Rufus in production in Saskatchewan

Playback catches up with director David Schultz during the shooting of his third feature film.
David Schultz - small

Principal photography is underway in Dundurn, Saskatchewan, on Rufus, the third feature film from director David Schultz (Jet Boy, 45 R.P.M.) of Sask-based Interstate 80 Entertainment.

This is the second film Schultz has made in Saskatchewan, and he says the windswept winter landscape really fits the tone of the story, which he adds was born out of a decision to write “a vampire picture that wasn’t really a vampire picture.”

Schultz says the project is not without its challenges – namely, securing financing and shooting a feature with a young cast in just 22 days.

“It’s not easy making an indie film in Canada these days,” Schultz tells Playback Daily. “I’ve been very lucky to get this picture off the ground.”

The film has received development money from the Harold Greenberg Fund, among other industry funds, and production financing from Telefilm Canada, Shaw Rocket Fund, Rogers Telefund, and tax credits.

British newcomer Rory Saper plays the horror film’s title character, a troubled teen seeking to belong in small town Conrad, and who doesn’t know he’s a vampire.

“After looking at 300 youngsters across the U.K. and Canada, we decided on Rory Saper,” says Schultz. “It’s his first appearance in a feature film. It’s quite a culture shock coming to the Prairies for the first time in winter, but the weather’s been mild – it’s the warmest February in Saskatchewan history.”

The film also stars a slew of Canadian actors – David James Elliot (JAG, Scoundrels) Kelly Rowan (Jet Boy) and Kim Coates (45 R.P.M.).

Schultz says he feels Rufus is his best picture to date.

“In the past, I’ve come home and thought I’ve come close, but on Rufus, when I get home, I think about the day’s shoot and it’s beyond my expectations,” he says.

Rufus is produced by Saskatoon’s Anand Ramayya from KarmaFilm and Calgary’s Bruce Harvey from Illusions Entertainment.

Schultz says he is targeting a fall 2012 theatrical release. Entertainment One will distribute the film, which has also pre-sold to TMN, Movie Central and Saskatchewan Communications Network (SCN), in Canada.

 Photo: Kiel Harvey