29 May, 2007

Mother of the Bride Played by Large-Hearted Actor

KWe don’t know what she looks like, but she’s a dollI remember my audition way back last fall; I am fast approaching the half century mark and hoped to get the part of Paul's mom, Anna. I thought it might be a stretch, but I was feeling every bit of my age that day after a game of squash the night before. Thought I could pull it off… but no. I must say I have never been turned down for a part in such a nice way before; thank-you Craig.

I was basking in the glow of his gently and ever-so-slightly backhanded compliment (he was, after all, telling me "no"), when he suggested the part of the bride's mother. ‘Hmmm’, I thought, ‘drive 3 hours to deliver one line? Hmmm.’ I was about to say "no thanks" and, in fact, I think I actually uttered the words, when I noticed Siobhan, casting director extraordinaire, doing something profound with one eyebrow; her eyes seemed to be boring a hole right through my head. I quickly reassessed the situation and a refrain from my past played in my head: ‘no small parts, only small actors’…

"Sure! Sounds like fun" I said, grateful to see Siobhan's eyebrow settle back down.

And so, Friday May 25, I drove down and met some of the people at the Jevon ranch... I was delighted to meet my husband and daughter, her fiancé and his parents, all cast-mates from our hilarious wedding scene on the ‘Love Boat’. However, it seemed like a funny twist of fate that my "husband" (the talented Ray Bailey) and I — who are both a tad vertically challenged — had a daughter (gorgeous Jenn Kirkbride) who towered over us by at least a foot. I suppose it can happen, nutrition being what it is these days…

I had a fabulous time, met some wonderful people, and got to watch some very talented professionals work.

Hmmm… drive 3 hours to deliver one line? In a heart beat. Siobhan, thank-you! And thanks for the opportunity Craig and Kennedy. Your movie rocks!
— Kathy Rollheiser
Mother of the Bride

23 May, 2007

Jedi Master Sound Technician Speaks

Kevin Roberts — Production Assistant [image ©2007, Fabrice Grover]I sleep in the living room and I try to wake up before the majority of the populous awake for the day. This particular morning I had no such success. So I awoke to people talking and eating their morning bowls of cereal. I attempt to shake off the tiredness while Pat laughs at me from the breakfast table. I reach up and drink the glass of water above my head. This makes Pat laugh even harder as I am hidden behind a couch and all he sees is an arm grasping for a glass of water.

After breakfast and packing all the gear we need for the day of shooting, we depart the ranch, (which is particularly beautiful this morning) and head down the road to the Summerland Yacht Club. The lake today is calm and quite. A lake of glass.

We arrive and begin to set up along the dock. Luke and myself unpack the sound gear and begin the set-up. After the gear is ready, we do some stretching and kicking (we're Jedi Master sound technicians).

Kevin Roberts — Extreme Shaolin Jedi Boom Master ExtraordinaireWhen I originally signed onto this project, I was assigned to "do whatever needs to be done Production Assistant" and I did some random things near the beginning, but eventually I became the "boom operator" and I have to admit that it got very old very fast. My saving grace was a few days after Luke arrived for the second time. After endless compliments on how "Fantastic" my "Boom" skills were, he decided that he was a "Jedi Master Sound Guy" and that he was going to train me in the ways which are right and just. I gladly took this challenge upon my shoulders. Within a day or two, I had become what I had always wanted to be: "Extreme Shaolin Jedi Boom Master Extraordinaire" [photo, right].

Anyway, where was I…? Oh yes: We had everything set up, we had finished our stretches, and we were ready for the day. We blew through all the scenes before lunch, and then got to partake in some delicious cake for Bronwen's birthday.

After the fine meal we went back to work, and everything went smoothly until Melanie Blackwell, who is playing the peg-leg princess, lost her tiara in the lake after casting it out into the water on the end of a fishing line in an attempt to catch the Ogopogo with it. We all had a good chuckle over that and moved on.

When we finished all the shots for the day, a bunch of us were standing around waiting for Captain Bob to show up in his slow-ass boat. He was supposed to be at the marina at 1:00PM I believe, and I think he actually showed up at 4:30 or 5:00. The plus side of this situation was that I got some hilarious footage of the gang goofing around and playing games. And Kennedy killed me with his mind powers (I forgot to mention that I have taken it upon myself to shoot the unofficial behind-the-scenes ‘making of…’. Although I do hope that it'll get used for something, like… uhhh… I don't know… on the DVD… huh, Craig? What do you say? I guess we'll have to cross that bridge after I've finished editing it). Needless to say, Captain Bob did show up in his boat eventually, and we all took off back to the ranch. I rode with Kennedy and I got some superb driving shots of him rocking out to music.

Before I get into the events that transpired in the evening, I have to say that staying at the Jevons' Ranch with all the crew and cast is by far one of the best experiences I've ever had. It's like summer camp, but we get to drink lots of beer, and we laugh a whole lot more. Every person on this project is amazing, and I feel very privileged to have met them, and even more privileged to get to hang out with them on a daily basis and share this experience of making a movie.

This particular evening I was feeling a little more tired than usual and after dinner I had a shower and was taking it easy, — I should've started writing this blog — but I was beginning to fall asleep on the “La-Z-Boy®” and the dream world was calling my name. In the back of my head I start to hear a commotion; could I be dreaming? Hardly. Raised voices, yelling, the heavy beat of horse hoofs, you know, the usual, (horses running outside is common place since we're on a horse ranch) but then Pat comes running into the house.

"Kevin, get your ass up, where's your camera, this is ‘E.P.K.’ stuff."

