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 CELEBRATING TWENTY-FIVE YEARS: 1985-2010  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010

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FILM, VIDEO, INTERNET AND DIGITAL PRODUCTION IN WESTERN CANADA

Nancy Robertson and Brent Butt Leave Hicksville for HICCUPS

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Contents

16 URBAN DEVELOPMENT

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How do you follow up the most successful comedy in Canadian history? Brent Butt moved from rural Saskatchewan and Corner Gas to a publishing house in Vancouver and Hiccups, which stars Nancy Robertson as a children’s author with anger issues. He says that although the show is more urban than his fans might have expected, he believes they will make the journey with him from the prairies to the coast.

9 bits and bytes

20 prairie memoir Karen Lam combined a knack for writing suspense thrillers with memories of growing up on the isolated Manitoba prairie to create a screenplay about a woman whose lonely life in a small prairie town leads to an obsession. To make Stained, she brought Vancouver and Saskatoon production houses to a Saskatchewan village that fit her screenplay to a tee.

Production Update

10 Beginnings 12 Behind the Scenes 14 Question and Answer 15 Expert Witness 29 Legal Briefs 30 FINAL EDIT

22 IN PURSUIT OF THE CARNIVORE Almost eight years after Vancouver-based producer Trish Dolman met radio personality and actress Sook-Yin Lee, Year of the Carnivore, a film Dolman produced and Lee directed snagged the lead-off spot at the Toronto International Film Festival’s prestigious Canada First! section. In her diary, Dolman takes a journey back to the beginning of their relationship and charts how an idea became a movie.

24 2009 Wrap It didn’t take too long for the US economic downturn to affect western Canada’s film and television industries. All four provinces lost support from US production companies as the year progressed and Quebec, Ontario and several US states made an effort to fill the needs of companies trying to keep their costs down by changing their approach to tax credits.

On the cover: hiccups Executive producer Brent Butt and actress Nancy robertson. Above: Nancy robertson as Millie Upton in Hiccups along with executive producer, Brent Butt. Reel West Magazine is a wholly owned enterprise of Reel West Productions Inc. It exists and is managed to provide publicity and advertising that supports the growth of the Western Canadian Motion Picture Industry. Executive publisher: Sandy P. Flanagan Executive Editor: Ian Caddell. Publisher: Ron Harvey Sales: Randy Holmes. creative Director: Andrew von Rosen. art director: Lindsey Ataya. Photo Editor: Phillip Chin. Reel West Magazine is published six times per year. Subscriptions Canada/US. $35.00 per year (plus $10.00 postage to USA). Reel West Digest, The Directory for Western Canada’s Film, Video and Television Industry, is published annually. Subscription $35.00 per year (plus $10.00 postage to US). Both Publications $60.00 (plus $10.00 postage to USA) Prices include GST. Copyright 2009 Reel West Productions Inc. Second Class Mail. Registration No. 0584002. ISSN 0831-5388. G.S.T. # R104445218. Reel West Productions Inc. 101 - 5512 Hastings Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, V5B 1R3. Phone (604) 451-7335 Toll Free: 1-888-291-7335 Fax: (604) 451-7305 Email: info@reelwest.com URL: www.reelwest.com. Volume 25, Issue 1. Printed In Canada. Canadian Mail Publication Sales Agreement Number: 40006834. To subscribe call 1-888-291-7335 or visit our website at www.reelwest.com. Reel West welcomes feedback from our readers, via email at editorial@reelwest.com or by fax at 604-451-7305. All correspondence must include your name, address, and daytime telephone number.

Reel West January/february 2010

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Production update

What’s coming. What’s shooting. What’s wrapped.

Scott Patterson (pictured here in Saw V) stars in the television movie Asphalt Canyon which started filming in Vancouver last month.

Daydream Reunites Speedman with Kitchen Party’s Haebler A movie about a triangle between a high school student, the boy she likes and a teacher she is having an affair with, will reunite Canadian actor Scott Speedman and Christine Haebler, the producer who helped to kick-start his acting career. Haebler produced the 1997 film Kitchen Party, Speedman’s debut as a feature film lead. He went on to star in two Un‑ derworld films and the series Felicity. Daydream Nation has Trish Dolman, Cameron Lamb and Frank

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Desmarais as executive producers, Haebler and Ted Pierson producing, Ian Hay as line producer/production manager, Mike Goldbach directing, Joel Ransom as DOP, Renee Reid as production designer, Louisa Main as production coordinator and Chris Wilson as locations manager. It wrapped December 19 after a five week shoot. Here in November was the television movie Asphalt Canyon, which starred Scott Patterson and had Harvey Kahn producing, Terry Ingram directing, Adam Sliwinski as the DOP, Sydney Sharpe as the

production designer, Chris Rudolph as the production manager, Terri Garbutt as the production coordinator and Dan Carr as the location manager. Leaving in mid-December after four weeks was the television movie Hunt to Kill, the story of a border patrol agent and his teenage daughter forced to lead dangerous criminals through the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. It had Jack Nasser as executive producer, Dureyshavar as supervising producer, Tara CowellPlain as line producer/production manager, Keoni Waxman directing,

Thomas M. Harting as DOP, Brian Davie as production designer, Yale Kussin as production coordinator and Tracey Renyard as location manager. The television pilot Facing Kate had Michael Sardo, Steve Stark and Ross Buchholz as executive producers with Christine Sacani producing, Bronwen Hughes directing, Ricardo Spinace as production designer, Matthew Chipera as production manager, Almaz Tadege as production coordinator and Deborah Bose as location manager. Wayne Szybunka was the special effects coordinator and Sarah Shahi and Virginia Williams were the stars of the show. The pilot Pretty Little Liars, which tells the story of a group of girls whose lives are altered by the disappearance of a friend, had Bob Levy and Marlene King as executive producers, Carol Trussell producing, Leslie Glatter directing, Brent Thomas as production designer, Warren Carr as production manager, Deana Kittson as production coordinator and Steve Sach as location manager. It wrapped on December 14 after a two week shoot. The series Shattered, which stars Callum Keith Rennie as a cop whose multiple personalities work with him to solve cases, has Kari Skogland, Jon Cooksey, Noreen Halpern, Hugh Beard and Debra Beard as executive producers with Ian McDougall as supervising producer, David Frazee as the DOP, Rachel O’Toole as the production designer, Charles Lyall as the production manager and Carol Schafer as the production coordinator.

Reel West January/february 2010

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Picture Perfect A documentary about how a small group of artists put Vancouver at the leading edge of avant-garde, began production in Vancouver October 26. According to a spokesperson, it will also be shooting in New York, Toronto and Berlin until the end of February 2010. Vancouver Rising, which is scheduled to air on Bravo! later this year looks back at how the city generated internationally celebrated photo conceptualists Jeff Wall, Ian Wallace, Rodney Graham, Stan Douglas, Ken Lum and Roy Arden. It is produced by Ric Beairsto of Laughing Mountain Communications and directed by Harry Killas who will share writing duties. “We’re fans of the art,” says Beairsto, “but we want to concentrate on

the remarkable story of their moreor-less simultaneous rise to art stardom. They’ve all chosen to continue to live and work in Vancouver, and so we hope to make the city a real character in the show, to get past interviews in studios, and out into some classic (though not always pretty) Vancouver sites; the kind of places they’ve photographed in the past.” Spokesperson Helen Yagi said the members of what has been termed the “Vancouver School” are among the biggest international “art stars,” to ever come out of Canada. She said that they are considered to be better known internationally than either the Group of Seven or Quebec abstract expressionists Jean- Paul Riopelle and Paul-Emile Borduas.

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Line Pushed

A one-hour documentary that travels the Northwest Coast to follow aboriginal artists who challenge boundaries of traditional art, premiered on Bravo at the end of late November. According to the film’s director, Lisa Jackson, Push‑ ing The Line: Art Without Reservations also “showcases the growth and development of aboriginal art and how its recollections of past values help artists deal with modern issues.” She said the documentary features commentary by Haida Manga artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and artists Sonny Assu, Andrew Dexel, Marianne Nicolson and James Hart as well as carver Gruujaaw and curator/writer Candice Hopkins. The film was written and directed by Jackson and produced by Julia Fong with Ian Thompson as executive producer. Mark Korven was the composer, Clancy Dennehy and Stefan Randstrom were the cinematographers and Nick Hector was the editor.

Reel West January/february 2010

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A Vancouver-produced made for television cartoon feature was a hit in its November 17 premiere on the Cartoon Channel. According to Zoe Borroz, a spokesperson for the Ed, Edd n Eddy television movie The Eds Big Picture Show, the movie version posted huge gains over shows occupying the same slot the previous year. Borroz said a weekend marathon that featured two seven hour blocks of programming posted “double-digit delivery gains” among kids 9-14 (up 14%), boys 9-14 (up 16%) and girls 6-11 (up 17%), compared to the same time frame last year. She said the Sunday marathon led up to the made-for-TV 90 minute feature. Ed, Edd n Eddy has a viewership of 31 million households airing in 29 countries worldwide, winning the Ruben Award for “Best Television Animation” and the Leo Award for “Best Director of An Animated Production” (Danny Antonucci). Borroz said it remains the longest running Canadian-made animation series to date. Brothel Opens A one hour Canadian documentary that follows two women as they challenge main stream thinking about prostitution on the streets of Victoria, BC has been given the green light to premiere on Global later this year. The Brothel Project, which was written by Gillian Hrankowski and directed by April Butler-Parry will be part of the Canwest series Cur‑ rents. It follows journalist Jody Paterson and retired sex worker Lauren Casey as they campaign to open the first ever legal co-op brothel operated by sex workers. “This is just a business, and a start up business has to nail everything,” says Paterson, who said there are “at least four underground brothels operating under the guise of massage parlours or escort agencies in Victoria.” She said almost 1000 independent

escorts are licensed with the city and are working as indoor sex workers. According to spokesperson Tanya Tweten, the filmmakers teamed up

with Paterson and Casey to form a company called Victoria Independent Providers (VIP). She said the business plan dictates that a portion of the profits be donated to social charities that work to get prostitutes off the streets.

Reel West January/february 2010

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Saskatoon Gets Stained The Saskatchewan town of Lanham and the city of Saskatoon shared hosting duties for the BC/Saskatchewan co-production Stained. Vancouver’s Goonworks Film and Saskatoon-based Angel Entertainment were the production companies for the film, which wrapped at the end of November. “We decided that Saskatoon was the perfect place to shoot this movie once we learned more about what this city has to offer,” said Goonworks’ Katie Weekley prior to principal photography. “There are great crews and locations, which made us realize that we could shoot a lower budget feature here and still make it

look ‘big city.’” “We are very excited to make this film happen in Saskatoon, and we hope to continue this momentum into 2010,” said Angel Entertainment’s Bob Crowe. “We are confident that our co-production partners will have a great experience working here. We have talented crews, and a wonderful city. We are very proud of the high quality shows we’ve been able to produce here.” The film, which is directed by Karen Lam stars Tinsel Korey as a woman who appears to become obsessed with every lover to the concern of her best friend (Sonja Bennett).

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Paul Spence and Dave Lawrence star in Fubar II

Return of Fubar

Alberta and Quebec production companies have combined to create a sequel to the 2002 cult film Fubar. According to publicist Fran Watson, the original film was called “the quintessential Sundance film” by CNN. Fubar II, which wrapped in mid-December after a month long shoot, stars Fubar’s Paul Spence and Dave Lawrence as Dean and Terry, two headbangers who find work on the oil pipelines in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Flush with money and confidence, Terry starts dating Trish (Terra Hazelton), a local waitress, and things get serious in a hurry. Meanwhile, Dean is playing up the part of the cancer survivor, and upon hearing about the glories of workers’ compensation, purposely bungs up his leg in an attempt to qualify. When Terry moves in with Trish, Dean does his best to save his buddy from swapping the banger life for domestic captivity. The film is being directed by Fubar’s Michael Dowse and produced by Dowse, Lawrence and Spence with Alberta-based producers Shirley Vercruysse and George Baptist and Quebec-based Jennifer Wilson. The DOP is Bobby Shore, the production designer is Myron Hyrak and the editor is Reg Harkema. Reel West January/february 2010

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Pilots Hot

An Omni Film documentary series about a renegade Arctic airline that flies World War II planes, was a hit on History Television when it premiered in November. According to Omni’s Gabriela Schonbach, Ice Pilots NWT, which continues its run into the spring of this year, lured 459,000 viewers to the channel. She said it was the highest rated specialty TV program in its timeslot. “We’re amazed and delighted by the massive response to Ice Pilots NWT,” says Schonbach, the show’s executive producer. “We are so proud of this series, and are happy for History Television’s success with it.” Schonbach said the show was filmed over the course of nine months last winter and follows rookie pilots and ramp hands as they struggle to keep vintage planes flying despite blizzards, breakdowns and impossible jobs. “We wanted to keep it real and we did,” says creator and co-executive producer David Gullason. “The people were fantastic and the stories blew us away. You could never script most of the stuff that happened.” Traveling Through Toronto

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A show about an Aboriginal time traveller is currently airing on APTN. The Time Traveler, which was created by Vancouver Native filmmaker Richard Story, follows a young woman, Nikki, who faces a profound problem and must travel back in time from the year 3012 to present-day Toronto. There, she enlists the help of a young, free-spirited Aboriginal man named Jackson. “This is a TV show made by indie filmmakers in an indie spirit,” says Story, “We’re using a smaller crew, minimal equipment and natural light.

We’re also using new actors. There are a lot of new faces.” “This show is original,” adds producer Kent Sobey. “I think The Time Traveler ushers in a new sub-genre, the Aboriginal sci-fi. And the story is really exciting too”. The show was shot on location in Toronto with Story writing and directing, Sobey, an independent filmmaker from Nova Scotia, producing, Sandra Edmunds co-producing and Lorne Cardinal as executive producer. It stars Elitska Bako and Meegwun Fairbrother in the lead roles.

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Reel West January/february 2010

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Woody Harrelson stars in Defendor

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supervisor, Adam Stern. “We knew going into the project that it was going to require invisible visual effects and some fairly complicated CG work. In total our studio completed close to 100 shots for the movie.” Since Defendor’s “super powers” come from unconventional tools such as marbles and wasps in a jar Artifex had to create most of the tools digitally. According to Stern,

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CG insects were required in several scenes as swarms with a few “hero” wasps being given specific roles. Stern said Artifex modeled detailed wasps, which were keyframe animated in a number of scenes. During the title sequence wasps guide the audience through titles. The credits continue with CG marbles and end with CG road flares lighting the way from name to name. Stern said the studio also created matte paintings of night-time cityscapes with a classically silhouetted Defendor prowling the streets. “Scenes requiring simple sign and background replacements were all part of the workload,” he said.

Fest Goes Digital The Victoria Film Festival is giving student filmmakers an opportunity to upload films directly to the Festival’s website as an easy way to enter the student filmmaking competition. Filmmakers will also have an opportunity to work with mentors prior

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to entering the competition. According to spokesperson Tim Trebilcock, all films in the competition, called FilmCan, will be eligible to win an iMac Complete or a Sony HDRCX100R Handicam. “FilmCan is a really unique opportunity for young people in the region,” says mentor Barbara Hager. “Where else can you get the equipment advice and know-how to

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make a great film, and the chance to win such fabulous prizes?” “Film plays an important role in young people’s lives today,” says Trebilcock. “Youth are the biggest consumers of film, and the moving image has become a shared and

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vital global language. FilmCan provides budding filmmakers with the opportunity to put their skills to the test and win great prizes. In addition, the winning film will screen along with a feature film at the festival.” Trebilcock said the top five films in each category will go to jury on January 5th. The winners will be announced at the pre-Festival Bash on January 7 and their films will be screened during the Victoria Film Festival which runs from January 29th to February 7.

