An archive blog of selected productions filmed in Saskatchewan from 2011 to 2013.

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SaskFilm Reference Book 1989-2013

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What is possible on …THE OTHER SIDE?

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Location:  Filmed throughout Saskatchewan, locations include: Saskatoon’s Western Development Museum Curatorial Centre; Gladeau Residence, Saskatoon; Bekevar Church, Bekevar; Duck Lake Hotel & Bar, Duck Lake; Milman Residence, North Battleford; Moosehead Inn, Kenosee; Courthouse, Kerrobert; and Nippi Residence, Saskatoon.

Production: THE OTHER SIDE is a half-hour doc series that follows a team of paranormal investigators who, with the guidance of an Aboriginal Elder, seek the truth behind Canada’s real life hauntings. The series is produced for APTN and Vision/Zoomer Television.

Challenge: The most challenging location was the Western Development Museum Curatorial Centre in Saskatoon. It has 140,000 square feet of space, concrete and steel and 40,000 artifacts that could not be touched in any way. So aside from trying not to bump into things, the team had a big technical challenge because investigators were not always together in the same area.  The cameras fed a wireless signal to iPads so that the director could see what was going on but as the cameras strayed further from the transcoder, the signals weakened and disappeared.

Solution: This problem was solved in a variety of ways by DOP and techno geek Darryl Kesslar: for instance, better transcoders were made available and the team had to constantly reboot as filming continued.

“The most memorable location for me was the Bekevar church near Kipling. It is a beautiful church in the middle of the prairie. We were there in late summer. Harvest was just beginning. The sunsets were fabulous. The church was peaceful. The story was interesting and ultimately uplifting. And we had time to get great shots. We could leave a camera on a time lapse and not worry about it–unlike an urban setting where we would have to stand over the camera.”

– Rob King, series director

“Having the opportunity to work with the cast and crew of THE OTHER SIDE and to have the Western Development Museum (WDM) featured was an incredible experience! As the keeper of Saskatchewan’s heritage, the WDM takes its role as the protector of our province’s past very seriously. The production team respected and understood our mission and mandate, which was integral to our partnership. We are honoured to have been included in this new series and look forward to seeing the finished product.”

– Josh Hourie, Acting Corporate Development Manager, Western Development Museum

“We uncovered many great stories here in the province. What we achieved in the end was a sum of many parts: the people, the belongings and most importantly their settings.  Each location was a unique gift, all rich with a visual look and personality that could not be replicated in anyway and all very unique to Saskatchewan.  We feel that we created a strong sense of place through the footage captured during the shoot and are very proud of the show that we shot here in our home province.”

– Wally Start, producer

Production Companies: Red Cloud Studios – Producer/Creator Jennifer Podemski; Angel Entertainment – Producers Bob Crowe and Wally Start;  series director: Rob King.

The paranormal investigation team features Jeff Richards – Intuitive/ Leader , Bill “Paranorbill” Connelly – Paranormal Bad Boy, Priscilla Wolf – Researcher/ Cultural Liaison, and Tom Charles, Elder and Spiritual Intuitive.

THE OTHER SIDE is produced with the financial participation of the BellFund, CMF and the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit.

For more information visit:  www.theothersideTV.ca or follow on twitter @OtherSideTV

Gallery

STEP DOGS in Saskatchewan!

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Location:  Buena Vista, Saskatchewan and Canada Saskatchewan Production Studios, Regina, Saskatchewan.

Production: STEP DOGS (feature film). A story about talking dogs versus man in an ultimate slapstick battle of the wits – and all leashes are off!

Challenge: Looking for the perfect location and then finding it…and then having to adapt to that perfect location since it was not exactly as described in the script!

Solution: The producers and director reviewed the location options.  The forward-thinking producers agreed with the director’s cinematic vision that this location was a perfect fit – especially in the snow. The writer, under tight timelines, made the revisions to make this story work with creativity and flare within this new winter location.

“The original concept of the script was a farm location with a barn and horses, set in the summer.  As Saskatchewan has plenty of these locations, we decided to reach out to the local film commission’s (SaskFilm) location database.  Working through this, a beautiful log house was discovered and I immediately saw the potential.  It was not the original idea, it didn’t have a barn or horses, but I felt it was the perfect setting for the film.  It’s set amongst the snow, with the frozen lake as a backdrop – just splashes off the screen and looks gorgeous!  We were also able to tie the house into our spaceship fort location.  Where we built the fort the house is used as a backdrop (see photos above).  With the support of the producers we were able to make the adjustments to the script to match this location, and we have a better film for it.”

