Everything about Orphan Black, eh?

Amazon Prime Video begins production on the first scripted Canadian Amazon original comedy series – The Lake

From a media release:

Amazon Prime Video today announced the start of production of the first scripted Canadian Amazon Original series, The Lake. Set in cottage country, the 30-minute episodic comedy will film in northern Ontario from August to September. The Lake stars Jordan Gavaris (Orphan Black), Julia Stiles (Hustlers, The Bourne Identity) and Madison Shamoun (#blackAF, Black-ish). The series will launch in 2022 and be available exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.

The Lake centres on the quintessential Canadian cottage experience, and one man’s attempt to recreate his childhood memories in an effort to re-connect with his biological daughter. Produced by AMAZE and filmed in northern Ontario, the series taps into the family bonding, relaxing in nature and the peacefulness of cottage country then turns it on its head, with petty rivalry, strained relationships, day drinking, and mosquito-ravaged sunburns.

In The Lake, Justin (Jordan Gavaris) returns from living abroad after a break-up with his long-term partner, in the hope of reconnecting with the biological daughter that he gave up for adoption in his teens. His plans to create new memories with his city-loving daughter Billie (Madison Shamoun) at the idyllic lake from his childhood go awry when he finds out his father left the family cottage to his “picture-perfect” stepsister, Maisy-May (Julia Stiles). Additional cast include Jon Dore (Funny As Hell, Humour Resources), Carolyn Scott (Pushing Tin, Goosebumps), Natalie Lisinka (Orphan Black, The Expanse), Travis Nelson (Tucker and Dale vs Evil) and Declan Whaley (Criminal Minds).

The Lake is produced by AMAZE, with Michael Souther and Teza Lawrence serving as executive producers for AMAZE (Carter, Call Me Fitz), and is written and executive produced by Julian Doucet (Killjoys, St Nickel). The Lake comes from Amazon Studios and is part of Prime Video’s continued investment in Canada. The Lake is the fourth announced Canadian Amazon Original series following the revival of the sketch comedy The Kids in the Hall, docu-series All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs, and comedy-variety series LOL: Last One Laughing Canada. Since 2015, Amazon Studios has filmed 24 Amazon Original series and films in Canada, including The Man in the High Castle and Upload in Vancouver, The Boys and The Expanse in Toronto, Tales from the Loop in Winnipeg, as well as parts of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and The Voyeurs in Montreal.

The Lake will join the thousands of TV shows and movies from Hollywood and worldwide in the Prime Video catalog including award-winning and critically acclaimed Amazon Originals like The Tomorrow War, The Underground Railroad, Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm, The Boys, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, and Emmy and Golden Globe award winners Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, all on Prime Video, which is available at no extra cost for Amazon Prime members.

Prime members will be able to watch all episodes of The Lake anywhere and anytime on the Prime Video app for smart TVs, mobile devices, Fire TV, Fire TV stick, Fire tablets, Apple TV and stream online.

Image courtesy of Peter Stranks.

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Will Pascoe announced as showrunner in residence for the Pacific Screenwriting Program’s 2021 Scripted Series Lab

From a media release:

The Pacific Screenwriting Program (PSP) is excited to announce that award-winning Writer/Producer/Director Will Pascoe will serve as Showrunner-in-Residence for the 2021 Scripted Series Lab. Pascoe will mentor six up-and-coming BC-based screenwriters selected to participate in the program. He will lead the Writer’s Room as they develop his original series in the PSP’s flagship training program starting in January.

Going into its third year, the lab will implement a hybrid-style Writer’s Room combining in-person and virtual meetings that reflect the current production protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will still get the full PSP experience including mentoring on their original pilot, additional workshops and information sessions with other industry leaders to equip them with the skills, experience and connections necessary to help establish a sustainable career in the province’s dynamic screen industry. The Pacific Screenwriting Program is a collaboration between Netflix, CMPA, the Writer’s Guild of Canada and Creative BC.

Will Pascoe most recently wrapped Showrunning the third season of Amazon’s hit series, Absentia. Previous to that, he wrote for Fox’s The Finder, Bell/SyFy Channel’s, Bitten; NBC’s drama series Chicago Med; BBC Worldwide/Starz’s Da Vinci’s Demons and Hulu’s Shut Eye starring Jeffrey Donovan and Isabella Rossellini. While working as writer and co-producer on Bell/BBC America’s Orphan Black, his episode “Variations Under Domestication” earned Pascoe a Canadian Writer’s Guild Award and nominations for an Edgar Allan Poe Award and a Hugo Award. A graduate of the Writer’s Guild of America’s prestigious Showrunner Training Program, Will has also developed television series for Twentieth-Century Fox, Playtone, and Universal Studios.

