January / February 2012
Film, video, internet and digital production in Western CanAda
Becoming one of Canada’s leaders
at ba ’ 2 ck s ok
Victoria Film Festival
Bringing the Theo Fleury story to screen
Playing with Fire
01 a 1 t Pr w od est uc er ti n on Ca s n
P a !
From Aldergrove to Yellowknife
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4 Production Update
While other western Canadian film events may get more press, the 18 year-old Victoria Film Festival has quietly managed to become one of the country’s leading festivals. At the centre of its success are executive director Kathy Kay and programmer Donovan Aikman, who have been in their jobs for 15 years.
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18 Fire on ice
In a diary, co-writer Larry Day looks back at the making of the documentary film Theo Fleury: Playing with Fire which will premiere at the Victoria Film Festival. The movie is based on a book written by the hockey player and Kirstie McLellan Day about Fleury’s battle with the demons created by abuse from a paedophilic hockey coach.
20 air up there The cast and crew of a CBC show called Arctic Air are continually moving between a set in Aldergrove and exteriors in Yellowknife. While they admit to facing a number of challenges on a weekly basis, they are also excited about travelling to a part of the country that few Canadians will ever see.
8 Reel West Profile 9 Legal BrIEFS 10 Beginnings 12 Behind the Scenes 14 Question and Answer 15 Expert witness 30 FINAL EDIT
23 Better days It could have been a disastrous year for the four western provinces, given the uncertainty of the economy and the competitive tax credit programs implemented by many American states. However, things weren’t that bad as each province found something that worked for them in 2011 and helped them to be optimistic about 2012.
24 2011 Wrap Using photos, synopsis and cast and crew lists we look back at western Canada’s 2011 productions.
Cover/contents: arctic air’s adam beach and PASCALE HUTTON; photoS by Phil Chin. 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. Contributor: nathan Caddell. 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 2010 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: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: www.reelwest.com. Volume 27, Issue 1. Printed In Canada. 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 email@example.com or by fax at 604-451-7305. All correspondence must include your name, address, and daytime telephone number.
Reel West January / February 2012
What’s coming. What’s shooting. What’s wrapped.
Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enoss return to BC for the second season of The Killing Photo by Frank Ockenfels
BC Quiet But Never Dull It will be a quiet Christmas and New Year in BC as the province prepares to welcome several big budget productions in the spring. Several TV series will be back as soon as the stockings are set aside. The film list does have some interesting newcomers, however, including a locally produced feature film called American Mary, a pilot for a series that would bring husband-wife producing team Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith to Vancouver for full time work and
the return of one of last year’s most controversial series, The Killing. In American Mary, Katherine Isabelle stars as a medical student who becomes increasingly broke and disenchanted with the surgical world she once admired. The executive producers are Evan Tylor and Tom Raycove with John Curtis producing, Robyn Wiener as the line producer, Jen and Sylvia Soska as co-directors, Brian Pearson as the DOP, Tony Devenyi as the produc-
tion designer, Kent Fabian as the production coordinator and John Wittmayer as the location manager. Here through most of December was the pilot for This American Housewife, which had Melanie Griffith playing a woman whose perfect life is disrupted by conversations with an inner voice that are telling her things that she doesn’t want to know. The executive producers are Antonio Banderas, Erik Jendresen, Jason Weinberg, Griffith and Raymond
Ricord as executive producers with David Slade directing, Tracey Jeffrey producing, Jo Willems as DOP, Eric Fraser as production designer, Charles Lyall as production manager, Fawn McDonald as production coordinator, Kirk Johns as location manager and John MacCuspie as special effects coordinator. Back in town for a second season is AMC’s Emmy-nominated The Killing, which stars Mireille Enos as a Seattle cop on the trail of a killer. It has Veena Sud and Mikkel Bondesen as executive producers, Ron French and Kristen Campo as producers, Greg Middleton as DOP, Michael Bolton as production designer, Craig Forrest as production manager, Jennifer Aichholz as production coordinator and Kent Sponagle and Dan Carr as production coordinators. Bill Ryan is the special effects coordinator. The series will be here until April. It joins several series currently shooting in Vancouver including Alcatraz, Arctic Air, Fairly Legal, Falling Skies, Fringe, Once Upon A Time, Supernatural and The Secret Circle. Also calling Vancouver home in January were the feature Man of Steel and the documentary series Consumed, which has de-cluttering expert Jill Pollack challenging overwhelmed families to survive for 30 days with only the bare essentials. The executive producers are Cal Shumiatcher, David Paperny and Audrey Mehler with Barry Gray as the producer, Glace Lawrence as location manager/production manager and Natasha Maurer as production coordinator. n
Reel West January / February 2012
Prophet Kick-starts Early Profit
Digi Awards Honours NFB The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) won two awards at the recent 2011 Digi Awards ceremony in Toronto. NFB executive producer Loc Dao was named Canada’s top digital producer for 2011, while the documentary Welcome to Pine Point was named Best Web Series: Documentary. A spokesperson said that as executive producer and creative technologist for the NFB’s English-language interactive productions, Dao leads a team of interactive creators and producers from across Canada. She said their work has received dozens of international and national honours, including two 2011 Webby Awards for Welcome to Pine Point and a 2010 Webby for Waterlife as well as a 2010 Canadian New Media Award for The Test Tube with David Suzuki. Photo c/o NFB
An on-line website aimed at raising funding for a short film has brought in $21,000 according to its producer/ directing team. Producer David Cormican and director James Cooper announced recently they have successfully crowd-funded that much through their online website Kickstarter for the film Elijah the Prophet. “It’s pretty incredible the power of crowd funding,” said Cormican. “And now we know we have 132 super fans and financial backers who are looking forward to the antics of Elijah the Prophet. Not to mention the hundreds of folks who have been a part of our online army of social network-
Bits and Bytes
ers. I’m extremely pleased with the show of support for Canadian indie film through this medium.” Cormican said the script, written by Zachary and Jesse Herrmann of Brooklyn, New York, beat out over 500 other worldwide entries to take the grand prize at last year’s Yorkton Film Festival. It tells the story of an alcoholic prophet, whose yearly antics have graced Jewish households for ages as part of the Passover celebration. The short stars Brian Markinson, Melanie Nicholls-King and Tonya Lee Williams. The DOP is Alwyn Kumst with, Olds Sleeper as composer and Alan Hardiman editing.
She said Welcome to Pine Point is a 2011 interactive web documentary by Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge that explores the memories of residents from the former mining community of Pine Point, Northwest Territories. She said it’s one of the NFB’s most popular interactive docs, with over 160,000 views since its launch in February 2011. The Digi Awards, formerly know as the Canadian New Media Awards, recognize Canadian companies that have demonstrated “constant dedication and success in enhancing and enriching the field of digital media in Canada and abroad.”
Streaming Service To Launch The national non-profit organization, First Weekend Club, which has been promoting Canadian cinema since 2003, has announced that they have surpassed their goal and raised over $45,000 towards the beta launch of a streaming service that will help bring Canadian films online. A spokesperson said the Video-On-Demand streaming platform will feature “a curated library of the very best Canadian films available.” Anita Adams said the “virtual cinema” will ensure that quality Canadian feature films are available in Canada. “We are really excited about being able to move forward with this important initiative,” said Adams, executive director of First Weekend Club. “This streaming service Ali Liebert is quickly becoming one of Canada’s fastest rising stars.
Girls Gone Wild
BC’s Ali Liebert and Meg Tilly have been cast in the Global series Bomb Girls. The Toronto-based show is set to premiere this month (January.) A spokesperson says the show tells the story of women who risked their lives in a munitions factory building bombs for the Allied forces in World War II. Meanwhile, Liebert will also appear in the feature Foxfire, which is set in the 1950s, and follows a group of young girls in upstate New York. The movie is based on the novel by multiple Pulitzer Prize finalist Joyce Carol Oates, Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang. Liebert plays a mother figure to the girls, and girlfriend to the main character’s father. It was written and directed by French filmmaker Laurent Cantet, known for the Academy Award-nominated The Class, which won the Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival A Liebert spokesperson says the actor is also co-starring with Michael Clarke Duncan, Loretta Devine and Vivica A. Fox in the feature film In the Hive. The movie tells the true story of a North Carolina school that keeps troubled boys off the streets. Reel West January / February 2012
will provide a much-needed alternative platform to indie filmmakers wishing to access a new and ever-growing digital audience. How we view movies keeps evolving rapidly, but there will always be a hunger for great films that have the power to change, inspire, move, and entertain - and we want to connect audiences with those films.” Said Telefilm Canada executive director Carolle Brabant, “Proportionally, Canada is the world’s top online video viewing country. What is clear is that in order to stimulate audience demand for Canadian cinema, the industry must look beyond traditional distribution channels. First Weekend Club’s VOD service is innovative – a made-in-Canada platform to make domestic feature films available to Canadians anywhere, anytime.”
passages Peter Sara, Founder, Gastown Productions Dies at 74 Peter Sara, often credited with bringing the first modern post-production facility to Vancouver, died December 16 of Lymphoma Cancer at the age of 74. According to his son Steve, Sara founded Gastown Productions with partners Bob Campbell and Larry Muirhead in 1979. He was a partner until 1986. In a 2000 interview with Reel West, Sara said that he and his partners felt that BC needed a post-production facility to keep production money in the province. “We knew how much we needed right down to the penny. We approached the Business Development Corporation of B.C. for $500,000. Our numbers were flawless and our pitch to them was solid. (We said) ‘The only other post facility in Canada is in Toronto and many B.C. producers are taking their money out of province. Why are we letting this happen?’ That question was answered with a check from the development bank and an operating line of credit from the Royal Bank. After a lot of painstaking effort, we were in business!” Sara went on to found a second company, MV Video Publishing Group, in 1992. Steve Sara said that in recent years his father ran a bed and breakfast and salmon fishing charter business on Mayne Island. 5
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Amanda Crew stars in Saskatoon-shot series, Ferocious
Saskatoon Gets Ferocious
Alberta and Saskatchewan joined forces on a Saskatoon-shot series this fall. The show, called Ferocious, stars Amanda Crew, Kim Coates and Michael Eklund, as players in a plot to retrieve a sexually incriminating videotape from a seedy nightclub. The co-producing companies are Saskatoon’s KarmaFilm and Calgary-based Chaos. Chaos’s Carolyn McMaster and Karma Film’s Anand Ramayya said they were happy to work together. In a joint statement they said “this is a very ambitious film and has taken a long time to develop and get before the camera, but we couldn’t be happier with the cast and crew that we’ve assembled.” McMaster and Ramayya are the film’s producers while Robert Cuffley is directing, Mark Dobrescu is the DOP, Mike Shields is the composer and Ken Filewych is editing. Brokering Entertainment A Vancouver company specializing in the brokering of specialized entertainment insurance has announced that it has hired a successful manager of two of California’s most trusted insurance companies. Front Row Insurance says Mike Groner will now provide the brokerage house with “compelling marketing and promotion of the innovative programs it has been offering since the company’s founding in 2009.” According to the company’s president, David Hamilton, Groner will use his Los Angeles experience to service film and new media producers in Vancouver as well as managers of fairs and festivals. “Due to our size and volume with 6
the insurance companies, we have rates and coverages that help us stand apart, and Mike knows how to effectively communicate those benefits to professionals in the industry who will gain from his expertise. With Mike’s help, our clients will have much more time to make films and promote festivals instead of wasting time trying to find out how to protect their assets.” Hamilton said Groner began his career in e-marketing as vice president with an online skateboard retailer, before moving into entertainment insurance with such firms as CMM Entertainment and Truman Van Dyke, where he was director of sales and marketing. Reel West January / February 2012
Go West for Loud A Toronto-based series set to find the loudest know-it-alls in Canada has found its stars in the west and Ontario. The show, entitled Canada’s Greatest Know-It-All premieres on Discovery Channel on January 30. According to a spokesperson, the competition features 10 of Canada’s biggest self-proclaimed smarties, competing “head-to-head in a supersized arena of grit and wit” to prove who is the
champ. The competitors include Powell River’s Jennifer Salisbury, and Wayne Skuhala from Oliver as well as Irricana, Alberta’s Ted Coffey and Prince Albert’s Thomas Porter. Their Ontario counterparts are Cary Lucier, Sabina Dawson, Dave Spencer, Stephen Drooker, Nick Nelson and Dan Dicaire. The series is produced by Boxing Cats and Cream Productions.
Indie Game: The Movie will be part of this year’s Sundance Film Festival
Game a Winner
Two productions from western Canada lead a solid delegation of Canadian films to this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Winnipeg directors James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot are making their first appearance at the independent film festival with their documentary Indie Game: The Movie while Bear 71, an NFB installation adapted from a documentary by Calgary’s Leanne Allison and Vancouver-based producing partner Jeremy Mendes, will be in the New Frontiers program and at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City from January 19 to April 19. Indie Game, which is about independent video game companies, will be part of the World Cinema Documentary Competition. The Bear 71 installation follows a Banff National Park grizzly bear and was produced by Loc Dao, Bonnie Thompson, Rob McLaughlin and the NFB’s Digital Studio. Joining Indie Game in the documentary competition are Jennifer Baichwal’s NFB-produced Payback and China Heavyweight, Yung Chang’s follow-up to Up the Yangtze. Joining Bear 71 in the New Frontier program is Denis Côté’s Bestiaire. Canada’s foreign language Oscar choice, Monsieur Lazhar, has been included in the Spotlight section. And two short films have been invited to the International Shorts competition. Surveillant will screen in the International Narrative Short Films section while Les Conquérants will screen in New Frontier Short Films. The Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19 to 29. Reel West January / February 2012
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Indiecan Might A few months after Canadian filmmakers lost indie distributor Maple Pictures to an Alliance Films buyout, a new company appears to be ready to assume the mantle. Toronto-based produce Avi Federgreen, who generated mainstream attention for productions like Score: A Hockey Musical and George Ryga’s Hungry Hills says Indiecan Entertainment will be bringing the best of Canadian independent filmmaking to market. “We make many independent films in Canada every year and not even ten percent of these films get distribution,” says Federgreen. “(So
many Canadian films) are made by first-time filmmakers or those with low budgets that never see the light of day. (They) will be seen at festivals, which can inject a tiny bit of life into the film’s commercial hopes. But it’s here where they end up hitting a wall, and this is the situation I would like to change.” Federgreen says he is targeting films made with “imagination and vision” for under $1,250,000. “I want to create a home and a life for these films,” he says. “They are the key to filmmakers realizing their second films, third films, and so on.”
John Cassini Actor Vancouver actor John Cassini has an impressive resume, one that ranges from international hits like Alive and Se7en to locally produced television shows like Da Vinci’s Inquest and Intelligence for which he won Gemini Award nominations. However, he still takes to the local stage and will be performing in the Vancouver Playhouse production of God of Carnage when it opens in April. Home Town Born in Toronto, Annex and Christie Pits area. Lived in New York and in Los Angeles for 12 years before moving to Vancouver eight years ago. Start Date When I was 15 I read a biography on Montgomery Clift my brother Frank gave me and was seduced by the commitment to acting, the Actors Studio and that whole era. When I look back I think it started then. I never watched movies or the performances the same again. Best Day When my sons were born. Worst Day My dad dying before I could get back to Toronto in time. Think I’ll always mourn that as much as the loss. Most Memorable Working Experience Ahhh, so many. Shooting the movie Alive. It was an all encompassing experience as a young actor getting to “method out” with supervised diets etc. It was exhilarating. Also the TV series Intelligence was a dream job for all the best creative and personal reasons. Robson Arms was also pretty magical, and so much fun. And I would have to say just about every play I’ve done. Never regret doing a play. I could go on. I have been pretty lucky and love working. If I Won an Oscar I Would Thank Julie Bovasso my teacher in New York for simultaneously scaring me and inspiring me when I first started. And Susan Peretz who was my teacher and fellow co-founder of 3rd street theater in LA. I spent 10 intense years with her and the theater company and it shaped who I am as an actor. She also had a lot to do with me becoming a lifetime member of the Actors Studio which elevated my exploration of the work to a new level and fulfilled a dream. Mel Tuck, we had a special thing going at Gastown for a while there. Also, Barry Primus, Mark Rydell and Chris Haddock. These men have meant a tremendous amount to me in my journey as a man, father and artist. And my family of course, especially my boys, who crack me wide open on a daily basis. My Latest Five Year Plan Well, I have had a couple of TV series in development. I would like to see one get greenlit!! Hear that universe?! I love being on a series so if not mine then hopefully someone else’s. I have been producing features in the last few years and am slowly gearing up to direct one soon. I’m also doing a wonderful play God Of Carnage at the Vancouver Playhouse next year and that’s real exciting. And to raise my boys with continued love and patience.