Reel West January/february 2010

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Photo PHillip Chin

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Reel West January/february 2010

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beginnings

Brian Hamilton

“...(I) learned the value of surrounding yourself with people smarter and more experienced than you are. They make you look good!”

S

uper8 movies were my entrée into the “biz”. Starting in grade 8, I spent my allowance on a succession of cameras and splicing equipment. Anything’s possible when you’re a teenager, from starring in your own re-make of Huckleberry Finn to convincing your friends to star in a beer commerical for the fictitious “Muskoka Gold”! Like three generations before me, I went to Engineering school, and although I loved the technology, I didn’t love the profession. My father, who had left engineering to work as a guidance counselor, provided some very sage advice: don’t settle for a career you don’t absolutely love! So I went back to my high school hobby and made a career out of that. I managed to convince my engineering professor to accept a film in place of my 4th year thesis, and applied with that film to the Banff Centre for Fine Arts. (I guess I have always preferred hanging out with artists!). My Banff experience was life changing. Most importantly, I met my wife Mavis there, while she was apprenticing as a set designer. Romance aside, the educational opportunities were beyond anything I had experienced before. The Banff Centre was in its heyday in 1987, boasting six staff for eight students in the “Electronic and Film Media” program. We had access to an incredible array of equipment and resources. As someone who knew my way around computers, I gravitated to post production and soon found myself editing numerous short films. Of course the films were about art and artists since Banff was a mecca for artists in a wide variety of disciplines. I discovered that I loved the process of helping other artists - most of whom had little technical knowledge - realize their ideas. I found my calling as a facilitator finding practical ways to translate a creator’s vision onto the screen. That role is something I’ve taken forward into all my future career endeavours. After a few years working in Toronto in various entry-level production roles, Mavis brought me to Vancouver for a vacation. We both fell in love with BC, and soon we were making plans to move westward. The first year in Vancouver was tough for me. I was looking for work as a freelance editor with no prior relationships. Vancouver has a well-deserved reputation of being “hard to break into.” Eventually I was offered my first paid gig: as a weekend editor for Force Four Productions, who had recently taken delivery of one of Vancouver’s first Avid editing systems. My assignment was simple: over the weekend I had to learn how to work the Avid and then edit a 10-minute corporate video. I jumped right in, and made it in time for the deadline, which led to more editing opportunities around town. Although I loved much about editing, I gradually came to realize two things: I’m someone who thrives on working as part of a larger team, and I prefer to be involved early on in a project rather than just in the final editing stages. So I began to look for opportunities to learn the art and craft of producing. With the help of some of my Banff Centre friends I managed to produce/direct/edit a documentary for Knowledge Network, and first experienced the joy of seeing my work “on the air.” I was hooked. As an inexperienced “upstart” producer, I had no relationship with the established broadcast networks (they all had their favoured suppliers), but I was lucky in terms of timing. The first group of cable TV networks were just about to be licensed by the CRTC. These new networks were opening their doors and needed programming. Best of all, they didn’t have pre-existing relationships with producers, so they were open to “newbies” like me. It was 1993 and the Internet was just beginning to change how people comReel West January/february 2010

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municated. Drawing from my “nerd” background, I came up with a TV show idea that combined my interests in technology and social change. Hi‑Tech Cul‑ ture explored the impact that new “interactive” technologies were having on our lives (these were the days when a 56K modem was “blazing fast.”. I thought my show would be a good fit for the yet-to-be-licensed Discovery Channel. Wanting to approach Discovery with as professional and credible a pitch as possible, I approached Michael Chechik at Omni Film Productions, an established production company with a great reputation. I had done some editing for Omni Film and felt I fit in well there. Michael had supported new filmmakers for many years, offering advice and infrastructure. He agreed to get involved in Hi‑Tech Culture, which was a key turning point in my career. I used the fees I’d earned from my first documentary project to finance the production of a short demo for Hi‑Tech Culture and it was ready in time for the Banff TV Festival in June 1994. When Trina McQueen received the news at that conference that Discovery Channel was approved to launch the following year, I was the first person waiting to shake her hand as she left the stage. Needless to say she left with a copy of my demo! Hi‑Tech Culture went on to be ordered as a pilot, along with four other pilots on variations of the same subject. In what was at the time a groundbreaking programming strategy, Discovery let their viewers choose their favourite pilot to go to series (via email and phone-in voting), and to our delight they chose Hi‑Tech Culture. My steep learning curve continued as I experienced the rush of producing a weekly series, and learned the value of surrounding yourself with people smarter and more experienced than you are. They make you look good! I’ve followed that strategy ever since. Although the series lasted for just one season (in retrospect the show was probably too cerebral and “artsy” for the Discovery viewership), I met and worked with a lot of wonderful people as part of the process and that turned out to be Hi‑Tech Culture’s lasting gift. Most notably, along with Michael Chechik I met Gabriela Schonbach, who was the associate producer and directed segments of the series, and Andrea Droege, Omni Film’s part-time accountant who oversaw the numbers side of the project. Gabriela, Andrea and I knew a good thing when we saw it at Omni Film Productions, and what started out as a part-time/freelance relationship gradually evolved over a number of years to become a rewarding partnership. My first step in joining Omni Film was simple: even after my show was wrapped, I stuck around. I came to the office every day as if I was on salary, and continued to develop ideas for the next shows. (Michael probably didn’t have the heart to kick me out, plus he had a few extra desks around anyway). Each subsequent project that went forward I took to Michael and put the Omni Film name on it. Gabriela also took advantage of the same arrangement. Andrea’s role evolved from project-based accounting to taking on responsibility for all financial aspects of the growing company. During the times when the producer fees ran out, I would take freelance gigs as an editor, and on many occasions I was able to get work editing shows that Omni Film was producing, such as Champions of the Wild. It was a privilege to collaborate with the tremendously talented group of people working on Omni Film projects. As time went by, Michael opened the door for Gabriela, Andrea and me to take on increasing roles in the management of Omni Film. After we’d been cont. on page 13 there for several years, we collectively worked up the cour11

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Photo PHillip Chin

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Behind the scenes

Take A Break

Twenty-eight years ago a family-owned coffee service found its niche

T

om Hefford was in his early twenties when he discovered the BC film and television industry. It was 1981 and Hefford was making deliveries to Lower Mainland companies on behalf of the family business, Take A Break Coffee Service. He recalls that he was sent to an office on West Broadway and was taken aback by the name on the door. “I remember thinking ‘First Blood, what a weird name for a business,’” he says. “It turned out to be the production office for the film and we realized this could be a niche that no other coffee service had considered.” Things worked out. Twenty-eight years later Take A Break has delivered its coffee to “over a thousand productions,” by Hefford’s count. The list runs the gamut from some of the biggest productions to call Vancouver home including 2012, Fantastic Four, X Men and The Day the Earth Stood Still to local lowbudget TV shows and films like Intelligence, Year of the Carnivore and J-Pod. The company was founded in 1973 by Hefford’s father, Lloyd, who is in his eighties and still plays an integral role in the running of the company. Tom Hefford, who is responsible for the day-to-day operations, says they preside over a company whose five most veteran employees have “over a hundred combined years of experience” in their industry. The Hefford family’s success can probably be traced to their ability to be ahead of trends. While most Vancouverites probably assume that brands like Starbucks and Seattle’s Best Coffee got here on their own, it was the Heffords who first brought the Seattle-based companies to Canadian offices. “We were the first to introduce Seattle’s Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia to office coffee customers in Canada and achieved the ‘Bravo’ award in 2008 from Starbucks Coffee Canada for second overall total pounds sold in Canada, by an office coffee distributor,” he says. “We also earned the first ‘Premier Provider’ status given out in British Columbia by Starbucks.” If there has been a secret to the company’s 35 year success it has probably

come with the delivery process. There are five trucks on the road at all times and nothing leaves the shop unless the company can guarantee that the brew is competitive. Hefford says that the company also keeps competitive by having complete control over every aspect of the operation. “We own the building that our office, warehouse and technical departments are located and all repair, service and delivery requirements are handled in-house. These qualities afford us the ability to be very flexible with our customers whose needs are looked after quickly and efficiently.” In an era where every company aspires to being perceived as environmentally conscious, Hefford says the company can boast of several innovations including a drink pouch recycling program and a rainforest conservation initiative. According to Hefford the company’s waste-to-energy recycling program for Flavia drink pouches has been adopted by almost all of Flavia’s Canadian office coffee partners. “Every time we install a Flavia machine we will provide a recycling container, clearly marked ‘Flavia drink pouches recycling,’” he says. “Our drivers will regularly pick up the recyclable material from these bins for transfer to the certified Waste to Energy facility. This service is currently provided at no charge and can be modified to include Keurig Pods and spent coffee pouches used in drip coffee-makers.” He says the company’s new ‘Certified Fair Trade’ coffees are now available and that the company’s “green” initiatives include almost every aspect of products and services. “Fair Trade has dramatically improved life for farmers and their families,” he says, “providing co-op funds for schools, books and better living conditions. We also offer a list of products that we call our ‘green line.’ These include environmentally safe kitchen supplies, soaps, napkins, paper etc. And we teamed with Salt Spring Coffee, Canada’s first Carbon-neutral coffee company. We are office coffee distributors for Salt Spring Coffee and offer a complete line of their ‘Certified Organic’ coffees. We see ourselves as roasting for social change.” n

Beginnings cont. from page 11

(then at CTV) led to an extraordinary opportunity and another steep learning curve. Louise had assembled financing within CTV for one season of a modestly-budgeted scripted series, with an unusual mandate: develop new writing and directing talent. Her initial kernal of an idea was developed by Susin Nielsen and Gary Harvey into what became Robson Arms, a primetime drama/comedy series which offered opportunities to writers and directors who were breaking into television for the first time. It was a joy to work with Louise, Susin and Gary, and to have played a part in jump-starting many promising TV careers. Robson Arms outlived its “one year only” mandate to run a total of three funfilled years. Omni Film’s long standing relationship with CTV, coupled with our recent initiatives to build relationships in Los Angeles, led to our involvement in Defying Gravity, our most ambitious scripted series yet. This was my first experience co-venturing with a Hollywood studio, and responding to the demanding expectations of many diverse partners, including BBC, ProSeiben and ABC network in the US. Needless to say, it was a pressure cooker, and I am very proud of the end result. It was a unique privilege to be working with and learning from some of the industry’s best from both Vancouver and Hollywood. Whatever lies around the next corner, I can’t help but feel extremely fortunate for the path I’ve been able to follow. Producing is the art of putting the right team together, and just once in a while, magic happens. That magic makes all the hard work worthwhile. n

age to ask Michael whether we could buy shares and become part owners. Michael was (and is) very cautious. He responded that this was a possibility eventually, but that he would need to see how each of us conducted ourselves in both good times and bad before deciding whether he’d be prepared to take on additional partners in the company. Meanwhile, I was managing to produce more television projects and gaining more experience. Among the early films was a documentary called Bitter Paradise: The Sell-Out of East Timor, which I was proud to support because of the film’s important and powerful message. I chose projects that I felt made a positive difference, from nature docs to the lifestyle series Healthy Home, which ran for three seasons on HGTV. Looking to find ways to expand audiences and reduce dependence on Telefilm funding, I accumulated a lot of air miles developing relationships with international broadcasters and coproducers. My archeology series Ancient Clues brought financing together from seven broadcasters worldwide. Make Some Noise, which profiled thirty inspirational youth activists, became Omni Film’s most award-winning series and laid the foundation for Omni Film’s ongoing relationship with executive producer Heather Hawthorn-Doyle. In 2003, after a decade of working together, Michael, Andrea, Gabriela and I signed our partnership agreement in which the three “new arrivals” had the opportunity to become co-owners of Omni Film Productions, a company which was now much busier and bigger than ever. A few months before this milestone, a casual conversation with Louise Clark

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of Movie

question and Answer

Jason Reitman Up in the Air with an Oscar-nominated director

J

ason Reitman didn’t want to be just another Hollywood brat so he went out to make a name for himself. His father, Ivan Reitman, had been one of the most successful producer/directors of the 1970s and 1980s with a slew of hits that included Ghostbusters and its sequels, Animal House and Twins. The younger Reitman, who was born in Montreal, started with commercials and short films before moving into the writing and directing of feature films. His first movie, Thank You for Smoking, was a small hit but he followed it up with a monster of a movie. The Vancouver-shot Juno was made for just $7 million and went on to make over $230 million worldwide. It won Oscar nominations for best picture, best director and best actress (Ellen Page.) He could top that with Up in the Air, which was released in December and is expected to be prominent when Academy Award nominations are announced in February. The movie stars George Clooney as Ryan Bingham, a personnel expert who flies all over 14

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the US firing people and accumulating frequent flyer miles. He expects he will reap even greater airline and hotel rewards when the economy tanks. However, an efficiency expert (Anna Kendrick) tells his employers that they can save a lot of money by using virtual firing techniques. Bingham then decides to show her that he needs to keep flying to be effective. Reel West interviewed Reitman at the Toronto International Film Festival in September of last year. This film was adapted from a book. What did the book offer that inspired you? “There was a line in the book that I liked. ‘Fasten your seat belt before helping others.’ I included it in my screenplay. It is a great comment on loneliness and being selfish which seems to be a great metaphor for the character, who seems to like being alone.” Do you find the travel sometimes lonely for yourself? “It is hard to describe. It is a romantic loneliness. I love being in airports. I know my favourite airports. There

are very few places where you are unreachable any more. It used to be the movie theatre and I spent a lot of time as a kid in movie theatres because it was a way of saying ‘I am in a movie theatre, no one can reach me.’ But now you have a cell phone and you can’t help looking to see if there is a text message coming in. But in an airplane or an airport you often feel like you are on an island.” But could you relate to a guy who travels to the Midwest, not film festivals? “When I was directing commercials and even now when I do publicity tours I literally travel throughout the Midwest and I have learned to live out of a rollaway backpack. There is a reason why this character appealed to me and although I enjoy going to exotic places, I would much rather go to the Midwest than Paris. It’s just me personally. I felt like I really shared the travel experiences and the opinions of the main character.” Banter seems to be the link to the three features you have done. Do you see that as being a key to

your film style? “Once you have made three films you can go back and say ‘oh, I guess I really enjoy that.’ This is something that obviously appeals to me because I keep coming back to it but it is not like I go in consciously thinking I am going to be a director who loves language.” The use of quirky characters also seems to be a consistent theme. Can you talk a little bit about that? “Yes, if there is a unifying element, particularly in terms of my main characters it is that they have an open minded point of view on something that is otherwise close-minded. (Thank You for Smoking’s) Nick Naylor believes wholeheartedly that people should be able to smoke, Juno has a very definitive opinion on her pregnancy despite the fact it goes against cultural opinion and Ryan Bingham throughout the film speaks very confidently about what he believes. In fact he speaks to groups of people about the idea of being alone and emptying your life. They are not decidedly in opposition to what people naturally think but they think of these things as being subjects that can be discussed from two points of view. Usually people look at things like teen pregnancy or cigarettes and being lonely in ways that are fairly narrow. But I like making movies about people who are extraordinarily assured of themselves.” Did Juno change your life? ”Yes, because it gave me the kind of creative freedom that usually isn’t afforded to someone who has made only two films. Any time you have a movie that is made for $7 million and goes on to gross $230 million people give you a certain amount of support whether it is warranted or not. But I wrote a screenplay that has a tough tricky ending and there were points where the studio probably resisted. But I never heard one person say even jokingly ‘would you consider changing the ending?’ There was a certain amount of support that they either wanted to give me or had to give me.” That must be a nice place to be? ”It’s the best. All I ever wanted as a director was to be someone who good actors wanted to work with and had a certain amount of creative freedom. I have no interest in doing bigger movies or movies with bigger budgets. I don’t even have any interest in being paid more. I hope this doesn’t come off the wrong way but one of the reasons Reel West January/february 2010

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I feel fortunate to have grown up in a well-to-do family is that I never worry where my next meal will come from. I don’t worry about being paid. I don’t worry about making a lot of money. My only concern is that I make great films that I will be remembered for. I don’t want to establish wealth, I want to establish a wealth of films that people look fondly upon.” Is that the same thing for producing? “The reason I produce is that I am afforded a certain amount of clout and I can use that clout to protect a director and a writer and actors so they can make the movie they want to make.” You are Canadian. Do you have any plans to make more movies in Canada? “I have done two movies in Vancouver now (he produced Jennifer’s Body)

Expert witness

certain perspective on the financial crisis? “I only think the financial crisis offered an interesting metaphor for our main character. He is a guy who believes in cutting himself off from all connection and what he does for a living is he cuts people off from their profession. The reaction I got from people who lost their jobs was that it leaves them searching for purpose which is a strong metaphor for our main character who leaves the film searching for his purpose. When I started writing the movie we were in a financial boom. The economy changed but it didn’t really change my film. I had to take a different look at people losing their jobs but this is a movie that is about human connection and whereas Michael Moore wants to make

“I love music and I love finding it in unusual places. I would rather that your experience with that song in my movie be your only experience with that song...”

