Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Colm Feore/ Sci-fi nation/ Bruce MacDonald

This is on my www.badcb.blogspot.ca:

Mar. 15: I have mentioned before that I need to get inspired to go into TV production.  Well here’s something: 

Colm Feore: He’s a Canadian actor and was in Bon Cop, Bad Cop and The Listener.  I was reading about him the Edmonton Journal “Feore flexes villain skills” by Eric Volmers on Feb. 10, 2014.  Here’s an excerpt:

“It's a chilly day in Calgary and the actor is sitting in a warehouse in the southeast during a break on the Alberta-shot sci-fi thriller Painkillers.”

Shot over 15 days in Calgary and Drumheller, which subs in for Afghanistan, Painkillers also stars Battlestar Galactica's Tahmoh Penikett, Lesley-Ann Brandt from Spartacus and Bitch Slap's Julia Voth as the desperate soldiers. Calgary native Erica Durance of Saving Hope plays Penikett's wife.

"It's actually terrifying that he can't remember what has transpired," says Penikett, who plays damaged hero Maj. Tom Cafferty. "He has lost a big section of his memory, a whole time period. He's trying to figure it out bit by bit. And for a guy who is used to be in control and on top of it and in charge of his faculties, to have his memory gone like that makes him feel very vulnerable." Painkillers mixes psychology, conspiracies and science fiction, grounding it all in more topical concerns about the traumatic effects of war.

My opinion: This sounds like a pretty interesting story.

Bitten: I saw promos for this show starring Canadian actress Laura Vandervoort who was on Instant Star and Smallville.  She plays a female werewolf.  She was in the Metro on Jan. 9, 2014:

“It’s an adult show, and it’s about the relationships and not just the fact that we’re werewolves.  It’s the family dynamic.”

She has a 2nd degree black belt in Shotokan karate and says she did: “93% of my own stunts except falling down the stairs.  It’s such a vast range for a female to get play on television that I loved going to work every day and coming home and being exhausted but feeling like, ‘Wow, I did that and I didn’t think I was capable.’”

My opinion: When I saw the promo for the show, I was like: “Another supernatural show?”  I already watch Vampire Diaries.  I watched the first 2 seasons of Being Human, and then I missed season 3 because my schedule.  I did watch a couple of episodes of season 4 that’s on right now.

Sci-fi nation: I cut out this article “Sci-fi nation” in the Globe and Mail on Apr. 13, 2013.  It mentions all these Canadian TV sci-fi shows shot in Canada.  It’s by Marsha Lederman:

Continuum, which begins its second season this month, follows Kiera (Rachel Nichols), a police officer in 2077 Vancouver who in the pilot is zapped back to 2012, along with a group of terrorists responsible for a deadly bombing. While trying to figure out how to return to her 2077 life – in particular her son and husband – Kiera also manages to join the Vancouver police department, and hunt for the escaped cons. With echoes of contemporary issues – Occupy, 9/11 – the show resonates beyond the sci-fi sphere.

Lost Girl has also been picked up by Syfy. Shot in Toronto, the show was the most successful premiere in Showcase history when it debuted in 2010. The Season 3 finale airs Sunday in Canada; eight days later on Syfy. Season 4 goes into production in June, a few weeks after Silk, who is pregnant, has her baby.

“In the beginning, it was really hard to define what our show was. I can remember doing press, and I was, like, it’s an action-comedy-drama; I just had no idea what to call it,” says Silk. “A lot of people have compared us to Buffy, which I think is a really flattering comparison. Sometimes I say it’s like Buffy for grownups, because of the sexual content.”

Orphan Black started simmering in the brains of Manson and co-creator John Fawcett a decade ago, beginning with an opening sequence: A woman gets off a train, looks across the platform, and witnesses another woman, who looks remarkably like her, commit suicide. As Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) assumes the identity of her doppelganger, she begins to uncover the mystery of the dead woman’s identity, as well as her own (and later, others’).

The series premiered March 30, attracting the biggest audience for an original series debut in Space’s 15-year history – and some excellent reviews. “Thoroughly impressive, wildly entertaining,” gushed The Hollywood Reporter. “One of the most intriguingly entertaining new series of the year.”

Much has also been made of its ambiguous setting. For example, what appear to be suburban trains in the opening sequence are departing for New York, but the dead woman’s wallet is filled with Canadian currency. “It’s meant to be Generica,” says Manson. “It’s part of the price you pay for this kind of co-production.”

My opinion: I only saw a little bit of the shows Contiuum, Lost Girl, and Orphan Black.  They seem pretty good.  These kind of shows I have to watch from the beginning so I can follow it.  It’s not like crime procedurals where you can watch a random episode here and there and you still know what’s going on.

Motive: “Show's writers search for a Motive” by Glen Schaefer.  This is another Canadian TV show that has found success in Canada and the US.  It’s published Dec. 14, 2013.  Here’s an excerpt:

They're looking for poisons that leave no trace. They want to know what a body looks like after it's been trampled to death by a horse.

"Based on our Google searches alone, we're probably up there on the most wanted list," said writer James Thorpe who, with colleague Dennis Heaton, shares the title of executive producer on the CTV mystery series Motive.

"What comes first (when writing) is usually some kind of juicy motive," said Thorpe, who helped launch the show after a 15-year writing career that began with the adventure series Highlander.

My opinion: I haven’t watched that show.  It looks good and all, but I’m not really interested in watching it.

Mar. 20 Bruce MacDonald: I cut out this Globe and Mail article “Putting the bite on Twilight” by Gayle MacDonald.  It was published in Oct 9, 2010.  Bruce MacDonald created the TV movie My Babysitter’s a Vampire.

"This movie is a vehicle to make fun of pop culture like the way Mad Magazine would do it in the fifties and sixties," says McDonald. "Vampires seem to be eternally popular, primarily because they're sexy.

"The Twilight series supercharged the whole thing. But her [ Twilight creator Stephenie Meyers's]take on vampires is structured around abstinence, which I find very strange. Come on, it's not 1972 any more, is it? Vampires are exotic, other-worldly creature that personify the fun of the night-time world. A concept that is quite appealing to anybody - but especially kids still living in their parents' homes.

"This script mocks, in a gentle way, the hypocrisies of the conservative world we've come to live in," says McDonald, who has been pulling all-nighters, along with the rest of his cast and crew, to accommodate filming the outdoor sequences in the dark.

"I've done kids' shows before, so it's not like I'm new to the genre," says McDonald, who has directed several episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation, as well as Ready or Not. "But those are mostly dialogue- or issue-based. This has physical effects, visual effects and tons of action sequences. It's a fully-loaded kids show."

"A lot of these projects I've been working on 10 years. But, of course, they all just came together at once. But you gotta love [this business]- or it's just too difficult sometimes. If you don't love it, it doesn't matter how much money they pay you, it's not worth it."

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