Or something like that, I'm still half asleep. I drag myself up, not bothering to ask questions and grab the two cameras in my bag. I hand one to Pat and we make our way outside.

The details begin to filter in. Apparently a lone horse had come running onto the ranch and through the back yard, fully saddled, and sweating like it'd been running for awhile. There was just one thing missing: a rider. PANIC MODE ON THE RANCH.

Next thing I know I'm running down the road filming or next plan of action. We have people in cars driving around, we have people on phones, we have people being split up into search parties, as our fear is that the rider was thrown from the horse and is lying broken in the hills of Penticton.

Chaos ensues. Then, just as fast as it all started, it all comes to an end as the lost rider comes walking down the road; admitting, to her embarrassment, that the horse had spooked and ran away while getting ready to go out riding. We film the joyful reunion of rider and horse, and head back inside.
Horsies! — image ©2007, Fabrice Grover

The adrenaline of the hunt dies away and I feel tired again. This time I lay in my bed and watch some cartoons with the gang until sleep takes me over again, this time fully until morning, when I wake up again to the hustle and bustle of the morning breakfast rush. This time Pat doesn't laugh at me because he's still asleep. I laugh at him instead.
— Kevin Roberts
Production Assistant / Jack-of-All-Trades)

21 May, 2007

Well I was supposed to blog last thursday when I subbed in for Russell Porter to play Roger!
It was wacky and wild, I spent four hours on the phone changing my flight when it could have been solved with one phone call... anyway!
I was welcomed very warmly and Kennedy and I did our first scene and it was a lot of fun!!
Crazy, crazy...
Everyone was wonderful and the local people Jonathan at the Marina was awesome, running us around in his speed boat!
Soooo much fun!
Flew back to Van the next day to pack my condo and move, came back Sunday night and while shooting today I learned a four page scene in about 5 min with the wonderful help of big K and David Nykl!!
Captain Bob was amazing and the speed boats whipping around made the day!!
The whole crew is great, just the right amount of chaos and serendipity making it magical!

Cheers, Alex Z/ Roger~

New Guy Screws Everything Up

Luke Dunn - Music and Sound GuyWell… I'm new to the production… I was up the first weekend to do the sound design and composition on the mini-trailer they have up, and that was the first time I met the director and most of the crew.

So here's a little background on me: in October of 2006, I decided to head out to Vancouver to start scoring films. I sold what wouldn't fit in my car, packed up my recording studio, and drove across Canada, settling in Vancouver where I now reside.

Now back to the tale…

After leaving that first weekend, and seeing how excited everybody was about the film, I decided to leave my job and head back do the sound recording on set. Having never done sound on the set of a film, I was a bit nervous to say the least. Devin gave me a run down of set protocol the night before my first day; which helped out a lot because before that all I knew was 'action' and 'cut'.

On the first day I arrived on-set on time (good start), had time to kill a butt, and then we were off to unload. I was nervous to begin with, seeing as how the first location was in an empty parking garage (not the ideal location to record sound… unless you like big, hollow sounds).
Fabrice Grover - Photographer, even in the car park
I was all gun-ho and started unloading the trailer… got all my equipment, and started to move it, when the only battery pack we had to run everything fell and cracked…

Everyone stopped and looked as all the blood rushed to my face…

5 min on set and I destroy the fuckin’ battery… loser!

Thankfully the thing still worked, but now I had to spend the next day, the first day off for everyone, fixing the thing so we don't get screwed by the rental place.

Now after the second day, it continues… in a midst of panic, rushing to get set up for the next shot, I accidentally un-plugged Devin as he was backing up the hard drive with all the footage on it.

Thankfully the hard drive wasn't damaged… but this was the second time this happened to Devin that day — not to mention the problems with the last hard drive we're still trying to over-come — and he just about lost it.

All in all I've had a great time so far. It's awesome to have the opportunity to work on a project like this, where everyone is so excited and understanding of my fuck-ups.

We've had lots of problems pop up, but so far we've managed to over-come them all.

— Luke

18 May, 2007

Delicious Silence

Garner and Janet Stone — your cooksUsually I have the words to say, but tonight I don't. This project is something that I never thought I would be part of, the cast and crew are amazing… dedicated and professional (yet, without pay).

When you take a legend and put it on screen it is a special thing. Thank God the project has already put it in tongue in cheek… never before has $20 gone so far (who thought I was a Druggie?).

I feel blessed that Janet and myself can be part of this. Yes, we are only extras and cooks for the crew, but we have met the most creative and talented people that would dare to be an independent film company. It is refreshing to see a group of people who believe in what they are doing, and where they are going. Despite the sunburns and being dead tired, this group of actors and crew keep going… and going…

Shooting in the heat of Day Two — Image ©2007, Fabrice GroverIt has been our pleasure to try to feed this group and keep them nourished. Thanks to David, Craig and Kennedy and everyone else for letting us be a part of this. I want all of your autographs and eventually a DVD , if the movie sucks or rocks, I will have a great momento… lol.

Believe in what you are doing; we believe in you.

By the way, watch out Penticton: we are the un-official tour guides for the night crew (Sat 19th) and only trouble follows us… lol

— Garner and Janet Stone (your cooks)

17 May, 2007

Sentimental Journies by Bagpipes

Siobhan Shaw — Casting Director and Associate ProducerWOW! What an amazing day I had on set today. I have been working on this project for a year and today was the most fun and the most emotional I have had to date. We started our day at the ranch with Samuel Doyle playing ‘Ozzie Livingston’ and once that was finished we packed up the cars and headed to Summerland Yacht Club where Kennedy ambushed me , asking me to write for the blog. With that request, I felt a wave of apprehension wash over me as I was wondering what in hell was I going to say. The excitement and tribulations of the last few weeks of preparation and the first few days of the filming, the fact that I haven't been able to sleep much, and being faced with Mother's Day less than 5 months after my own Mother's death, had left me exhausted and pretty much brain-dead. Now I look back and wonder how I could have been so foolish because today was absolutely incredible. The best day so far. For those of you that missed it, I am dreadfully sorry.

