Archive for the ‘Doin’ the Doc’

Directing a lucky stiff…

March 01, 2009 By: DonH Category: Doin' the Doc No Comments →

Eva Wunderman directs Dan and Kevin

FRASER RIVER, ABOARD THE ZODIAC – Darwin Baerg of Fraser River Rafting is bombing along the river, deftly steering his craft around the worst of the Fraser’s boils, whirlpools and rapids. He has promised me I won’t get wet despite out haste. I’m not sure if Darwin is keeping his promise in deference to me or the sandwiches, juice, coffee and other comestibles that make up the production crew’s lunch. He seems to enjoy hitting the odd rough patch and I can’t count the number of times I have lost my hat as the wind whips us with its own treacherous currents (Darwin always circles back and so far I have always managed to recover my soaking sombrero). Truth is, Darwin is a sort of third host on the show, a man of few words who calmly and competently ferries Dan and Kevin up and down the river. It takes us a matter of minutes to roar from Yale to Dead Man’s Eddy, but I can imagine how long it must have taken the gold seekers of 1858 to struggle up against these currents. Not a whole bunch of fun. Makes losing your hat seem like small beer indeed…

DEAD MAN’S EDDY, TAKE TWO – Lemme tell you a bit about our Director, Eva Wunderman. Eva has produced and directed award-winning documentaries since the early 1990′s. She directed the Gemini Award winning series Weird Homes and is currently working on “Speed,” a production for CBC’s Passionate Eye. Eva is also producing and directing “The War Caves of Peleliu” for History Television. In 1992, she received an I.T.V.A. Emerald City Gold Award for the corporate production “Making The Right Decision.” In 1996, she won the Canadian Leo Award as best director for the documentary “The Legacy of Truk Lagoon,” produced for A&E. In 1997, she was executive producer and co-director on a project about the Fa’afafine culture in Western Samoa. In 1998, Eva was nominated for a Leo Award as best director and the “Weird” series won a World Gold Medal at the New York Festival. In 2004 and 2005, she produced and directed “Crystal Fear, Crystal Clear” for The Passionate Eye, which won her the Individual Achievement Award for Outstanding Director from the American Women in Radio and Television at the 2006 Gracie Allen Awards. In 2006/2007, she directed two shows about the dangers of crystal meth, both of which are now part of the BC schools drug education curriculum. In 2007 Eva directed three episodes of BULDGING BRIDES, a reality series.

Right now she’s going over the script with Dan and Kevin and explaining where they should walk, etc. It’s a brilliantly sunny day and set in such a beautiful landscape, it’s hard to believe this backwater had a half-dozen headless corposes in it at any given time during the Canyon War. But that’s why we’re here – to recreate that time. And that’s why we have the most valuable member of the cast: Eddy. He’s a headless corpse constructed by Ken, our properties manager, and with all that fake blood and ghastly pallor, he looks pretty real. He’ll look even more convincing once he’s thrown into the water. ‘Course, the trick with your artificial corpses is to make ‘em float just so in the river – can’t ride too high or sink too low. Eddy obviously needs a few minutes to find his character because he’s a bit high in the Fraser’s muddy water. But a few stones strategically placed in his pants and shirt help Eddy get into character and we’re off… so much attention, such a fuss… these actors, some are so high maintentnace… hope we don’t get into an argument over where his name goes in the credits… what would it be? “Lucky Stiff, played by Eddy?”

Lights, camera.. sandwich?

March 01, 2009 By: DonH Category: Doin' the Doc No Comments →

Cast and crew of The Canyon War with “Eddie”

DEAD MAN”S EDDY – Y’know, I’ve always wanted to be an executive producer on a fim shoot – the big office, the vast staff catering to my merest whim, issuing contradictory and unreasonable orders – the whole package. So now, I finally have my chance – I’m the big cheese, exec prod of this great new documentary we’re shooting, “The Canyon War,” and what am I doing? Delivering the lunch for the cast crew.

Ooh, the power…

Seriously, it is cool to be able to make a landmark documentary that shines light on a shadowy chapter of our shared history. We’re making this film on a shoestring and I am one end of it (a rather frayed end at the moment). Shot on location 150 years after the events of the Canyon War of 1858, the documentary is hosted by Kevin Loring, an actor and playwright from the Lytton First Nation, and Dr. Dan Marshall, historian and professor at the University of Victoria (as well as a fifth generation British Columbians whose ancestors arrived in B.C. during the Fraser River Gold Rush). Both these men’s ancestors took part in the tumultuous events of the Canyon War and viewers will get to see their journey of discovery as they explore both battlegrounds and the sites where peace was brokered. The film celebrates the wisdom and diplomacy of Chief David Spintlum of Camchin, the great Nlaka’pamux leader who stopped the conflict from escalating to an international war that almost certainly would have led to American intervention on the Mainland of B.C. and its annexation by the United States. The documentary has the overwhelming support of area First Nations. Produced by award-winning filmmaker Eva Wunderman of Hope, the documentary should air in 2009 and remain a legacy of BC150 for years to come.

But first I gotta get the team their lunch…