Michelle Harrison stars in Borealis
Borealis Lights Space Canada’s Space network recently announced today that production is underway on the pilot for a politically charged original series called Borealis, which is set in the Canadian Arctic and co-produced by Alberta and Ontario production companies. The show, which is set approximately 30 years in the future, tells the story of a frontier town and explores the political, environmental and social impact of a world in which the polar icecaps have melted and countries are vying for the last vestiges of oil in the Arctic. It’s produced by Toronto-based Slanted Wheel Entertainment and Calgary’s Seven24 Films. It was created by writers Andrew Wreggitt and Andrew Rai Berzins. The executive producers are Tom Cox, Jordy Randal and Jon Slan. It stars Ty Olsson, Michelle Harrison, Patrick Gallagher and Christine Horne.
Reel West January / February 2012
Ghost Hunters Case could Change Approach to Pitch Sessions
riters and producers frequently ask me what they can do to protect the rights to their ideas when they make pitches to U.S. studios, networks and production companies. Due to the volume of submissions that these companies receive, they either refuse to accept any
Kyle Fodgen Entertainment Lawyer
unsolicited materials, or insist on the submission being accompanied by a release that waives most or all rights relating to the submission. The studios and networks argue, not without justification, that these releases are necessary to prevent them from being sued for their use of generic ideas, or ideas that were developed in-house or pitched by third parties. There are clearly delineated ways that a writer can protect the intellectual property rights in their script, the most common (and effective) being copyright registration and registration with the writers’ guilds. The same cannot be said for ideas and concepts for movies and television shows, because copyright protection only extends to the expression of a creative idea in a tangible medium (like a script), not to the idea or concept itself. Therefore, there is nothing under copyright law to prevent one party from utilizing another’s idea without permission, even if that idea was introduced in a pitch meeting or via a solicited submission. Despite the lack of a remedy under copyright law, a recent decision of the California federal court has revived a cause of action from contract law for creators of underlying concepts: breach of implied contract. The cause of action has existed for some time, but until recently the American courts have found that it is not viable in this context because it is pre-empted by federal copyright law. The California decision concerned the Syfy reality show Ghost Hunters. The plaintiffs alleged that they met with network executives on a number of occasions to pitch their idea for a show in which paranormal investigators search for evidence of ghosts at haunted locations. The Reel West January / February 2012
network rejected their idea, but went ahead with the Ghost Hunters series, which the plaintiffs argued was based on their concept. When the plaintiffs filed their claim against the network and producers of Ghost Hunters, they sued for copyright infringement and breach of implied contract. They argued that the implied contract was based on a business practice that has been in place between creators and producers for decades in California, wherein producers and authors enter pitch meetings with the understanding that the author will be paid if their ideas are used. The Ghost Hunters plaintiffs sued for a breach of that implied contract, and sought damages for compensation as creators of the show. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their copyright claim, and their breach of implied contract claim was initially dismissed on the grounds that federal copyright laws pre-empted the state’s contract laws. The plaintiffs appealed, and were eventually successful in convincing the court that the contract claims were not pre-empted by copyright law. In November, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the California decision. The factual allegations in the case have yet to be proven, so it is now back to the courts for further proceedings. The upshot of the Ghost Hunters decision is not that writers will always be successful in bringing claims based on implied contracts. Instead, it means that networks and studios can no longer be assured of obtaining a quick dismissal of “idea theft” cases in the early stages of litigation. Studios and networks may therefore become more restrictive with their policies for accepting submissions, or they may structure their releases in a manner that waives any “implied contract” rights. But for now, those who participate in pitch meetings (on both sides of the table) will have to be mindful of the possibility that the writer/creator may now have a stronger claim for compensation if their idea (or a substantially similar idea) is used as the basis for a production.
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Reel West January / February 2012
Mary M. Frymire
“I absolutely adore the process of spending intense creative energy designing shot lists, storyboards and questions that dig as deep as I can go...”
came across a letter I wrote as a child to my mother explaining the first feature film I went to. The letter was titled: ‘”Planet of The Apes’ I gave my Mom a breakdown of the plot and characters and was so truly absorbed in the process that as a young child I knew storytelling was my raison d’être. I grew up on air force bases, and had to present my ID every time I went in or out of the base but, in contrast, families on the base became very, very close and supportive. I developed an intense desire to culturally connect, and have always sought to understand the other end of the spectrum, what lies beneath and what the word is on the street. I have spent a major portion of my life in the developing world, as an ethnographic filmmaker, seeking to explore and celebrate cultural differences, art, politics and social issues that relate to people’s lives and interactions: visual anthropology. There have been several career incarnations, from four years fishing on a salmon troller on the West Coast out of Ucluelet, to another four years of tree planting in the wilds of BC and Alberta, to working with Save The Children in Swaziland, Lesotho and Botswana, finally landing firmly in the world of storytelling and filmmaking with an ethnographic edge. I focused on writing and theatre when I went to high school in Stratford, Ontario and then English and Education in University, studied Montessori and taught internationally for a few years, realizing I wanted to teach and explore visually. I found myself at Capilano College studying film and television. Upon graduating, I wanted more and studied documentary at the Banff Centre for Fine Arts, then went to Europe for four years, studying film at The National Film School and The London Filmmakers Co-op. I worked throughout Europe, in both drama and documentary. London was the centre of the universe for filmmakers with an international hunger. I worked on documentary series like Earthfile and Roving Report directing stories internationally on the environment, ethnographic culture and politics. I also worked on a long-running television drama in Martinique called Runaway Bay, about kids changing the world. I directed and filmed a 16mm film in Paris exploring cemeteries and catacombs, and then moved to Spain for a year to focus on a film about Carmen Amaya and the roots of Flamenco, while also studying that dance form. Art is life, and life is Art in Espana. It was an amazing experience that I would love to repeat at the drop of a hat! Ole! I returned to Canada, anxious to apply my co-production knowledge honed in Europe, and found a home at the CBC in documentary for four years, culminating with producing my own show, Planet Watch for Newsworld. Then the world beckoned strongly again and I moved to Brazil, filming documentaries on music and women, another on Candomble; an Afro Brazilian Religion, and one on Street Kids; teaching kids to tell their own stories with cameras, while I filmed them. I also made one on Christine Lamont, the Canadian social justice activist, imprisoned in a Sao Paulo jail and charged with kidnapping. To get clearance to film in the prison, I had to go to court in Sao Paulo with a lawyer and bring the warden her favourite chocolates. I filmed up and down the enchanting Amazon, traveling always by ferry, sleeping in hammocks rocking slowly through the buzzing tropical night jungle. One project was with an NGO - Saude & Alegria - funded by UNICEF, traveling by boat to villages teaching the youth and villagers how to make ethnographic documentaries and radio programs that we would then take to the next village. They were all about life in the village: culture, music, shamanism, native dialects, the arts and Amazonian cures for cancer. The radio programs would be broadcast on the river at 7:00 pm, the sound carried by the river to the next village. Sound carries over water and all the villagers up river would be by the banks listening intently.
Reel West January / February 2012
One solo trip up the Amazon to Peru my camera was stolen while on the boat. Twelve hours later I had sleuthed who had stolen it, and craftily had it back in my arms, safe and sound. I can still hear my heart pounding, spying on the thieves and crafting a story to get it back. Then it was on to a series called Planet Video about kids making a difference around the world. I taught kids how to tell stories and basic editing and then would film the kids unfolding their stories and their lives in Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Haiti, Brazil, and Bolivia. I then returned to Vancouver and zoned in on dramatic production for several years, producing an indie feature and being production manager on a massive series with Chris Carter called Harsh Realm. I produced several Japanese big budget commercials which was a world unto itself. And then back into social-issue documentaries: in Thailand filming an amazing child prostitution prevention program in Mae Sai, and researching Trafficking in Women and Girls. Then on to India to film sacred dance and study yoga and dance. Then a series with CIDA: Stories from the Field, about social justice in the developing world and also ethnographic documentary films about media literacy, trauma and recovery, domestic violence, girls and self esteem. And another series, Dialogue Between Nations on First Nations in dialogue around the world. There were a myriad of other series including Animal X For BBC, Flightline for Ch 5 UK, a documentary on Beluga communication, wild salmon and Alexandra Morton. I have directed many travel series including 13 episodes for Word Travels and had a total career highlight directing a documentary on orphaned elephants in Kenya called For the Love of Elephants for Make Believe Media and The Nature of Things. An extraordinary experience. Also a documentary on free diving and am now working on a screenplay on the same subject. I have most-recently been honing my skills on underwater stories, learning the art of free-diving and filming sea stars. A highlight of my feature film endeavors was casting Talia Shire for a lead role. She would not accept the role until she had a very specific conversation with me. She felt confident I was a director she could work with. I spent copious hours preparing for this, researching her role, immersing myself in the subtle insights into her character that an actor and director might explore. Talia and I spoke at great length and after many insights from both of us Talia accepted the role. As a director I often work with a DP, or I will shoot and direct myself. When I am working on a more sensitive scene where my instincts need to be highly tuned or there is an intensely emotional moment with a subject or character, I often prefer to shoot and direct myself. I can bring out very deep emotions when I am shooting/directing as the subject is often less intimidated than with an entire crew Audiences and subjects are intelligent, and I desire to feed and nurture that intelligence. I absolutely adore the process of spending intense creative energy designing shot lists, storyboards and questions that dig as deep as I can go. I am forever utilizing visualization tools and techniques to create unique scenes and composing shots to consider negative space, depth of frame, interesting camera angles, open and closed framing, point of view shots, visual poetry and ethereal transition shots. I am always looking for still life symbolism because a picture often can be a thousand words. I am acutely interested in raising the production value bar. I believe in strong storytelling while applying solid production design principles inter-cut with true vérité experiences that are raw. I like to shoot masters and then shoot the scene again, moving in for tights and varying angles. But also when it works, to try at times shooting coverage
Beginnings continued on page 13 11
Reel West January / February 2012
Connie and Annalise with Cam Hilts and Jamie Biluk on bikes.
Photo by Clayton Racicot
behind the scenes
Mother and daughter duo Connie and Annalise DeBoer
hile Vancouver has a number of outstanding talent agents, one agency has found a different niche, one that could change the way that consumers look at the portrayal of athletes in media. Action Talent has had its finger on the pulse of Canadian sports since retired athlete Sherry Newstead-Boyd founded it in 2001. Albertan mother/ daughter Connie and Annalise DeBoer joined the team in 2005 and purchased the business a year later. The DeBoers have continued the tradition of seeking out high level athletes and extreme sports specialists for film and television and print and to date represent more than 700 athletic performers in nearly 60 different sport disciplines. As Canadian athletes continue to gain world class recognition, Canadian consumers have developed an insatiable demand for healthy life style and extreme sports marketing. Action Talent is filling that demand with Olympians, World Cup contenders and X-Game champions, along with stunt performers and stunt coordinators. Athletes of all ages and ethnicities are now a part of the agency. “It used to be that productions would hire actors to play athletes,” says Connie DeBoer. “But these days people expect to see actual athletes in commercials and marketing rather than actors or models portraying athletes. They are just not buying into that anymore and these are the people that Action Talent is bringing to the table.” “We make it easy for advertising agencies and casting directors” says Annalise DeBoer. “We have assembled a diverse variety of sports performers of all ages, and we screen the athletes so that they don’t have to. When we say we are sending them an extreme skier…that is exactly who they get.” “We like to think of ourselves as the hub to which this wheel of amazing and talented athletes revolves around: the keepers and handlers of this power ball of talent that has become Action Talent Inc.,” says Connie DeBoer. “We feel we are invested in the future of these athletes and that they are quite simply the best of the best.” The agency’s timing has been excellent. Two years after the city hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics the trend in advertising took exactly the turn towards healthy life style and active living that the mother/daughter team had predicted. Connie DeBoer says the list of athletes working with the Action Talent / Action Talent Sports Management team is growing daily. “For every Olym-
pian that walks in the door there are four emerging champions right behind them who are just as important to us.” “We just never know who will walk in our door next,” says Annalise, pointing to photos of Kevin Riemer, two-time world champion downhill long board skateboarder and Jonel Earl, bull whip performer for Cirque de Soleil. “But representing athletes at all levels is what sets us apart. We represent everyone from children’s hockey teams to Olympic wind surfers” The list of television commercials and print ads includes such heavyweights as Hummer, Suzuki, BMW, and Harley Davidson and everything from Coors Light to Campbell’s Soup. In the film Hot Tub Time Machine, Action Talent brought together 64 high level skiers for one scene. Connie DeBoer says the high profile athletes come to Action Talent because of the agency’s reputation. “Whether it’s shooting a snowmobile segment on the Brandywine glacier with Olympic Gold medalist Ashleigh McIvor or lining up a ski segment for famed Whistler free skier Austin Ross for Sport Chek, Action Talent days are never dull.” The DeBoers say that seeking out athletic roles in film, television and commercial castings is just part of what they do. “We always have our ear to the ground, searching for innovative ways to provide opportunities for our people,” says Annalise. The newest division of the company, Action Talent Sports management, is the “natural evolution” of the business, she says. “We are always out there looking for sponsorships, endorsements and branding and it just makes sense with the level of many of our athletes.” Connie DeBoer says that the agency has grown from the hard work that has come from everyone involved. She says that vital ingredient added to knowledge and experience in both the film industry and talent management has kept the wheels turning. Connie has over 20 years of experience in business, politics and human relations while Annalise, an alumnus of Vancouver Film School, is the host of Talk About Sports, which airs on the Cave Network. Connie DeBoer says that the key to the company’s success has been the attitude it has taken towards Canadian athletes. “Representing athletes is a privilege,” says Connie. “It’s what inspires us. I think it was our mutual respect and admiration of professional athletes that led us to this unique group of individuals, and it is that same respect and admiration that continues to be the driving force behind Action Talent Incorporated.” n
Beginnings continued from page 11
allow their sometimes-intense emotions to surface. I have huge abilities to work independently but am equally comfortable with a team. I adore the process involved to develop/pitch story ideas, research, interview, plan and film fabulous footage, write and story edit scripts and work with subjects and characters to flesh out the story arcs, angles and compelling visuals. I live for visual innovation and naturally flowing, engaging dialogue. My interest continues in cross-cultural story telling in documentary and drama. I thrive on the dynamic of new places, people and cultures. I have traveled extensively throughout my career having had the honour of visiting and working in over 57 countries. I have projects in various stages of development in Canada, the US, Latin America, Europe and Africa. Life is good! I also have the good fortune of holding an artist work visa for the US, which I plan to use in the near future! To complete the circle, my 21-year old stepdaughter is now studying Arts at Capilano University and about to venture into the wilds of Guatemala with her Sociology course. n
within takes. And also when it works to shoot moving masters. Lighting wise, I prefer a natural feeling, and not lighting that is imposed, lighting the face in subtle and effective ways. I like a very lightly and softly lit set, with soft modeling on faces and eye-lights, letting the shadows fall off naturally and creating depth in the scene by using soft kickers on objects and sometimes backlighting the subject. Also long lens, shallow DOF with crushed backgrounds and soft foreground. Think impressionistic painting, with lots of depth and tone in the frames. I like to frame using strong composition and negative space. I am very comfortable approaching people from diverse cultures and socioeconomic sectors. I relate well with people from all walks of life. I am able to identify with people and know how to bring them out of their shell and develop trust, which allows for an honest and open dialogue on-camera. I definitely possess the diplomacy to handle what can be emotionally sensitive situations. I am extremely compassionate and empathetic towards other people’s feelings and experiences and create the space the person needs to Reel West January / February 2012
question and Answer