“The first time I worked with him I was a whore who gave birth in a bath and then I was

Jason Reitman on the role of music in his films

a nun who gets pregnant by a transsexual. In every film there is this moment where

and I have a crew base there that is like a family and I would love to make another film there. I would love to make a movie in Toronto. This movie made no sense to make in Canada.” Music has played a big role in all three of your films. Is that another style point for you? “I love music and I love finding it in unusual places. I would rather that your experience with that song in my movie be your only experience with that song. I would rather have that than have experiences and baggage coming with songs so that when you hear it later you think of other things rather than my movie. These last two films have made people think that I am a big folk fan but I am a huge hip hop fan. There just hasn’t been a place for it in these films.” (Up in the Air co-star) Vera Farmiga said your main direction was ‘talk faster.’ Is that true? “That is funny. Rarely do you hear back about one of your directions. It’s a dumb direction too. I did want to keep up a certain pace and there is a lot of dialogue and I didn’t want the movie to be three hours long. I think that you afford a character a certain amount of intelligence if they can be articulate quickly.” Do you see the movie as having a

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movies that tell you how to think and give you answers, I like making movies that raise questions.” You did something most people would not do. You used real people to talk about the experience of being fired. How did that come about? “When I first started writing the firing scenes I wrote them as comedic satire but when the economy shifted I felt I needed to be authentic. I knew I didn’t have the life experience to bring truth to those sequences and we were in St. Louis and Detroit, two places that got hit badly by the crisis. We put ads in the paper looking for people who were affected and we got a staggering response. We brought 100 people in and put 60 on camera and 25 of those people are in the movie. We would ask them how it happened and how it affected their lives. It was an extraordinary experience. They would begin very real improv acting and say things like ‘why did you fire me? Why did you choose to fire me instead of this other guy? Is there another job in the company?’ They were very real and very hard to shoot and very hard to edit. As I worked with the actors we used, I would say ‘look you are going to be following a guy who said this and you have to be more real than this.’” n

I say ‘really, this is too much and how are we going to make this believable?’ But he does it well every single time. For actors to be able to do a film well, it has to be written well and have credibility in the material and you have to read the script and believe everything in it. Then you need a genius like him to bring that into a movie.” Actor Penelope Cruz on her relationship with director Pedro Almodovar. “Not only am I looking to cast specifically to fill the roles but I have to like the people I am working with. I remember when I was starting to direct, a director I knew came to the set and said ‘remember, everyone is here to serve you’ and he walked off the set. I thought ‘it is exactly the opposite. I am there to serve them.’ I have the greatest actors and the best company I could imagine and they have magic in them so it was important to me to create an atmosphere where they felt they wouldn’t be judged. There was fear every day and to me the most important thing was to make them feel that they could do their best work.” Nine director Rob Marshall on his approach to working with actors. “I am interested in the gap between what they try to put across to the world and what is actually going on. There are varying levels of disguise and in some ways Blair is the best at disguising and Frost is in the middle and Clough is at the other end. In fact, he doesn’t disguise much at all. But if you ask anyone in Britain about Clough they talk about arrogance and self confidence and self belief. What I find interesting is how closely that is associated with low self esteem. He had to achieve things. He had to get approval from outside. I have found that most driven people, most motivated people in some way try to make up for something within that they feel is lacking. That is what I found interesting about all these characters really.” The Queen and Frost/ Nixon star Michael Sheen on the differences between playing Tony Blair and David Frost and The Damned United’s true life hero Brian Clough. “I think it is a combination of what people see me as and the studios want to give me. Also, there is not much drama in roles about well-adjusted people. I am definitely flawed and I am sure that it comes through in my characters. I think that is just the way people are. It is the human condition. So if I express that I have done okay. I think most people are damaged.” Actor John Cusack on his on-screen image as a man with personal problems. Excerpted from interviews done by Reel West editor Ian Caddell.

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Kevin Loring as Buzz in Health Nutz

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1/3/2010 12:55:01 PM


Story by Ian Caddell

Urban Development

Brent Butt is walking around the Vancouver set of Hiccups looking a bit damaged. It is a few days after the Canadian Football League semi-finals and he has a cast on his hand, one that was needed after he suffered an accident during one of the games. He broke a couple of fingers in a fall that occurred while rushing to see a meaningless moment in a game won by Montreal over the BC Lions. Unfortunately, the native of Tisdale, Saskatchewan had to be rushed to hospital and missed the game he really wanted to see: Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Calgary Stampeders. “It wasn’t too bad,” he says solemnly. “My brother text messaged me throughout the game.” Butt may live in Vancouver but his heart and his international fame are inextricably linked to his home province. Corner Gas, the Saskatchewan-set show he created and starred in has been seen in 26 countries and broke most of the ratings records for Canadian dramatic productions in its six seasons. When he decided to move on from the show, he had a back-up plan. He had set up Sparrow Media Company in his adopted home town and had hired another successful producer, Da Vinci Inquest’s Laura Lightbown, to work on developing projects. He had something in mind. Lightbown came to the company knowing that Butt wanted to create a series based on the story of a children’s author with a bad temper. To be called Hiccups, it would star his wife and Corner Gas co-star Nancy Robertson and be shot in Vancouver. Lightbown says Butt probably came up with the idea for the show in season four or five of Corner Gas and that he worked on the pilot script between the fifth and sixth seasons. “When we started to look at developing Hiccups he had already talked to the network (CTV) about it and he had a draft pilot script because the approach to getting a show on air is that you do a pilot and wait for the network to pick it up. We shot the pilot a year ago (in late 2008) and he knew when he was writing it that Nancy would be the star. I had to finance the pilot so eight months before it was shot I was negotiating with CTV and laying out a budget. I was financing that and we were talking about putting together the creative team for the pilot. I was brokering those deals and then we started shooting in October (of 2008.)” There were several changes after the pilot was delivered to CTV. Sparrow had hired Vancouver actor Toby Berner to take the role of Stan Dirko, a life coach who tries to assist the author, Millie Upton (Robertson) in her efforts to manage her anger. Eventually, all the parties agreed that it would work better if Butt took on the role. Lightbown says CTV didn’t order more episodes until June of 2009. “During that period, the network was doing focus group testing. They were having lots of conversations with us and were talking about the casting and the look of the show. The pilot was great but it was just a pilot. I think in these tough Reel West January/february 2010

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“I felt I could shape the show more from behind the camera than in front of it. I never really fancied myself as an actor...” Brent Butt on being happy to leave acting behind and allow someone else to take the male lead in Hiccups. economic times the feeling was the less risk the better and so that played into it too.” David Storey agrees. Storey, Butt and Saskatchewan’s Virginia Thompson were the co-producers of Corner Gas and Butt asked Storey to take the same job with Hiccups. He says that the show just seemed to work better when Butt, who had already signed up to write, produce and direct, was in the lead role. “We had a really hard time finding someone to play Stan at the beginning and he (Berner) was great in the pilot but it just didn’t quite gel the way we hoped it would. Then Brent said ‘I will play the role.’ He didn’t expect that he would be doing that when we started out because he was already doing several jobs. But he is a really good actor. He and (cowriter) Andrew Carr kind of rewrote it knowing he would be playing the role because they wanted to make it more suitable for him. It worked out really well. It is fantastic. He and Nancy obviously have great chemistry together.” Butt was reluctant to take on the role of Stan Dirko. However, he knew that if the show was going to access the audience that had made Corner Gas a hit it was going to need a selling point. He says that he didn’t want to go back to playing the same kind of character or producing the same kind of show, but wanted to continue his relationship with CTV. “You never want to do the same thing,” he says. “I don’t think the network was looking for that. If I had said ‘I run a carwash in a small Alberta 18

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town’ they would have said ‘don’t you think it is a little derivative of your previous work?’ But the notion of me doing a half hour narrative comedy was appealing to them because Cor‑ ner Gas was very successful. When I pulled the plug on Corner Gas and told them I felt it was done and I didn’t want to do it any more their first notion was to try and talk me into doing more episodes. But it just made good sense to stop when we did and they realized that. The next question was ‘what do you want to do next? If you have other ideas we want to hear them.’ I always have other ideas and this one was in the front of my head. The germ of the idea was a children’s author with anger issues which just struck me as funny. “I am always drawn to that kind of plain dichotomy which is a good place to start for comedy and I am always fascinated by life coaches because it often seems like life coaches are people whose own lives are not hugely successful. I kind of married those ideas and I talked to the network about it and they seemed to like it. I also wanted to shoot in Vancouver because it is home and I had spent six years working away from home. They (CTV) liked that idea of shooting here. So once we pulled the plug on Corner Gas I started to put together an outline of what this new show would be like.” Butt was not unhappy to leave acting behind and allow someone else to take on the male lead. He says that when he first came up with the idea, he felt the show would be better if he could stay behind the camera. “I felt I

could shape the show more from behind the camera than in front of it,” he says. “I never really fancied myself as an actor. I thought of myself as a performer but not an actor and it was appealing to me not to have to shave every day and put on makeup. Instead I could concentrate on script and editing and not have to spend 11 hours in front of the camera. Now, I am doing 18 hour days. I worked till 11 last night and was on set at 7am this morning.” But will audiences move to the city with Butt and Robertson when they were so attached to them in a rural setting? Lightbown says that she has never worried a lot about it and didn’t feel that CTV had any concerns. “I don’t think they ever worried about it. I think they thought it was very much a woman’s demo which very often means the whole family so it was of little concern. They understood it would benefit from Brent and Nancy’s experience on Corner Gas but that it was separate enough that they could launch it as being clean and fresh which is something you need to do after a long successful series.” Andrew Carr, who had been a writer on Corner Gas and adds the title of supervising producer to his writing duties on Hiccups says that he thought about the audience when he and Butt first started writing. “When I watch edited episodes and think ‘this is going to be an urban comedy’ I wonder if some of our audience might not take to it. But it is still comedy and it has a great sense of character. I think that we might

lose some people but comedy wise it is going to be in the same vein as Corner Gas in terms of having that dialogue-oriented humour and interesting scenarios and storylines to play with. So (the resistance to it) might be there a little bit but for the most part comedy is just comedy.” Butt says that he would have more concerns about the difference in the shows and audience potential if his first series had been more about rural life. He says that because Corner Gas never involved itself in prairie themes, he isn’t worried that it will lose people who were fans of his stories about small town Saskatchewan. “In my mind the shows aren’t that different,” he says. “The backdrop is different but it is people going about their day doing stuff. The storylines in Corner Gas didn’t revolve around the price of barley or that there wasn’t enough rain for the crops or the new shipment of coveralls. The goal with Corner Gas was always to do a show that wasn’t about Saskatchewan. It just happened to take place in Saskatchewan in the same way that Seinfeld happened to take place in New York. But Seinfeld wasn’t about the Statue of Liberty. It was about these people going about their day. “My feeling is that people’s tastes are not that different when it comes to television comedy. If Corner Gas had only appealed to rural viewers we never would have had 1.65 million viewers or be shown in 26 countries. It was way more universal than it would appear by looking at it. The small prairie town is the backdrop Reel West January/february 2010

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but (Corner Gas characters) Oscar and Emma are just an average husband and wife and you have the foibles of a son and his father and a fish out of water and co-workers. They are all universal themes and it’s the same with this show. It happens to take place in Vancouver but it is not about being on the coast. It is about these people and what they get up to so to that degree it is very much like Corner Gas or any half hour comedy. The goal is to make it funny.” If the show is funny it will have a lot to do with Robertson. Her character is at the centre of the comedy with Butt’s Stan Dirko playing the straight man to Millie Upton. Carr says that she is up to the task. “This is a great character for her to play in terms of what Millie brings to the table. There is a zaniness and some outrageous stuff. There are no holds barred and I think she is having a blast. It is fun to write for her because there are no limits.” Butt says that his shows always start with a single character. In Corner Gas it was his own character Brent Leroy. In Hiccups it is a children’s author with a bad temper. He writes random dialogue and puts the characters in various situations to try to figure out how they will react to the events that surround them. He says that as his author developed it became more obvious to him that Robertson would fit like a glove in the role. “I started to put all the material together and I started thinking to myself ‘I could really see Nancy being hilarious in this.’ I took the material to her and I said ‘I am writing this thing. Read this and see if you would be interested in this character because I think you would be funny in it.’ And she said that she felt the character was all about raw emotion and that it would be fun to play. Once she said she would like to do it I kind of wrote with her in mind. The network liked the idea of her anchoring the show and although my original notion was not to play the life coach they liked the idea of maximizing their assets. They asked me to think about playing Stan and what I would do in the role and from that point on I started getting excited about playing the character and putting myself in it and writing for myself.” Robertson didn’t make a lot of requests of her husband and collaborator. She says that she only asked that Millie not be a woman finding her way in the city. “I wanted it to be just Reel West January/february 2010

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about this person who happens to be a woman and not about her love life or her dating. Not that we don’t touch on that but it is not the fuel for the show. She is happy the way she is. It is the other people who have issues with her. At my age and Millie’s, you are kind of beyond those things and I thought this should be about personality and not about her personal life.” She says that six seasons of working with Butt have helped both of them to find a way of working things out on set. Despite being married their on-set relationship is no different from any others she has had with executive producers. “We have suggestions for each other and not arguments,” she says. “You do that with anyone on a set no matter what the relationship might be. If something feels wrong I will mention it in a respectful way and it either works out my way or it doesn’t. I will do that on any show but in a respectful way.” On set, her injured co-star admits that he has been working a lot harder than he had expected to work when he first dreamed up the idea for the show. He is directing the episode that is being shot on the main stage of a Burnaby studio and getting ready to act in an episode that Vancouver film director Carl Bessai will be directing later in the day. He is managing to fit in time to work with Carr on the writing of other episodes while discussing future projects, including a movie called No Clue, with his Sparrow collaborator Lightbown. He says that while he does have concerns that he might have bitten off more than he can chew, he has no regrets. “I don’t regret it at all because the work is always balanced by this being a ton of fun. It is long hours and there are always certain times - in fact, the majority of time - when it is crazy. There are usually a couple of times during a season where it peaks to full time madness which is where I kind of am right now. I am co-writing the final episodes, editing episodes and directing an episode and acting in them and blocking the final episodes which I will be directing. So this is the time where you go ‘what made me think I could do this?’ However, it’s a pretty good situation to be in. If I had to do some dry-walling, shingle a roof and then lift something heavy for eight hours it would be a nightmare. But I like doing all these things and that is what makes it tolerable and makes it fun.” n

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Story by Ian Caddell

Prairie Memoir When Karen Lam’s father broke the news to her mother that he was moving the family from Toronto to Brandon, Manitoba, to take a teaching job at the local university, her mother’s reaction was not unexpected.

