Ghostship sets sail with animated doc on fairies

Ghostship Studios, a year-old animation company in Halifax, founded by Frank and Dianna Forrestall in partnership with Halifax's Eco-Nova Productions, is hard at work on the very ambitious one-hour animated documentary Fairy Folio. Frank Forrestall and John Davis of Eco-Nova are producing, with Phil Sceviour (CFO of both entities) executive producing.
According to Frank Forrestall (who is also directing), the unusual and daunting project for CTV will serve as a fairy field guide, offering instructions on how to handle yourself if you ever encounter one in the wild.

Ghostship Studios, a year-old animation company in Halifax, founded by Frank and Dianna Forrestall in partnership with Halifax’s Eco-Nova Productions, is hard at work on the very ambitious one-hour animated documentary Fairy Folio. Frank Forrestall and John Davis of Eco-Nova are producing, with Phil Sceviour (CFO of both entities) executive producing.

According to Frank Forrestall (who is also directing), the unusual and daunting project for CTV will serve as a fairy field guide, offering instructions on how to handle yourself if you ever encounter one in the wild. Based largely on folklore, it will include historical notes and stories about the mythical beings, as written for television by David Vainola.

The animation style will make this project stand out when it’s delivered to CTV in September, says Frank Forrestall. An animation/artistic design team, headed by artistic director/fine artist Renee Forrestall, is using all resources available to it – from oil painting to computer animation to cut-outs held in place with staples – to achieve the desired look for this project.

Fairy Folio is budgeted around $500,000, with funding from the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation, Telefilm Canada and tax credits. Topsail International, also out of Halifax, will distribute. Production on Fairy Folio will continue until late summer, and according to the producers, other Folios may follow. Stay tuned.

Ruby Goes the Distance

The last time we checked in with St. John’s-based producer Annette Clarke and her Ruby Line Productions, she was gearing up for production on two documentary projects, Bloodline (one-hour, with Toronto director Wendy Rowland) and Portrait of a 70 Foot Artist (30 minutes, directed by Anita McGee and coproduced with Linda Fitzpatrick). Both have since been delivered, with Bloodline set to air on CTV in September and Portrait to air on Bravo! July 6.

Clarke is now working on Going the Distance (13 x 30) for Global Television, which she believes to be the first doc series produced out of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The series was born out of a concept by St. John’s filmmaker Deanne Foley and will track 13 long-distance relationships (one per episode). Foley will direct some of the episodes, with Clarke producing all of them.

Currently in the preproduction phase, Clarke and company are researching and trying to find interesting couples willing to share their stories. They’ve taken out ads locally and in The Globe and Mail, and started circulating e-mails (goingthedistance13@hotmail.com) hoping to find the right long-distance duos for the show.

The budget is around $700,000, with funding from the Newfoundland & Labrador Film Development Corporation, provincial and federal tax credits, and additional revenue-generating initiatives being undertaken by Clarke herself. Clarke is in preliminary talks with at least one distributor. She says local crew and post facilities will be used for the series.

Clarke is hoping the series will premiere (fittingly) on Valentine’s Day 2004.

Creative Atlantic to shoot hip-hop doc

Halifax’s Creative Atlantic Communications has a couple of projects in the works, beginning with a one-hour documentary for CTV about the local hip-hop scene.

Under the working title Homegrown Hip-Hop, producer Greg Jones says elements of the doc have already been shot. With the assistance of Telefilm Canada and the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation, CAC was able to send a small crew to Paris and London earlier this year to document the exploits of Halifax hip-hopper Buck 65, who recently negotiated a record deal with Warner and is currently on tour in the U.S. Warren Jefferies (The Spin) is directing.

Additional funding for the project has been provided through licences with CTV and the Independent Film Channel Canada. The film’s budget is approximately $200,000, says Jones.

The lion’s share of the doc’s production is likely to get underway in the summer.

Meanwhile, Jones says CAC’s series Keys Cut Here (coproduced with Vancouver’s Omni Film) was one of the lucky ones to receive LFP funding this year, so CTV’s newest ‘anthology’ series is very likely a go. According to Jones, CTV made the $5.7-million dramatic series a priority when applying, and he is hoping additional funding will come in from the EIP.

Although the show will shoot in Vancouver, Jones reports that a number of the writers are based in Atlantic Canada, plucked from CTV’s Emerging Writers and Directors programs.

Collideascope rolls with a camp that rocks

Halifax’s Collideascope Digital Pictures is in preproduction on its documentary series Rock Camp for CBC. According to executive producer Suzanne Chapman, the 13 x 30 series will give 20 would-be campers/rock stars (ages 14 to 18) a glimpse of what it’s like to get started in music biz.

Armed with little money, suspect gear and big dreams, the campers will call Halifax home this coming summer, when the series will be shot, competing for the grand prize of a recording session with the series’ music partner, EMI Music Canada/EMI Publishing.

Chapman and Collideascope president Steve Comeau are the exec producers. The pair pitched the project to the CBC at last year’s Banff Television Festival, and went into development soon thereafter. Although Chapman won’t divulge the series’ budget, she says because it was financed outside of the CTF, the budget is relatively low. Thus far, financing partners include Bell, the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation and tax credits. DECODE Entertainment will distribute.

The online component will track the Rock Campers through the production of the series and into broadcast, with content produced in-house. However, the website is currently being used to gather prospective camper information and applications and as the catalyst for some early buzz before the series premiers in April 2004.