Director GEORGE MILLER during the making of Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ animated family comedy adventure Happy Feet Two Photo courtesy of warner bros. pictures
George Miller On Making the Move from Mad Max to Dancing Penguins and Back Again
eorge Miller had become famous as the man behind three Mad Max films when he started to mix up the messages. He made two popular dramas, Lorenzo’s Oil and The Witches of Eastwick and then chose a road that Max himself would have never taken. He travelled to the bucolic Australian countryside as producer and writer of the unique live action/animated film Babe and its follow-up Babe: Pig in the City, which he directed. Babe won seven Oscar nominations including two for Miller. He liked the process of directing the sequel enough that he decided to produce, write and direct an animated feature about the mating habits of Empire penguins. Happy Feet won him an Oscar for Best Animated
Film. He made the sequel Happy Feet 2 while doing preparatory work for the fourth installment of the Mad Max movies. Fury Road is scheduled to be shot in Australia next spring. It will star Tom Hardy, who plays Bane in the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises. Miller talked to Reel West in November in Los Angeles. This Happy Feet isn’t that happy. Global warming that causes the penguins to drift apart, literally, is at the centre of the plot. What was the impetus for changing the tune? “Well, you have these massive icebergs that are breaking off now and are the size of small countries and they all have their own names and they are tracked by satellite. They do block off the penguins and there are great shifts in the krill population;
the great bio masses that feed all the animals there. They are going south. But the guiding premise of the film is the notion that together, despite our differences, we can overcome the chaos of the world. All the characters are divided and torn apart and it is only when they come together that they finally solve the problem.” The first movie made a lot of money. Did you hold out until the script felt right for a second one? “To get this film going the biggest issue was to get the story right. Warner Bros., because of the success of the first film, wanted to do a second film but I could only do it if I felt a strong story coming. These characters do live in your head because you spend so much time with them and already this story was evolving. It crept up on me before I even had time to think
I was already at the point where the characters lived like imaginary friends and their story played out and suddenly I thought that we were on our way to make a second film.” To do the tap dancing for both the first film and this one, you hired Savion Glover, who is considered the greatest living tapper by most people. Can you talk a little about working with someone who is an icon of his craft. “For the first film, he came down for a week and the first thing I had to understand about him was that he is a classic hoofer and a brilliant percussionist who can use his body for percussion. I am told by people who know these things, that he is working with such complex rhythms that it is almost mindboggling. You get a lot of wonderful material that you can use because you have 90 minutes to tell your story. We watched him dance for hours and I can tell you right now that if he is awake he is tapping and to watch that virtuosity is fantastic. The privilege for me working with really talented people is that whatever the universe conspired to make them, they have unique abilities that let them shine. To see that and to sort of have a say of what they will contribute makes me excited and gives me a sense of wonder. Savion is the dance equivalent of that.” You shot the film in 3D. Was that an additional challenge or is it easier when you are working with animation? “In digital production and animation the 3D isn’t’ that different. It’s a technical exercise and there is some expense and depending on how you do it it adds about $10 to $15 million to your budget. But once you are shooting in digital you have the left eye and the adjustment to the right eye is just done by rendering it on computer with some other nuances that help it work. In live action it is much more difficult. If you film me and then try to create another version of me it is much more artificial.” For a guy who started out with Mad Max, you are a big fan of technology. Does it make movies better? “With Babe we waited ten years for the technology to be available but things were going digital in the early 90s. I loved animation but never thought I would get involved and then the Babe films came along and then the technology advanced Reel West January / February 2012
and we could do more and more. And here we are through our second Happy Feet. Now we are seeing the potential of the technology and I think since the advent of film itself and the advent of sound on film the biggest advance has been digital technology in filmmaking. It’s very significant in that it leads to an unfettered imagination. And as people get command of the technology they are not driven by the technology. Instead, you actually use the technology for the purpose of an immense storytelling experience and it becomes much more enticing. I always loved 3D stereo movies back in the day, even when it was analogue, and to see it at this level it’s remarkable.” At one point you were working on the animated Happy Feet 2 and the sequel to the Mad Max films at the same time. How did that happen? “John Lennon said ‘life is what happens when you make other plans’ and I never know what film I am going to make next. I was going to make Green Lantern and it fell away. Then we were due to do Happy Feet 2 and these things are like big super tankers. A project like this takes over 700 people and the leading edge of technology. Then we were supposed to shoot Fury Road last year in the Australian desert but the floods caused the flat grey earth to become a flower garden and salt lakes are now full of pelicans and fish. Theoretically we will be shooting next spring and we have 100 vehicles built for it.” Why did you come back to Mad Max? You used to say you had had enough of the films. “By the end of Thunderdome I was happy to never have to even mention the name Mad Max. I had done them and they were the only three features I had done as a director so there was no way that I wanted to look at another one. Then in the late 1990s – and I remember the moment because it was almost like post traumatic stress syndrome – I had a flash in my head of a little story. I thought ‘that is a Mad Max movie.’ It was a plot structure but I put it out of my head and didn’t think of it again. Then four years later I was flying from Sydney to Los Angeles, which is 14 hours, and I was in that hypnotic state between sleep and being awake and this movie started playing in my head. It was kind of a misty version of what is now Fury Road. I rejected it. Then we started to write Reel West January / February 2012
it back in 2001 and we wrote it and then we were about to shoot but the war had started n Iraq and the American dollar collapsed and we lost 25% of our budget. We couldn’t get insurance because we wanted to shoot in the desert of Namibia and take all of our vehicles over on the ships but at that point Warner wanted to do Happy Feet 2. The point is that I had definitely rejected it but it is a little bit like relationships where you say ‘I don’t want to be with that person’ but you end up falling in love and they stay in your mind and you end up marrying them.” What motivates you to make movies after four decades? “I still don’t see myself as a professional filmmaker. I ask questions like ‘who are we as human beings?’ and ‘why do we tell each other stories?’ and ‘what is the purpose of narrative and how does it make the world more coherent for us?’ That is one curiosity. The other curiosity is about the technology for me, who started working in celluloid with tape splices and here you have Avid and this digital editing that is a huge leap to actually make movies where you are getting closer and closer to reality. We are at a remarkable moment. I feel terribly privileged to be working at this time because it is the beginning of something remarkable. Having being driven by these two curiosities I see it as being not just one particular genre or one type of story. It’s where the story takes you and what folks you can hire to make something deeply immersive for the audience.” Speaking of hiring folks, we talk about casting being 80% of the job of directing. Would you agree with that? “Oh yeah. It is absolutely true when they say a good 80 per cent of your job is casting. It has to be like a marriage. There has to be some complex attraction to the person in terms of the role but it is hard to define. While Mel Gibson was in drama school he came in for an audition and I had seen actors all day and I was really tired and he did this test. I thought ‘he’s a fine looking fellow. There is something about him looking through the little video camera. There is something there.’ Later on I went back to the tape and it was still there and I recognize that feeling whenever we do casting. There is that ineffable quality but it’s hard to mistake when it is there.” n
“I got onto the set and it was the latter half of the day and I go in and Halle Berry and Robert are in the room and they have their thing going and I am the outsider and I don’t know the crew or anyone. I am trying to get a sense of the vibe before I work and I walk in and Robert is in the bed. You hear all this stuff about Robert; that he’s a method actor and here he is dying. I don’t want to get in anyone’s way but he is lying there and he shuts his eyes and then they start flickering and I think ‘wow, we are connected! Me and De Niro, connected by the method.’ And I start getting a little emotional. But we are getting into the mood and I am feeling it. The next thing I know he starts to shake and says ‘anyone got that coffee?’ And I thought ‘oh my god, he was sleeping.’ I thought he was going deep for me but the truth was that he had been in that bed all day and he was taking a nap.” Actor Hilary Swank on working with Robert De Niro. “One of the things that we discussed and realized is that in the post-Austin Powers era you are one bad line away from dipping into satire. So it was difficult in terms of delivering a character that people would find believable. You couldn’t send it up but you had to be in the same movie as the other people. I had this opinion that the less the audience knows about the character the better. So you don’t have a back story and you don’t provide motivation for his acts. You don’t do the bad guy monologue. I thought ‘if this is going to work we have to believe what Sherlock Holmes says.’ If he says this guy is dangerous then we believe him, and therefore we don’t have to have him running around and shooting his cohorts, the things they do in a movie to convince you he is the villain. In Shakespeare one of the maxims is that you can’t act like a king you must be treated like one.” Actor Jared Harris on walking the thin line between humour and satire in Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows. “I have been an avid consumer of young adult literature since I was one and I know that some people leave that behind when they become older. But I never did that. I was always interested in the fantasy world that was created in those novels and I think that is reflected in pop culture more than ever with reality shows. You have these weird fully made-up people living these fake lives in front of a camera. So I came up with the idea of someone who is completely screwed up and wants to live in a world that is completely unobtainable.” Writer Diablo Cody on her inspiration for writing Young Adult. “I would say this. I have only worked with him once but it seems to me that Marty makes movies for himself. He is a true artist and he makes movies that he wants to see. My first line of the movie had the word ‘malfeasance’ in it and I barely understood it so I asked if he was worried that some of the children in the audience might not understand it, let alone the grownups. And he said ‘no, it’s the right word to use there.’ He is one of the last remaining artists out there. The movie is not focus grouped and it is not tailored for a seven year old in Iowa or Berlin or anywhere.” Actor Sacha Baron Cohen on his admiration of Martin Scorsese with whom he worked on Hugo. Excerpted from interviews done by Reel West editor Ian Caddell.
Seventeen years after it began life as the Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival, the Victoria Film Festival has become western Canada’s second largest film fest with over 100 films over a course of ten days at five venues. Story by
Ian Caddell It has had the same executive director and programmer over the last 15 years, with both Kathy Kay and Donovan Aikman starting in 1998. That constancy in management is one of the reasons for the film festival’s climb from a small core of film fans to an average of more than 60,000 ticket buyers. Kay says that the festival has also had an impact on the city’s attitude towards film culture. “When we got here the regular theatres were playing only Hollywood films but I think we helped to start a trend toward smaller films coming to town. Now, I will look at the bigger theatres and there are four out of seven films that are from independent distributors.” 16
This year, the festival will run from February 3 to 12. Kay admits that the dates have had both positive and negative impact on the festival. She says that the distance from the fall festivals can hamper the Victoria festival’s ability to get films. “We lose films that screen earlier or that they want to release in September. It is a problem that every film festival has. So some films aren’t possible. Sometimes we get ones that weren’t available in the fall but we do lose the Egoyans or things like that because they are usually in a fall festival and are then released. I can’t say that it affects us more than other festivals. But independent filmmakers are always making films.” The city has been described as being home to the “the newly wed and the nearly dead.” So how does that affect a film festival, given that most
festivals are working hard to lower the age of attendance? Baby boomers, who make up the bulk of the audience in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, are necessary for the survival of all three. However, in a smaller market, one noted as a leading destination for Canadian retirees, the graying of the audience is even more inevitable. The good news is that the city is also home to a university and government offices, which usually have a younger working demographic. Kay says that while the main Canadian festivals might find their audience growing older, it doesn’t have to be that way. “Baby boomers started going to film festivals when they started up in the late 1970s and early 1980s and they are still going. But we want them to keep coming. I went to the Sud-
bury Film Festival and you wouldn’t believe the sort of people who were hanging out there. Everyone came out. The people from Cominco were sitting with the people from the cool shops and that has always been what we have strived for. I remember the first time I heard three girls walking along talking about us and I thought ‘we have an impact’ and I feel the buzz much more. I think we are considered to be interesting now. We know what to program and we select strong, relevant films. Most of our volunteers are young – primarily people in their 20s and 30s - so our demos show a nice balance. I think our programming is done that way. We have included vampire movies and films that will attract a younger audience.” Those kinds of films are traditionally shown in a Midnight MadReel West January / February 2012
ness program. Victoria doesn’t show movies at midnight but Aikman says that there are places they can be put without having to label them. “We are looking at programming more ‘Midnight Madness’ type films, but we put them in regular slots. We will be including more genre titles. We are not doing art for art ‘s sake. We are trying to bring film to life. We do have a range of people that attend. I think there is a dip around the 30year old mark in terms of general film audiences and we pick up from there for the most part.” There are obvious cultural differences between Victoria and the country’s three largest film festivals. However, Aikman says that there are even substantial differences between Victoria and Vancouver when it comes to comparing the two cities as film-going centres. “In Victoria a lot of cultural groups are underrepresented. Surprisingly, though, Filipino movies always draw well. The demographics are changing here. I think the Victoria festival audience has become increasingly better educated and our typical demo is people with college degrees. Another difference from Vancouver is that we do not have an industry oriented audience. But we do have a lot of people who ‘have to go’ to the film festival, which is certainly common with Vancouver.” Another thing that Victoria has in common with most modern film festivals is the growth in the number of entries. There is truth in the phrase “anyone can make a movie” and film festival programmers are bearing witness. Aikman says that in the early years of the festival, when filmmakers shot almost exclusively on film stock, the average number of entries hovered around 100. Times have changed. “It’s ten times that now,” he says. “We relied on submissions or the occasional thing that we would call out for. It used to all come to you but now there is so much out there and the life cycle has changed in 15 years. Distributors say that when a film leaves a festival it lasts for two to three weeks. Fifteen years ago, it was typical for a decent title to last at least four weeks or a few months. If you missed it at the art house when it opened you could wait to see it but they move out faster now. Back then the internet was barely on the radar. People would make a movie and go to festivals and make Reel West January / February 2012
sales. A lot of films didn’t know what was next because they were waiting on territorial sales or VHS sales or institutional sales but now there is so much content being created that things are often not released to the public. The end game now is DVD or iTunes or something similar so you know that you can show the movie because they have an agreement for March or April. There is more to look at but there are a lot of tradeoffs. The important thing, I think, is that movies are better now.” That’s a good thing for Aikman who is responsible for looking at most of the entries and has the final say on which movies are picked for the festival. He says that while he collaborates with others to come to conclusions as to which movies will suit the local audiences, he will always need to see more films that anyone else. “In many ways I see myself as a clearing house. I do the logistical thing but I gather opinions from others to capture the essence of a film. There have been great films I have screened but I am not the potential audience so I think someone else should look at it. You have to have a collaborative effort when you are trying to figure out films and their potential audiences.” Inside the ten day festival is a three day forum that took on the name Springboard four years ago. This year should have great appeal for the Island industry given that it will be hosting the final round of the KCTS9 Documentary Pitching Contest worth $10,000 in Development Funds. Kay says the Seattle-based public television station is seeking competitive proposals for a grant to develop a documentary project and prepare a trailer. As for funding for the festival itself, Kay says that the local community is still as strong a supporter as it has been since the beginning. That has worked out well at a time when government and industry have been cutting back on cultural events. “The government is the government,” she says. “For the last few years the province has been going sideways. It has been hard in terms of finding other sponsors to take up the slack although I must say that the local businesses have been great. We have asked them for more and they have come through because they love the festival and they see the results of their investment. They get on board early because they know the quality of the festival. And they know that everyone here wants to go to the festival.” n
Now4 S-LO Ava G opt ila ion ble !