We were set up on the rocky breakwater along the edge of the lake with ‘Ozzie’ in full Scottish regalia [image, below right] — there's something about a man in a kilt that screams bravery. He began playing the bagpipes.

There are two things that make me bawl like a newborn: the song “Sentimental Journey” and the mournful tunes of the bagpipes. They have been a thread throughout my life connecting my past, present and future.

I would sing “Sentimental Journey” for my parents’ friends at dinner parties when I was a little girl with hopes and dreams of becoming an entertainer. The wail of bagpipes were ever-present as I was growing up in Glengarry County, a Scottish stronghold in Ontario.

Samuel Doyle playing both ‘Ozzie Livingston’ and the bagpipes simultaneouslyThe song makes me cry because it is the same song my sisters and I sang to my Mum… "Seven / that's the time I leave at: seven / I'll be waiting up in heaven… da ta dada da dadada da…" as we held her close , and at 7 o'clock on the 17th of December (note today's date) she took her last breath.

The instrument brings tears to my eyes because the wail of a lone piper could be heard as my Father's funeral procession made its way to his final resting place.

Well, you can imagine , there I was sitting crossed legged on the craggy rocks with tears streaming down my face, everyone around me packing up the equipment to move to the next location (Shari took one look at me and was herself on the verge so this blog should get her). My emotion was raw and as I sat there I felt so connected to the grief Craig and Kennedy feel for their dear friend Keith.

Yet despite all the sadness the bagpipes brought, they also lifted me up and gave me courage, the same courage I know Kennedy and Craig must have had to embark on this great tribute to their friend (I wonder if they also build the piper's courage to walk around in public in a skirt?).

The day went from one extreme to the other with the afternoon bringing a thrilling speedboat ride over the waves of Lake Okanagan.

WOOOOOOOO-WHOOOOOOOO YEEEEEE-HOOOOOOOO! (as in the song Fergie sings)… Was that a gas… and it was my first time ever on this lake!

Kennedy and Craig, thank-you for allowing me to be a part of your journey. It has been amazing. I am honoured to help you make this movie in Keith's memory. As someone very dear to me said as he faced his battle with cancer, “love transcends death. It is the best thing you leave behind and the only thing you take with you.” How true (although it does sound like a verse from a greeting card). I end the day now with a smile on my face and peace in my heart.

— Siobhan Shaw
Casting Director & Associate Producer, Okanagan

[oh and I also went shopping at Costco for food for crafty with Craig and Rob… and I have written a few articles for The Beast for local papers and magazines… and found some of the locations — sorry to the cast and crew for showing the guys Bertram Park and even sorrier if we end up having to re-shoot there — oh and, yeah, now I keep track of takes on set… have I forgotten anything…? I'm sure I have…]

16 May, 2007


Bronwen Smith - Actor BabeThe Secret believers would have me think that I brought this on myself, maybe I did…

Before we began principle shooting, the cast got together for a read-through in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago and then rehearsed some scenes. Fabulous idea. A great opportunity for us get to know each other and work out some of the technicalities of blocking (which will potentially save some time on set). We made some great discoveries, one of the biggest being the parallels of the Beast story to that of one of our greatest television series of our generation: Scooby-Doo.

Cool. Except I don’t wanna be Velma!!

Today on set, these Scooby-ish parallels began to show. We started off our day shooting the arrival of the team in Kelowna. The Juanabees van (‘The Mystery Machine’) rolls up to the resort, stops and the team piles out. Great, nice easy shot. Stewart (‘Shaggy’, played by Kennedy Goodkey) drives the van, hits the mark perfectly, we get out of the van and hit our actor marks. The van doesn’t understand that once it hits its mark, it is to stay in position. No. It wants to be the center of attention and pull focus from the actors so it starts rolling backwards. David Nykl [below, wearing hat] stays in character as Paul (or is that Fred?) and simply points out the rolling van to Stewart, who saves it from rolling into the hotel guests’ parked cars. Umm, no need to try to recreate this golden comedic moment for our other takes – it happened every time. The Juanabees van just didn’t ‘juana’ stay put.
David Nykl, being interviewed by the press — photo ©2007, Fabrice Grover
Then we moved inside the lobby of the Manteo Resort (soooo beautiful!) for our next shot of the day. Paul runs into some problems with the team’s room reservations and pisses off the wrong hotel clerk (played masterfully by Rebecca Coleman). The scene starts with Paul, in line to check in and the rest of the team enters part way through the scene. So Stewart, Sondra (‘Daphne’ played by Leanne Jijian Hume), Neville (‘Scooby-Doo’, no acting required by Roger Haskett), Ernie (sharing the role of ‘Scrappy’, played by Fabrice Grover) and Leslie (moi) enter into the scene just when Paul is losing our room reservations. While waiting for action, Fabrice and Leanne were chatting with one of the employees of the Manteo. I stepped in to join the conversation only to have this resort employee turn to me look me up & down and say, “You must be the ‘Velma’ character.” Jinkies!