The Scripted Series Lab is a 15-week intensive training program providing support and career-advancement opportunities for active and aspiring screenwriters from across British Columbia, where they receive the necessary support to expand their portfolio and pursue opportunities in the evolving TV marketplace. Throughout the program, participants hone their craft, strengthen their collaboration and presentation skills, and obtain a deeper understanding of the global television industry and how to market themselves within it. As the Scripted Series Lab showrunner, Pascoe will mentor the six selected participants within a real-world story room over 10 weeks, breaking stories and writing scripts for the original project he brings to the room and will subsequently be pitching to streamers and networks around the world.

For more information, please visit the Pacific Screenwriting Program website.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Link: New Orphan Black series in the works from AMC

From Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly:

Link: New Orphan Black series in the works from AMC
There may be another attack of the clones coming to television. EW has confirmed that Temple Street Productions and AMC are in the early stages of development on a possible new series set in the Orphan Black universe. Variety first broke the news. Continue reading.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Baroness Von Sketch Show, Alias Grace and Andrew Phung take home trophies during Night 2 of Canadian Screen Awards

The writers on Baroness Von Sketch Show, Letterkenny, Orphan Black, Odd Squad, and Kim’s Convenience co-star Andrew Phung and Schitt’s Creek‘s Emily Hampshire were among the winners in the Creative Fiction Storytelling categories during Night 2 of the Canadian Screen Awards.

Hosted by Kim’s Convenience‘s Andrew Phung, the non-televised celebration honoured 42 categories in the guest performance, writing, directing, photography, editing, production design, visual effects, sound, limited, variety and sketch comedy.

“On the count of three, I want you to shout out what you had for breakfast!” Phung yelled at the crowd before calling out Schitt’s Creek‘s Daniel Levy for not answering. “Now I want you to shout out your favourite Canadian production, but it cannot be your own project!” He then called his mother on his cell phone for advice on how to host the show.

“Oh my god,” she said. “You should just do your best.”

Special awards were given to the late Denis McGrath (Margaret Collier Award) and Jay Switzer (Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute Award), and Bell Let’s Talk (Humanitarian Award).

Here are the winners in several of the key categories:

Best Supporting Actor, Drama
R.H. Thomson, Anne

Best Supporting Actress, Drama
Allie MacDonald, Cardinal

Best Guest Performance, Drama Series
Steven McCarthy, Mary Kills People

Best Pre-School Program or Series
Paw Patrol, TVO Kids

Best Animated Program or Series
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, YTV

Best Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or Series
Odd Squad, TVO Kids

Best Performance, Children’s or Youth
Ella Ballentine, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: Fire & Dew

Best Performance, Animation
Martin Short, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween

Best Writing, Variety or Sketch Comedy
Aurora Browne, Meredith MacNeill, Carolyn Taylor, Jennifer Whalen, Jennifer Goodhue, Monica Heisey, Mae Martin, Zoe Whittall — Baroness Von Sketch Show, CBC

Best Writing, Comedy
Jacob Tierney, Jared Keeso — Letterkenny, CraveTV

Best Writing, Drama Program or Limited Series
Sarah Polley — Alias Grace, CBC

Best Writing, Drama Series
Graeme Manson, Renee St. Cyr — Orphan Black, Space

Best Writing, Children’s or Youth
Adam Peltzman, Tim McKeon — Odd Squad, TVO Kids

Best Writing, Animated
Sean Jara — Mysticons, YTV

Best Supporting or Guest Actor, Comedy
Andrew Phung, Kim’s Convenience

Best Supporting or Guest Actress, Comedy
Emily Hampshire, Schitt’s Creek

Best Sketch Comedy Program or Series
Baroness Von Sketch Show, CBC

Here is the complete list of winners from Wednesday night.

 

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Kristian Bruun says goodbye to Murdoch Mysteries in The Book of Jackson

Spoiler alert! Do not continue reading unless you have watched the Season 10 finale of Murdoch Mysteries.

As much as I love Murdoch Mysteries, I didn’t like the way the show said goodbye to Constable “Slugger” Jackson. There was a lot going on in the Season 10 finale and Season 11 premiere, so his loss felt a little shoved to the side for fans. But now I feel like we—and the most lovable lug in Station House No. 4—have gotten a proper sendoff thanks to this season’s Murdoch Mysteries web series The Book of Jackson.