Hong Kong-raised, she took the news of moving from a Canadian city to the bleak prairie badly. “We moved to Brandon when I was two, to my mother’s horror,” recalls Lam. The move to Manitoba worked out well for the Lam family. Lam’s father got tenure and Lam later attended the Winnipeg-based National Screen Institute. Eventually she used her memories of life on the Canadian prairies to make a movie. Called Stained, it tells the story of a book-seller who lives alone in a small prairie town and takes her love affairs far too seriously. The only person who knows the truth is her protective best friend who keeps coming to her aid throughout her obsessions. Lam shot the movie in November of last year in Saskatoon and a town suggested by the screenplay: the tiny Saskatchewan farming community of Langham. The movie ended up in Saskatchewan two years after Lam had discussed her idea with a fellow student at the NSI. Bob Crowe was a partner, with Wally Start, in Saskatoon-based Angel Entertainment. The company was producing the series Rabbit Fall and was looking for a feature film when Crowe remembered Stained and thought it would be perfect for his home province. “Karen and I were at NSI hanging out together talking about projects and she mentioned this script she wanted to develop. I said it would be a great project to shoot in Saskatoon and eventually we got more serious about it and she said that she was concerned about finding financing. We said ‘bring it here and we will find your financing.’ We phoned Susanne Bell at (Saskatchewan funder) SaskFilm in June (of 2009) and said we would like to shoot in Saskatoon and we talked about the (province’s) Equity Fund. Susanne was interested and we passed that information on to John Dippong at (the Western 20

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Region office of ) Telefilm Canada in Vancouver and within a week he had said yes. Once Telefilm was in things started moving pretty quickly.” Start says that when he and Crowe read scripts they pay special attention to the creative. Both men believed that Lam had a unique vision for the film. In addition, the script’s locations seemed familiar to them. “The script was great,” he says. “Then when we looked at the locations mentioned in the script we felt we could find some fantastic spots for it. Everything was positive and when we sat down and talked with her about the collaboration it became obvious that you could suggest ideas to her. We didn’t submit a lot of ideas, just that we felt that it could be shot here (in Saskatchewan) because she had a clear vision of what she wanted to do.” Lam had moved to Vancouver from Brandon after college and had worked on local films and television shows in various capacities before attending NSI. She and Start were colleagues in the Totally Television program in 2006, the year Lam won the Drama Prize for a short film called The Cabinet, which went on to play at the Vancouver International Film Festival the following year. She says she and Start knew that they would do something together; they just weren’t sure what it would be. “We talked about several scripts and eventually I felt that this script (for Stained) was strong enough that I sent it to him and he said ‘the locations exist in Saskatchewan, so come on out and we will do it.’ I had written a feature version of The Cabinet as well but it would require a budget of about $2.5 million and I knew that no-one was going to give me that much money. I felt Stained was a little more compact, an auteur piece that would fit into a much smaller budget and would be a better first feature.” While Lam wanted to get it made in the good weather of a Saskatchewan summer, she wasn’t ready to shoot until the fall with principal photography scheduled between the last week of October and mid-November of this year. She knew that could be tricky and says that she was concerned that the late date would affect her ability to make the movie she wanted. “When I wrote the script it was set in the summer, but it was almost winter in Saskatchewan before we got around to shooting it. I was concerned that we would be on skidoos with scarves. We were thinking about the worst case sceReel West January/february 2010

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narios, including the possibility of shooting in snow banks. It got worse when I was about to get on a plane in Vancouver to go to Saskatchewan. I was told there was a blizzard in Saskatoon! Fortunately, the snow melted and we ended up having a glorious fall. I had minor panic because it seemed like there was a lot of outdoor photography but I had a great director of photography, Richard Walden, and things went much more smoothly than I had imagined.” Walden came to Stained with an impressive resume as one of Vancouver’s most prolific camera operators with credits on dozens of productions. He had also worked as a cinematographer on several films and series and says that the timing of the shoot actually helped to give the movie a look that it wouldn’t have had if they had shot it when they were originally scheduled to shoot. “We were running out of fall and into winter so we had a lot of cool weather the first week of production, which makes you a little nervous. But we discovered that when we got out to Langham and we were shooting on the Saskatchewan River and on the prairie the weather was a benefit because we got a very stark look. So it ended up being a good thing. It was my first time filming in the prairies at that time of year and we would have one day where it was moderately warm and then we would have a freezing night working by the river where it was three in the morning and quite cold. But that was the best location because it worked well for a flashback scene of a murder.” While Walden’s background as a camera operator includes a lot of big budget, high stress films, he says that smaller movies can be just as difficult. There are no toys, a lot of prep and, in the case of Stained, the need to do two jobs at the same time. He says that when Lam asked him to be the camera operator as well as the director of photography he hesitated but eventually agreed that things would work better if he took on both positions. “When she asked me to operate she told me it was because she liked the style that I worked in but I considered not doing it because it is a lot of extra work. It felt very comfortable in prep and I thought we could do it without being spread too thin. In a lot of ways smaller movies can be more challenging than big films. You don’t have everything you need to just go out and shoot so they usually require a lot of prepping. We spent a lot of time talking about the look and flow in prep because we had to start out kind of cheerful and then get into a stark look. So we didn’t want to start off with stark lighting early on. We wanted to build it slowly, so that was challenging. “However, the communication between Karen and I was great. She likes to stay near the camera in the style of classic Hollywood productions and I could just turn to her and we could move quickly. I also felt that coming from BC and being there for the first time I could bring a fresh eye to the project and I hope I did that.” The film was co-produced by Angel Entertainment and Katie Weekley’s Vancouver-based Goonworks Films. Weekley says that while she and Lam both considered taking the movie to a town closer to Vancouver, and using Vancouver for the city locations, they knew it would work best if it was shot where it had been set. “The script had a prairie feel to it but we thought at one point of shooting it in Vancouver and a small town in BC. But she was from Brandon and the draft was set in the prairies and we wanted to preserve the flavours of the idea. So we shot the city interiors in Saskatoon and then we moved to Langham and that was where almost all of the ‘flashback’ stuff took place. It’s just 35 km from Saskatoon and the script is very encapsulated in terms of the locations and it fit the description in the script perfectly.”

“I came into the process of making movies with the idea that the hardest thing about making a feature would be learning to work closely with actors...The surprise here was the actors saved my bacon again and again...” - Filmmaker Karen Lam on feeling unprepared to work with actors

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Weekley brought in Vancouver-based casting director Sue Brouse who had just wrapped casting on one of the biggest films ever shot in Canada, 2012, and gave her the responsibility for Vancouver casting. Saskatchewan-based casting director Brenda McCormick did the casting in that province. Weekley says that the division of labour worked out well and that six of the actors were cast in Vancouver and six in Saskatchewan. It also helped that Crowe, Start and Lam came to the project with people in mind for the lead roles. “Bob and Wally had worked with Tinsel Korey on Rabbit Falls and Karen had cast Sonja Bennett in The Cabinet so they were interested in them. Then we went out and cast the rest of the people through our two casting directors. We were all out there with her for the whole time and gave her the strongest support we could.” Crowe agrees that it was the collaborative effort on behalf of the producers, the cast and crew that made the movie work. He says that it also helped that they had access to some of the best actors in western Canada and that they could get most of the people they wanted despite having a tiny budget. “You need to be on the same page and have collaboration amongst the producers, particularly if you are working with a first time feature film director. And we were all on the same page when it came to casting. We didn’t have a big budget but Wally and I had worked with Tinsel Korey and when Karen said that she was thinking of going outside of traditional casting for the role of the book seller, we suggested Tinsel, who is Aboriginal, for the role. She had just come off the Twilight sequels but she said she would love to come home to work on the film. She is a regular on Rabbit Fall and she wanted to do this movie. She had a conflict with a movie in New Mexico but she is loyal to us and came here (to Saskatoon) instead. Then we built it up with Sonja and Steph Song from Vancouver and added Stephen Huszar who was working away from Saskatchewan and was delighted to come home for his mother’s cooking. It all fell into place very quickly after that.” Lam says that going into the casting process she was concerned that she was unprepared to work with actors. As the shoot went on she realized that the casting was strong enough that she could rely on every performer to do a good job. More importantly, when things got tough they were there for her. “I came into the process of making movies with the idea that the hardest thing about making a feature would be learning to work closely with actors. I assumed that the bigger the budget the more name actors you would have on board and the more you would have to hone your craft in order to keep them happy. The surprise here was the actors saved my bacon again and again. I told them a few times that if I didn’t say anything about their performance it was because it was awesome.” The actors she wanted were all strong enough that she made adjustments to her script in order to get them in the movie. She says that her biggest worry about casting was that she might keep changing things to the point where it would hurt the film. Instead she discovered that the movie was improved by bringing in the best people available. “The casting began to shape the story. For instance, the script wasn’t written for an Aboriginal and I didn’t want to talk overtly about race but we wanted Tinsel. The next thing was that Sonja was pregnant and so we wrote in that her character was pregnant. Then we found the perfect person for the role of the third lead, Tim Fellingham, but he was Australian. He tried to do a Canadian accent but to no avail so I just found a way to make the character Australian. I had my concerns about doing all of those things but we ended up with great actors without affecting the movie in a negative way.” Lam is that rare director who has found a niche and wants to keep exploring it. She says that she hopes to have a long career in films and expects that there won’t be too many comedies on her resume. She says she likes the genre she is in now and expects to be working in it for awhile. “I love horror. The Cabinet is horror suspense and I have discovered that is the only thing I enjoy telling. I don’t mind being ‘Elvira - Mistress of the Damned’ if it comes to that. I don’t really see a romantic comedy in me. I like seeing dramas and comedies but my own storytelling tends toward the psychological. There is no blood or traditional supernatural horror in either this film or The Cabinet. It is closer to films like Repulsion in that they explore someone’s psyche and the audience can relate to the characters. It’s funny because I tell people that I can only write when I am angry with something.” n

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Diary by Trish Dolman

(this page) Melanie Bray as Wendy and Mark Rendall as Eugene. (opposite) Cristin Milioti as Sammy PHOTOS by Bob Akester

In Pursuit Carnivore of the

Almost eight years after Vancouver-based producer Trish Dolman met radio personality and actress Sook-Yin Lee, a film Dolman produced and Lee directed snagged the lead-off spot at the Toronto International Film Festival’s prestigious Canada First! section. In her diary, Dolman takes a journey back to the beginning of their relationship and charts how an idea became a movie. The film, which tells the story of a young woman who feels she needs to take on lovers in order to be better in bed with her boyfriend, is scheduled to be distributed by E1 Entertainment later this year.

November, 2001 I first meet Sook-Yin Lee while producing Keith Behrman’s first feature, Flower & Garnet. Sook-Yin comes to Ashcroft where we are shooting and helps us out by doing the cast interviews for the EPK. Because I’m also a documentary filmmaker, I shoot the EPK. I am struck by her passion, charisma and creative drive. After the shoot, Sook-Yin sends me an early draft of her first screenplay, Year of the Carnivore. At the time, it is a quirky, fun romance/murder mystery. November, 2002 We decide to develop the project together. With the support of Telefilm Canada, MovieCentral and COGECO, Sook-Yin is able to write the script and decides to change the direction of the story, developing it into an “antiromantic” comedy. At this point the script becomes more of an exploration of love and sexuality. “I wanted to write a story that can hit the heart, the head, and the funny bone. Almost like ‘chakras,’ you gotta hit those levels,” she tells me. March, 2008 We finally have what we feel is a production-ready script. Telefilm’s Western office identifies Carnivore as a priority project and invests packaging funds. This enables us to begin preliminary casting for the movie and to search for the young leads. We get help from casting directors John Buchan and Jason Knight (Away from Her) who I’ve worked with numerous times before. On a trip to New York, Sook-Yin also approaches casting director Susan Shopmaker with whom she had worked on John Cameron Mitch22

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ell’s films Shortbus and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Co-producer Kryssta Mills signs up, via a British Columbia Film producer internship, to help me out with financing and pre-production. May At the 2008 Cannes Film Festival I meet with Simone Urdl and Jen Weiss of Toronto’s Film Farm. They are the producers of the Academy Award-nominated Away From Her. They agree to co-produce Year of the Carnivore. They are able to bring a wealth of experience and passion to the project, and a key piece of financing to the table through Ontario Motion Picture Development Corporation funding and Ontario tax credits. Longtime friend and line producer Erin Smith agrees to come on board, bringing production experience. I have a team. July Sook-Yin comes out to BC in the summer to scout for the locations for the film and continues searching for the right actors to play the characters Sammy and Eugene. At the same time, Bryan Gliserman and Charlotte Mickie from E1 Entertainment come on board to distribute the film in Canada and to do international sales. We have what we need to make the film, but finding the right people for our cast proves to be a challenge. The lead character, Sammy, goes through a lot of emotional extremes, and it is hard to find an actress that can embody this authentically. August Later in the summer, after an epic search for the lead actors, Sook-Yin visits Susan Shopmaker and her associate Randy in New York and they show her ten different actresses on tape. Immediately she is drawn to Broadway Reel West January/february 2010