Lesson learned. Spend less time wishing I wasn’t cast in a role reminiscent of the unattractive, closeted lesbian character from a ’70s cartoon, spend more time manifesting a fabulous experience in B.C.’s stunning Okanagan with an unbelievably fantastic assembly of crew, cast, and countless volunteers. No need. It’s already manifested!

— Bronwen

P.S.: Check out my cat Hornhine on www.cutewithchris.com, he's a guest star on episode #115 and his name is mentioned on this week’s episode #120!

"Next!!" — A tale of two hats (part deux)

Rebecca Coleman - Publicist and “Hotel Clerk”Well, here it is, the big day. The day I have been looking forward to all these months. Today I get to shoot my scene.

We were shooting today at the Manteo Resort (www.manteo.com), which is — to quote the script — "gorgeous". Right on the lake, beautiful buildings, and our holding is in a large upstairs room with a massive deck overlooking the resort and the water. A far cry from yesterday's holding — this felt like the lap of luxury.

The first shot of the day was of “Paul” and the gang (henceforth known as the Scoobys), entering the resort in their van and getting out at the front entrance. The second scene takes place inside the resort, at the check-in counter, and I am the check-in clerk. Unbeknownst to Paul, however, there has been some sabotage, and the check-in does not go smoothly.

Hard-working Craig March, Director - image ©2007, Fabrice GroverBecause we were shooting at the actual check-in counter of the actual resort, we had to actually stop, fairly often actually, to let the the actual check-in clerks do their actual job.

I went to set around noon, I think, complete with my funky, green Manteo uniform. The scene was further complicated by the presence of background performers; necessary for sure, but adding an extra layer of work for our Director, Craig March [photo, right].

We wrapped up the whole scene around 4:30. There was no way we could stop for lunch, because the Manteo people were being so great letting us use their space, we needed to get the shot and get out of there as fast as possible. So we just pushed through. I was pretty pooped by the end of it. I think I had only had a bagel for breakfast, and then some kind of power bar thingy, so by the time we got to the end of the scene, I was tired and hungry, and we were all getting a little punchy.

Still, it felt great. The work was good, I think, and we had so much fun. It was amazing for me to be there, on set, with the other actors, to take my place there, to rightfully belong.

My favourite part of the day, however, had nothing to do with acting or being on set. It was after, at the ranch, eating dinner, having a glass of wine around the big table outside with the gang. Talking, telling stories about our days and our lives, just kicking back and hanging out.

We also stayed up to watch the 11 o'clock news together. CHBC aired a story on The Beast of Bottomless Lake.

Pretty perfect day.
— Rebecca
The People of the Beast - image ©2007, Fabrice Grover

15 May, 2007

The Beast Un-Leashed (Tuesday Crew Report)

Ted Farkas - Sound Crew DudeIt's this time of year that the Ogopogo sightings start each season and old timers (including myself) will confirm this.

I never imaged that there would be an Ogopogo-based movie in the Okanagan and I would be part of the crew. Day Two was a scorcher with the temperature at 30°C [or 85°F] on the rocks over-looking the lake. What a location: the landscape highlighted with the burned-out trees from the 2003 big burn in the Valley.

I am up this second day of the shoot with Kennedy Goodkey and actor Mike Antonakos (the bad guy in a comedy?) in a VW van named ‘Little Miss Jaunabys’ or some such.

Image ©2007, Fabrice GroverOn the way up we stopped for supplies in Westbank B.C. and said ‘hello’ to veteran actor John B. Lowe, who was just leaving town for back east. On the set in east Kelowna, we had to pack in the ‘jib boom’ and other camera-related equipment. The set is only about 200 acres, but we are all over the hillside with Okanagan Lake as a back drop [image right; ©2007 Fabrice Grover]. You got to see this movie just for these views.

I helped with camera crew in am then set up jib boom and then back to the "Circus" or craft area. Today is media day as well, as the local TV station sent out a crew and then the local radio station interviews Rebecca our publicist [check out her post about Media Day below]. Actor Mark gives us the native pronunciation of the Breast which sort sounds like “Na Hi It” (please don't write me letter about that).

Back to the "ranch" and crew headquarters with David Jevons who fills in today as 1st AD. Everyone is red with sunburns and dog tired. Me too.

The picture below I personally took about 10 years ago, in Okanagan lake [click for big version]. Who knew?

Night all.
— Ted Farkas
Ted Farkas - Sound Crew Dude

The Heat Was Hot, We Nearly Froze

Devin Schule - Crew MemberIt was Tuesday the 15th of May.

We started early due to the inevitable first day jitters of "wow, did we bite off more than we could chew?"

Other than that, all of us were stoked for the new day of shooting.

We arrived to the location around 9AM. It appeared to be a great day for lighting, with barely a cloud in sight.

Everyone crowding around playback — Image ©2007, Fabrice GroverHowever, it's best if you're used to being in desert-like terrain with little shade in sight. If you are, then you'd already understand that the morning is deceivingly slightly cool which, as the day goes by, grows in intensity to a temperature at which heat stroke is nearly impossible to avoid.

I, myself, suffered the wrath of such a merciless terrain. Yet I, nor the crew or cast was about to be beaten by sickness and fatigue of the blasted heat.

We carried on following the ideal which had been laid out by a man who did so much for the independent film community. As a result of his example of dedication, that for us to be attempting the near impossible — to go far beyond just a simple harsh terrain, a budget that most would laugh at, or nearly being shut down due to a ignorant Union — nothing could stop us.
— Devin Schule

14 May, 2007

A tale of two hats

Rebecca Coleman - Publicist and “Hotel Clerk”If there’s one thing you learn in a hurry about making an independent feature film, it’s that everyone pitches in. The name of the game is getting the job done, and if that means that the star of the film has to schlepp equipment, well, then so be it.