Reel West January / February 2012
Theo Fleury in New York. © 2011 Pyramid Productions
Fire on Ice
Theoren Fleury will tell you he blew an NHL career and $50 million on booze, drugs, gambling and ex-wives. On the ice, he had a career worthy of the Hall of Fame: all-time scoring leader with the Flames, then traded to Colorado, then signed to a $28 million contract with the New York Rangers and finally another big deal with the Chicago Blackhawks. Off the ice, he ran wild, fueling a lust for partying with vodka and cocaine. He was suspended by the NHL for multiple infractions under their substance abuse program, went in and out of rehab, then finally walked away from his team without so much as a phone call. Diary by
Larry Day Theoren also had a dark secret that he kept to himself throughout his career. It’s a heck of a story and he’s one of the most memorable, mercurial characters I’ve ever come across. Just over 20 years after I first met him, I ended up making a feature documentary about him. Theo and I met at the Flames training camp in 1988. As an independent filmmaker, I made a deal with the Flames to follow them behind the scenes through the whole season. We called it A Flames Video Yearbook. They went on to win the only Stanley Cup in franchise history, so it turned into a great story, and a big hit on video. Theoren was a shrimp in a big man’s game, just 5’6”, 160 pounds playing against men 70 or 80 pounds heavier. But what he lacked in size, he made up for in speed, skill, nerve and tenacity. He wowed everyone in training camp, but the team was already deep in talent so he got sent down for half a year. Then an injury opened up a spot, and Theo was called up. He was there to stay. All he did was score a point a game, and then in the playoffs, he was on the first power play unit, feeding passes to Al “Chopper” MacInnis. By May, Theo had won the Stanley Cup in his rookie season. To celebrate, he partied all night, and then went to bed, using the Cup as a pillow. June 2006 Fast forward seventeen years, and I run into Theoren at a Calgary Flames alumni golf tournament. He has been out of the NHL for a few years and is getting a concrete driveway business going. He tells me he should write a book and I tell him my wife, Kirstie, is a writer. They meet and click. Three years later, they produce Theo Fleury: Playing with Fire, a story that rocks the hockey world and becomes one of the best selling books in Harper Collins Canada’s history. It spends more than six months at the top of the best-seller list and is still a best seller in paperback today. Summer 2009 Kirstie and Theo are putting the final touches on the manuscript for a fall release. Part of the story is what Theo did after the NHL, playing a year in Belfast, Ireland where he had won another big fan base with his scoring touch and fiery play. And there had been a year on a senior team called the Horse Lake Thunder in Northern Alberta that came close to winning the national senior championship, the Allan Cup. Talking about his life in the book has given him new confidence. He decides to try to make an Reel West January / February 2012
NHL comeback and begins petitioning the league for re-instatement. At the same time he works out like crazy, hours a day with a personal trainer, adding spin classes and pilates, sweating off 40 pounds and building up muscle. We start planning with Theo for a major documentary based on the book. We shoot him training and do our first extensive interview with him that we keep under wraps until the book comes out. September The NHL grants Theoren permission to come back into the league and the Calgary Flames invite him to training camp, where he scores 11th in fitness tests among men half his age. Media swarm the feel-good story and Theo’s fans are ecstatic to see the little big man back. He scores four points in four games in pre-season, but fails to make the club. He retires as a Flame on his own terms. It turns out his first game back in a Flames uniform has a fairy tale ending. He wins it in a shootout with a signature deke move and leaves the ice with the Saddledome crowd chanting, “Theo, Theo, Theo.” I think at that time, that might make a good opening for our film. Fall The book comes out and all hell breaks loose. The tell-all is maybe the most compelling hockey book ever written, fiercely honest and opinionated, detailing a long list of hockey triumphs and a litany of bad behavior. But the newsmaker is something Theo had kept secret for more than two decades that he had been sexually abused by his junior hockey coach Graham James when he was a vulnerable teenage boy away from home. Theoren had been reluctant to talk about it when he was an NHLer because he didn’t want to become a “poster boy for abuse.” Now on the book tour, he turns into just that. Wherever he goes the big question, sometimes the only question, is about the abuse. And then comes the pressure. “When are you going to press charges?” As is so often the case in sexual abuse cases, whether male or female, the survivors get saddled with the guilt. Theoren stands up to it all and bravely speaks to hundreds of media outlets from The Fifth Estate and Hockey Night In Canada on CBC to Off The Record on TSN and ESPN and The New York Times. He goes on the speaking circuit raising awareness, and ia an inspiration to many abuse survivors, young and old. 2010 The book hits the top of the charts and stays there for months. It flies off the shelves. And we start pitching the documentary to networks. Many of them like the idea of a badly behaved hockey player story: booze, drugs and strippers. But the sexual abuse part of the story scares them off. Telefilm Canada says it is a topic “people just don’t want to see a film about.” Finally, Canada’s pay networks, Movie Central and The Movie Network, Diary continued on page 28 19
Photo by Phil Chin
Reel West January / February 2012
Air Up There Story by
On a frosty day in the BC town of Aldergrove, a bus full of media types comes to a stop at what appears to be a giant old barn in the middle of nowhere. As they grab their coffees and hurry out of the bus into what promises to be warmth, a surprise awaits them: they’re no longer in British Columbia, but have instead stepped into Canada’s north. The sound stages in Aldergrove stand in for Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories. They play host to CBC’s Arctic Air, which premieres in January and stars Adam Beach as a bush pilot who flies DC-3 aircraft into small communities. Since half the production is filmed here and the other half on location in Yellowknife, it’s been quite a challenge for everyone involved, but as the CBC promo reel dictates, “this is the one you dream about.” You’d have a hard time finding anyone on the crew that disagrees with that statement. Writer Ian Weir is credited with creating the show but he acknowledges that before he had written the pilot, he hadn’t been to northern Canada at all, making it a completely new experience for him. “I hadn’t really been north of Dawson Creek. That was the furthest north I’d been before I was approached about creating the show.” That feeling of being new to the north is a recurring theme on the set of the show. Surprisingly, however, this promise of a whole new unknown world didn’t scare off any of the cast or crew. “It was intriguing and not at all what I expected,” said Weir. “Yellowknife is a remarkably cosmopolitan place. The cultural mix is really, really eclectic. I thought it would be entirely white and First Nations, but when you walk down Franklin Street you hear discussions going on with Caribbean accents, and the first taxi driver I had was a guy from Soweto, South Africa, who lives seven or eight months in Yellowknife and goes home for four months. It’s a diverse place, and I was really drawn to that. It’s entirely different from any other place in Canada, yet it reflects what the rest of Canada is in quite an intriguing way. The cultural eclectic mix is quintessentially Canadian.” Production designer Matthew Budgeon agrees. “ It was much more cosmopolitan than I expected. I mean the best coffee shop has a nice Japanese family that runs it. There’s great Vietnamese food up there, a huge Romanian community, a Jamaican community. It has pretty much everything you’d find in any cosmopolitan Canadian city. I think it’s less about cultures and more about people and if you’re the type of person that can embrace the north and embrace living there, you’ll stay, and it doesn’t matter where you’re from.” Adapting to a north that was different from what he originally expected was difficult for Weir, as the show’s setting creates a need for Yellowknife to be present in every scene, something that separates it from most productions. “Like any show that hopes to be successful there’s universality in the characters and their stories. But all of it is rooted very specifically in the environReel West January / February 2012
ment of Yellowknife and the north and in the experience of the north.” Creating a world based on a place that you’ve never been to isn’t easy but Weir says that once he got to visit the Northwest Territories and experience them firsthand, he started to be able to relate to the place, making it easier to understand it. “One of the things that really strikes you when you go to the north is that so many people are living life completely on their own terms. One of the first guys I met, his business card listed him as an artist/prospector. I’ve heard of model-actors, but where else in the world do you come across an artist/prospector? It’s kind of as if that vast canvas gives them the chance to be exactly who they want to be in a way that we don’t get to be in the south. By in large, we wind up being pigeonholed into a larger group. One of the things that really drew me to people like that up there and the rich fodder for drama, is characters that are absolutely themselves, in a way that we all dream that we could be and so often don’t get a chance to aspire to.” Weir was obviously taken by the idea of Yellowknife and the people that inhabit it, making it easy for him to find the place to be inspiring creatively. However, it wasn’t easy for all of the members of the production team to adapt in the same way, due to the fact that the show films in two distinctly different places. “I don’t know of any other TV show,” says Budgeon, “although I’m sure it’s happened, where part of your focus is in one place, and then you travel three and a half hours by plane for the other part of your focus. You can do that on movies and you can do that on a pilot, but on a TV series, having regular locations that happen at one end of the country and the other, from top to bottom, creates logistical issues for sure.” Sheila White, the costume designer on the show, has had similar difficulties adapting to the nomadic nature of the show, none more significant than the simple issue of climate. “Logistically wise, it’s really hard. They had to drive big trucks between here and Yellowknife and you have to go over the Mackenzie River. But the ferry doesn’t run all year because the ice freezes. It’s a lot of hard work and organization to pack everything up three, four days in advance. So you’re busy trying to organize two episodes, because we always film two at once” Besides battling with the climate, White also has the sometimes-enviable, sometimes-not task of dealing with actors, a responsibility that can turn into babysitting if one’s not careful. “When we’re in the studio, it’s a lot easier to get them to put on the parkas and hats and everything because its cold in here, but sometimes outside, like today, on set, they’re supposed to be in Yellowknife. It’s supposed to be -40, and they all just want to wonder around in their hoodies. So it turns into ‘put your hat back on, you would not go outside in just your hoodie.’ So if we to do a direct cut to Yellowknife and then they get up there and it’s already been established that they are just wearing the hoodie, all of a sudden they’re like ‘I’m sooooo cooooold’ and I just say ‘I told you!’” It isn’t easy for the actors to adapt to the changes in location as they must carry on the same character while adapting to different kinds of environment, something that Beach, who plays central character Bobby Martel has embraced. “It adds to the character, being up in Yellowknife. We want the ambiance, the imagery of the landscape which is amazing, and it just helps us 21
Top: Adam Beach as Bobby and Pascale Hutton as Krista Photo by Eike Schroter Bottom: Kevin Mcnulty as Mell Photo by Ed Araquel
in every way to make this an original show. So we need that, and when we come here to fake the flying on the
Beach says repeatedly that he agreed to take the show because of how great the script was, but upon
I’ve always wanted to have an impact on Canadian television or film, so I’m always looking for a Canadian
“There’s a certain way we have to go at things in Yellowknife and we don’t have all the resources that we have down here...”
– Gary Harvey, Executive Producer
green screen and do our acting, that landscape’s going to complement us no matter what.” 22
digging a little deeper, it’s clear that there’s another underlying reason that he’s so excited about it. “Well,
film or something on Canadian television that puts a stamp of approval that Adam Beach was here, that his
was one of the groundbreaking performances coming out of Canada. That’s so hard to find, because projects are so limited, projects are rarely seen. Cause it’s always an American product coming up here to shoot. Seldom a Canadian product, Canadian born with completely Canadian content, you know.” Like almost everyone working on this show, Beach is Canadian but more often than not works on American productions. The fact that they all get to work on a show that’s filmed in Canada, done by people from Canada and about Canada is a big motivator to every member of the production. Beach himself declares, during a set tour, that this is the best crew he’s worked with, the only exception perhaps being Clint Eastwood’s crew on Flags of Our Fathers. “When you ask the industry about Canadian crew, they say they’re the best in the business, and we’re fortunate to have the best here in Vancouver working for us. We’re pretty lucky. When people see the show, they’re going to realize how good our crew is. They’re making it look fantastic.” From the very beginning of the production, it was obvious that it wouldn’t be easy to go north and film in Yellowknife, but as executive producer Gary Harvey says, it was also obvious that it was the right thing to do. “When I came up, there was hope about what we could possibly do with the show and not that it was all born out of me, but when I came on board my first reaction was ‘oh my god, we have to take this show north and actually shoot in the north.’ And they said ‘yeah, that’s what we were thinking,’ but then the question was ‘how do you actually do that?’ That was where I came into it and it’s been a complicated show on a very tight budget and very tight timelines to actually pull off. But we found a way to do it and take advantage as much as we could of the north and Yellowknife.” As expected, one of the main deterrents to the production and filming up north was the weather, which not surprisingly was both unpredictable and hard to react to. “The seasons are a lot quicker to change,” says White. “Here we have a month or two of gradual change, but up there it was like 20C, 20, 20 and then 10 and then a week later it was zero Reel West January / February 2012
and then it was -10. It really changes quickly and then it stays down to -40 and then in March or so, the days brighten up a lot faster because the days get a lot shorter in the fall. It happens really fast, but in the spring it gets brighter slower.” Harvey and his crew, while finding the weather a big challenge, also had other difficulties to deal with, filming-wise that were eventually overcome. “Sometimes we’re not hitting the mark because we can’t control the weather, which is what it is. But for sure, it goes beyond those sorts of elements. There’s a certain way we have to go at things in Yellowknife and we don’t have all the resources that we have down here. So it was a real issue right off the top and our director of photography brought it up at the beginning, saying that we have to make sure we’re matching a consistent style of shooting between these two places. So we adopted something that we can actually pull off in Yellowknife and we can duplicate down here.” Although every member of the crew on Arctic Air will tell you that it’s been a very difficult challenge logistically to film in both the Northwest Territories and Aldergrove, B.C, they will all also tell you that they wouldn’t trade that experience for the world and are extremely glad to have taken the trip up north. Being Canadian, the cast and crew on the show also see it as their responsibility to show fellow Canadians a part of their own country that they barely get to see, and it’s not a duty that they take lightly, particularly Weir. “I’ve been trapped in the production office more than I like to be, but as far as not being from the north, although I’m not, I think all Canadians do have the sense that their country, mythologically involves the north. Of course I’m from a certain generation, growing up with images of Pierre Trudeau kayaking down northern rivers wearing buck skin. There’s something quintessentially Canadian about that, and though I had never been to the north and I’m not very good in cold weather, the whole mystique and my sense of Canada is of an arctic country, a country that includes the arctic. For that reason and for others, I think it’s a very Canadian show, in the best sense of the term, in that it visualizes a Canadian experience.” n Reel West January / February 2012
Better Days: A year in review and a look ahead to 2012 for the four western provinces. production to be as strong or stronger this year.”
The province has several strong crews for the spring and summer seasons when Winnipeg is at its busiest in terms of production. Collins says that because Manitoba Film and Sound is one
While it was not an easy year for any of western Canada’s
government group responsible for both indigenous and interna-
film commissions, all four had something to cheer about. British
tional work, it is easier to know what is coming. “We also have an
Columbia started fast, signing up several major productions in the
advantage, of sorts, because we have a substantial amount of key
early months before hitting a wall in the spring; Manitoba focused
crew, which is something you don’t usually find in small markets.”
on independent local productions and saw several completed by
Alberta saw changes in the way the province approaches fund-
the end of the year; Saskatchewan was home to some interesting
ing. The province’s ministry of culture and community services
sci-fi projects and Alberta hosted new series and returning shows.
drew up a new streaming plan, one that sees two streams rather
BC came out of the gates faster than ever with film commissioner Susan Croome reporting “more feature films and TV pilots
than three. According to film commissioner Jeff Brinton the system increases funding available for all forms of production.
landing than (the same time) in the previous two years.” The high
“We now have an indigenous coproduction stream which will
profile projects were strong with Underworld 4, Twilight Saga:
provide up to 30% of eligible expenditures,” he says. “Stream 2 is
Breaking Dawn, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol; Alvin and the
foreign service which offers up to 26% of funding. These chang-
Chipmunks 3: Chipwrecked all calling BC home. She says that
es will make us more competitive for attracting all forms of pro-
production slowed in the spring with fewer features but summer
duction, particularly service work.” Brinton says that the biggest
and late fall brought big budget films like the Superman movie Man
change was the raising of the service funding from 22 percent.
of Steel with favorite adopted son Zach Snyder at the helm, Ely-
He says he is optimistic that the changes will help the province in
sium, which marked the return of Vancouver Film School grad Neill
2012 and beyond. “The changes in the foreign stream should allow
Blomkamp, and starred Jodie Foster and Matt Damon and Robert
us to attract a lot more production to the province in a year when
Redford’s The Company You Keep all here for several months.
we were already looking forward to being very busy. There is a lot
Croome says that while early 2012 shows promise with at least
of production lined up for Calgary in the coming months. Edmonton
three major films on the way, work done last year to promote the
is holding from last year although there is room for improvement.
city’s reputation as a centre for the creation of visual effects, digital
Calgary has bounced back faster but we are doing everything we
animation and interactive digital content will make a significant im-
can to make Edmonton attractive for indigenous and service work.”
pact on the coming year.
He says the highlights of 2011 included the return of significant
“Vancouver’s hosting of Siggraph 2011, the world’s largest com-
series television to the province with Hell on Wheels and Heartland
puter graphics conference, helped to expand BC’s reputation as a
and Blackstone and a number of pilots. “We are hoping they get
leading digital production centre and visual effects hub as well as a
greenlit so that we can provide a home for a number of series over
desirable location to make long term investments,” she says. “In addi-
the next year.”
tion the Dave (animation) tax credit and the deep talent pool here have
There was some tinkering done to the production system in Sas-
attracted investment from leading international companies including
katchewan as well. While the tax credits are unchanged, SaskFilm’s
Digital Domain, Method Studios, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Pixar
Susanne Bell says they have taken it through an initiative known as
Animation and Rhythm & Hues. These and many other award-win-
the Lean Program, through which all provincial government programs
ning post production and visual effects houses work on productions
were taken. “It is an initiative of the province to ensure red tape and
that are shot in BC, as well as productions from all over the world.”
bureaucracy doesn’t negatively affect business,” she says. “We
Croome says that the fact that production levels in 2011 re-
walked through the tax credit process and made sure that it would
mained strong, despite “the increase in the value of the Canadian
be as efficient as possible. There are operational changes so it can be
dollar and aggressive tax incentives in competing jurisdictions” re-
business friendly. We want to get funding in the hands of producers
flects well on the competitiveness of BC’s experienced cast and
as quickly as possible so they looked at it to determine if there were
crew base and a strong infrastructure and international reputation.
obstacles or inefficiencies faced by applicants. It was a test case on
She is optimistic about 2012 citing the arrival of three major
the cultural side but it is something every ministry is going through.”
films in the early months. “We have Akira (a live action version of
Although the province was down from previous years in terms
the 1988 Japanese anime), Percy Jackson, (Percy Jackson & the
of production, Bell says that 2011 was an improvement on 2010.
Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, the sequel to the big budget
She says that while it may take a while to get back up to previous
Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief) and Seventh Son (set in the
volumes, signs were encouraging.
1700s and starring Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore.) We are op-
“Budgets were lower than we would have liked but we did some
timistic that BC-based television producers will build on their suc-
cool stuff this year including our first zombie film, 13 Eerie and we did
cess in 2011 in drama and factual and lifestyle series production.”
a really cute movie called Vampire Dog that was with Trilight Enter-
In Manitoba, the focus has been on local independent films and it
tainment and Joker Productions in Vancouver. Trilight also worked
has been paying off. “Things were pretty consistent this year with last,”
on Space Milkshake. We did a feature called Ferocious in Saskatoon
says communications and marketing director Ginny Collins. “We just
with two great actors who were born there, Kim Coates and Mike
wrapped three significant Manitoba films with local directors including
Eklund. And Jennifer Lynch was back with a feature called Rab-
Euphoria, directed by Paula Kelly, My Awkward Social Adventure with
bits. We are doing another vampire movie in January called Rufus
Sean Garrity and Rose by Name with Sean Linden, so we are still
that is a vampire coming of age story. So there were great projects
strong in terms of our support for local production companies.”
and a good year. TV will be strong again and is highlighted by the
They are also staying consistent in terms of service work. “There has been a lot of scouting so we anticipate the international
return of the series Insecurities which means next year is also looking promising.” n
Reel West January / February 2012
Top Row: History Televicion’s Ice Pilots NWT, Comedy-drama TV series Hell Cats Middle Row: Feature films Becoming Redwood and Mad Ship, Bottom Row: TV series Todd and the Book of Pure Evil and TV series turned feature film Wapos Bay.
That’s a Wrap! A Look Back at Western Canada’s 2011 Productions
British Columbia BC Lifestyle Series
EAT ST. With 52 new street food vendors featured in 20 different cities across North America, Eat St. provides viewers with the second-edition of their favourite grease-stained roadmap to the most irresistible street food. Exec Prod: David Paperny; Cal Shumiatcher; Audrey Mehler; Prod: Trevor Hodgson; Dir: Peter Waal; DOP: Shane Geddes; Cast: James Cunningham. Sched: Apr 25 - Dec 2.
EAUX TROUBLES DU CRIME An investigative docu-drama series that explores crimes from across Canada and North America. The focus is on crimes where water is the accomplice. Exec Prod: Sylvie Peltier.
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW A rare and personal insight into the criminal mind, The Devil You Know talks to the victims of the men and women whose charming methods of deception wreaked havoc on their lives. Exec Prod: Lynn Booth; Associate Prod: Kate Kroll; PM: Megan Cameron; Sched: May 5 - Oct 7.
REAL HOUSEWIVES OF VANCOUVER The over-the-top squabbles and intense drama of the Real Housewives franchise come to Canada -- more specifically, to the west coast city of Vancouver. Exec Prod: Louise Clark/John Lenic PM: Krista Kelloway. Sched: Jul 4 - Nov 12.
CONSUMED An extreme home experiment where de-cluttering expert Jill Pollack challenges overwhelmed families drowning in stuff to survive for 30 days with only the bare essentials. Exec Prod: David Paperny, Cal Shumiatcher, Audrey Mehler; Prod: Cal Shumiatcher, Trevor Hodgson; Line Prod: Glace Lawrence; Cast: Jill Pollack, Darren Doyle. Sched: Oct 25/10 - Jul 28.
DUSSAULT INC Follows the busy lives of Canadian celebrity street wear designer Jason Dussault and his partner Mashiah Vaughn, as they struggle to keep their businesses - and their family - on the rails. Exec Prod: David Paperny, Cal Shumiatcher; Producer: Trevor Hodgson; Dir: Ziad Touma; Tara Shortt; DOP: Zachary Williams; PM: Bela Canhoto; Cast: Jason Dussault, Mashiah Vaughn, Ayden Emery. Sched: Mar 21 - Sep 16.
ICE PILOTS NWT Tales of Buffalo’s extraordinary vintage warplanes servicing remote communities in the extreme conditions of Canada’s North. Exec Prod: Gabriela Schonbach, Michael Chechik, David Gullason, Prod: David Gullason; Cast: Sean Barry, Ian while Sarah reveals the perks of life in the suburbs. Dir: Greg Donis; Exec Prod: Rob Bromley, Gillian Lowrey, John Ritchie; Producer: Dana Johl; DOP: Stephen Taylor; PM: Kevin Hannam; LM: Kevin Hannam. Sched: May 08 - Sep 19. Reel West January / February 2012
MURDER SHE SOLVED: TRUE CRIMES
Tells the true stories of female crime solvers who, against all odds, have solved some of the most daunting murder cases. Exec Prod: Rob Bromley, Gillian Lowrey, John Ritchie; Prod: Christian Bruyere Dir: Anna Ceraldi Zin; DOP: Goran Basaric; PM: Tacia Voisey. Sched: Feb 8 - Jun 5.
SAMAQU’AN WATER STORIES The second season of Samaqu’An is focused on ocean related stories and upon the hopes and fears associated with human influenced disasters. Directed and Narrated by Marianne Jones; Other Directors Jeff Bear, Doug Cuthand, Helen Haig Brown; Prod: Marianne Jones, Kristy Assu, Jeff Bear; Exec Prod & Writer: Jeff Bear; Host: Severn Cullis-Suzuki; DOP: Rene Sioui Labelle. Sched: Oct 1/10 - Jun 30.
URBAN SUBURBAN Each week, a lively brother-and-sister team meets prospective homebuyers, and helps them to determine their real estate needs. Philip champions city living, while Sarah reveals the perks of life in the suburbs. Dir: Greg Donis; Exec Prod: Rob Bromley, Gillian Lowrey, John Ritchie; Producer: Dana Johl; DOP: Stephen Taylor; PM: Kevin Hannam; LM: Kevin Hannam. Sched: May 08 - Sep 19.
WORLD’S WEIRDEST RESTAURANT Culinary adventurer Bob Blumer sets out in search of the world’s weirdest restaurants. Exec Prod: David Paperny, Cal Shumiatcher, Audrey Mehler; Producer: Vera Lubimova; PM: Natalia Tudge; LM: Natalia Tudge; Cast: Bob Blumer. Sched: May 09 - Nov 04
unconventional people who run it. Exec Prod: Michael Chechik, Gabriela Schonbach, Gary Harvey, Ian Weir; LP: Ian Hay; DOP: Bruce Worrall; PD: Matthew Budgeon; PM: Simon Richardson; UM: Ken Brooker Cast: Adam Beach, Kevin McNulty, Pascale Hutton . Sched: Sep 6- Jan 6/12
Chappelle; Exec Prod: Reid Shane; Prod/PM: Vladimir Stefoff; DOP: David Moxness, David Geddes; PD: Ian Thomas; UM: Warren Hanna; SPFX: Bob Comer; Cast: Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown, Jasika Nicole. Sched: Jul 14 - Apr 10/12
THE HAUNTING HOUR
Comedic drama about a group of rogue CIA spies in the Office of Disruptive Services (ODS), who combat threats to national security amidst bureaucratic gridlock, rampant incompetence and political infighting. Exec Prod: Tom Spezialy, Harry Bring; DOP: Attila Szalay; PD: Richard Huddlin; PM: George Grieve Cast: Freddy Rodriguez, Eric Close, James Murray, Tim Blake Nelson, Kurtwood Smith. Sched: Dec 3 - May 2/12
Based on R.L Stine’s collection of short horror stories. Exec Prod: Harvey Kahn, Kim Arnott; Prod: Harvey Kahn; SP: Dawn Knight; LP: Charles Lyall; DOP: Michael Balfry; PD: James Hazell; PM: Charles Lyall; UM: Chris Wilson. Sched: Jun 15 - Oct 28.
EUREKA The best minds in the US are tucked away in a remote town where they build futuristic inventions for the government’s benefit. Exec Prod: Jaime Paglia, Bruce Miller, Todd Sharp, Robert Petrovicz; DOP: Rick Maguire; PD: Greg Venturi, Paolo Venturi; PM: Brad Jubenvill; SPFX: Tim Storvick; Cast: Colin Ferguson, Erica Cerra, Joe Morton, Salli Richardson. Sched: Apr 6 - Aug 30
FAIRLY LEGAL Frustrated with the injustice of the legal system, Kate Reed gives up being a lawyer and becomes a mediator, which forces her to find creative solutions to a variety of disputes. Exec Prod: Peter Ocko, Steve Stark, Clara George; Prod: Anton Cropper; LP/PM: Erin Smith; DOP: Dan Stoloff; PD: Ricardo Spinace; SPFX: Bill Ryan; Cast: Sarah Shahl, Virginia Williams, Michael Trucco, Baron Vaughn. Sched: Oct 28 - Mar 21/12 After a violent alien invasion, human survivors form a resistance group called 2nd Mass in an effort to rise up and fight to save humanity. Exec Prod: Greg Beeman; Prod: Grace Gilroy; DOP: Nate Goodman; PD: Rob Gray; PM: Yvonne Melville; Cast: Noah Wyle, Will Patton, Moon Bloodgood, Drew Roy, Maxim Knight, Seychelle Gabriel. Sched: Oct 19/11 - Feb 28/12
ARCTIC AIR Adventure series set in the booming North about a maverick airline and the extended family of
Drama set in the competitive world of collegiate cheerleading and based on the book that followed teams from Stephen F. Austin University, Southern University and the University of Memphis from tryouts to nationals. Exec Prod: Kevin Murphy, Tom Welling, Allan Arkush Prod: Rose Lam DOP: Stephen McNutt PD: Michael Joy PM: Kim Steer. Cast: Alyson Michalka, Ashley Tisdale.
LEVEL UP Three high school boys Zeke, Casey and Lyle don’t get along in real life, but ironically are clanmates in an online game. Exec Prod: Derek Guiley, Peter Murrieta, David Schneiderman; Prod: Peter Lhotka; DOP: Philip Linzey; PD: Brian Kane; PM: Jim O’Grady; SPFX: Dan Keeler; Cast: Aimee Carrero, Gaelan Connell, Connor Del Rio Jessie Usher. Sched: May 17 - Nov 4/11.
The story revolves around the prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco and the efforts of a team of investigators to track a group of missing prisoners who mysteriously reappear decades after they disappeared from the prison. Exec Prod: J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Jack Bender, Liz Sarnoff; Prod: Robert Williams, Jr.; DOP: David Stockton, Stephen McNutt; PD: Mark Freeborn; PM: Wayne Bennett; SPFX: Darren Marcoux; Cast: Sam Neill, Robert Forster, Parminder Nagra, Jorge Garcia, Sarah Jones Sched: May 9 - Nov 4
Child prodigy, Adam Young, is headed to the ninth grade - for the second time. Having completed it in thirty-five minutes the first time around, he’s joined the students of Finnegan as a high school science teacher. Exec Prod: Tim Gamble, Michael Shepard, Prod: Alexandra Raffe, Victoria Hirst, Dir: Adam Weissman; PD: Jill Scott, Cast: Brendan Meyer, Matreya Fedor, Gig Morton, Kurt Ostlund, Emily Tennant. Sched: Jul 7 - Jan 13/12
ONCE UPON A TIME
A female FBI agent seeks out a brilliant but unstable & institutionalized scientist and his estranged son to investigate wide-sweeping paranormal phenomena. Exec Prod: J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burke, Jeff Pinkner, Joel Wyman, Joe
Centers on a woman with a troubled past who is drawn into a small town in Maine where the magic and mystery of Fairy Tales just may be real. Exec Prod: Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis, Steve Pearlman; Prod: Kathy Gilroy; DOP: Stephen Jackson; PD: Michael Joy PM: Dennis Swartman SPFX: Phil Jones Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle, Lana Parrilla, Jared Gilmore, Josh Dallas, Raphael Sbarge. Sched: Jul 19 - Dec 7.
PSYCH 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: Mel Damski, Kelly Kulchak, Chris Henze Prod: Gordon Mark DOP: Scott Williams PD: Eric Norlin PM: Matthew Chipera SPFX: Wayne Szybunka Cast: James Roday, Dulé Hill. Sched: Mar 25 - Sep 29.
CLUE Features the iconic characters and weapons from the world’s most famous crime-solving board game, Clue and follows six very different young sleuths as they embark on a mysterious adventure they could never have imagined. Exec Prod: Raven Metzner, Prod: Christine Haebler, Karen Moore; Dir: Terry McDonough; DOP: Joel Ransom; PM: Tia Buhl. Sched: Jul 19 - Aug 22. BC Pilots
17TH PRECINCT Supernatural drama set in a world where science takes a back seat to magic. Exec Prod: Ronald D. Moore, DOP: John Bartley, PD: Dawn Snyder, PM: Todd Pittson. Cast: Eamonn Walker, Stockard Channing, James Callis, Jamie Bamber, Tricia Long and Matt Long. Sched: Mar 8 - Mar 28.
Stem cells, gene therapy, transplants, and cloning have changed the definition of “humanity” in the modern world, but the darker side contains monsters that only few are brave enough to face. Exec Prod: Damian Kindler, Amanda Tapping, Martin Wood; Co-Exec. Prod/PM: George Horie; DOP: Gord Verheul; PD: Bridget McGuire UM: Mel Weissbaum SPFX: Darren Marcoux. Cast: Amanda Tapping, Robin Dunne, Chris Heyerdahl, Agam Darshi, Ryan Robbins. Sched: Apr 11 - Aug 19.
THE SECRET CIRCLE Follows 16-year-old Cassie, who moves from California to live with her grandmother in New Salem and falls in love with a mysterious boy named Adam. But, when she enrols in high school there, she realizes that he, she and all the other elite students at the school are witches! Exec Prod: Kevin Williamson, Andrew Miller, Richard Hatem, Les Morgenstein, Gina Girolamo; Sup. Prod: Liz Friedlander, Don Whitehead, Holly Henderson; Prod: Michelle Lovretta; LP: Jae Marant; DOP: Rob McLachlan; PD: David Willson; PM: Scott Graham; SPFX: Tony Lazarowich Cast: Ashley Crow, Thomas Dekker, Gale Harold, Shelley Hennig. Sched: Jul 19 - Dec 9.
SUPERNATURAL 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, Sera Gamble, Phil Sgriccia, Ben Edlund, McG Sup. Prod: Adam Glass; Prod: Peter Johnson, Jim Michaels, Todd Aronauer, Craig Matheson DOP: Serge Ladouceur; PD: Jerry Wanek PM: Craig Matheson; SPFX: Randy Shymkiw Cast: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Jim Beaver. Sched: Jul 6- Apr 18/12.
ALCATRAZ Revolves around the the prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco and the efforts of a team of investigators to track a group of missing prisoners who mysteriously reappear decades after they disappeared from the prison. Exec Prod: JJ Abrams, Prod/LP: John Moranville, Prod: Liz Sarnoff, Dir: Danny Cannon, DOP: David Stockton, PD: Zack Grobler, PM: Warren Carr. Cast: Jorge Garcia, Sarah Jones, Jonny Coyne, Sam Neill, Robert Forster, Parminder Nagra. Sched: Jan 21 - Feb 4.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD AND CHROME The adventures of young William Adama in the First Cylon War. Exec Prod: David Eick, Michael Taylor, Exec Prod/Dir: Jonas Pate, Prod: Clara George, DOP: Lukas Ettlin, PD: Brian Kane, PM: Erin Smith; Cast: Luke Pasqualino, Ben Cotton, Lili Bordan, John Pyper Ferguson, Zak Santiago. Sched: Feb 7 - Feb 25.