Geoff Anderson, director

“The village of Buena Vista has been very supportive and we couldn’t have done this without their help.  The village provided top notch snow removal and sanding for the icy roads.  Our crew loves Palmera’s, our caterer which is located in Regina Beach, and Colin Abrey who let us use his heated garage for our lunch room.  Lois Keith was our on set tutor for our two children and kept the actors up to date with their school work, and they still liked her!  Another big thank-you to the wonderful people who let us use their beautiful home – the production value is priceless!”

Tannis MacDonald, production manager

“Working on VAMPIRE DOG in Saskatchewan in the summer was a great experience. Now shooting STEP DOGS here in the winter offers a few more challenges.  The animals have been doing great in the cold and in the snow, but we have had a few extreme days where we have had to monitor the comfort of the animals.  The production team has been very helpful in every capacity.

I thought the winter here might be a little harder to deal with, but truth be told, on a sunny cold dry day……its really very lovely.”

Paul Jasper, Animal Coordinator

Production Companies: The film reunites the team behind last year’s successful VAMPIRE DOG.  Producers are Tim Brown (Joker Films), along with Holly Baird and Shayne Putzlocher of Regina-based Trilight Entertainment.  Director is Geoff Anderson with Mark Dobrescu as director of photography.

The cast features Dylan Schmid (Once Upon a Time, Horns), Eliana Jones (Nikita) and Saskatchewan actor Shannon Jardine (Surveillance, Ferocious).

Photographer: Tobi Lampard

STEP DOGS is produced with the financial participation of the SaskFilm’s feature film equity investment program and with the financial participation of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit.

STRANDED

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Solutions for challenges as pictured above:

Solution for Challenges 1 & 2:  The Canada Saskatchewan Production Studios are located in Regina, Saskatchewan and provided two purpose-built sound stages (14,850 sq. ft and a second 6,985 sq. ft) – a perfect location to build interior moon base and exterior miniature moon base sets.

Solution for Challenge 3 & 4: A talented make-up FX/model building team to make villainous creatures and a miniature moon base. And for heroes? Christian Slater and local Saskatchewan star Amy Matysio to the rescue!

Production: STRANDED (feature film). The story centers around a series of terrifying events set aboard the Ark moon base. When a meteor suddenly collides with their base, the astronauts find themselves in immediate danger. The crew quickly learns that spores from the meteorite can replicate cell structure, reproduce and mutate, forcing everyone on board to fight for their lives.

STRANDED is directed by Roger Christian (Academy Award® winner for set decoration on director George Lucas’s Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope). Roger collaborated with production designer Kathy McCoy to come up with a realistic moon base set. He also worked with make-up FX team led by Emersen Ziffle, (key make-up FX & model builder) to build lifelike creature puppets and a miniature moon base.

“This was our second time working together on a film, so I was very pleased to get another chance to collaborate with Roger Christian.  We constructed creatures and moon base miniatures that have genuine character and realism.”

– Emersen Ziffle

As the production moved into post-production, the sets and practical FX are seamlessly integrated into a CG galaxy by the VFX team at Red Hat Studios.

“Working alongside Academy Award® winner Roger Christian is a great opportunity.  The VFX we’ve collaborated on will really enhance a lot of the practical FX that were created during production.”

Colin Hubick, (Visual Effects Supervisor & Camera Operator)

The film stars Christian Slater (True Romance, Interview with the Vampire), Amy Matysio  (Just Friends, Chained), Michael Therriault (Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story, Total Recall) and Brendan Fehr (Bones, CSI: Miami), is directed by Roger Christian and written by   Christian Piers Betley  and Roger Christian.

The film is produced by  Kevin DeWalt   (The Tall Man), Mark Montague  (13Eerie) of Minds Eye Entertainment and Isabella Battiston (Shay Cullen: A Life Story) of Moving Pictures Media. The executive producers are Kevin DeWalt, David Cormican  and Becki Hui. Danielle Masters (Faces in the Crowd) is the associate producer.
 The Canadian distribution rights are held by Entertainment One Films Canada with the International rights by Cinemavault and the USA rights by Image Entertainment.

Photographers: Tobi Lampard and Allan Felidel.

The film is produced with the financial assistance of Entertainment One Films Canada, Cinemavault and Image Entertainment, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, SaskFilm Feature Film Investment Program; and, the Saskatchewan Film and Employment Tax Credit.

Time Travel with the returning documentary series “I PROPHESY: THE FUTURE REVEALED”.

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Production: I PROPHESY (factual series 3 x 30 minutes – broadcaster Vision TV).