I am no exception to this rule. I wear two hats in this production — I serve as publicist, and also as an actor.

Tuesday, it was publicity. We sent out a media call to the press, inviting them to come by and get some footage of us shooting the film, and interview some of the key players. It was very successful. CHBC showed up to shoot footage for the evening news, Shaw showed up to get footage for their magazine, the Kelowna Daily Courier sent a photographer, and then CKOV showed up to do an interview for the radio.
Photo ©2007, Fabrice Grover
Despite being run off my feet, it was great. A great success by any standard.

It’s a big deal for us to be getting this kind of coverage. We are a small production, low budget, and in order for us to be successful, we need to build a buzz. And the press is a big part of that.


Add to that the fact that we had a great day of shooting, despite the fact that one of our crew got heatstroke. It was freakin’ gorgeous here today, 28°, hot and sunny. Did I mention the spectacular scenery? And the incredible work?

I love this.

Tomorrow’s hat: actor. Bitchy hotel clerk lives.

Check back.
— Rebecca

13 May, 2007

International Affairs (and Break-Ups)

Brie Williams - dramatic re-enactment of her attempt to re-enter the Land of the FreeThere are times when you say things and times when you don't say things; I don't often know the difference, which can be charming at times, and at times it can get you (meaning me) kicked out of countries (meaning Canada) on the day before I was supposed to join fellow Beasts on the travel to the (only mythical, to me) land of Kelowna, to assist crewing on this great motion picture, which I stumbled across last year on the internet and have been intrigued by ever since…

Basically what happened is — after four hours on a train and four hours on a bus — I said too much to the Canadian border guard(s) about my prospective activities, who told me I couldn't enter without a work permit, made me walk back across the border in shame, only to be harassed by the American border guards who thought I was trying to sneak in from Canada… then wait three hours for a bus, during which time I made the embarrassing call to Kennedy to let him know that I would not be making it to the shoot, and after which time, I had to board the bus last, due to my ‘thug’ status.

I was somewhat delirious by this time, as I hadn't eaten much and had almost been kicked out of two countries, so it thankfully all seemed kind of funny.

Sitting near me on the bus back to Seattle, there were these two teenage Canadian boys who were all excited about moving to the States; sad that they wouldn't be able to go to bars, happy that they could still buy cigarettes, wondering where all the enormous road signs were (?), laughing about gallons and miles, and suddenly one of them became very panicked that there might not be any Tim Hortons in the U.S. (which there are not, except for a few on the East Coast). The other one assured him that this was preposterous, ‘of course there are Tim Hortons everywhere!’ I almost opened my mouth, but I thought, this just might be one of those times when you don't say something.

So I practised not saying anything. And now there are two teenage boys wandering around Seattle searching for a Tim Hortons that doesn't exist. But that's how it rolls in international travels, boys. That's just how it rolls.

Anyway, I wish everyone the best of luck on the shoot and thanks for allowing me to be a part of it… you have my support from the lawful distance of bordering lands!
— Brie Williams

12 May, 2007

Wrestling, pants, “Big-Me”, and drawing

Thomas Fournier - he plays ‘Young Paul’In the film, I have to wear short shorts, but I didn’t have any. So my Mom cut off my jeans with the hole in the knee and made them into short shorts. I started singing: “Who wears short shorts? I wear short shorts!”

Also, to pass the time while I was waiting to film, I drew a drawing of me wrestling three tires and a hockey stick. Then Craig March — the director of The Beast of Bottomless Lake — saw my drawing and put it in the film! Finally, my other “art” has been put on display!

When we were filming, I had to go into freezing water with socks and sandals and wrestle three tires and a hockey stick (Ogopogo). It was fun because I got to make all these weird, funny faces in front of a camera!

Since I play the younger version of the main character ‘Paul’, I had to look like David Nykl, so I loaned him the necklace I wore during the shoot. Now he looks just like me! We call ourselves “Big-Me” and “Mini-Me”!

Thanks to Craig, Kennedy, Keith, and the rest of the Beast… gang for this great experience!

See you on the big screen!
— Thomas Fournier

11 May, 2007

Union Tale Finale

Kennedy Goodkey - Writer DudeOh this is precious.

I’m really just going to let this one speak for itself, with the minimal amount of set up.

An email from a few days after we submitted our package to UBCP:
From: Lesley Brady
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 4:18 PM
To: Kennedy Goodkey
Subject: Beast of....


We will require the completed list (appendix A) with all partners listed and signed off before we can counter sign to accept it. How soon will you be able to get that? Also, when do you go to camera?

Regarding your insurance, will you please provide, when available, proof of your insurance?


Lesley Brady
Business Agent, Film & Television
Union of BC Performers
And my response:
From: Kennedy Goodkey
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 4:32 PM
To: Lesley Brady
Subject: RE: Beast of....


Partners list... oh crap... we've had a miscommunication then. From my understanding of your's and my previous conversation, the real concern was the UBCP members - and the rest could wait.
Umm, I will look at it first thing tomorrow and get a realistic guess. With so many of the partners in the Okanagan<>th,

Insurance... I understand that it was paid today - I will make arrangements to have proof send ASAP.

The day I dutifully got those additional signatures in was Monday May 7th. That day Lesley and I had about email exchanges and again the next day. The specific content is rather dull and boring, the important point being that we talked several times back and forth about the details of the additional signatures and nothing else – I have these emails, but I’m not going to bore you with them.