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actress Cristin Milioti, a rising star in the New York theatre community who is also known for her recurring role in the TV series, The Sopranos. Cristin’s comedic timing, sensitivity and expressiveness make her a unanimous choice for Sammy. Despite it being Cristin’s debut in a lead role for a feature film, she has a great attitude toward her character. “Sammy takes things as they come,” she says, “and doesn’t see herself as a victim. She’s childlike but not childish.” September An extensive search to find the right actor for the character of Russian folk musician and indie band guitarist Eugene goes on for weeks, until Sook-Yin coincidentally runs into Mark Rendall (Childstar) in Toronto’s Kensington Market. Mark reads for the part in Toronto for Sook-Yin and I and totally nails it with the right sensitivity and humour. It’s always amazing to be in a casting session and just know when you’ve found the right person. Mark has been playing guitar for five years and tells us that he secretly always wanted to be a musician. We have our lead cast. October We also want to approach renowned Canadian comic actors for some of the supporting roles. Sook-Yin knows Sheila McCarthy (I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, Little Mosque on the Prairie) and we approach her to play Mrs. Smalls, Sammy’s mom. Sook-Yin and I had grown up watching Kids in the Hall and were big fans of Kevin McDonald who we approach to play Sammy’s dad. Comedian Will Sasso’s (Madtv) towering demeanour and ability to combine nerd with thug, make him the perfect choice for Dirk, Sammy’s boss and the owner of Big Apple Food Town, where Sammy has her first job as a floorwalker. Casting directors Corinne Clark and Jennifer Page help us find the Vancouver actors, bringing the total to five casting directors in three different cities to fill all the principal roles. Ali Liebert (Harper’s Island) does a hilarious audition for the part of Sylvia, a woman who works with Sammy at Big Apple Food town doling out advice and fried sausages. Emily Holmes (Nightwatching) and Patrick Gilmore provide comic relief as Sammy’s neighbours; and Eugene Lipinski is Eugene’s dad. Newcomer Linda Uyehara Hoffman is the one non-actor in the ensemble; normally she’s the leader of a Japanese Taiko Group, Katari Taiko. As Miss Nakamura, she has the right touch to bring the bed-bound feminist senior citizen to life. November It is hard to find the right cinematographer to shoot the story’s unique style. Sook-Yin wants colours that pop and a pop culture sensibility. She looks up Bruce Chun (Bon Cop, Bad Cop) and they click. It is great to have such an experienced DP, especially for the music sequences. Bruce has shot so many music videos that it is old hat for him. For me, as the producer, closing the financing is a nightmare. We have a shortfall when some potential private investment falls through. Going into pre-production in the midst of the biggest economic crisis in years, is a challenge. But we defer some of our fees and are able to go ahead with production in the middle of November with financing from Telefilm Canada, E1 Entertainment, MovieCentral, TMN, BC Film, the OMDC and tax credits. Shooting outside of the Vancouver zone allows us to raise more money for the budget from regional tax credits. An old car dealership in Maple Ridge, Mussallem Motors, proves to be a versatile, cost-effective and unusual location, posing as a veterinary clinic, a police station, Sammy’s apartment, Eugene’s apartment, and the band’s gig space. It fits the film’s unique look, and becomes almost like another character. Late November and December The film was originally set in the summer

so shooting in the fall and early winter prove challenging. The script calls for a scene where Sammy and Miss Nakamura swim in a pool. The crack locations team miraculously finds an outdoor pool in Surrey that will allow us to re-fill and heat the pool for the shooting day in December! By then, winter has caught up with the movie. The locations department has to melt snow off the road in order for Eugene to double Sammy on his bike. The final kiss scene is shot on one of the coldest days, causing the actors to conceal their shivers in one of the most tender moments in the film. One night the roads are so icy that some of the crew are forced to stay overnight in hotels in Maple Ridge. Sook-Yin is always up for improvising. To prepare for the role of Eugene, she wants actor Mark Rendall to know what it’s like to be a street musician, and asks him to play songs to apathetic passersby. She directs Mark to stay in character and play his guitar for money on a busy downtown Vancouver street corner. Little does he know Cristin is also directed to be in character. On the first day she introduces herself to Mark’s Eugene as Sammy. What follows is a lengthy improvisation of their initial meeting and first “date” together. Their palpable chemistry and connection is immediate. When the extended improv ends, Cristin and Mark break out of character and introduce themselves to each other. From then on they are close companions, having created a memory of their history together to draw upon for the movie. Another example of spontaneous improvisation occurs during a scene when Eugene attempts to have a threesome at a warehouse party, and is interrupted by a fellow party animal. Sook-Yin decides to turn the intruder into an obnoxious puppeteer banging on Eugene’s bedroom window. That day I just happen to be wearing bright turquoise knit mitts on set. The wardrobe and props departments sew on hair and a face, and voilá, puppets are born. Production wraps shortly before the holidays. January 2009 With post-production occurring in both Vancouver and Toronto, the original music score is created by Sook-Yin and her long time friends, Canuck hip hop artists, MCs and turntablists Buck 65 and Adam Litovitz. Together, they fire up their laptop studios and lob recordings back and forth to one another until the original score of Year of the Carnivore is complete. June We complete delivery of the film to E1 and start preparing our publicity plan. August We’re thrilled to hear that YOTC will open the Toronto International Film Festival’s “Canada First” programme, the series for first time feature directors. Sook-Yin is away so I fly out for the press conference. Little do I know that I will be the only filmmaker/producer speaking in front of a packed room at the Royal York Hotel. September The cast and crew attend the World Premiere of YOTC at TIFF. It is always an exhilarating moment to see a film you’ve worked on for years on the big screen in front of a sold out audience. People laugh, hard. Phewph! The Q&A is really fantastic. Sook-Yin handles all the questions with humour and guts. In the press, the film gets a lot of attention and great reviews. It’s a great start for the roll-out of the film. Epilogue Making indie films is challenging in this economic climate, but Year of the Carnivore proves that “if there is a will, there is a way.” Sook-Yin’s creative will, some producing mettle and a fantastic, dedicated crew made it all possible. n

Cristin’s comedic timing, sensitivity and expressiveness make her a unanimous choice for Sammy... Reel West January/february 2010

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Optimism Prevails as West Wraps 2009

It didn’t take too long for the US economic downturn to affect western Canada’s film and television industries. All four provinces lost support from US production companies as the year progressed and Quebec, Ontario and several US states made an effort to fill the needs of companies trying to keep their costs down by changing their approach to tax credits. The swing in the value of the Canadian dollar hasn’t helped. However, the provinces’ film commissioners say they are adapting to the situation and are optimistic about 2010. B.C Film Commissioner Susan Croome says that her own optimism comes from a sense that the local industry is making a collaborative effort to do whatever it takes to bring foreign-service work to BC. She says that while production activity during the fourth quarter of 2009 was slower than in the previous two years, the current slowdown can be attributed to a number of factors. “Aggressive tax incentive increases in many US states and other provinces, the rising Canadian dollar, the global economic downturn, and challenges for Canadian broadcasters have all introduced issues that are currently affecting BC’s level of production activity. (However) the industry is working collaboratively to maintain our competitiveness.  Suppliers of goods and services are negotiating contracts that are sensitive to current economic challenges.  BC unions and guilds have all signed three year labour agreements that provide producers with stability and certainty.  These agreements also include concessions such as low budget agreements, specific rates for pilots and new series, and an expanded studio zone during the period of the Olympic games.  On the tax incentive front, the provincial government is continuing to meet with industry and is intent on creating a made in BC solution to address competitiveness issues.  Additionally, in the spring of 2009, changes were made to the incentive program to eliminate the sunset clause and to broaden intellectual property ownership rules.  Everyone is keeping a keen eye on BC’s globally competitive position and adjusting their activities accordingly.” The competitive positions of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are also being adjusted. Carole Vivier, the CEO of Manitoba Film and Music and the province’s Film Commissioner, says that while tax credits have helped Manitoba to bring in foreign-service work in the past, the province’s independent companies are focusing on co-ventures with other provinces.  “I think that we (Canadian provinces) have to look to each other,” she says. “Co-ventures were a success story this year. I think independent producers everywhere reduced sources of funding and their existing equity investors were more risk averse. Our producers will adapt accordingly but they are not unlike elsewhere and there is a greater alliance in foreign sales so it is taking a bit longer to put deals together. There are more partners required to put them together. The good news is that we had several inter-provincial co-productions this past year and there are several coming up.” SaskFilm’s Susanne Bell concurs. She says that while the competition for American production has increased greatly, local companies are continuing to make co-production agreements with both international and Canadian companies. “There are obvious concerns about the competition from US states and the fluctuating dollar, but Saskatchewan has always made an effort 24

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to balance its efforts by equally investing in indigenous production and pursuing foreign/service production. We continue to participate in the US and international marketplace and provide Saskatchewan’s producers with the tools, programs and support to help bring their projects to fruition.” Bell cites high profile 2009 co-productions like Little Mosque on the Prairie and Lullaby For Pi (France/Canada) as examples of ways that the province is keeping its commitment to local companies. Although there was a slight downturn in 2009, Alberta Film Commissioner Jeff Brinton says the New Year does look promising. “We are getting more scripts (for scouting purposes) than we did last year so we are being cautiously optimistic. And last year was not that bad. We had a slight reduction in the number of productions. In fact, most of the downturn was indigenous. There was actually a slight increase in foreign-service work and co-productions. Overall we saw a 14% reduction (in money spent in Alberta.)” Part of Brinton’s optimism is based on the province’s decision, last summer, to increase grants to filmmakers to 29%, thereby offsetting a tax credit increase, to 25% of all expenditures, by Ontario and Quebec governments. “We also increased eligible funding to 6% (of a budget) and raised the cap to $5 million (for grants),” he says. While Brinton may prove to be right about the impact the province’s programs will have on the industry, Vivier says that the problem lies with the attitudes in the US and the lack of federal incentives. “US-based financiers are saying ‘don’t go to Canada.’ So it has been a real challenge having the fluctuation in the dollar. We have had some advantages because of the combination of our tax credit (45%) and the dollar in the past but it is harder now and the North American competition is very fierce. I don’t think we compete nationally so we have to look at incentives federally and how we can be more competitive. We used to be the country that was looked to for forward thinking incentives but they are old and need to be revised because Canada is not getting the really big feature films. There has been a real drop-off. I think the provinces are doing what they can but the federal government is not doing much. If they look at their numbers they will see it (the country) is down for service production. They should make an effort to see what we need to be more competitive. It (a national incentive program) would be very important to having an infrastructure. We need to get back our competitive advantage. I don’t think it would be that difficult to get back to previous levels but we will have to see what happens when things adjust elsewhere. The global marketplace is changing and we need to see how we can fit in there.” Reel West January/february 2010

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British Columbia Animation ADVENTURES OF LITTLE JAKE & MANY SKIES Little Jake is happy with his life on the Double C Ranch, until the day a new cook and her daughter comes to the ranch,  and he’s forced to hang out with a girl! Prod: Tracey Mack. Sched: Jun 7 to Aug 28. GUARDIANS OF THE POWER MASKS Together, Annie, a Chinese-American girl and Yong, her male Chinese cousin, become the GUARDIANS OF THE POWER MASKS, and embark on remarkable adventures battling the forces of evil while learning and appreciating their heritage and traditions. Exec Prod: Rann Watumull, Gina Watumull, David Jackson, Shauna Shapiro Jackson, Heung-Soo Park. Prod: Konnie Kwak. Sched: Jan 23 to Dec 4.

LEAGUE OF SUPER EVIL Get ready to root for the bad guys. Armed with a whole new approach to badness, these four Super Villains have set their sights on nothing less than total neighbourhood domination! Exec Prod: Ken Faier, Asaph Fipke, Chuck Johnson. Director: J. Falconer, Steve Ball, Blair Simmons, Johnny Darrell, Rav Grewal, Steve Sacks. PM: Herrick Chiu. Cast: Scott McNeil, Colin Murdock, Lee Tockar, Blu Mankuma, Peter Kelamis, Tabitha St. Germain. Sched: Jan 1/08 to Dec 1. MARTHA SPEAKS ~ SEASON 2 Martha is a loveable dog whose love for alphabet soup gives her the gift of human speech. Exec Prod: Chris Bartleman, Blair Peters. LP: Sarah Wall. Director: Colleen Holub, Dallas Parker. PM: Ashley Irving-Scott. Sched: Jan 3 to Oct 9.

British Columbia Digital Features 30 DAYS OF NIGHT: DARK DAYS After struggling to expose the truth for nearly a year, a desperate and lonely Stella joins a group of rogue vampire hunters to seek revenge on the vampires responsible for the attack on her sleepy Alaskan town. Prod: Vicki Sotheran, Greg Malcolm. Director: Ben Ketai. DOP: Eric Madison. PD: Geoff Wallace. PM: Simon Abbott. Sched: Oct 20 to Nov 24. AMERICAN PIE: BOOK OF LOVE Ten years after the first American Pie movie, three new hapless virgins discover the Bible hidden in the school library at East Great Falls High. Unfortunately for them, the book is ruined, and with incomplete advice, the Bible leads them on a hilarious journey to lose their virginity. Exec Prod: Mike Elliott. Prod: Greg Holstein. LP/PM: Simon Abbott. Director: John Putch. DOP: Ross Berryman. PD: Tony Devenyi. Cast: Eugene Levy, Bug Hall, Kevin Horton. Sched: Mar 30 to May 11. DANCING NINJA An orphaned boy who dreams of being a ninja arrives in Hollywood to try and find his birth parents, but gets mixed up in a crime. Prod: John Han. Director: Mitch Klebanoff. DOP: Bob New. PD: Sheila Hayley. PM: Eileen Hoeter. Sched: Oct 27 to Nov 20. FLICKA 2 A rebellious 14 year old is sent to live with her father on his ranch in Wyoming, after her grandmother is no longer able to care for her. Carrie is befriended by Flicka Reel West January/february 2010

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the barely tamed, formerly wild mustang. Exec Prod: Janeen Damian. Prod: Connie Dolphin. Director: Michael Damian. DOP: Ron Stannett. PM: Craig Matheson. Cast: Tamin Sursok. Sched: Apr 14 to May 14. ICARUS A Soviet-trained assassin is determined to escape his double life as a hitman and as a husband-father. Exec Prod: Tom Berry, Lisa Hansen, Breanne Hartley. Prod: Kirk Shaw, Gordon Yang. LP/PM: John Prince. Director/Cast: Dolph Lundgren. DOP: Marc Windon. PD: Renee Read. Cast: Stefanie Von Pfetten. Sched: Mar 22 to Apr 20. ON THE RUN aka A DANGEROUS MAN After serving 15 years for a crime he didn’t commit, Shane Daniels is released from jail with an apology from the State of Arizona. Within hours of his freedom, he unluckily bears witness to an illegal diamond deal gone wrong. Prod: Deboragh Gabler. Director: Keoni Waxman. DOP: Nathan Wilson. PD: Troy Hansen. PM: Eileen Hoeter. Cast: Steven Seagal. Sched: Mar 9 to Apr 3.

SMOKIN’ ACES: BLOWBACK Walter Weed is an unassuming desk jockey at the FBI when the Bureau uncovers a plot to assassinate him. Prod: Mike Elliott. LP/PM: Chris Foss. Director: PJ Pesce. PD: Chris August. Sched: Feb 16 to Mar 26.

British Columbia Features ALTITUDE After a mysterious malfunction sends their small plane climbing out of control, a rookie pilot and her four teenage friends find themselves in a showdown with a malevolent supernatural force. Exec Prod: Robert Merilees, David Valleau, Mike Gabrawy, Gary Hamilton. Prod: Ian Birkett. Director: Kaare Andrews. DOP: Norm Li. Cast: Jessica Lowndes, Juliana Guill, Ryan Donowho, Landon Liboiron, Jake Weary, Mike Dopud, Teghan Gentles. Sched: Mar 30 to Jun 1. BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW Prod: Christya Nordstokke, Oliver Linsley. Director: Panos Cosmatos. DOP: Norm Li. PD: Bob Botteri. PM: Ivan Lyttek. Cast: Michael Rogers, Eva Allen, Scott Hylands. Sched: Sep 21 to Oct 20. CHARLIE ST. CLOUD Charlie St. Cloud is a young man overcome by grief at the death of his younger brother. So much so that he takes a job as caretaker of the cemetery in which his brother is buried.Exec Prod: Michael Fottrell. Director: Burr Steers. DOP: Enrique Chediak. PD: Ida Random. PM: Casey Grant Cast: Zac Efron. Sched: Jul 31 to Oct 22. DAYDREAM NATION Caroline Wexler, a whip smart 17-year-old, has recently moved to a strange small town haunted by the presence of a serial killer. She starts an affair with her handsome young teacher, Mr. Anderson, and, later, begins a friendship with a troubled boy, Thurston. When her teacher grows jealous of Caroline’s new companion, the love triangle takes a violent turn. Exec Prod: Trish Dolman, Cameron Lamb, Frank Desmarais. Prod: Christine Haebler, Ted Plerson. LP/PM: Ian Hay. Director: Mike Goldbach. DOP: Joel Ransom. Cast: Scott Speedman. Sched: Nov 25 to Dec 19.