Locations:  The Masonic Temple and Saskatchewan’s Government House, both located in Regina, Saskatchewan, provided location doubles for 12th century Vatican; Regina’s Public Library provided futuristic modern architecture; Sukanen Village located just outside the city of Moose Jaw provided setting for mid-west in the 1900-1940s; Big Muddy, Saskatchewan provided the biblical setting for John the Apostle and the exodus through the desert; and farmland around the town of Mclean provided soft rolling hills and valley for the 12th century landscape that was used to CGI futuristic skylines.

Challenge: Time travel on a documentary production budget. Each episode in this series features a historical prophesy so the locations have to double for specific historical buildings and areas. The narrative arc takes the viewer into the future – will the prophesy come true? The locations must also provide a believable futuristic backdrop and work within the budget’s parameters.

Solution: Saskatchewan provides wide open and undisturbed vistas shooting, but people sometimes overlook the soft rolling hills that create subtle depth to the horizon and provide many versatile looks. The open horizon especially helps in CGI as models can be placed without having to take buildings or power lines out of the frame. The Big Muddy provides John the Apostle an inspiring backdrop for writing the book of resolutions and farmland around the town of Mclean provides a 12th century location.

‘I Prophesy: The Future Revealed’ is the fourth television series I’ve produced in Saskatchewan since arriving in 2010.  I’ve found the majority of people in Saskatchewan open, friendly and genuinely interested in film storytelling, and I’ve enjoyed working with many hundreds of them – from crew and suppliers to writers, directors and actors.  Filming in Regina and on locations around the province has presented challenges, but the Saskatchewan landscapes and acting community have helped bring my stories to life. The talent I see coming out of the University of Regina programs is truly impressive.  I’ve teamed U of R graduates with industry mentors and these young film professionals have proven themselves smart, prepared and ready to evolve visual storytelling. I’m saddened to think this developing talent is deprived of the funding that has, until recently, supported our craft and profession. It’s been fun living and working in Saskatchewan and I’ll never forget the folks that made me part of their community.

Simon Dekker, Series Producer

The Sukanen Village is like a film set that is camera ready. We were back in time but had all the convenience of the modern life like cell phone coverage and electricity. The museum staff is so helpful and the set dec was perfect for our creative needs. I have had the opportunity to film there many times over my career and it is always a joy!

Steve Allen, Director

Production Company: The series is produced by American Emmy® award-winning, Regina-based Partners In Motion (Partners In Motion has also received numerous business excellence awards from both the Regina and Saskatchewan Chambers of Commerce, including the province’s highest honour, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce ABEX Business of the Year Award.

About the broadcasters: Vision TV reaches over 10 million homes and is Canada’s only English language cable and satellite specialty channel that airs multi-faith, multicultural and family-oriented entertainment.

Photographers: Steve Allen, Tobi Lampard and uncredited SaskFilm photos.

I PROPHESY: THE FUTURE REVEALED is produced with the financial participation of the SaskFilm Non-Dramatic Equity Investment program and with the financial participation of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit.

BLOOD, LIES & ALIBIS.

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Location:  Regina & Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and surrounding areas

Production: BLOOD, LIES & ALIBIS (factual series, 10 x 1 hrs – broadcasters are Investigation Discovery US, Canal D, Investigation Discovery Canada, A&E Networks UK, and Chello Zone).

Challenge: 70% of this factual crime series was filmed on location in Regina and surrounding area. True crime stories from all over North America are featured in this series, so locations had to double for everything from Ontario to Alabama.

Solution: A strong production team environment with departments working closely together. A skilled location manager, strong art department, and creative Director of Photography effectively meant that the whole team was able to maintain a balance between schedule and creative look.  A nod goes to the all the others on the team, too!

Let me preface this by saying that I truly enjoy coming to work on film projects in Saskatchewan.  The people who call the trapezoid shaped province “home” are some of the most welcoming, friendly, and kind hearted people in this great country.  This might sound corny, but my job is to reach out to strangers… and in Saskatchewan it feels like there are no strangers.  Just neighbours and friends that you haven’t met yet.  The citizens of Regina opened their hearts and doors to our film production in a way that I don’t often see in other places.  This made my job as a Location Manager much easier.  There are always challenges, bumps in the road, weather complications, conflicting events and bookings… the list is endless.  But it feels easier to work through and around these things when you are dealing with such great people.

Not only is Saskatchewan home to fantastic people, but also to diverse landscapes and landmarks.  This too makes my job easier, such diversity allowed us to create a show that was set in several cities across North America while traveling less than 40 minutes away.

I found that my biggest reward was meeting so many people and involving them in something that I am passionate about.

Thank you Saskatchewan!