Since then…

Not a word. Not a thing. We have waited by the phone for the call saying “Alright! Go ahead!”
Today is the last business day before we go to camera. Still nothing. With two hours before the Union office closed I sent the following email as a response to the thread that inquired and provided a response to our first day of filming – so all of that information was included:
From: Kennedy Goodkey
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2007 2:30 PM
To: Lesley Brady
Subject: RE: Beast of....

Hi Lesley,

Just checking in to see where things are at on your end in the MIP?

- Kennedy
The response: (I have redacted the names of the innocent.)
From: Lesley Brady
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2007 2:30 PM
To: Kennedy Goodkey
Subject: RE: Out of Office AutoReply: Beast of....

Thank you for your email. Please note that I am currently away on vacation and will not be returning until Monday, May 28th.

If you require more immediate assistance please redirect your email to Txxxx Cxxxx, Manager Film & Television at txxxx.cxxxx@ubcp.com.

If your inquiry is regarding our Ultra Low Budget Program, please forward your inquries to Lxxxx Lxxxxx at lxxxx.lxxxxxx@ubcp.com.

Thanks and have a great day.
Lesley Brady
Do you think she ONCE mentioned that she was going away? No.

I sent the following email to the redacted ladies mentioned above:
From: Kennedy Goodkey
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2007 3:21 PM
To: lxxxx.lxxxxxx@ubcp.com; txxxx.cxxxx@ubcp.com
Subject: RE: Out of Office AutoReply: Beast of....

Lxxxx & Txxxx - (Apologies I'm not quite certain which of you this should be addressed to.)

We have a MIP application in to Lesley Brady (Submitted April 23rd) and we have not heard back on it. We go to camera on Monday (May 14th) which she was explicitly informed of on April 25th, if it was not communicated earlier. I.E. Today is the last business day. We even emailed each other as recently as Tuesday of this week - and I felt all looked well so I did not worry.

Until today...

I sent her an email inquiring about the status a few minutes ago and got the Out of Office Auto-Reply directing me to each of you in various circumstances, and I'm not sure which applies.

Sorry that this is very 'last minute' - the folly of my being too patient.

My number here is 604-xxx-xxxx. Or via email at this address.

I'm not sure what the prudent way to proceed would be.

- Kennedy Goodkey
Now, there IS a happy ending to the story. Redacted Lady #1, Lxxxx (which is not pronounced the way it is spelled) phoned the Provost Pictures office around 4pm with news.

Long story short: The person who is signing off on the application was not available before Lesley left for vacation. The application will likely be signed off on on Monday. If not it will be shortly thereafter. Lesley just neglected to inform us.

“So, let me get this absolutely clear, Lxxxx. We can go ahead with impunity, despite not having official word.”


“Thanks Lxxxx.”

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go find a squirrel to shit upon.
— Kennedy

09 May, 2007

A Bird Shit on a Squirrel

Kennedy Goodkey - Writer DudeThis may be my last entry until we are finished shooting. It almost certainly will be until we return from K-Town.

We've taken to calling the Okanagan portion of the shoot 'K-Town' which is a bit of a misnomer. We are shooting in Kelowna — which has a store called 'K-Town Souvenirs', so I suppose Kelowna is K-Town. But in fact we are shooting more in Summerland (home of the late — and arguably first great — Canadian playwright, George Ryga) than anywhere else.

Craig has left for K-Town this evening. I am left here. My 'to-do' list is by now very short and can be summed up by the single word 'pack.' Saying that all I have left to do is 'pack' is a bit specious though. What I have to do is pack a fully ordinanced army and get them to K-Town by Saturday.

Sleep? Whatever. I remember what sleep tastes like. It IS something that you taste… right?

I soldier on.

I don't know who it was who first said something to the effect of ‘commit to your shooting date and all the problems will solve themselves.' I should point out that anyone who can't make that claim is a failed independent film-maker and has no credibility to take seriously. So far we've had a lot of luck in the 'problems will solve themselves' department. Especially in the past three days. A lot of ulcer-makers have in fact solved themselves.

For example, 45 minutes after our third (yes, THIRD) special props builder who was building the 'Ness-Sled' called to bail on me, my upstairs neighbour — entirely unaware of my plight — knocked on my door to tell me about a friend of his who he works with who… do I even have to finish this sentence?

The list goes on. And I think a lot of that has to do with the act of soldiering on, not caring about the crap that comes your way.

Late last week I was on the phone with Craig — we must talk more than he and his wife have this month — and was in the middle of explaining some situation or another to him (it's truly irrelevant what). As I was talking, a squirrel was walking along the fence in front of the office (oh, how I long for the day when I can call it an 'apartment'… 'MY apartment' again) when suddenly out of the blue, swooped a bird. And the damned thing shit-bombed the squirrel! Dead on, too! The squirrel kept on walking.

Whatever sentence I was in the middle of saying was immediately high-jacked by the exclamation "A bird just shit on a squirrel!"

How unlikely is it that a bird would try that, let alone actually hit? And the squirrel just kept on going along the fence.

Craig suggested that that should be our motto: "A bird shit on a squirrel." No matter how bizarre or unlikely the mishap, keep soldiering on, just like that squirrel.

And it seems as though there is nothing left that can stop us.

Well, there IS the union thing again.

"Again?", you ask, "What ‘Union thing’?"

Well, we didn't talk about it before for any number of political reasons. But it's now too late for it to be an issue. Last Summer when we postponed, it wasn't quite as our official story has been, that “the forest fires in the US blew too much smoke into the Okanagan”; which they did, but we COULD have shot through that, as unpleasant as it would have been. It was the actors’ union. OUR union. They refused to let us make the movie. I'm not going to get into it in detail. Suffice to say that with less than two weeks to go, they disallowed our low-budget waiver. Our waiver which clearly met all the stated stipulations of the low-budget program.