DEAR MR. GACY A chronicle of the interaction between college student Jason Moss and the objection of his obsession, serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Exec Prod: Tom Berry, Clark Peterson. Prod: Gordon Yang. Director: Svetozar Ristovski. DOP: Larry Lynn. PD: James Willcock. PM: Gilles LaPlante. Cast: William Forsythe. Sched: Jan 26 to Feb 18. DIARY OF A WIMPY KID Follows the travails of wise-cracking middle school student Greg Heffley over the course of an academic year. Prod: Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson. Co-Prod: Ethan Smith. Director: Thor Freudenthal. DOP: Jack Green. PD: Brent Thomas. PM: Warren Carr. Sched: Aug 12 to Oct 16. GUNLESS A hardened American gunslinger is repeatedly thwarted in his attempts to mount a showdown in a friendly town in Canada where no one seems to understand or appreciate the brutal code of the American Wild West.Prod: Stephen Hegyes, Shawn Williamson, Niv Fichman. LP: Cynthia Chapman. Director: William Phillips. DOP: Gregory Middlecam. PD: Matthew Budgeon. PM: Paul Lukaitis. Cast: Paul Gross. Sched: May 19 to Jun 21.

PERCY JACKSON Greek god Poseidon’s 12-year-old half-human son embarks on a fantastical quest across modern-day America. Exec Prod: Tom Hammel. Prod/Director: Chris Columbus. Prod: Michael Barnathan, Mark Radcliffe, Karen Rosenfelt. DOP: Stephen Goldblatt. PD: Howard Cummings. PM: Wendy Williams. Cast: Logan Lerman, Jake Abel, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon Jackson. Sched: Apr 6 to Jul 28. RAMONA AND BEEZUS The exploits of rambunctious, accident-prone child Ramona Quimby and her older sister Beezus. Exec Prod: Steve Freedman. Prod: Alison Greenspan. LP: Brad Van Arragon. Director: Elizabeth Allen. DOP: John Bailey. PD: Brent Thomas. PM: Michael Williams. Cast: Joey King, Selena Gomez, John Corbett, Bridget Moynahan. Sched: Apr 14 to Jun 10. SANTA PAWS A stray dog hitches a ride to the North Pole on Santa’s sleigh. Prod: Bruce Nash, Margaret French Isaac, Robert Kosberg. Sched: Oct 25 to Dec 11. SUCKER PUNCH Mike Sullivan spends his nights kidnapping runaways so his boss, Lamar, can turn them into prostitutes. Although he has aspirations of escaping this world, it isn’t until he is nearly killed by corrupt cops for stealing money from his boss that he decides to redeem himself. Exec Prod: Wesley Coller. Prod: Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder. LP: Jim Rowe. Director: Zack Snyder. DOP: Larry Fong. PD: Rick Carter. PM: Brendan Ferguson. Cast: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung. Sched: Sep 10 to Jan 21.

HIT ‘N STRUM Prod/PM: Jacqueline Nguyen. LP: Michael Gordon Shore. Director/ Cast: Kirk Caouette. DOP: Pieter Stathis. PD: Suka Yee. Cast: Michelle Harrison, Paul McGillion, Marion Eisman. Sched: Sep 14 to Oct 17. HOT TUB TIME MACHINE After a night of drinking Red Bull and vodkas, a group of guys travel back in time to when they were younger cads. Exec Prod: Mike Nelson. Prod: John Cusack, Grace Loh. Director: Steve Pink. PD: Bob Ziembicki. PM: Brian Parker. Cast: John Cusack, Clark Duke, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry. Sched: Apr 27 to Jul 10. HUNT TO KILL After being taken hostage by dangerous criminals, a border patrol agent and his teenage daughter must lead the criminals through the treacherous Pacific Northwest mountains. Exec Prod: Jack Nasser. Supervising Prod: Dureyshevar. LP/ PM: Tara Cowell-Plain. Director: Keoni Waxman. DOP: Thomas M. Harting. PD: Brian Davie. Sched: Nov 23 5o Dec 18. MARMADUKE For Phil and Debbie Winslow, moving their family from Kansas to the O.C. is a big deal. For their enormous Great Dane “Marmaduke,” however, the move means a whole new way of life. It’s chaos at home and awkward at work as the Winslows struggle to control their angsty teenage canine. Exec Prod: Jeff Stott, Derek Dauchy. Prod: John Davis. Director: Thomas Dey. DOP: Greg Gardiner. PD: Sandy Cochrane. PM: Drew Locke. Sched: Jul 6 to Sep 16. MORDECAI aka CABIN IN THE WOODS A group of five college kids are tricked into spending a weekend at a mysterious cabin in the woods. Exec Prod: Jason Clark. Director: Drew Goddard. DOP: Peter Deming. PD: Martin Whist. PM: Mary Anne Waterhouse. Cast: Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford. Sched: Mar 9 to May 27.

THE A-TEAM A group of ex-military commandos escape from a military prison and roam America, handling covert operations for money. Prod: Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Jules Daly, Iain Smith. LP: Ross Fanger, Lee Cleary. Director: Joe Carnahan. DOP: Mauro Fiore. PD: Charles Wood. PM: Stewart Bethune. Cast: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper. Sched: Sep 14 to Dec 11. TRON 2 aka TRON: LEGACY An ambitious hacker transports himself into cyberspace to pull off the ultimate hack. Prod: Sean Bailey, Steven Lisberger, Jeffrey Silver, Justis Greene. Director: Joseph Kosinski. DOP: Claudia Miranda. PD: Darren Gilgro. PM: Heather Meehan. Cast: Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde, Garrett Hedlund, Bruce Boxleitner. Sched: Apr 6 to Jul 10. TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. Director: David Slade. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner. Sched: Aug 17 to Oct 29. TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON Following Bella’s ill-fated 18th birthday party, Edward Cullen and his family abandon the town of Forks, Washington, in an effort to protect her from the dangers inherent in their world. Exec Prod: Mark Morgan, Karen Rosenfelt, Marty Bowen. Prod: Wyck Godfrey, Greg Mooradian. LP: Bill Bannerman, Kerry Koshansky. Director: Chris Weitz. DOP: Javier Aguirresarobe. PD: David Brisbin. PM: Barbara Kelly. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner. Sched: Mar 23 to May 21. 25

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WINGMAN, THE A man is uncannily gifted at helping his friends pick up women. When he finally falls in love, it’s with the one woman who can resist his powers. Exec Prod/Director: Jim Garrison. LP/PM: Robyn Wiener. DOP: Thomas Billingsley. PD: Paul Joyal. Cast: Peter Benson, Geoff Gustafson, Iris Paluly, Laura Wilson. Sched: Sep 20 to Oct 5

British Columbia Mini Series ALICE An adaptation of the famous children’s book about a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit-hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar creatures and characters. Exec Prod: Matthew O’Connor, Lisa Richardson, Robert Halmi Sr. Prod: Michael O’Connor, Alex Brown. Director: Nick Willing. DOP: Rob McLachlan. PD: Michael Joy. PM: Holly Redford. Cast: Kathy Bates. Sched: Jun 3 to Aug 7. RIVERWORLD Based on the Riverworld Saga, where human beings are now immortal and living on an earth-like planet. Exec Prod: Robert Halmi Sr, Matthew O’Connor, Tom Rowe, Lisa Richardson. Prod: Michael O’Connor. Director: Stuart Gillard. DOP: Thomas Burstyn. PD: Michael Joy. PM: Holly Redford. Sched: Apr 6 to Jun 1. SEVEN DEADLY SINS Based on the “Seven Deadly Sins” series, written by Robin Wasserman, that follows a group of high school students whose lifestyles all live out each and every sin. Exec Prod: Barbara Lieberman. Exec Prod/Prod: Ted Bauman. Director: Jeff Renfroe. DOP: Mathias Herndl. PD: Phil Schmidt. PM: Paul Rayman. Cast: Dreama Walker, Rachel Melvin , Eric Close, Leslie Hope. Sched: Aug 24 to Oct 14.

British Columbia TV Movies A TRACE OF DANGER A successful defense attorney returns to her hometown to defend her ex-lover who is accused of murder. Exec Prod: Jeff Schenck, Tom Berry. Prod: Gilles LaPlante, Wendy McKerna. LP/ PM: Jamie Goehring. Director: Terry Ingram. DOP: Kim Miles. PD: Renee Read. Sched: Aug 10 to Aug 21. ASPHALT CANYON Prod: Harvey Kahn. Director: Terry Ingram. DOP: Adam Sliwinski. PD: Sydney Sharpe. PM: Chris Rudolph. Cast: Scott Patterson. Sched: Nov 8 to Nov 22. BEHEMOTH Exec Prod: Tom Berry, Lisa Hansen. Prod: John Prince. Director: William Hogan. DOP: Anthony Metchie. PD: James Willcock. PM: Tia Buhl. Cast: Ed Quinn, Pascale Hutton, William B. Davis. Sched: Nov 2 to Nov 20.

Prod: Edward Bauman. Prod: Randolph Cheveldave. Director: Neil Fearnley. DOP: Michael Balfry. PD: James Hazell. PM: Nancy Welsh. Cast: Billy Ray Cyrus. Sched: Aug 25 to Sep 17. CINDERELLA PACT Women’s magazine editor Nola Devlin is overweight and unhappy in life. She also leads a secret life as the popular and glamorous columnist named Belinda Apple for the magazine. Her secret is about to be revealed when there are demands made to finally meet this mysterious star columnist. Exec Prod: Barbara Lieberman. Director: Gary Harvey. Cast: Poppy Montgomery. Sched: Jun 22 to Jul 11. COURAGE Exec Prod: Jack Nasser. Prod/ PM: Tara Cowell-Plain. LP: Dureyshevar. Director: George Erschbamer. Sched: Mar 24 to Apr 5. GROWING THE BIG ONE A Seattle radio host gets demoted to a farm reporter and along the way falls for her handsome neighbor. Exec Prod: Edward Bauman. Prod: Randolph Cheveldave. Director: Mark Griffiths. DOP: Todd Williams. PD: James Hazell. PM: Nancy Welsh. Sched: Sep 28 to Oct 19. HARD RIDE TO HELL Exec Prod: Tom Rowe, Matthew O’Connor. Prod/PM: Ian Hay. Sched: Aug 24 to Sep 14. HELD HOSTAGE In order to save her child’s life, a single mother is forced to rob a bank. Exec Prod: Tim Johnson, Jean Abounader, Dave Rempel. Prod: Ian Smith, Christian Bruyere. Associate Prod: Michelle Renee. Director: Grant Harvey. DOP: Craig Wrobleski. Sched: Mar 22 to Apr 14. HOSTILE MAKEOVER A reality TV makeover success story needs the help of a friend when she becomes the target of a stalker. Exec Prod: Anne Carlucci, Rona Edwards, Monika Skerbelis. Prod: Harvey Kahn. Associate Prod: Monika Skerbelis, Michael Shepard. Director: Jerry Ciccoritti. DOP: Danny Nowak. Sched: Feb 10 to Mar 5. KILLER HAIR aka A CRIME OF FASHION When an up-and-coming stylist is found dead with a drastic haircut, a friend must search for the truth behind her mysterious passing. Exec Prod: Anne Carlucci, Rona Edwards, Monika Skerbelis. Prod: Harvey Kahn. Associate Prod: Monika Skerbelis, Michael Shepard. Director: Jerry Ciccoritti. Sched: Jan 19 to Feb 9. MRS. MIRACLE A new nanny helps a struggling family move on from past hardships. Prod: Dan Wigutow, Harvey Khan, Caroline Moore. Director: Michael Scott. PM: Harvey Kahn. Sched: Apr 19 to May 7.

BEST PLAYER, THE A video gamer in his 30’s has to face the facts when his parents decide to move to Florida without him. Prod: Scott McAboy. LP: Brad Van Arragon. Director: Damon Santostefano. DOP: Jon Joffin. PD: Michael Joy. PM: Michael Williams. Sched: Oct 26 to Nov 24. BOY WHO CRIED WEREWOLF, THE After a family inherits a Romanian castle, they discover the town harbors a secret. Exec Prod: Scott McAboy. Director: Eric Bross. PM: Fran Rosati. Sched: Apr 6 to May 11. BUILDING, THE Exec Prod: Jack Nasser. Prod/PM: Tara Cowell-Plain. LP: Dureyshevar. Director: Terry Ingram. DOP: Michael Balfry. PD: Brian Davie. Cast: Erica Durant. Sched: Mar 9 to Mar 21. CHRISTMAS IN CANAAN Set in rural Canaan, Texas, one white and one black boy in their teens develop a friendship during the social upheaval of the 1960s. Exec

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SORORITY WARS When a college student decides to join a different sorority than the one her mother founded, it sparks an all-out war between both sororities. Exec Prod: Patricia Clifford,Frank Von Zerneck. Prod: Ted Bauman. Director: Jim Hayman. DOP: Neil Roach. PD: Eric Fraser. PM: Paul Rayman. Cast: Lucy Hale. Sched: Apr 27 to May 25. STONEHENGE APOCALYPSE Stonehenge mystically begins rearranging itself causing massive unexplained natural destruction around the world. Exec Prod: Tom Berry, Lisa Hansen. Prod: John Prince.

Director: Paul Ziller. PM: Gilles Laplante. Sched: Jun 8 to Jun 26. STRANGER, THE Exec Prod: Jack Nasser. Prod/PM: Tara Cowell-Plain. Sup Prod: Dureyshevar. Director: Rob Lieberman. DOP: Peter Woeste. PD: Brian Davie. Sched: Aug 5 to Aug 30. STRANGER WITH MY FACE After the death of her husband, Shelley Stratton moves her daughter Alexis and her adopted daughter, Laurie, to their remote summer house in hopes of giving her family a fresh start. Prod: Ted Bauman. Director: Jeff Renfroe. Sched: Feb 6 to Feb 27.

British Columbia Pilots FANCY Maureen Fancy is the host of a children’s TV show. On screen she is perky and happy, but off screen she deals with the complications of the adult world. Exec Prod: Wendy Hopkins, Jamie Pfahl. Prod: Ken Lawson. Director: James Genn. DOP: Greg Middleton. PD: Rachel O’Toole. Cast: Kate Hewlett, Jana Pelk, Patrick McKenna. Sched: Aug 24 to Aug 28. GOOD WIFE, THE The wife of a successful Chicago politician must go back to work when her husband is disgraced and imprisoned. Exec Prod: Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Michelle King, Robert King, David Zucker, Dee Johnson. Prod: Bernie Caulfield. Director: Charles McDougall. DOP: David Mullen. PD: Matthew Budgeon. Cast: Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth. Sched: Mar 27 to Apr 11. HUMAN TARGET Drama based on the comic book of the same name in which a security expert goes undercover impersonating his clients in order to eliminate the threats against them. Exec Prod: Jon Steinberg, Peter Johnson. Prod: Jib Polhemus, Grace Gilroy. Director: Simon West. DOP: Brian Pearson. PD: David Willson. PM: Yvonne Melville. Sched: Mar 9 to Mar 27. LIGHT YEARS After living in a succession of foster homes, a teenager seeks legal emancipation and searches for her birth parents a radio-show host with commitment issues and an immature bar owner - who gave her up for adoption following a one-night stand. Exec Prod: Liz Tigelaar, Gary Fleder. CoProd: Mary Beth Basile. Prod/PM: Kathy Gilroy. Director: Gary Fleder. DOP: Rick Bota. PD: Ian Thomas. Cast: Shiri Appleby, Kristoffer Polaha, Brittany Robertson, Kerr Smith, Austin Basis, Reggie Austin. Sched: Jan 13 to Jan 21. NO HEROICS Based on the British comedy of the same name featuring a group of friends who also happen to be superheroes with rather mundane powers. Exec Prod Jeff Greenstein, Drew Pearce, Andrew Zein. Director: Andrew Fleming. DOP: Mark Irwin. Sched: Mar 26 to Apr 3. PREPPED: NEW KID Ian Traynor gets thrown out of another school and ends up at a boarding school, “Tower Prep.” He quickly makes friends and they plot to escape the school. Exec Prod: Paul Dini, Bill O’Dowd. Prod: Peter Lhotka. Director: Terry McDonough. DOP: Philip Linzey. PD: Matthew Budgeon. PM: Jim O’Grady. Cast: Drew Van Acker, Elise Gatien, Ryan Pinkston, Dyana Liu. Sched: Aug 8 to Aug 19. PRETTY LITTLE LIARS Drama based on the novel of the same name in which the lives of five adolescent girls who are best friends are tragically disrupted when one of them disappears. Exec Prod: Bob Levy, Marlene King. Prod: Carol Trussell. Director: Leslie Glatter. PD: Brent Thomas. PM: Warren Carr. Sched: Dec 1 to Dec 12.

