A casting call is being amplified throughout Prince Rupert for local talent to be part of the first major feature movie to be filmed in the city.
Prince Rupert will be playing a version of itself in this family-orientated, magical world of dark, gothic fantasy, Andrew Holmes, producer, told The Northern View, on Nov. 17.
The film adaption is based on a forgotten play, Mary Rose, written by Peter Pan author J.M. Barry, the film’s producer said.
Surrounding areas have been scoped out as the backdrop for the film, with crews arriving mid-December to finalize filming locations.
At the same time, if there is enough interest, the team will be holding auditions for six to eight specific roles for locals of all ages, Holmes said.
“We have a handful of roles that we’re trying to cast out of Prince Rupert, but we also have dozens of background extra roles that we’re going to be casting …. So, basically, both in front and behind the camera, we’re looking for people from Prince Rupert who want to get involved in the film.”
Some lead roles will be cast from Hollywood, while a BC-wide search for the main character, Lily, a woman in her early 20s, is being conducted, Holmes said. Wide ranges of speaking and non-speaking roles need to be cast, including a newborn baby, young children ages six to nine, teenagers, adults and seniors, with every age open to all ethnicities. Well-trained pets are also on the casting requirement for possible stardom.
“Our movie is called The Island Between Tides. It takes place beginning in the early 1980s. Then the contemporary story jumps forward to modern times,” the producer said of the ghost-story genre flic.
“We felt like this is a Canadian story. Canadian financing. So, it’d be cool to have the actual story be set in Prince Rupert,” Holmes said.
Three Canadian film production companies are partnering to produce the film. Famous Red Car Pictures is owned by Holmes who hails from Rutland B.C. and is based in Vancouver. Flicker Theory is owned by Emmy award-winning film editor Austin Andrews from Calgary. The trio of partners is rounded out with Mad Samurai Productions owned by Matthew Cervi. Darren Benning of Eldon Road Productions is the executive producer.
“We received support from the Government of Canada to make this movie with regional financing — which is a really big accomplishment. They only finance a handful of projects in Western Canada, and we were selected as one for that … It’s a completely independently financed project,” Holmes said.
Films crews will arrive in the region in January 2022 to start preparations for cameras to roll in March.
“What is really cool about this story … in 1920 when J.M. Barry first [staged] Mary Rose in Scotland, in the audience was a young man named Alfred Hithcock,” Holmes said.
Hitchcock became obsessed with the play, and it was his life’s goal to turn Mary Rose into a feature film, Holmes explained. As the filmmaker gained momentum, a script was written with the intent to produce a movie. However, the studio disagreed with him on the premise that no one would want to watch a ghost story.
“If you can believe how popular ghost stories are now, that they wouldn’t let one of the most prolific filmmakers in the world make a film that was a ghost story,” the Canadian producer said. “So, on his deathbed, Alfred Hitchcock said his life’s greatest regret was not making this play into a film. So we have our opportunity to pay homage to Hitchcock as well.”
“What we’d love people to do is, if they could send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a little bit about themselves, their experience acting. If they are comfortable, they can send a photo. But what’s the most preferable is just a quick video of them talking,” Holmes said.
The video should be a short introduction outlining any acting experience and a quick note about what would interest them about the film.
“We are also looking for people who are keen on getting involved behind the camera. We have several positions we would like to fill, including a handful of entry-level positions,” Holmes said. Resumes and emails can be sent to email@example.com.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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