GREAT SCOT Comedy about the dysfunctional Boyle family, owners of a popular Canadian brewery. Some of the Boyles would like to sell the brewery and live off the proceeds, while other family members aim to preserve the company for future generations. Exec Prod: Ivan Schneeberg, David Fortier, Norm Hiscock, Prod: Rose Lam, SP: Andrea Boyd, Dir: Kelly Makin, DOP: Thom Best, PD: Richard Paris, Linda Del Rosario, PM: Kim Steer Cast: Reagan Pasternak, Michael Weaver. Sched: Oct 11 - Oct 17.
Set in Seattle, a look at the investigation of a young girl’s murder through the eyes of the various people involved including the police, the victim’s family and the mayor’s office. Exec Prod: Veena Sud; Prod: Ron French Dir: Jennifer Getzinger DOP: Peter Wunstorf PD: Michael Bolton PM: Craig Forrest SPFX: Bill Ryan Cast: Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Brent Sexton, Michelle Forbes, Billy Campbell Sched: Nov 28 - Apr 20/12 26
THIS AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE A mother and her inner monologue try to transition her children into adulthood. Exec Prod: Antonio Banderas, Erik Jendresen, Jason Weinberg, Melanie Griffith, Raymond Ricord Exec Prod/Dir: David Slade, Prod: Tracey Jeffrey, DOP: Jo Willems, PD: Eric Fraser, PM: Charles Lyall; Cast: Melanie Griffith, Ken Luckey, Jeffrey Nordling, Kacey Rohl. Sched: Dec 7 - Dec 22. BC Movies of the Week
BIG TIME MOVIE Four boys who are the unlikely members of a boy band continue to deal with fame and make music. Exec Prod: Scott McAboy; Dir: Savage Holland; DOP: Rick Maguire; PD: Michael Diner PM: Michael Williams; SPFX: Alex Burdett; Cast: Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Logan Henderson. Sched: Oct 11 - Nov 10.
CHRISTMAS LODGE A heart-warming festive story about love, faith and family. Exec Prod: Jack Nasser; Prod: Joseph Nasser; Dir: Terry Ingram; Cast: Erin Karpluk, Michael Shanks, Rukiya Bernard. Sched: Mar 3 Apr 11.
CYBER SEDUCTION Exec Prod: Tom Berry, Kirk Shaw; Dir: George Erschbamer; DOP: Cliff Hokanson; PM: Michelle Futerman. Cast: Christina Cox, Marc Menard, Quinn Lord. Sched: Mar 28 - Apr 9.
DAWN RIDER John Mason seeks revenge for his father’s murder after he returns home to Wyoming in an effort to mend family troubles. Exec Prod: Jack Nasser; SP: Dureyshevar; LP/PM: Tara Cowell-Plain; Dir: Terry Miles; PD: Brian Davie. Cast: Donald Sutherland, Christian Slater, Jill Hennessy. Sched: Oct 8 - Oct 25.
A dedicated young female attorney and a former angel-turned-human tackle cases together at the attorney’s legal aid clinic. Exec Prod: Robert Doherty, Prod: Grace Gilroy, Dir: Mimi Leder. Cast: Ben Aldridge, Lauren Cohan, Ryan Eggold. Sched: Mar 21-Mar 29.
NORMAL (aka Untitled Sardo Project) Drama about a woman who moves to Philadelphia to work as chief of staff in the psychiatry department - at a university hospital - alongside her sister and a diverse staff. Exec Prod: Michael Sardo, Ian Biederman, Gerard Bocaccio, Prod: Kathy Gilroy. Dir: Timothy Busfield, DOP: David Mullen, PM: Wayne Bennett. Cast: Carrie-Anne Moss, Katherine LaNasa, Jeffrey Nordling. Sched: Feb 6 - Feb 21. A modern-day take on fairy tales, featuring a woman drawn to a small Maine town where magic may be real. Exec Prod: Edward Kitsis,Adam Horowitz, Steve Pearlman, Prod: Kathy Gilroy, Dir: Mark Mylod, DOP: Steven Flerberg, PD: Mark Worthington, PM: Dennis Swartman. Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Lana Parrilla Sched: Mar 21 - Apr 7.
THE SECRET CIRCLE Set in the fictional town of Chance Harbor, Washington, the series revolves around six teenage witches who form an infamous coven known as ‘The Secret Circle’. Exec Producer: Elizabeth Croft, Sarah Fain, Prod: Jae Marant, DOP:
changes his pattern. Now Ana must race to find him before he strikes again. Exec Prod: Frank Von Zerneck; Prod: Lisa Richardson; LP: Lisa Towers; Dir: Maggie Greenwald; DOP: Jon Joffin; PD: Steve Geaghan; PM: Todd Pittson; SPFX: Mike Walls. Cast: Catherine Bell. Sched: Sep 6 - Sep 29.
HAMLET Treachery, sex, betrayal, revenge and murder are the hallmarks of this Shakespeare classic. A thrilling story for a 21st century audience that preserves the emotion and energy of the original, but presents it in a brand new way. Exec Prod: Bruce Ramsay, Jacquie Gould; Prod: Jesse James Miller; PD: Paul Joyal; PM: Michelle Fitzpatrick; Cast: Bruce Ramsay, Peter Wingfield, Gillian Barber, Duncan Fraser, Haig Sutherland, Lara Gilchrist, John Cassini. Sched: Jan 31 - Feb 1.
HUNT FOR THE I-5 KILLER, THE Based on the true story involving a year-long manhunt for a serial killer who was accused of brutally attacking and murdering forty-four victims along the I-5 corridor. Exec Prod: Jim Head; Prod: Ted Bauman; Dir: Allan Kroeker; DOP: C. Kim Miles; PD: Phil Schmidt; PM: Lynne Bespflug; SPFX: Rob Paller; Cast: Sara Canning, John Corbett, Tygh Runyan. Sched: May 25 - Jun 14.
INNOCENT Twenty years after being cleared in the death of his mistress, Judge Rusty Sabich is charged with the murder of his late wife. During the trial, a secret affair from Rusty’s recent past threatens to hamper his defense and fracture his relationship with his son. Exec Prod/Dir: Mike Robe. Exec Prod: Frank Von Zerneck; Prod: Lisa Richardson; LP: Holly Redford; DOP: John Bartley; PD: Eric Fraser; PM: Todd Pittson; SPFX: Dave Allinson; Cast: Bill Pullman. Sched: Aug 9 - Sep 1.
MEGA CYCLONE Prod: Tom Berry, Raymond Massey, Dir: Sheldon Wilson, PM: Christina Toy. Cast: David Sutcliffe, Leah Cairns, Mitch Pileggi. Sched: Dec 06 - Jan 19.
MILE IN HIS SHOES Mickey Tussler, an autistic pitcher, joins a minorleague baseball team and has a profound effect on the team and manager Arthur “Murph” Murphy over the course of a season. Exec Prod: Jack Nasser; Sup. Prod: Durey Shevar; LP/PM: Tara Cowell-Plain; Dir: Bill Dear; DOP: Kim Miles; PD: Brian Davies; SPFX: Brant Mcilroy. Cast: Jaren Brandt Bartlett, Dean Cain, Jesse Hutch. Sched: Apr 17 - May 1.
ONCE UPON A TIME
Robert McLachlan; Cast: Britt Robertson, Thomas Dekker, Gale Harold, Phoebe Tonkin. Sched: Mar 24-Apr 6.
DECK THE HALLS
Two female detectives try to bring a kidnapped father and a young woman home in time for Christmas. Exec Prod: Howard Burkons, Frank Von Zerneck, Brenda Friend; Prod: Lisa Richardson; Dir: Ron Underwood; DOP: Attila Szalay; PD: Rachel O’Toole; PM: Holly Redford. Cast: Scottie Thompson, Kathy Najimy, Jane Alexander. Sched: Jul 11 - Aug 4.
GEEK CHARMING Popular Dylan Shoenfield’s world starts to fall apart when her boyfriend dumps her. Her only chance to regain happiness is from an unlikely person, film geek Josh Rosen. Prod: Tracey Jeffrey; Dir: Jeffrey Hornaday; DOP: Robert Brinkmann; PD: Chris Aug; PM: Mandy Spencer-Phillips; Cast: Sarah Hyland, Matt Prokop, Jordan Nichols, Sasha Pieterse. Sched: Mar 16 - Apr 19.
GHOST STORM An action packed chase led by Hal and Ashley to save the people on this small island from a strange electrical storm which is led by angry souls from a mass suicide looking for revenge. Dir: Paul Ziller; DOP: Anthony Metchie; PD: Bob Bottieri; PM: Tia Buhl; SPFX: Al Benjamin. Cast: Crystal Allen, Carlos Bernard, Aaron Douglas. Sched: May 16 - Jun 6.
GOOD MORNING KILLER Follows FBI Special Agent Ana Gray as she hunts for a kidnapper. As Ana develops a rapport with the kidnapper’s latest victim, the suspect suddenly
MOMMY’S LITTLE GIRL (aka Possessing Piper Rose) A husband and wife adopt Piper, a four year old girl whose mother has died. Soon Piper’s birth-mother begins haunting the household, not yet ready to part with her daughter. Exec Prod: Ted Bauman; Prod: Clara George; Dir: Kevin Fair; DOP: Michael Wale; PD: James Philpott; PM: Lynne Bespflug; Cast: Rebecca Romijn, David Cubitt. Sched: Jul 8 - Jul 29.
PAST OBSESSIONS A woman stages her own death to get out of an abusive relationship. Exec Prod: James Shavick, Paul Colichman, Prod: Philip Webb, DOP: Michael Blundell; PD Monika Choynowski; Cast: Josie Davis, David Millbern, Lochlyn Munro.
PASTOR’S WIFE, THE Mary Winkler is arrested for the murder of her pastor husband, but fights to tell the real story in this drama based on a true story. Prod: Harvey Kahn, Dir: Norma Bailey; DOP: C. Kim Miles; PM: Allen Lewis Cast: Rose McGowan, Michael Shanks, Eric Keenleyside. Sched: Jul 10 - Jul 29.
RAGZ Kadee is coming of age and wants to have more input in her music career. However, first she has to convince her dad that she is ready to stand out. Exec Prod: Nick Cannon; Prod: Lauren Levine; Dir: Bille Woodruff; DOP: Glen Winter; PM: Michael Williams. Cast: Keke Palmer, Drake Bell, Max Schneider. Sched: May 18 - Jun 22.
Reel West January / February 2012
SHRINKING VIOLET (aka Radio Rebel) A shy teenager breaks out of her shell when she lands a local radio show. Exec Prod: Kim Arnott, Oliver De Caigny, Jane Goldenring; LP/ PM: Mandy Spencer-Phillips; Dir: Peter Howitt; DOP: Kamal Derkaoui; PD: Troy Hansen; Cast: Debby Ryan, Adam DeMarco, Merrit Patterson, Sarena Parmar. Sched: Aug 1 - Aug 25.
overboard and end up marooned in a tropical paradise. They discover their new turf is not as deserted as it seems. Exec Prod: Karen Rosenfelt, Neil Machlis; Dir: Mike Mitchell; DOP: Thomas Ackerman; PD: Richard Holland; PM: Casey Grant; SPFX: Bill Orr. Cast: Jason Lee, David Cross, Jenny Slate. Sched: Feb 1 - Mar 15.
(aka Magic Beyond Words:jk Rowling Story) This unauthorized biography of J.K. Rowling shows her difficult life and how it led to her creation of the “Harry Potter” series. Exec Prod: Karine Martin; Prod: Ron Gilbert; LP/PM: Christian Bruyere; Dir: Paul A. Kaufman; DOP: Mathias Herndl; PD: Paul Joyal; Cast: Poppy Montgomery, Antonio Cupo. Sched: Feb 14 - Mar 9.
TASMANIAN DEVILS A group of daredevil base jumpers accidentally uncover an ancient sacrificial chamber and unleash some nasty ancient tasmanian devils. Cast: Danica McKellar; Kenneth Mitchell, Apolo Anton Ohno. Sched: Nov 9 - Dec 1.
THE WISHING TREE A teacher at a boarding school looks after a group of kids who have nowhere to go for Christmas. PM: Jamie Goehring: Dir: Terry Ingram; DOP: C Kim Miles. Sched: Dec 5 - Dec 22.
TO THE MAT
Producer: Brenton Spencer; Dir: Brenton Spencer; Prod: Matthew Chipera, Lukia Czemin. Cast: Mittita Barber, Victor Zinck Jr., Aslam Husain, Chelsey Reist, Christie Burke. Sched: Oct 18 - Oct 28.
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID 3: DOG DAYS
Mary, a young medical student who is increasingly broke falls for the allure of easy money found in the messy world of underground surgeries which leaves more marks on her than the so-called freakish clientele. Exec. Prod/ Prod: Evan Tylor; Exec Prod: Tom Raycove; Prod: John Curtis; LP/PM: Robyn Wiener; Dir: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska; DOP: Brian Pearson; PD: Tony Devenyi. Cast: Katharine Isabelle. Sched: Nov 29 - Dec 16.
ANSIEDAD (aka See If I Care) A thirteen-year-old girl is dissatisfied with her life and tries to enter adulthood through a series of rites of passage, succeeding only in creating one crisis after another. Exec Prod: James McNamara,Greg Coote; Prod: Ben Odell, John Fiedler. Dir: Patricia Riggen Cast: Eva Mendes, Eugenio Derbez. Sched: Mar 14 - Apr 13.
Centers on a laid-back ex-wrestler who is trying to keep his family’s down-and-out southern wrestling school above water with the help of an uptight New York consultant. Exec Prod: John Moraywiss; Prod/LP: Randy Cheveldave; Dir: Robert Iscove; DOP: Kim Miles; PD: Phil Schmidt; PM: Nancy Welsh; SPFX: Dave Allinson; Cast: Ricky Schroder, Laura Bell Bundy. Sched: Mar 14 - Apr 1.
BC Digital Features
FLICKA 3 The story of a girl and how her friendship with a horse helps her to find herself again and bring her family together. Exec Prod: Janeen Damian, Prod: Connie Dolphin; Dir: Michael Damian; PM: Brian Dyck.Cast: Clint Black, Lisa Hartman Black, and Kasey Rohl. Sched: Sep 9 - Sep 30.
SANTA PUPS Adorable puppies play the lead role in a family Christmas story. Prod: Anna McRoberts, Dir: Robert Vince, DOP: Mark Irvin; PD: Chris Aug; PM: Darcy Wild. Cast: Cheryl Ladd Sched: Oct 17 - Nov 26. BC Features
A SINGLE SHOT The tragic death of a beautiful young girl starts a tense and atmospheric game of cat and mouse between hunter John Moon and the hardened backwater criminals out for his blood. Prod: Chris Coen, Aaron L. Gilbert; Dir: David M. Rosenthal, DOP: Terry Stacey; PD: David Brisbin; PM: Ian R. Smith. Cast: Imogen Poots, Sam Rockwell, Forest Whitaker, William H. Macey. Sched: May 2 - Jun 13.
ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS 3: CHIPWRECKED Playing around while aboard a cruise ship, the Chipmunks and Chipettes accidentally go
Reel West January / February 2012
Wimpy Kid Greg faces the dog days of summer after a scheme to pretend he has a job at a country club goes awry. Exec Prod: Jeremiah Samuels; Prod: Brad Simpson, Nina Jacobson; Dir: David Bowers; DOP: Tony Richmond; PD: Brent Thomas; PM: Drew Locke; SPFX: Wayne Szybunka. Cast: Zachary Gordon, Steve Zahn, Robert Capron, Devon Bostick, Rachel Harris. Sched: Aug 8 - Oct 7.
DIBBUK BOX (aka The Possession) A cursed relic containing mysterious familial tokens is mistakenly purchased. The new owner must solve its mystery to save her own family. Prod: Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert, Shawn Williamson; Dir: Ole. Bornedal; DOP: Dan Lausten; PD: David Brisbin. PM: Paul Lukaitis; Cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick. Sched: Jan 31 - Mar 24.