Over the past months they provided us a new option - a new option which we are the pilot project for. The MIP - Member Initiated Production. We've done our best to help them identify the issues with it, and again we've met the requirements… which was not easy, as they several times told us one thing, then turned around and told us that they had made a mistake and that the 'other thing' was the case. One of these cost us nearly two weeks… ending only earlier this week! The other was solved in a day… ALSO this week.

I may elaborate later, but I've got an army to move.

For the record, the union requires that you submit TWO weeks in advance. We submitted in advance three weeks to the day.

We shoot on Monday. Five days away from my writing this. They still haven't said 'yes.' And when they do, we still have to make offers to our cast's agents… uh, WHEN am I doing THAT? Remember I have to muster the army?! Craig is already in K-Town with David.

The fact is, we've committed far too many resources to this project already; resources we can't get back. And by now, all our Union actors are producers of the project. If the Union happened to say 'no' right now, do you think there is a labour court in the country that would agree with them and say "You can't be in this film THAT YOU ARE PRODUCING"?! I doubt it.

But let's say that anywhere between tomorrow morning and Monday when cameras roll and no-one is here in 'Provost Pictures’ Office' to take the call, that the Union calls and says "Sorry!" Not that this is how they did it last time; last time they left voice mail just as they closed their office for a long-weekend, the cowards!

It just doesn't matter what kind of shit bomb they dump on us, we're going to keep walking along that fence.

In any case, it's fucking asinine that we've now TWO business days before the shoot and we haven't heard from them.
— Kennedy

07 May, 2007

Method Acting

Roger Haskett - he’s playing “Neville”I’ve never been one to take method acting too seriously. I always identify with Sir Lawrence Olivier when I tell (or hear) the famous Marathon Man Dustin Hoffman/Olivier exchange (I do wish my career would identify with Sir Lawrence Oliver [or Dustin Hoffman for that matter!]). However, after the first read-thru, going out to Tim Hortons to get some sandwiches for some of the cast and crew, I seemed to be shanghaied by the spirit of my character “Neville.” What should have been a 15–20 minute excursion turned into a hour-and-a-half long series of mishaps which, at the time, felt extremely tragic but quickly resolved into a comedy once the experience was over; which is what The Beast of Bottomless Lake is, isn’t it? A tragedy to those living through it but a comedy to those watching it.

It started out simply enough: David Nykl, who is playing Paul – a hapless character just like Neville! (oh why did we go together? Why didn’t I pick one of the responsible characters in the movie to go get lunch with??? Ah, hindsight!) Anyhow, David and I following somewhat vague directions start walking (actually David is on his bicycle – which I have to admit he didn’t even offer to double me on! What rudeness!) and immediately go the wrong way. It takes us 4 or 5 blocks to realize our mistake and once corrected we continue on our way, having what I must say is a very pleasant conversation. Passing the Cactus Club, David convinces me that we should stop and eat there (far nicer that Tim Hortons he points out, and I counter that the cute waitresses are a bonus). Yes, it was very hard for him to convince me to eat at the Cactus Club (twist that rubber arm!). And to seal the deal, he quite rightly points out that I can go to Tim Hortons, which we both think is only one block away, after I order my food and pick up the sandwiches only to return to C Club in time to eat my hot food. Ahhh, the best laid plans of mice and men (I’m not sure where I stand in that comparison).

At this point, things start to go horribly awry.

It’s a hot day, so I leave my jacket at the Club only to return immediately to retrieve the paper with all the food orders on it. Aha! Things are going well; disaster averted. Imagine how embarrassing to arrive at T.H. (Tim Hortons) only to realize the food order is sitting in a jacket pocket at the C.C. (Cactus Club). Full of sunshine and happiness over disaster averted, I (or shall I say ‘Neville’ at this point, because he has definitely started to take over) walk to TH only to find that TH is not where our vague directions led us to expect it to be. Quel surprise!

Having no one to ask where it is, Neville pulls out his phone and — with ease — tracks down its actual location. It’s another 2 (long!) blocks away. Thinking of my meal about to be served, Neville breaks into a jog. Construction on the street has removed the sidewalk and replaced it with a dirt track liberally strewn with rocks (actually think boulders; that is more their size). Jogging around a woman who must be the slowest walker in the world, I (Neville) step on a boulder and manage to twist my knee (ouch!). Now, sweating and limping (ok, limping only a little – but it sounds good doesn’t it: “sweating and limping”?) I jog-hop the 2 blocks to TH. Yeah, there it is!

Entering TH I wait (impatiently) in line and finally get waved over to the “cash only” counter. But no problem I have collected the cash from the cast/crew so I place the order (which took quite a while as actors, it turns out, have very specific ideas of what belongs on a sandwich!). Payment time. I empty my normal money carrying pocket: you know, the one where you always stick your money. But sadly there is only a $10 bill in it. No problem! I remember putting the money in a different pocket so it wouldn’t get mixed up with my money. Smart! I congratulate myself on my foresight as I start to check my other pockets… I’m not so congratulatory as I check them again when they turn up empty… and again.

What the hell? I look at the floor. Did I drop the money?

And then it hits me: I must have put the money in my jacket pocket with the food order!?! Getting a little desperate, I offer my Visa®. But no, TH for some unknown reason doesn’t accept Visa® (Who the hell doesn’t accept Visa®!???).

