life around.

“It’s a really emotional 60-minute ride,” he assured.

Stan Mingo, a former dealer from the Vancouver Downtown East Side also appears in the documentary, a man MacDonald referred to as “the king of the heroin trade.”

MacDonald said Mingo speaks openly about his experiences and a time when he even plotted to kill MacDonald.

READ MORE: VIDEO: National Film Board streams documentary shot in Langley for free

Altogether, the documentary charts MacDonald’s experiences of getting sober through his own eyes and the views of others who were and remain close to him.

“I guarantee it is as honest of a documentary that you will see and I’m proud of it,” MacDonald assured.

His first attempt at the production in 2014 led to an Official Selection award at the REEL Recovery Film Festival in New York.

MacDonald has since released a myriad of documentaries in the past five years, most of them dealing with drug addiction and the stigmas that go with the territory.

Today, the owner of v12films said he updated his inaugural work by updating the situation and some of the documentary’s technical aspects.

“The production value was weak so I brought it up to a more professional standard and up to speed,” he said.

With the stresses of COVID-19, MacDonald said the documentary had plenty for relevancy as drug use as, in his words, gone off the charts.

With other productions in the works including a dramatic pilot called The Orchestration of Audrey, MacDonald invited people to contact him at v12films.canada@gmail.com to view the documentary.

“If someone you love is suffering from addiction, please contact me to show them the film,” he said.

MacDonald is 18 years clean and moved to Langley 14 years ago to be closer to his ex-wife and son.

People can visit http://www.v12films.com/home to find out more about MacDonald and the production company.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

addictionsDrugsLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Record turnout for third annual Langley car show against cancer

Brogan’s Diner Fight Against Cancer Car Show was turned into a road trip because of COVID-19

Langley artist Lalita Hamill launches new website to showcase art and share instructional videos

A Zoom session on Saturday, July 18, will serve as a free art assessment and critique at 10 a.m.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Ryan’s Regards: Will the air travel industry once again take flight?

With airlines grounded and staff laid off, going abroad could be more difficult beyond COVID-19

Vandals deface Aldergrove elementary school with racist slur, male genitalia

Langley School District confirms it has filed a report with the Langley RCMP

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Most Read