ELYSIUM This sci-fi thriller is set on another planet in the far future. Exec Prod: Sue Baden-Powell; Prod: Simon Kinberg; Dir: Neill Blomkamp; DOP: Trent Opaloch; PD: Phil Ivey; PM: Mary Anne Waterhouse; SPFX: Cam Waldbauer. Cast: Jodie Foster, Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley. Sched: Jul 25 - Oct 15/11
EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE
WOODCARVER, THE A thought-provoking Christian story about a boy from a broken home that is befriended by a widowed old man, the town woodcarver. Exec Prod: Jack Nasser; Dir: Terry Ingram; DOP: C. Kim Miles; PM: Tara Cowell Plain; Cast: Dakota Daulby, Anthony Harrison, Stephen E. Miller. Sched: Sep 18 - Oct 1.
Redwood Forrest Hanson dreams that if he can beat Jack Nicklaus at the 1975 Masters of golf, he’ll reunite his parents forever. Prod: Joely Collins, Chad Willett. LP/PM: Suzan Derkson; Dir: Jesse James Miller; DOP: David Crone; PD: Chad Krowchuk; Cast: Darcy Laurie, Chad Willett, Jennifer Copping, Brent Stait, Tyler Johnston, Ryan Grantham, Scott Hylands. Sched: Jul 26 - Aug 26.
SPFX: James Paradis; Cast: Liam Neeson, Dallas
Roberts, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Nonso Anozie. Sched: Jan 10-Mar 7.
A story about a mystical snow globe that makes very bad things happen in the real world when it is shaken. Exec Prod: Tom Berry, Lisa Hansen; Prod: John Prince; Dir: Sheldon Wilson; DOP: Neil Cervin; PD: Renne Read; PM: Brian Dick; SPFX: Al Benjamin.Cast: David Cubitt, Laura Harris, Michael Hogan Sched: Apr 18 - May 7.
A troubled group of family and friends deal with crises of age, love, death, parenthood and identity, going through a journey that is both hilarious and heartbreaking. Prod: Ian Tang; Dir: Tracy D. Smith; DOP: Brendan Uegama; PD: Candise Paul; PM/LM: Victoria Bennett. Cast: Ryan Robbins, Gabrielle Rose, Chad Willett, Chelah Horsdal, Jerry Wasserman, Lane Edwards. Sched: Mar 13 - Mar 27.
Decades-old found footage from NASA’s abandoned Apollo 18 mission, where two American astronauts were sent on a secret expedition, reveals the reason the U.S. has never returned to the moon. Exec Prod: Ron Schmidt, Cody Zweig, Shawn Williamson; Prod: Timur Bekmambetov, Michele Wolkoff; Dir: Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego; PD: Andrew Neskoromny; PM: Jamie Goehring; SPFX: Jak Osmond. Cast: Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen. Sched: Dec 20/10 - Jan 14.
A young man with cystic fibrosis, along with the sister of a fallen friend, go in search of a legendary healing shrine in Mexico. Exec Prod: Cameron Lamb, Jonathan Vanger, William Santor; Prod: Trish Dolman, Christine Haebler, Aaron Gilbert LP/PM: Tia Buhl; Dir: Maxwell McGuire; DOP: Celiana Cardenas; PD: James Willcock SPFX: Al Benjamin; Cast: Max Thierot, Laurence LeBoeuf, Juliette Lewis, Jason Priestley, Matt Frewer. Sched: Jan 25 - Feb 27.
ART OF THE HEIST
Beautiful female cop, who has had to turn in her badge, becomes a guest at a blue-blood benefit in a castle-like winery. Unexpectedly, she is forced to use her skills when the hired catering company turns out to be a methodical gang of art thieves. Prod: Mary L. Aloe, Daniel Zirilli; Dir: Daniel Zirilli.
Two guys who make a pact to lose their virginity before prom find their friendship tested when one of them comes out of the closet. Prod: David Blackman; LP/PM: Chris Foss; Dir: Chris Nelson; DOP: David Jones; PD: Geoff Wallace. Cast: Sarah Hyland, Nicholas Braun, Dustin Ybarra, Hunter Cope, Rob Carpenter. Sched: Aug 8 - Aug 31.
When a bomb destroys the Kremlin, the IMF is blamed and its members labelled as terrorists intent on inciting a global nuclear war. Ethan Hunt and his team must unravel the conspiracy. Exec Prod: Jeffrey Chernov; Prod: J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk; LP: Tommy Harper; Dir: Brad Bird; DOP: Robert Elswit; PD: Jim Bissell; PM: Stewart Bethune; SPFX: Mike Vezina. Cast: Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner. Sched: Dec 6 - Mar 18.
THE NEW GIRL A plain Jane teenager is offered a total physical makeover by a mysterious company which specializes in turning ugly ducklings into swans, guaranteeing her a place among the beautiful crowd at her school--but when she yearns for her old life back, she learns of the dark consequences of her transformation. Producer: Kyle Mann, Dir: Michael Greenspan PM: Michelle Futerman. Cast Katie Cassidy, Tracy Spiridakos. Sched: Sept 26 - Oct 23.
RAPTURE PALOOZA An adventure through the fallout of the religious apocalypse and follows smart-mouthed teenagers Ben and Lindsey as they fight against pothead wraiths and a rain of blood in order to destroy the Anti-Christ. Exec Prod: Chris Matheson, Craig Robinson; Prod: Ed Solomon, David Householter; LP/PM Chris Foss; Dir: Paul Middleditch; DOP: Robert New; PD: Joe Cabrera; SPFX: Don Besse Cast: Anna Kendrick, Ken Jeong, John Francis Daley. Sched: May 9 - Jun 2/11
RECOIL A cop turns vigilante after his family is murdered, exacting vengeance on the killers - and then on all criminals who have slipped through the system. Exec Prod: Jack Nasser; Sup. Prod: Durey Shevar; LP/PM: Tara Cowell-Plain; Dir: Terry Miles; DOP: Bruce Chun; PD: Tony Devenyi; SPFX: Tony Lazarowich. Cast: Danny Trejo, Steve Austin, Patrick Gilmore. Sched: Apr 18 - May 15.
THE COMPANY YOU KEEP A thriller centered on a former Weather Underground activist who goes on the run from a journalist who has discovered his identity. Exec Prod: Shawn Williamson, Craig Flores; Prod: Bill Holderman; Dir: Robert Redford; DOP: Adriano Goldman; PD: Laurence Bennett; PM: Paul Lukaitis; Cast: Robert Redford, Shia Labeouf, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Julie Christie, Stanley Tucci, Stephen Root. Sched: Sep 19 - Nov 25.
(aka Man of Steel) Clark Kent, a young reporter, roams the world covering news stories, but returns home to face his destiny - to become Superman. Dir: Zack Snyder; Exec Prod: Lloyd Phillips; Producer: Deborah Snyder, Chris Nolan, Chuck Roven, Emma Thomas; DOP: Amir Mokri; PM: Jim Rowe. Cast: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane. Sched: Sep 21- Jan 21/12
Thriller about a Canadian businessman who hops a plane to Havana to escape his life, only to find that life always has a way of catching up with you. Producer: Gil Bellows; PM: Sidney Chu; Dir: Tony Pantages; Cast: Gil Bellows, Kathleen Robertson, Don McKellar, Tygh Runyan, John Pyper Ferguson, Matt Frewer and Greg Wise. Sched: Jan 5 - Jan 30.
A man suffering from dementia and his daughters are trapped in a cabin during a blizzard. Prod: Mike Pavone, David Calloway, Lori Lewis; LP: Mark Griffiths; Dir: Andrew Currie; DOP: Bob Aschmann; PD: Geoff Wallace; PM: Simon Richardson. Cast: Eric McCormick. Sched: Mar 14 - Apr 13.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL
In Alaska, an oil drilling team struggle to survive after a plane crash strands them in the wild. Hunting the humans are a pack of wolves who see them as intruders. Producer: Jules Daly, Ross Fanger; Dir: Joe Carnahan; DOP: Masahobu Takayanagi; PD: John Willett; PM: Brian Parker;
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN
The Quileute’s close in on expecting parents Edward and Bella, whose unborn child poses a threat to the Wolf Pack and the townspeople 27
of Forks. Prod: Karen Rosenfelt, Wyck Godfrey, Bill Bannerman; Dir: Bill Condon; DOP: Guillermo Navarro; PD: Richard Sherman; PM: Barbara Kelly. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner. Sched: Feb 24 - Apr 15/11
for Christmas. Prod: Tim Johnson, Chad Oaks, Mike Frislev; Dir: Jason Priestley; PM: Petros Danabassis; PC: Cameron Chapman; Cast: Amy Archer, David Haydn-Jones. Sched: Mar 28 to Apr 13.
When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. Exec. Prod/LP: David Coatsworth; Exec Prod: David Kern; Prod: Tom Rosenberg, Richard Wright, Gary Lucchesi, Len Wiseman; Dir: Mans Marlind, Bjorn Stein; DOP: Scott Kevan; PD: Claude Pare; PM: Brendan Ferguson; SPFX: Joel Whist. Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy, India Eisley. Sched: Mar 7 - May 22/11
Hannah works with the young Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday to keep the law in “the wickedest city on earth:” Dodge City, Kansas. Prod: John Fasano, Mike Ogiens, Chad Oaks, Mike Frislev; Dir: Rachel Talalay; PM: Petros Danabassis; PC: Cameron Chapman; Cast: Sara Canning, Danny Glover, Billy Zane, Kimberly Elise, John Pyper Ferguson, Greyston Holt, Ryan Kennedy. Sched: Sept 15 to Oct 5.
ALBERTA Alberta TV Series
BURLESQUE ASSASSINS Story of a group of women who become a vital weapon in the war on communism in the 1950s. Prod: Matt Gellespie, Karen Pickles, Jonathan Joffe Dir: Jonathan Joffe; PM: Lars Lehmann; PC: Alex Templeton; Cast: Armitage Shanks, Roxi Dlite, Kiki Kaboom, KokoLa Douce, Carrie Schiffler, Dunas Rokvic. Sched: Mar 31 to Apr 21. Alberta Internet Features
An exploration of the importance of politics and power in a small Alberta community. Prod: Jesse Szymanski & Damon Vignale, Dir: Ron E. Scott; PM: Dennis Fitzgerald; PC: Ashley Fester; Cast: Carmen Moore, Eric Schweig, Michelle Thrush. Sched: Jul 18 to Sept 13, 2011
HEARTLAND A family drama set on an Alberta ranch. Prod: Michael Weinberg, Heather Conkie, Tom Cox, Jordy Randall, Tina Grewal; Dir: Dean Bennett, Grant Harvey, Chris Potter, Tina Grewal, John Fawcett; PM: Lorenz Augin; PC: Hudson Cooley; Cast: Amber Marshall, Sean Johnston, Michelle Morgan, Chris Potter. Sched: May 2 to Nov 29, 2011
CAUTION MAY CONTAIN NUTS Sketch comedy. Prod: Eric Rebalkin & Camille Beaudoin; Dir: Francis Damberger, Dana Andersen ; PM: Doug Steeden; PC: Tracy Noga. Sched: May 16 to Jun 8, 2011
Prod: Bill O’Dowd, Anthony Leo, David Rosen; Dir: Thomas J. Wright; PM: John Kerr; PC: Stacey Perlin; Cast: Ana Villafane, Dan Payne, Jeremy Sumpter, Dean Armstrong, Candace Marie. Sched:
Aug 8 to Aug 31.
LOVE ME Prod: Bill O’Dowd, Anthony Leo, David Rosen, Scott Henuset, Sue Bristow; Dir: Rick Bota; PM: John Kerr; PC: Jennifer Whitehead. Cast: Lindsey
Shaw, Jamie Johnston, Jean - Luc Bilodeau, Kaitlyn Wong, Michelle Haug, Peter Skagen, Jerritt Boyce. Sched: Sep 28 to Oct 20.
saskatchewan Saskatchewan Features
13 EERIE Nine forensic undergraduates conduct scientific tests on a remote island, disturbing demonic entities that unleash hell itself. Prod: Kevin DeWalt, Gary Hamilton, Don Carmody. Dir: Roger Christian. Writer: Christian Piers Betley.
HELL ON WHEELS Cullen Bohannan’s quest for vengeance has led him to the Union Pacific Railroad’s westward construction of the first Transcontinental Railroad. Prod: Chad Oaks, Mike Frislev, David Von Ancken, Jeremy Gold, Tony Gayton , Joe Gayton, Paul Kurta, John Shiban; Dir: Various; UPM: Linda Ambury; PC: Joy Bond. Cast: Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Dominique McElligott, Common, Eddie Spears, Ben Esler, Phil Burke. Sched: May 16 to Aug 23. Alberta Pilots
Leigh Parrish is the star of one of North America’s most popular TV shows. Beautiful, charismatic… her star’s ascension seems to have no ceiling. On a return trip home, an all-consuming anxiety within Leigh surfaces, one she had hoped was permanently buried. Prod: Anand Ramayya, Carolyn McMaster. Dir/Writer: Robert Cuffley.
GAVIN CRAWFORD’S WILD WEST
Prod: Ivan Schneeberg, David Fortier, Tom Cox,
Abandoned in a small prairie town, a socially awkward teenage vampire discovers what it means to be human. Prod: Anand Ramayya, Dave Schultz. Dir/Writer: Dave Schultz.
Alberta Television Movies
DEAR SANTA A single woman discovers a letter from a little girl asking Santa to send her daddy a new wife
THE APPLICANT A high school senior seduces an unwitting Ivy League school’s director of admissions and threatens to wreak havoc on his otherwise perfect life unless she’s admitted to the school. Prod: Kevin DeWalt, Gary Hamilton. Dir: George Ratliff. WR: Francis X. McCarthy, Jeff Rothberg
VAMPIRE DOG A boy unwittingly adopts a 600 year old “talking” vampire dog and soon discovers that when they face their fears they can do anything. Prod: Tim Brown, Holly Baird, Shayne Putzlocher. Dir: Geoff Anderson. EP: Nolan Pielak. Host/Star: Collin MacKechnie, Julia Sarah Stone, Amy Matysio, Ron Pederson.
THE TALL MAN When her child goes missing, a mother looks to unravel the legend of the Tall Man, an entity who allegedly abducts children. Prod: Kevin DeWalt, Clément Miserez, Jean-Charles Levy, Scott Kennedy, Mark Montague. Dir/WR: Pascal Laugier. DOP: Kamal Derkaoui. ED: Sébastien Prangère. EP: Jessica Biel, David Cormican, Gerard Damaer,Thierry Desmichelle, Lisa Donahue, Becki Hui, Nicolas Manuel, Olivier Piasentin, Steven Schneider, Lionel Uzan, Matthieu Warter, Frank White. Cast Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferland, Stephen McHattie, William B. Davis.
STATE OF THE UNION When sexy outspoken self-made billionaire Grant Matthews is persuaded to think of himself as a Presidential candidate and throws his hat into the murky shark infested political waters, he finds himself walking the treacherous high wire
Kevin White, Denis McGrath, Tim Polley, Jenn Engels, Mike McPhaden. DOP: Ken Krawczyk, csc. ED: Peter Light, Dean Evans. EP: Virginia Thompson, Robert de Lint, Kevin White. Host/ Star: Natalie Lisinska, Rémy Girard, William deVry, Matthew MacFadzean, Grace Lynn Kung, Richard Yearwood.
Manitoba Manitoba Series
TODD AND THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL A fantasy comedy series about high school students using the power of Evil to solve their petty problems. Exec Prod: Craig David Wallace, Jamie Brown, Anthony Leo, Andrew Rosen. Producer: Shawn Watson; Dir: James Dunnison, Craig David Wallace, James Genn, David Winning, Warren Sonoda PM: Mary Pantelidis. Cast: Alex House, Maggie Castle, Bill Turnbull, Melanie Leishman, Chris Leavins, Jason Mewes. Sched: Jun 6 - Sep 9. Manitoba Mini-Series
FACES IN THE CROWD Barely surviving a brutal attack by a deranged serial killer, a young woman wakes in hospital only to discover her head injury has left her ‘face-blind’: she can no longer recognize anyone’s faces. Prod: Kevin DeWalt, Clément Miserez, Jean-Charles Levy. Dir/WR: Julian Magnat. DOP: Rene Ohashi. EP: Jamie Brown, David Cormican, Gerard Damaer, Lisa Donahue, Milla Jovovich, Mark Montague, Frank White. Host/Star: Milla Jovovich, Julian McMahon, Michael Shanks, Sarah Waynes Callies, Marianne Faithful.)