– Nathan Mosewich, Location Manager ~ IMDb link

As a production team, it was necessary to be creative about making the locations in our re-enactments appear like they took place in other parts of Canada and the US.  Sometimes this was easy and sometimes it wasn’t – especially when the seasons were out of sync!  But little tricks helped:  researching the native foliage when re-creating certain outdoor scenes or paying attention to specific architecture when trying to find the right building or landmark was important.  We always made sure to film nice and close on certain details to have a variety of cutaways we could work with in editing.  We also interspersed actual b-roll from those locations into each episode so that the flavour of the actual location was maintained.

– Heather Kaisler, Series Producer

Production Company: The series is produced by American Emmy® award-winning, Regina-based Partners In Motion . Partners In Motion has also received numerous business excellence awards from both the Regina and Saskatchewan Chambers of Commerce, including the province’s highest honour, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce ABEX Business of the Year Award.

About the broadcasters: Investigation Discovery US reaches 79 million U.S. households; Canal D (French Canadian broadcaster), Investigation Discovery Canada, A&E Networks UK and Chello Zone is a leading international broadcaster and distributor of thematic television channels, reaching more than 300 million homes worldwide.

Photographers: Tobi Lampard and Brian Stockton

BLOOD, LIES & ALIBIS is produced with the financial participation of the SaskFilm Non-Dramatic Equity Investment program and with the financial participation of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit.

A new television series goes ON SITE to Saskatchewan’s mega projects!

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Locations: Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, Canada; Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; and the La Ronge Gold Belt, Saskatchewan, Canada

Production: ON SITE (factual series, 6 x TV half hour), broadcaster is SCN; ON SITE is a hosted series that journeys behind the scenes to six Saskatchewan mega projects. Hosted by Amy Matysio (Ferocious, The Shape of Rex, Jennifer Lynch’s Chained and the family feature Vampire Dog, web series creator/star of  inSAYSHAble); featured projects include: Mega Mine Tour K3 and Continuous Pour K3 in Esterhazy; D10 Rebuild Kramer, Tower Crane and Electrical Transformer in Regina; and Jojay Gold Project the in La Ronge Gold Belt, Saskatchewan.

Challenge: Filming in fascinating but dangerous large industrial sites. Guaranteeing the safety of crew members is of the utmost importance, whether it is hundreds of feet beneath the ground in Mosaic’s K3 Mine (when completed this mine will be 3200 feet below the collar) or to digging for gold in sub zero conditions in the snow covered Northern Saskatchewan.

Solution: All crew members receive construction safety training complemented by site specific training before any filming takes place on location.

“I climbed a tower crane! Not to my parents’ delight per say, but I conquered my fear of heights by having my producer and crew assure me “it would make a great shot!”. I’m kidding, it was my choice and what an adventure it was, as was every episode of this fantastic new series.  My time hosting ON SITE allowed me to see parts of this beautiful province that I may never have had the opportunity to otherwise experience.  I adore the people we met on every site and relished in encountering the pride and knowledge they possess to get their jobs done. I started yearning for the new discoveries I faced and found myself walking away enlightened to a industry I was green to.  But most importantly, I started shopping at Mark’s Work Wearhouse.”

– Amy Matysio (series host)

“In our research for largest industrial sites and companies in Saskatchewan we were keenly aware of access and the dangers of on site locations. From visiting the Northern gold explorations to being in the centre of the largest potash mine in the world, we were in the thick of it and our crew was prepared. Now our viewers will get to journey to industrial sites that they have heard about in the news – but rarely get to see in such a personal way.”

– Stephen Onda, (Producer, Writer, Director ON SITE)

“As the Caterpillar® dealer for the province of Saskatchewan, being safe in all that we do is truly a strategic imperative.  The crew from ON SITE immediately understood how important our safety culture is to us and followed a sign-in, sign-out process each time they attended our facility to film for the show.  The crew consistently adhered to all of our safety policies and procedures including wearing hi-visibility coveralls and safety glasses when working in our shop, which helped ensure that we achieved zero safety incidents during this project.  We are proud to have been featured and very pleased with the efficiency and professionalism of director Stephen Onda and his entire team throughout the process.”

– Devin Wallin, (Marketing Manager, Kramer Ltd.)

“Mosaic considers one injury to be one too many. The ON SITE crew respected our commitment to a safe work environment and were mindful of it every step of the way.”

– Brad DeLorey (Director of Public Affairs for The Mosaic Company)

Production Companies: Built Bigger Productions Inc. (Stephen Onda Productions), Producer/Writer/Director: Stephen Onda; Cinematographer: Robert Pytlyk, Editor: Darryl Davis, and Composer: Jason Plumb.

For more information about ON SITE check out: www.builtbigger.ca

ON SITE is produced with the financial participation of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit.

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