Written by Noelle Girard, the six-episode series—available now at CBC.ca—kicks off with the members of Station House No. 4 continuing to grieve the loss of Constable Jackson as they pack up his belongings. But the arrival of a distraught woman looking for the deceased Jackson and the discovery of a hidden notebook filled with a secret code lead Murdoch, Crabtree, Higgins and Watts working to unravel the case Jackson was working on in secret before he died.

I spoke to Kristian Bruun about playing Jackson for so many years and what it was like to return to the Murdoch Mysteries set to film The Book of Jackson.

I’ve watched The Book of Jackson and it was nice to take the time to really have a heartfelt goodbye for Slugger Jackson. He was taken so suddenly at the end of Season 10, it was hard to really grasp his exit.
Kristian Bruun: Yeah, it was nice. At the beginning of Season 11, we’re worried about Murdoch being framed for murder and that Crabtree is OK. They did have a nice little salute to him at the end of the episode that misted me up when I watched it. But it was so nice for me to have the opportunity to put the uniform back on and say goodbye my own way. I was pleasantly surprised and honoured to come back and put the uniform on.

What was the production schedule like? When did you film The Book of Jackson? It sounds like it was after Season 10 wrapped.
It was sort of similar to how we did the previous year’s web series, Beyond Time, which I was a part of as well. It’s best to film it when the season is up and running when everybody is around, the sets are in order and nothing has been shut down for the winter. Basically, they use the weekends to film the web series, so it’s extremely daunting for the cast and crew that are there all the time because they’ll shoot the regular work week and then will come in on Saturday and Sunday to shoot the web series, followed by another work week. It creates two straight weeks of super-long days. I think we shot this in November, so it was already near the end of the [filming] season and everyone was exhausted. And they fit so much into those two days. I mean, I remember working on the last one and trying to cram so much time travel jargon into my brain. It was such a blast but it’s a whirlwind.

So, I came in in November—I’ve been living in Los Angeles for a year now—and at the end of Season 10, we had a feeling one of us was going to die. We filmed the season finale and didn’t know who it was going to be at the time. I wish I’d known it was going to be me at the time because I would have taken the opportunity to say goodbye to the cast and the crew. But, they wanted to figure out what would be best for the fans and the mystery. I wanted to come back because I love the show, but I also understood that logistically I was the one actor who had moved away and that was just a timing thing because of my career and looking for the next thing after Orphan Black. I knew I was on the chopping block but I was hoping it wouldn’t be me. [Laughs.] But that’s the way it goes.

I was very sad to get that email from Peter Mitchell. He’s such a funny guy. He was like, ‘You’ll land on your feet, don’t worry.’ He wasn’t worried at all; meanwhile, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, what do I do? I had two shows but they just ended at the same time!’ It was stressful, but having the chance to say goodbye this way and see the crew one last time … who knows, maybe this isn’t the last time. Who knows? But it was certainly nice to come back and do some flashbacks with everybody.

It must have been emotional to return for those two days after time away and reunite with the cast and crew working that weekend.
There were a lot of strong hugs. [Laughs.]

It’s interesting to hear the circumstances surrounding your departure from Murdoch. I did think perhaps you asked to leave because you were heading to L.A. on the heels of Orphan Black ending.
I was a little bit concerned people would think that; that I had left the show for so-called greener pastures. That’s absolutely not the case and I want the fans to know that. It was a story decision and if I were to do that, I would have released a statement. It was not my decision but it’s one that I fully understand. [Laughs.] It was almost like, ‘Sorry we killed you off, here’s a web series!’

I was sorry that the relationship between Jackson and Watts wasn’t explored more fully before Jackson’s demise.
Daniel Maslany and I are good friends now because we’ve gotten to work together and because I’m really, really good friends with his sister, Tatiana, of course. I loved working with Daniel because we just had so much fun together with the dynamic between Jackson and Watts. They are two very different characters, which always makes for good TV. We were just starting to find our stride as those characters and having fun working together.

Jackson is a wonderful character. He wears his heart on his sleeve and is fiercely loyal to his friends.
They really gave me the opportunity to make him more human. Getting a chance to grow a character is an honour and you don’t always get that chance. Jackson started off as this rival constable from another station way back in Season 5 and grew into another member of the gang. In the memorial to Jackson and the picture up on the wall, they don’t forget him.

Watch all six episodes of The Book of Jackson via CBC.ca.

Were you happy to see Jackson back in the world of Murdoch Mysteries? Do you have a message for Kristian Bruun? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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