GUARDIANS In the distant future, the Earth is reborn and nature has been replenished after a global catastrophe triggers a twenty six thousand year long ice age, the result of which has destroyed modern civilization and has brought about the extinction of ninety five percent of planetary species as we know it. Prod: Dennis Jackson, Melanie Jackson, Anand Ramayya. Dir: Dennis Jackson. WR: Dennis Jackson, Melanie Jackson. DOP: Peter Christensen. ED: Jennifer Prokop. Animation Supervisor: Cam Lizotte.
WAPOS BAY THE MOVIE
In the Canadian Arctic the polar ice caps have melted and the Northwest Passage has become a major point of business. Prod: Tom Cox, Jordy Randall, Jon Slan; Dir: David Frazee; PM: Leslie Cowen; PC: Michelle Gougeon; Cast: Ty Olssen, Michelle Harrison. Sched: Oct 19 to Nov 8.
Jordy Randall, Gavin Crawford, Kyle Tingley, Shirley Vercruysse; Dir: Jacob Tierney; PM: Doug Steeden; PC: Tracy Noga Cast: Gavin Crawford. Sched: Sep 27 to Oct 1.
necessary to actually get elected. Prod: Kevin DeWalt, Emilio Ferarri, Anothony Mastromauro. Dir: Donald Petrie. Writer: Rod Lurie.
Talon and Raven learn that their dad, Alphonse, has taken a job in the big city and their family will have to move away from Wapos Bay. Prod: Dennis Jackson, Melanie Jackson, Anand Ramayya. Dir: Dennis Jackson. WR: Dennis Jackson, Melanie Jackson. DOP: Peter Christensen. ED: Jennifer Prokop. EP: David Verall, NFB. Host/Star: Gordon Tootoosis, Lorne Cardinal, Andrea Menard, DeRic Starlight. Prog: APTN. Animation Supervisor: Cam Lizotte. Art Dir: Diana Savage. Music: Ross Nykiforuk. Saskatchewan Series
KEEP YOUR HEAD UP KID: THE SEQUEL
A four hour mini-series that explores the roots and incongruous rise of a Canadian broadcasting icon. We see Don as the public sees him now, in trouble a lot and loved and hated throughout the country in nearly equal measures. Exec Prod: Laszlo Barna, Tim Cherry, Wayne Thompson, Jamie Brown, Margaret O’Brien Producer: Shawn Watson, Melissa Williamson Dir: Jeff Woolnough PM: Dave Mahoney. Cast: Jared Keeso, Sarah Manninen, Aaron Ferguson Sched: May 30 - Jul 25.
THE SULTAN’S WOMEN A docudrama mini-series detailing the true story of the women of the imperial harem in the last days of the Ottomon Empire. Exec Prod: David Rabinovitch, Ian Dimerman, Brendon Sawatzky, Producer: David Rabinovitch, Brendon Sawatzky, Dir: David Rabinovitch. Sched: Feb 10 - Apr 30. Manitoba Features
AMERICAN GIRL Velma is a wonderfully spirited, strong-willed young gymnast with Olympic aspirations, whose whole world comes crashing down when she is unexpectedly sidelined by an injury. Exec Prod: Debra Martin Chase, Producer: Gaylyn Fraiche, Dir: Vince Marcello, PM: Ellen Rutter Cast: Jade Pettyjohn, Ysa Penarejo, Ian Ziering, Nia Vardalos Sched: Jul 11 - Aug 6.
BEETHOVEN SAVES CHRISTMAS A Christmas elf accidentally takes off in Santa’s sleigh, crash lands in a small town, and loses the magic toy bag. Beethoven must rescue the elf, recover the bag from greedy crooks, and return the sleigh to Santa in time to save Christmas. Producer: Jeff Freilich, Dir: John Putch, PM: Ellen Rutter, Cast: Kim Rhodes, Munro Chambers, Kyle Massey. Robert Picardo, Sched: Feb 14 - Mar 18.
Alex and her team of spies juggle dates, terrorists, parents and security threats. Prod: Kevin White, Shawn McGrath, Ty Hyland. Dir: Robert de Lint, Jeff Beesley, Ron Murphy. WR:
A six year old girl is abducted by her mother from the small town of Euphoria - 15 years later, she travels home to find the life that passed her by. Exec Prod: Ian Dimerman, Prod: Brendon Sawatzky, Paula Kelly, Dir: Paula Kelly, PM: Scott Leary, Cast: Brooke Palsson, Sarah Constible, Taya Bourns Ayotte, Sched: Oct 5 - Oct 31. Reel West January / February 2012
LUCKY CHRISTMAS The story of Holly Ceroni, a single mom trying to get back on her feet, but who is crushed to learn her winning lottery ticket is in the glove compartment of her recently stolen car. Mike Ronowski, the construction worker behind Holly’s missing property, goes along with a master plan to befriend Holly and coerce her into giving him half of her winnings. Mike unexpectedly falls in love with Holly and learns there are more important things in life than quick money in time for the holidays. Exec Prod: Howard Braunstein, Shelley Hack, Harry Winer, Producer: Juliette Hagopian, Dir: Gary Yates, PM: Rhonda Lanouette, Cast: Elizabeth Berkley, Jason Gray-Stanford, Sched: Jul 11 Jul 29.
MAD SHIP A drama about a Norwegian immigrant who came to the Canadian prairies in the 1920s. It is an epic love story that is also a true story about the burden of dreams. Exec Prod: Daniel Iron, Phyllis Laing Prod: Patricia Fogliato, Liz Jarvis, David Mortin Dir: David Morton PM: Ellen Rutter Cast: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Gil Bellows, Gage Munroe Line Verndal Sched: Oct 2 - Oct 27.
MY AWKWARD SEXUAL ADVENTURE To win back his unsatisfied ex-girlfriend, conservative accountant Jordan Abrams enlists the help of Julia - an uninhibited exotic dancer - to guide him on a quest for sexual experience, leading him into a world of strip clubs, sensual massage parlors, cross-dressing and S&M. Prod: Juliette Hagopian, Jonas Chernick, Dir: Sean Garrity, Line Producer: Norman Denver, Cast: Jonas Chernick, Emily Hampshire, Sched: Nov 6 - Dec 11.
PATH OF SOULS A woman tracks her dead husband to sacred Native sites across North America, soon discovering she is stepping into the treacherous Path of Souls. Exec Prod: Kevin Hicks, Jim Compton, Corey Sevier, Jeremy Torrie, Producer: Jeremy Torrie, Dir: Jeremy Torrie, Line Producer: Chris Rudolph, Cast: Adam Beach, Laura Harris, Corey Sevier, Sched: Aug 2 - Aug 26.
ROSE BY NAME After learning that he is the biological son of a rapist, Cullen Francis descends to the lower depth of the criminal underworld in search of the violent monster who gave him life. Exec Prod: Walter Klymkiw Prod: Kimberley Berlin, Susan Schneir Dir: Shawn Linden, PM: Danielle Dumesnil Cast: Thomas Dekker, Matt Craven, Jesse Rath. Sched: May 9 - Aug 8.
THE CLASS PROJECT Tired of their mother’s alcoholism and a string of her abusive boyfriends, two sisters plot to kill her. Exec Prod: Damian Ganczewski Producer: Juliette Hagopian, Michael Rotenberg Dir: Stanley M. Brooks PM: Rhonda Lanouette Cast: Abigail Breslin, Spencer Breslin, Georgie Henley, Mira Sorvino, James Russo Sched: Aug 22 - Sep 9.
WE WERE CHILDREN A documentary which captures the dramatic experiences of the survivors of Canada’s residential schools. Exec Prod: Lisa Meeches, Kyle Irving, David Christensen, Loren Mawhinney, Laszlo Barna, Prod: Kyle Irving, David Christensen, Dir: Tim Wolochatiuk, PM: Danielle Dumesnil, Schedule Oct 28 - May 12, 2012.
WRONG TURN 4 A group of friends decide to go snowmobiling during their winter break and get lost in a storm. They seek shelter in an abandoned sanatorium with a troubled past, and some of its former patients still reside there and are not happy about the intrusion. In a deadly game of cat and mouse, the college kids must fight to survive the night. Exec Prod: Erik Feig, Robert Kulzer, Producer: Kim Todd, Dir: Declan O’Brien, PM: Dave Mahoney, Cast: Sean Skene, Blane Cypurda, Daniel Skene, Jenny Pudavick, Tenika Davis. Sched: Feb 5 - Mar 11. n
Reel West January / February 2012
Diary continued from page 23
sign on. We work out an approach with Theoren to follow him on his whirlwind life of speaking engagements, media interviews, a role on the reality skating series Battle of the Blades, a cameo appearance in the film, Score, A Hockey Musical and his walk down the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival. He even shoots a music video and sings in a honky tonk bar in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Our travels take us to Moose Jaw where his junior team, the Warriors, induct him into their Hall of Fame, to his hometown of Russell, Manitoba where he visits his parents, and to Winnipeg, where the abuse started. We go to New York and Chicago where he played hockey and partied hard, and to an alumni game against the Canadiens at the NHL Outdoor Classic in Calgary. The road trip brings us deep inside Theoren’s world. The guy has amazing stamina and determination, in the face of thousands of travel miles and a lot of dumb questions based on ignorance of the issue. At the Moose Jaw Hall of Fame dinner, people are slapping his back and getting pictures taken with him and not one person says, “Hey kid, I’m sorry it happened to you on our watch.” There is a scene in Toronto, where he walks outside the NHL Hall of Fame and says, “I should be in there, but I probably never will be.” His accomplishments: his goals, assists, Olympic Gold Medal, World Junior Championship, Stanley Cup, say he should be in. As one of the past teammates says, “He definitely
Larry Day’s Theo Fleury: Playing with Fire will premiere at the Victoria Film Festival © 2011 Pyramid Productions
three positive stories and a rave review from the Calgary Herald. There is a good Q&A after the film. A member of the audience makes an insightful observation. He had been a big fan of Theoren’s and said the documentary won’t make you like him if you already hate him, but will make you love him more if you already do. Our main concern was we wanted to tell the truth about the man. It’s not a puff piece, so the fan reaction
Theoren makes news again. He had filed a complaint to the Winnipeg police about Graham James and the police investigation stretched on for months. James had returned from hiding in Mexico and had pleaded guilty to abusing Theoren and another survivor. This adds another chapter to the film. Our broadcasters want the whole story, and we agree. Our fine cut has now been approved by our broadcasters and we’re putting
Theoren’s hope is his story, laid out warts and all, can help more people. It’s brave, it’s tough, it’s complicated. As he is. misbehaved, but there are a lot of people in that Hall who misbehaved.” May 24, 2011 Theoren sits down with us to watch a rough cut for the first time. He is beaming. He tweets “Move over Oprah. I just saw the rough cut of my documentary. It was awesome. See you at the Oscars.” September 25 We screen a work print of Playing With Fire at the Calgary International Film Festival. Great crowd and supportive tweets,
is very encouraging. In our film, you hear from some of the people Theoren disappointed over the years, but you also see him providing powerful support to a young man struggling with the abuse in his own past. Theoren’s hope is his story, laid out warts and all, can help more people. It’s brave, it’s tough, it’s complicated. As he is. Epilog By now I am starting to feel like Coppola on Apocalypse Now. Every time we think we are done,
the finishing touches on score, sound mix and color correction. We’ve left room for more news: the sentencing of James, brought to justice all these years later, and Theoren’s reaction to it. We hope with that final element, viewers will have the fullest understanding of this complex guy and the issue he has embraced as his life’s work. (The final cut of the movie will premiere at the Victoria Film Festival, which runs from February 3 to February 11.) n 29
Telefilm Canada’s FEature Film Fund • 2006-2011
BC, Prairies & Territories
Many western-Canadian film makers are disappointed with Telefilm Canada’s allocation of funds for feature films. The chart above shows the breakdown of this funding, by region. Information provided by telefilm canada
Déjà vu All Over Again Sixteen years after Reel West reported that western Canada received only 6% of Telefilm Canada’s 1994-1995 feature film fund, a Telefilm chart on funding for the latest fiscal year alleges that things haven’t changed a lot. According to Telefilm, western producers managed to bring just 6.5% of the money home in the last fiscal year. Ontario companies accounted for 42% of the funding while 44% went to Quebec. The remaining 6.5% went to producers in Atlantic Canada. Those figures may be somewhat misleading according to Douglas Chow, external communications manager for the western office of Telefilm. He says that Telefilm has a mandate to allocate1/3 of its funding to Quebec with the remainder reflecting the population base. Chow says that while the western office has a mandate to make regional decisions on films requiring less than $1.5 million in budgets, larger requests go to the national office. Given that Quebec will expect 33% of the overall budget total, the majority of larger budget movies will probably be selected from that province. Chow says that the graph only tells part of the story. 30
“What is not included are the number of projects from the western region that actually were competitive enough to receive financing commitments from Telefilm, but subsequently failed (for various reasons) to move forward into production. In 2010/11 year we had two such projects in B.C. alone.” The west had been keeping up with Ontario for several years prior to the last fiscal year. The chart shows that prior to 2009/2010, the west was consistently within a few percentage points of Ontario. That changed in 2009 with the distance becoming even greater in the most recent fiscal year. Chow says that while the past two years have been slow, a return to normalcy is probable. He says that while he won’t make predictions, the west’s filmmakers will be competitive with Ontario’s producers in most years. “Our national investments were the result of a rigorous selection process that put in competition the very best projects from all regions of Canada. “We can’t predict the future but with emerging filmmaking talent like Aaron Houston, Shelagh Carter, Dylan Akio Smith, Sean Garrity, Katrin
Bowen and Blaine Thurier, alongside veteran directors like Guy Maddin, Carl Bessai and Gary Burns, to name but a few, Telefilm Canada believes in the strength of the western region.” The Telefim chart has angered some western filmmakers, who said they will be seeking options in the New Year. Vancouver-based producer Elvira Lount says that the proposals include petitioning the federal government and the lobbying of the BC government to strengthen provincial film funder BC Film as a federal-fund triggering source.
Trio Popular at Whistler Three BC films fared well with Whistler International Film Festival audiences, scoring high marks in the voting for the WFF Audience Award. The films, Maxwell McGuire’s Foreverland, Christopher Petry’s Marilyn and Doppleganger Paul (Or A Film About How Much I Hate Myself ), directed by Dylan Akio Smith and Kris Elgstrand, finished just outside of the winner’s circle. The winner was Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar, the Quebec film that is Canada’s selection
for the Foreign Language Film Oscar and the runner up was Rasta: A Soul’s Journey, directed by Stuart Samuels. The WFF Audience Award is a noncash prize presented to the highestrated film as voted by the audience. Keyhole’s Winnipeg-based director Guy Maddin won the $15,000 Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature Film while Mexico’s Machete Language (dir: Kyzza Terrazas) won Whistler’s second annual $10,000 New Voices International Feature Competition. The $2,500 Best Documentary Award was awarded to Ben Addelman’s Kivalina V. Exxon, which had its world premiere at the festival. The festival also handed out awards to a group of actors. The list included Patton Oswalt, who received the Best Supporting Performance on the Year Award for Young Adult; Canadian actor/writer Jay Baruchel who was given the Screenwriter to Watch Award and motion control icon Andy Serkis, who won the Tech Pioneer Award. Michael Shannon won the Spotlight Award. Meanwhile, director Shauna Hardy Mishaw said, following the conclusion of the festival, that two partnerships could help propel the festival onto the international film radar. The first partnership is between WFF and Variety magazine, the bible for the international film industry. She said Variety believes WFF has “the potential to become a world-class festival of major significance has been touting it as the next big thing in Hollywood.” She said the second partnership is with the Chinese film industry. The festival and Telefilm Canada announced they are working with China Film Group to create The China Canada Script Competition which, they said, “will give Canadian filmmakers access to one of the world’s largest domestic film markets (an initiative of this scope and magnitude has never been done before).” On the attendance side, the festival announced that over 60 percent of the feature films were at or near capacity. The list included Young Adult, 388 Arletta Avenue, The Odds, The Sorcerer, The White Snake, Foreverland, Rasta: A Soul’s Journey, Marilyn, A Dangerous Method and Like There’s No Tomorrow. A spokesperson said the total attendance, including industry insiders, was on par with 2010 at 8,270 attendees (8,189 in 2010), including 506 delegates (482 in 2010). n Reel West January / February 2012
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