PULLING Based on the British series of the same name, comedy features three best girlfriends who are approaching 30 and panicking with no suitable love interests on the horizon. Exec Prod: Stacy Traub, Francie Calfo. Prod: S. Lily Hui. Director: Elliot Hagerty. DOP: Greg Middleton. PD: Michael Bolton. PM: Doug Brons. Sched: Mar 30 to Apr 7. TALES OF AN URBAN INDIAN Exec Prod: Nick Orchard. Prod: Tristan Orchard. Director: Neil Fearnley. DOP: Amir Mohammed. PD: Dina Holmes. PM: Barbara Anne Schoemaker. Sched: Jan 19 to Jan 21. V A remake of the classic 80’s miniseries of the same name about the arrival of aliens on Earth who promise a mission of peace but have ulterior motives. Exec Prod: Scott Peters, Jace Hall, Steve Pearlman. Exec Prod/Director: Yves Simoneau. Prod: Kathy Gilroy. DOP: David Franco. PD: Ian Thomas. PM: Dennis Swartman. Sched: Mar 20 to Apr 7.

VAMPIRE DIARIES, THE Two vampire brothers battle for the soul of a young girl, her friends and family and their whole town. Exec Prod: Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec, Bob Levy, Leslie Morgenstein. LP: Pascal Verschooris. Director: Marcos Siega. PD: Jillian Scott. PM: Wayne Bennett. Sched: Mar 30 to Apr 17.

British Columbia TV Series CAPRICA Prequel to Battlestar Galactica takes place 50 years before the series is set and follows the earlier evolution of the Cylon species. Exec Prod: Ronald D. Moore, David Eick, Jane Espenson, Jonas Pate. Prod: Clara George. DOP: Stephen McNutt. PD: Richard Hudolin. PM: Erin Smith. Sched: Jul 16 to Jan 28. DEFYING GRAVITY Set in the year 2055, drama follows what happens to an international crew of eight astronauts when they blast off for a years-long mission. Exec Prod: Jim Parriott, Michael Edelstein, Brian Hamilton, Michael Chechik. Prod: Ron French. DOP: Stephen McNutt. PD: Steve Geaghan. PM: Craig Forrest. Cast: Ron Livingston, Florentine Lahme. Sched: Jan 19 to Jun 18. FRINGE A female FBI agent seeks out a brilliant but unstable and institutionalized scientist and his estranged son to investigate wide-sweeping paranormal phenomena. Exec Prod: J.J. Abrams, Joel Wyman, Jeff Pinkner, Bryan Burk, Joe Chappelle. Prod: Alex Kurtzman, Bob Orci. LP: Reid Shane. DOP: Tom Yatsko, David Moxness. PD: Ian Thomas. PM: Vladimir Stefoff. Cast: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown, Jasica Nicole, Mark Valley. Sched: Jun 24 to Mar 29. HICCUPS A children’s author hires a life coach to help her with anger management issues. Exec Prod: Brent Butt, David Storey, Laura Lightbown. Prod: Nancy Robertson, Arvi Liimatainen. Sup Prod: Andrew Carr. Director: David Storey. DOP: Ken Krawczyk. PD: Matthew Budgeon. PM: Padi Mills. Cast: Nancy Robertson, Brent Butt. Sched: Sep 28 to Dec 10.

Reel West January/february 2010

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HUMAN TARGET Drama based on the comic book of the same name in which a security expert goes undercover impersonating his clients in order to eliminate the threats against them. Exec Prod: Jonathan Steinberg, Peter Johnson, Kevin Hooks. Prod/LP: Grace Gilroy. DOP: Rob McLachlan. PD: David Willson. PM: Yvonne Melville. Cast: Mark Valley, Chi McBride, Jackie Earl Haley. Sched: Sep 16 to Feb 5. LIFE UNEXPECTED After living in a succession of foster homes, a teenager seeks legal emancipation and searches for her birth parents - a radio-show host with commitment issues and an immature bar owner - who gave her up for adoption following a one-night stand. Once she finds them, the three form a loosely connected family unit. Exec Prod: Liz Tigelaar, Janet Leahy, Gary Fleder. Prod: Rose Lam. DOP: David Geddes. PD: Don MacAulay. PM: Kim Steer. Cast: Shiri Appleby, Kristoffer Polaha, Brittany Robertson, Kerr Smith, Austin Basis. Sched: Sep 28 to Feb 5. PSYCH ~ SEASON 4 Comedy revolving around a slacker with a photographic memory and a knack for sleuthing, who convinces his local police department he has ESP to avoid getting arrested for solving all their crimes. Exec Prod: Steve Franks, Kelly Kulchak, Chris Henze, Mel Damski. Prod: Gord Mark. DOP: Michael McMurray. PD: Eric Nolin. PM: Matthew Chipera. Cast: James Roday, Dule Hill, Corbin Bernsen, Timothy Omundson, Maggie Lawson. Sched: Apr 28 to Nov 2. SANCTUARY ~ SEASON 2 Stem cells, gene therapy, transplants, cloning; The very meaning of the word “humanity” changes daily in the modern world. But there is a darker side to the evolution of mankind, a truth only a few brave souls are willing to face: There are monsters loose in the world. And they are the key to the future of our race. Exec Prod: Damian Kindler, Amanda Tapping, Martin Wood. Prod: Lily Hui. Director: Martin Wood, Spencer Brenton, Steve Adelson. DOP: Gord Verheul. PD: Bridget McGuire. PM: Doug Brons. Cast: Amanda Tapping, Robin Dunne, Chris Heyerdahl, Ryan Robbins, Emilie Ullerup, Agam Darshi. Sched: Mar 23 to Jul 30. SHATTERED ~ SEASON 1 Kyle Loggins, once the best cop in the force and now a damaged recluse, solves crimes with the help of his unconventional forensic squad - who just happen to be facets of his multiple-personality-disorder. Exec Prod: Kari Skogland, Jon Cooksey, Noreen Halpern, Hugh Beard, Debra Beard. Sup Prod: Ian McDougall. DOP: David Frazee. PD: Rachel O’Toole. PM: Charles Lyall. Cast: Callum Keith Rennie, Camille Sullivan. Sched: Nov 12 tp Apr 23.

SMALLVILLE ~ SEASON 9 An adventure series that focuses on the Superman character as a teenager. Exec Prod: James Marshall. Prod: Rob Maier. Director: Kevin Fair. DOP: Glen Winter. PD: James Philpott. PM: Scott Graham. Cast: Tom Welling, Allison Mack, Erica Durant, Justin Hartley, Cassidy Freeman. Sched: Jul 6 to Apr 2. STARGATE UNIVERSE Forced through a Stargate and stranded in space when their hidden base is attacked, a group of explorers boards a crewless ship with a preprogrammed mission to travel to the farthest reaches of the universe. Exec Prod: Brad Wright, Robert Cooper, Carl Binder, John Smith. Prod: John Lenic. LP: Jack O’Neill. Director: Andy Mikita. DOP: Rohn Schmidt, Jim Menard, Michael Blundell. PD: James Robbins. PM: George Horie. Cast: Robert Carlyle, Luís Ferreira, Brian J. Smith, Elyse Levesque, David Blue, Alaina Huffman, Jamil Walker Smith, Ming-Na, Lou Diamond Phillips. Sched: Feb 18 to Oct 28.

V ~ SEASON 1 A remake of the classic 80’s miniseries of the same name about the arrival of aliens on Earth who promise a mission of peace but have ulterior motives. Exec Prod: Scott Peters, Jeff Bell, Steve Pearlman, Kathy Gilroy. DOP: Stephen Jackson. PD: Eric Fraser. PM: Dennis Swartman. Cast: Elizabeth Mitchell, Joel Gretsch, Scott Wolf, Morris Chestnut, Lourdes Benedicto, Morena Baccarin, Logan Huffman, Alan Tudyk. Sched: Aug 12 to Nov 3.

Alberta Features THE PHARMACIST A drug-dealing pharmacist decides to quit dealing for good after falling in love. When a psychotic killer informs the pharmacist that they are now business partners, quitting is no longer an option. Prod: Chester Sit, Scott McPherson. Director: Chester Sit. PM:Franco Dotter. PC: Cheryl Brauer. Cast:Corey Loranger, Anne-Maria LeMaistre, Clinton Carew. Sched: Feb 5 to 28. TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL Two hillbillies are accused of being killers by a group of college kids camping near their cabin. Prod: Rosanne Milliken. Director; Eli Craig. PM: Darin Wilson. PC: Michelle Gougeon. Cast: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden. Sched: Jun 10 to Jul 15.

SUPERNATURAL ~ SEASON 5 Though he wants nothing to do with his family’s paranormal investigation business, a Stanford junior pairs up with his estranged brother on a road trip from the Bay Area to Los Angeles when their father goes missing. Along the way, they encounter mysterious people and situations from American myths and legends. Exec Prod: Eric Kripke, Robert Singer, McG , Peter Johnson, Ben Edlund, Phil Sgriccia. Prod: Todd Aronauer, Sera Gamble, Jim Michaels. DOP: Serge Ladouceur. PD: Jerry Wanek. PM: Craig Matheson. Cast: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beaver, Misha Collins. Sched: Jul 1 to Mar 29. TROOP, THE A high schooler who longs to create his own comic book is inducted into a secret society of teenagers who work together to protect the world from monsters hidden among us. Exec Prod: Tom Lynch, Max Burnett, Chris Morgan, Jay Kogen, Greg Coolidge. Prod: Larry Sugar, Gary Stephenson. LP/PM: Richard Bullock. UM: Michelle Samuels. Director: Paul Hoen, Peter Lauer, Adam Weissman, Pat Williams. DOP: Michael Wale. PD: Andrew Deskin. Cast: Nicholas Purcell, John Marshall Jones, Gage Golightly, David Del Rio. Sched: Apr 20 to Oct 15.

WASKA (a.ka. FIRST SNOW) A small town is divided after a young boy freezes to death during a fishing trip, and a local prosecutor goes after the father.Prod: Tim Perell, Shirley Vercruysse, Leslie Cowan. Director: Gaby Dellal. UPM: Leslie Cowan. PC: Michael Leder. Cast :Thomas Dekker, Joseph Morgan, Mira Sorvino. Sched: Nov 16 to Dec 17.

movies about Santa’s daughter. Prod: Craig McNeil, Tom Cox, Murray Ord, Jordy Randall. Director: Ron Underwood. PM: Doug Steeden. PC: Hudson Coole. Cast: Jenny McCarthy. Sched: Feb 9 to Mar 6.

Alberta Pilots BLACKSTONE Producer/Director: Ron E. Scott. PM: Dennis Fitzgerald. PC: Michelle Gougeon. Cast: Carmen Moore, Dakota House. Sched: May 4 to 8.

Alberta Series CAUTION MAY CONTAIN NUTS Prod: Camille Beaudoin, Eric Rebalkin, Jake Chapman. Directors: Bruce Pirrie, Dana Andersen. PM: Doug Steeden. PC – Karen Redford. Cast: Matt Alden, Dana Andersen, Aimee Beaudoin, Sheldon Elter, Jeff Halaby. Sched: Oct 5 to 30. HEARTLAND SEASON III Prod: Michael Weinberg, Heather Conkie, Tom Cox, Jordy Randall, Tina Grewal. Directors: Steve DiMarco, Grant Harvey, Dean Bennett, Don McBrearty, Ron Murphy, Chris Potter, TW Peacocke. PM: Lorenz Augustin. PC: Hudson Cooley. Cast: Amber Marshall, Sean Johnston, Michelle Morgan, Chris Potter, Graham Wardle. Sched: May 13 to Dec 14. MIXED BLESSINGS CYCLE III Prod: Ron E. Scott, Jesse Szymanski. Director: Francis Damberger. PM: Dennis Fitzgerald. PC: Michelle Gougeon. Cast: Gary Basaraba, Tina Lameman, Michelle Thrush. Sched: Aug 10 to Sep 26.

Saskatchewan Animation

FUBAR 2 Sequel to the mockumentary about the relationship between two headbangers. Prod: Shirley Vercruysse, George Baptist, Jennifer Wilson. Director: Mike Dowse. PM - Doug Steeden. PC: Michelle Gougeon. Cast: Dave Lawrence, Paul Spence. Sched: Nov 16 to Dec 16. INCEPTION A business executive becomes involved in a blackmailing scandal. Prod: Chris Brigham, Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas. Director: Christopher Nolan. PM: Brian Parker. PC: Kim Goddard-Rains. Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe. Sched: Nov 16 to 26.

Alberta TV Movies THE 12 MEN OF CHRISTMAS Prod: Lisa Demberg, Greg Copeland, Wendy HillTout. Director: Arlene Sanford. UPM: Linda Ambury. PC: Joy Bond Cast: Kristin Chenoweth. Sched: Jun 29 to Jul 24.

WAPOS BAY Ten-year-old T-Bear, 9-yearold Raven star in Wapos Bay, a light-hearted stop-motion animations series about growing up in a remote Cree community. Directors: Dennis Jackson, Melanie Jackson, Trevor Cameron, Cam Lizotte. Prod: Dennis Jackson, Melanie Jackson, Anand Ramayya, Derek Mazur. DOP: Andrew Forbes. Cast: Gordon Tootoosis, Lorne Cardinal, Andrea Menard, Taylor Cook, Eric Jackson, Raven Brass, DerRic Starlight.

SANTA BABY 2 Sequel to the popular TV

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Saskatchewan Features

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CLEAN OUT Two men. One password. $800 million dollars jointly shared by two criminal families in a Swiss bank account. What could possibly go wrong? Prod: Kevin DeWalt, Peter Christian Fueter, Gérald Morin. Director: Barthélémy Grossmann. GEORGE RYGA’S HUNGRY HILLS After overcoming his troubled past and winning approval of the man who sent him away, a teenage boy defiantly claims his rightful place in the community that shunned him. Prod: Rhonda Baker, Avi Federgreen. Director: Rob King. DOP: Ken Krawczyk. Exec Prod: Leonard Farlinger. Cast: Keir Gilchrist, Alexander DeJordy, John Pyper-Ferguson, Alexia Fast, Gabrielle Rose. LULLABY FOR PI A once promising jazz musician named Sam spends his nights secluded in a hotel room in an attempt to reconcile the death of his beloved wife Josephine until an unexpected visitor rushes into his room and locks herself in his bathroom. Prod: Kevin Dewalt, Jean-Charles Levy, Christine Vachon. Dir: Benoît Philippon. Writer: Benoît Philippon. DOP: Michel Amathieu. Cast: Rupert Friend, Clémence Poésy, Forest Whitaker, Matt Ward.