Sweating a little more and causing a little bit of a commotion, I hit on Interac™. Saved! Except we have to switch lines since I’m in a cash-only line.

Ok, once that is done and I bump (on instruction of the staff, I might add) an elderly gentleman who was just about to order his lunch out of his line (who insists on standing right behind me — and I mean RIGHT behind me), I offer up my card and watch in amazement as it doesn’t work.

5 attempts… 8 attempts… Manager is called over… plastic bag is found and more attempts are made with plastic wrapped around my card… (remember the elderly gentleman? He is muttering not so quietly into what feels like the back of my neck things that shouldn’t come out an elderly gentleman’s mouth).

Finally the manager gives up and insists that she can not enter the numbers into the machine rather than swiping it. At this point, much of the lunch crowd is thinking: “boy, this lunch is more entertaining than normal” since there is no hiding what has been going on. Really sweating and feeling very desperate, I suggest the only option: hold my food order ’til I can return with money.

Jog-hop-limp the 3 blocks back to CC. I arrive to see David enjoying a tasty meal and my meal growing cold in front of my spot. I check my jacket. Yes! The money is in it. Good! You got to see the good at moments like this. I sit down and half eat my meal as we have now been gone for a long time. David, the gentleman — not to be confused with earlier elderly gentleman — offers to pay for my lunch. Great! Things are looking up! In a fit of generosity, David offers me his bike. Things are better and better!

However, it take David 2 tries to get his bike key off of his (rather large (!) key ring). Finally he gives up and gives me the whole set. It takes me a minute to unlock his bike lock and then I can not figure out where the lock goes. The lock holder doesn’t seem to like the lock. I’m stumped. I think of throwing the lock into the middle of the street hoping a big truck comes along to destroy it. David comes out (from his leisurely lunch, I think darkly) and snatches the lock out of my hand and explains as one would to a child that the lock is bungee corded down to the rat-trap. Of course! How did I not see that (I think sarcastically)! But then I get the last laugh! Ha! David can’t get his lock to lock. (David was channeling Paul at this point I am convinced.) Finally the lock is locked and bungeed down and I am up on his bike picking up speed as I race to TH. Oh oh, I forgot about the non-existent sidewalk. I slow down to avoid the boulders but mistakenly go a little too slow so I lose maneuverability and ride over a smallish boulder.


What the hell was that? The pedals stop moving and as I dismount in confusion I realize that the extra bungee cord not being used to hold down the lock has wound itself around the back tire and gear area! ARRRRGGGGG! Oh, and to top it off the bungee hook has wedged itself into the spokes and is strangling the wheel so that I can’t release the pressure on the cord.

Fuck, fuck fuck fuck fuck I am muttering (well muttering is not really the right word; it’s more like a contained yell) only to look up at a shadow passing by to realize it is a mother with a young child in a stroller. Oops!

After playing around with the wheel, spokes and cord for 5 minutes or so, I finally untangle the cord. Praying to Ogopogo, I test the wheel and everything seems to be working. Back up on the bike and off to TH. The rest is somewhat anticlimactic as it goes smoothly. Nervously riding back to the studio, though, I check over my shoulder for cars, dogs, bikes, raccoons, birds, whatever because I do not trust this day to end without my visiting the hospital.

Now, as I said from at the start: I’m not into ‘Method’ much. After this day I’ll be happy to stay distant from it for a long time.
- Roger

Egg and Tuna Salad Work Their Magic

Leanne Jijian-Hume - she’s playing “Sondra”Okay - So I have been asked to write a blog about the first weekend of rehearsal for The Beast of Bottomless Lake. I have never “Blogged” before… it all seems a little strange but here goes…

So meeting everyone for the first time on Saturday was very cool. It was great to actually see the people who are going to bring the script to life. Watching “Neville” try on all of his costumes was pretty hilarious… who knew that costumes alone could steal the show quite like that? The costumes seemed to have quite the effect on Roger causing him to be quite Neville-like and take about an hour-and-a-half to get sandwiches for lunch from Timmy’s two blocks away… Long story… no one stayed lost… everyone did make it back alive… eventually.

Egg and Tuna Salad were successful mood managers and we managed to get through the afternoon of costume fittings and group photos and no one else got lost for the rest of the day.

On Sunday we blocked out a couple of the scenes that are quite physical or are scheduled on one of the really jam-packed days. That was pretty fantastic. A bit of a luxury to be able to work on a scene without the pressure of a crew, location time running out, or even a camera running. It was great to get a small sense of where each actor is taking their character… which we be very helpful this week when I am doing script-work, homework, etc.

I realized today that a map of my journey (as “Sondra”) from Paul to Stuart is where I will start my homework. I think that I will go through and ask myself five or seven of the same questions in each scene and start to map the arc that way. I am looking forward to getting started on that.

To finish the weekend off, we had a business meeting that gave us as much info as is available schedule-wise at the moment. We talked about accommodation and transportation. So far so good. Everyone seems to really be on board… all pulling in the same direction and excited to get started. Now I just have to pack…
— Leanne

06 May, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Kennedy Goodkey - Writer DudeIt may seem that we fell way behind in our blogging.

Not truly the case.

For reasons I may get into at a later time, we got sidelined in the fall.

But we are back on.

Beast of Bottomless Lake is set to shoot in May of 2007, and there is no stopping us now.

The Okanagan dates are firmly set. The Vancouver portion is in the works.

It's going to be crazy. There is still an awful lot of work to be done.

Hopefully we'll think to update this more regularly, and perhaps even go back and tell the tale of the past six months.
- Kennedy