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STAINED Jennifer grows increasingly worried when her friend Isabelle stops answering her phone, and decides to rescue her friend. However, it may be the men in Isabelle’s life who need rescuing. Prod: Bob Crowe, Wally Start, Katie Weekly, Karen Lam. Director: Karen Lam. Cast: Sonja Bennett, Tinsel Korey. TICKET OUT A woman is on the run with her two children after discovering that her husband has been abusing their son. She finds trust and security in a man who, unknown to her, is an agent of the law. Prod: Rhonda Baker, Greg McClatchy, Doug Lodato. Director: Doug Lodato. Writer: Suzanne Collins. DOP: Peter Fernberger. Exec Prod: Chris Noonan. Cast: Ray Liotta, Alexandra Breckinridge, Billy Burke.

Saskatchewan Series LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE The series takes an unabashedly funny look at the congregation of a rural mosque and their attempt to live in harmony with each other, and with the often skeptical, even downright suspicious, residents of their little prairie town. Directors: Michael Kennedy, Jim Allodi, Brian Roberts, Zarqa Nawaz. Prod: Michael Snook, Colin Brunton. EP: Clark Donnelly, Mary Darling, Michael Snook, Al Magee, Robert Sheridan Writer: Robert Sheridan, Zarqa Nawaz, Greg Eckler, Claire Ross Dunn, Vera Santamaria, Miles Smith, Jason Belleville, Cole Bastedo. DOP: Mark Dobrescu. Cast: Carlo Rota, Sheila McCarthy, Zaib Shaikh, Sitara Hewitt, Manoj Sood.

BLACK FIELD A tragedy results when a man comes between two sisters. Prod: Kent Ulrich, Jeff Skinner. Co-Prod: Ashley Hirt, David Antoniuk. Director: Danishka Esterhazy. PM: Polly Washburn. Cast: Sara Canning, Mathieu Bourguet, Ferron Guerreiro. Apr 1 to May 23. COWBOY DREAMS A gunfighter is haunted by a soulless menace out for revenge. Prod: Kent Ulrich, Ermanno Barone. CoProd: Ashley Hirt, Megan Duffy. Director: Jeff Skinner. PM: Polly Washburn. Cast: Jeff Skinner. May 26 to Jul 6. LULLABY FOR PI A washed up musician befriends a young woman he meets while trying to get over the death of his wife. Exec Prod: Yee Yeo Chang, Frederique DumasZajdela, Nicolas. Manuel, Olivier Piasentin. Prod: Kevin DeWalt, Jean-Charles Levy, Christine Vachon. Associate Prod: Janine Stener. Director: Benoit Philippon. PM: Mark Reid. Cast: Rupert Friend, Forest Whitaker, Clemence Peosey, Sarah Wayne Callies, Colin Lawrence. Jan 7 to Apr 21.

Manitoba Television Movies THE CHRISTMAS HOPE Exec Prod: Craig Anderson, Beth Grossbard. Director: Norma Bailey. PM: Anastasia Geras. Cast: Madeleine Stowe, James Remar, Tori Barban, Ian Ziering. Nov 7 2008 to Mar 11. KEEP YOUR HEAD UP KID: THE DON CHERRY STORY Biography of the hockey icon. Exec Prod: Laszlo Barna, Tim Cherry, Wayne Thompson, Jaimie Brown. Prod: Shawn Watson. Director: Jeff Woolnough. LP: Terry Gould. PM: Dave Mahoney. Cast: Jared Keeso, Sarah Manninen. Apr 7 to Jul 16.

Manitoba Pilots TODD & THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL. Exec Prod: Jaimie Brown, Anthony Leo, Craig David Wallace. Prod: Andrew Rosen, Shawn Watson. Director: James Dunnison. PM: Aaron Barnett. Cast: Alex House, Mggie Castle, Matt Frewer, Jason Mewes. Mar 9 – Mar 28

Manitoba TV Series CASHING IN SEASON 1 + 2 A casino emperor with lofty goals takes over a Manitoba First Nation operation. Exec Prod: Phyllis Laing, Peter Strutt Prod: Vanessa Loewen, Jean du Toit. LP: Anastasia Geras. Director: Norma Bailey. PM: Colleen Wowchuk. Cast: Sarah Podemski, Eric Schweig, Karen Holness, Wesley French, John Lowe. Jun 10 to Oct 31.

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MOTHER’S DAY A villainous family returns to their old home to terrorize the new occupants. Prod: Brett Ratner, Richard Saperstein, Jay Stern, Brian Witten. Exec Prod: Jon Zucker, Curtis Leopardo, Jessie Rusu, Kyle Bornais, Andrew Golov. Co-Prod: Shara Kay. Associate Prod: Don Zorbas, Jordan Lange. Director: Darren Lynn Bousman. PM: Lesley Oswald. Cast: Rebecca De Mornay, Jaimie King, Patrick Flueger, Warren Kole. Aug 31 to Oct 24

LESS THAN KIND SEASON 2 The story of a Winnipeg boy whose family struggles with bankruptcy, adultery, illness, loneliness and pyromania. Exec Prod: Ira Levy, Peter Williamson, Phyllis Laing, Mark McKinney, Marvin Kaye, Chris Sheasgreen. Prod: Paula Smith, Garry Campbell. Director: Kelly Makin, Bruce McDonald, James Dunnison, Douglas Mitchell. PM: Leslie Oswald. Cast: Maury Chaykin, Ross McMillan, Jesse Camacho, Benjamin Arthur. Sched: Mar 4 to May 30. n

Reel West January/february 2010

1/3/2010 12:55:26 PM


Legal Briefs

N EW!

Tax credit programs lack protection An Iowa court has just awarded $6.5 million in tax credits to Kevin DeWalt of Minds Eye Entertainment for the aptly named film Clean Out. The action was started by Minds Eye when the Iowa Department of Economic Development decided to suspend its film incentive program in September just as prep was starting on the film. Clean Out had already been approved to receive the tax credits when Iowa decided to freeze its tax credit program over allegations of mismanagement. The decision to suspend was apparently triggered by reports that producers based in Los Angeles had used the Iowa tax credits to buy some luxury cars for their own use. It’s astonishing that the courts were able to render a decision in the Minds Eye action so quickly but it wasn’t fast enough to prevent damage to the credibility of tax credit programs in the US. If it was so easy to suspend the program in Iowa, financiers are wondering whether the same thing could happen in other states that offer tax credits. The tax credit program in Canada has also had a major shakeup over the last year, wreaking havoc with high volume companies such as Insight and giving industry accountants, who are responsible for providing banks with reliable tax credit forecasts, a serious headache. Canada Revenue Agency or CRA has decided to begin enforcing - on a retroactive basis - two policies that significantly reduce the tax credits on producing fees. The first is to arbitrarily limit producer fees to 10% of the B & C totals of the production’s budget (that is, the amounts spend on production and post production, excluding above the line personnel such as the producers, director and lead cast and costs such as insurance and legals) unless a producer can show why more than the usual fees are justified. Since many producers have claimed up to 20% of B & C because of the work involved (and until recently have been permitted to do so), up to half of the tax credits on these fees have suddenly been lost. Even more significant is CRA’s decision to discount tax credits on producer fees paid to parent or related companies based on the amount of labour paid out by those companies. If those companies reinvest some or all of the producer fees in the production or use them to fund development of future productions – both typical sceReel West January/february 2010

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narios in Canada – rather than paying them out in salaries, the tax credits on these fees will be reduced and in some cases eliminated altogether. The biggest problem with the Iowa edict and CRA’s recent crackdown is that these actions create uncertainty where reliability is needed most. Tax credits usually need to be interim financed so that this money is available during production, as they cannot be claimed until after a production is completed. As a result, all tax credit programs require a leap of faith by financiers who provide this interim financing because they are no more than a promise to pay by governments. The more that they are seen to be subject to the whims of politicians or bureaucrats, the less likely they are to achieve the purpose for which they are intended: the development of our film & television infrastructure. Bankers are risk averse by nature and the defaults in tax credit loans created by CRA’s recent moves have caused a lot of nervousness. This anxiety has only been increased by the recent rash of credit protection sought by broadcasters, who are one of the other major sources of film financing in Canada. If our financial institutions lose faith in the predictability of tax credits, they will either increase the margin on the monies they advance, reducing the amount of tax credits available to fund a production, or they will increase the cost of providing this financing, or both. In some jurisdictions, banks will not touch tax credit programs because they consider them too risky. This gap has been filled by private financiers who charge high premiums on their loans and heavily discount the incentives being financed. The net result of uncertainty is that more of the tax credits go to interim financiers and less end up with the producers whom these programs were intended to benefit. Our agencies need to hear loud and clear that abrupt changes in policies are counter-productive to our industry. If there are going to be changes in regulation or application – especially if they are painful – they should be announced well in advance and they should not be applied retroactively.

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Kim Roberts provides legal advice on a complete range of American and Canadian productions, from features and movies of the week to television series and documentaries. n 29

1/3/2010 12:55:33 PM


Final Edit ennui of modern life told by those who have been rejected.” The film received the National Film Board of Canada $2,000 development prize.

Kids Find Sanctuary

Sook Yin Lee’s Year of the Carnivore was a 2009 Borsos Competition finalist Photo by Bob Akester

Quebec Film Wins Borsos Prize Les Signes Vitale (Vital Signs), a Quebec film about a young woman who returns home after her grandmother’s death, won the $15,000 Borsos Competition for Best New Canadian Feature Film at the 2009 Whistler Film Festival, held in early December. The prize is presented annually by the Directors Guild of Canada – BC District Council and is supported by Telefilm Canada. In presenting the award to the film’s director, Sophie Deraspe, Borsos Jury President Ivan Reitman said that the “beautiful, assured film demonstrates remarkable work by a consummate filmmaker.” According to spokesperson Jeanette Miller the jury, comprised of Reitman, Emmy Award-winning director Niv Fichman and actress Jessica Paré, chose the film from a field of six finalists. Miller said the other 2009 Borsos Competition finalists were Sook Yin

Lee’s Year of the Carnivore, Alexandre Franchi’s The Wild Hunt, Peter Stebbings’ Defendor; Corey Adams and Alex Craig’s Machotaildrop and Ryan Arnold’s Skidlove. The Best Actor award for films in the Borsos Competition went to Woody Harrelson of Defendor and Best Actress went to Marie-Helene Bellavance of Les Signes Vitaux Miller said the jury also awarded a Special Jury Prize to Jayme Keith for her performance in Skidlove. She said the $500 cash prizes will be dispersed to Bellavance and Keith. Miller said the $2,500 Best Documentary Award was awarded to two films. She said the jury recognized Pax Americana “for its urgent message of war and peace in space, and its elegant interweaving of perspective, archive, animation and character to make the intangible real,” and Last Train Home which was hailed by the jury for its “ cinematic craft and narrative power.” The $1,000 Best Short Film Award went to La Vie Commence (Life Be‑

gins), directed by Èmile ProulxCloutier while the $500 Best Mountain Culture Film, presented by Whistler Blackcomb went to Mount St. Elias, which was directed and produced by Gerald Salmina. The MPPIA Short Film Award was won by Kelly Ruth Mercier for Move Out Clean. Miller said the award consists of a $10,000 cash award from the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of BC and a $5,000 cash award from British Columbia Film plus in-kind production services up to $100,000. She said the completed project will have its world premiere screening at the next Whistler Film Festival, which is scheduled to take place from December 1 to 5 of 2010. The winner of Pitch Fest West was BC’s Garbage Day, pitched by Marc Stephenson and Cam Labine. Miller said it follows the misadventures of four roommates who live in the town of Garbage City. She said the animated half hour comedic project “will focus on the comedy and

Two of the executive producers of a hit Vancouver-based television show have launched an auction and fundraising effort to support international and Vancouver-based charities for children. Amanda Tapping, who is the executive producer and lead actor of the scienece fiction series Sanctu‑ ary and executive producer/writer Damian Kindler co-founded the charity Sanctuary for Kids with the charity’s co-director Jill Bodie. According to spokesperson Carol Appleby, they raised over $43,000 in October of 2009 alone. Appleby said that 100% of the funds raised will go directly to Sanctuary for Kids. “Our fans never cease to amaze me with their generosity,” said Tapping at the close of the auction, which was held online. “The sci-fi community is endlessly enthusiastic and really gets behind projects they believe in. My heart is full from all their kindness and this is only our first auction! We cannot thank the fans enough for their amazing support of Sanctuary for Kids so far. And I know from experience that they’re just getting warmed up!” Appleby said the charity received added support from the sci-fi convention in the UK that Tapping attended. She said that Tapping’s international fans bid on a number of items including a set visit to Vancouver as well as lunch with Tapping at the studio. Also up for bids, she said, was the opportunity to name a character in an upcoming episode, and a Skype chat with Tapping, Kindler and director/ executive producer Martin Wood. n

Announcements and Appointments

Two film festivals have announced their submission deadlines. The Yorkton Film Festival, which runs from May 27 to 30 will close its 19 Golden Sheaf Award categories on February 1 with nominees announced in March. Further information can be found at the Festival’s web site: www.goldensheafawards.com....The Women in Film & Television Vancouver (WIFTV) 5th Annual Women in Film Festival has set January 28 as its extended deadline. Eligible films must have three of the following: a female writer, producer, director, DOP, actor or animator/ editor. The festival will be held April 17 and 18. Submission information can be found at www.womeninfilm.ca/ WIFF_2010.html... Meanwhile, Robin Mirsky, executive director of the Rogers Group of Funds, was elected cochair of Hot Docs’ board of directors in November. She fills the position recently vacated by Canadian Film and Television Producers Association CEO Norm Bolen. Mirsky will share co-chair duties at Hot Docs with Michael McMahon, president and executive producer of Primitive Entertainment. 30

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Reel West January/february 2010

1/3/2010 12:55:35 PM


Reel West was there...

Vancouver international film Festival 2009

Clockwise from top: Actor Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men) attends the VIFF Gala Party at the Rocky Mountain Train Station; Actor Richard de Klerk (Cole) at the Brightlight Red Carpet at Araxi; The cast of Bruce Sweeney’s film Excited at the Canadian Film Party at Joeys Burrard; Writer/director Charlie Kaufman at the VIFF Forum; Director Vic Sarin and actor Connie Nielsen attend the VIFF Gala Party after their film A Shine of Rainbows opens the festival; Rick Campanelli (ET Canada) and Actor Christine Solomon at the Annual Red Carpet VIFF JetSet Party at Canvas Lounge. Photos by Phillip Chin.

And there...

WHISTLER film Festival 2009

Clockwise from top: Shauna Hardy (Executive Director, Whistler Film Festival) wins the women’s fastest time at the Celebrity Ski Challenge; Actor Chad Willett at the Celebrity Ski Challenge; Actor Kristin Kreuk and Shawn Williamson (Brightlight Pictures) at the Brightlight - Heenan Blaikie - Araxi Party; Silas, Beret and Angus Borsos at the Borsos Awards ceremony; Actor Patrick Gallagher (Glee) attends the Brightlight - Heenan Blaikie - Araxi Party; Actor Jessica Pare (Suck; The Judge) attends the Brightlight - Heenan Blaikie - Araxi Party; Stephen Hegyes (Brighlight Pictures), Terry David Mulligan and Niv Fichman (producer) attend the Brightlight Heenan Blaikie - Araxi party; Director/Producer Ivan Reitman at his tribute; Actor/Director Peter Stebbings gives award to Kelly Ruth Mercier for the 2009 MPPLA short film award for the film Move Out Clean; Actor Tygh Runyan (A Gun to the Head) at the Celebrity Ski Challenge. photos by phillip chin.

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1/3/2010 12:55:47 PM


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