Tag Archives: Netflix

Link: Forget about American Horror Story, try Netflix’s Slasher instead

From Nathan Smith of Daily Grindhouse:

Link: Forget about American Horror Story, try Netflix’s Slasher instead
For those of you who favor more deliberate, compact and intimate storytelling complete with flawed characters that deeply resonate, when they’re not being filleted in broadcast unfriendly scenes of slaying, then check out Netflix’s (formerly Chiller’s) SLASHER created by DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION alum Aaron Martin. Continue reading.

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Slasher: Solstice’s Paula Brancati reflects on playing Violet

When I last spoke to Paula Brancati, it was at the end of a bug-infested day near Orangeville, Ont., on the set of Slasher: Guilty Party, where she played a character named Dawn.

Now Brancati is back—along with several of her Guilty Party co-stars—in Slasher: Solstice, the third season in the franchise created by Aaron Martin. Slasher: Solstice keeps the franchise’s cast intact by reuniting several actors from past seasons in Dean McDermott, Joanna Vannicola, Brancati, Erin Karpluk, Jim Watson, Jefferson Brown and Paulino Nunes with new faces in Baraka Rahmani, Lisa Berry, Mercedes Morris and Salvatore Antonio.

And, like the franchise, Solstice meets up with these characters as awful things happen in present-day to match a truly terrible occurrence in the past. We spoke to Brancati about playing Violet.

It’s exciting times for everybody, thanks to Netflix. The reach for a Canadian series like Slasher is worldwide instantly.
Paula Brancati: It’s really exciting, I think, especially with something like Slasher where it’s an anthology, and so each season really has its own identity, and they feel like they can have their very unique stamp on them, each shot by a different director. I feel like we’re doing something new every year with the show. I’m overwhelmed in the best way with how big the reach is, and I always forget how many people can actually access the show and watch it in perpetuity, all over the world. It’s mind-blowing, and the response has been super-positive.

What I like about the Slasher franchise and what Aaron started is that, yes, it’s a horror anthology. Yes, there are gory deaths, but the deaths mean something, and there’s emotion attached to these characters.
PB: I completely agree with you. I think the reason I was so delighted when Aaron came to me with this in Season 2 with that character was that I’d never worked in horror before. I think I had certain ideas about what the genre was like. I was pretty thrilled to see that in Season 2, and then in Season 3 as well, that the characters don’t fulfil these horror movie tropes in the same way.

I would be delighted to watch a show with any one of these characters leading it. To get to have so many complex characters, to see such an incredible, diverse cast that looks like the city we’re actually in, that has female characters that are so complicated and so exciting, I think that that’s what the show does really well, and then horror is just another element to it. It makes me very proud to be a part of this particular horror franchise.

A woman screams while crouching over a dead body.Violet thinks she’s helping. She’s a lonely character, and there’s definitely some sadness to her because the only real connection that she feels is with this anonymous group of people that watch her videos.
PB: I ingested a lot of YouTuber footage before bed, and I would leave the Kardashians on in the background because I think they aesthetically for her are a huge influence, as they are for a lot of millennials. I think she wishes she was Nancy Grace, too. She’s listened to Serial over and over again. She watches and listens to, I think, current things, and probably would also be very dated in some of her references. It was a lot of fun to build her from the outside in as well, and play with her voice.

She’s so much fun. There are so many directions you can take it in. [Director] Adam [MacDonald] was very clear about wanting to make sure it felt very much like a real person. I think that’s the danger with someone like that, with a character like that is I was worried that maybe people wouldn’t believe that she exists on this planet. I think from the response we’ve been getting, people seem to know her well. I don’t know if that’s frightening or not, but it’s what they’re saying.

The other thing that struck me was this relationship between Joe and Angel, obviously, but also Angel, Joe, and Violet. It was a complicated relationship between the three of them. I thought it was really well written, really well done, and didn’t feel forced in the middle of a show where people are being killed off every episode either.
PB: Thanks for saying that. I agree with you. I think it was so well written, and it’s a real testament to the writers. Somehow amidst this 24-hour crazy killing spree, it felt so honest. I think that’s also a testament to Ilan Muallem and to Salvatore Antonio, who played Joe and Angel, respectively, because you really feel right away when you meet them, you feel like you’re right in something.

A figure dressed in black faces the camera.I think Ilan does such a nice job. I really feel like he absolutely had a real love for Violet and that they probably did have so much fun for a very long time. She’s in a whole other planet really, really far away from him. Those scenes behind, you know that door? There’s a scene where he’s locked her into the bathroom. That stuff was really exciting and very challenging to shoot. I found that stuff really very like it pushed us in directions with each other. I really think Adam, again, treads a really great line of keeping everything energetic but also feeling really real.

I think those things can go off the rails if you don’t have a director who’s really tasteful. I felt really in very, very good hands.

What are you working on now? Do you and Michael Seater still have your production company?
PB: Yeah. We do. We’re developing a couple of TV things. I went off to Italy and shot a feature that I produced and was in, called From the Vine. Wendy Crewson played my mom in it. Joe Pantoliano is the lead and it was directed by Sean Cisterna. We’re just finishing post-production on that right now. There’s a sci-fi feature that’s doing a festival run that I was a lead in with Erin Berry, who was one of our producers on Slasher, called Majic. Paulino Nunes is in it. That’s doing a festival run right now.

Slasher: Solstice is on Netflix now.

Images courtesy of Shaftesbury.

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Netflix announces partnerships with Canada’s leading Indigenous screen organizations

From a media release:

Today, at the 2019 Banff World Media Festival, Netflix joined imagineNATIVE, The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) and Wapikoni Mobile to announce a suite of partnership programs that aim to develop the next generation of Indigenous creators across Canada. These programs range from screenwriting intensives to apprenticeship programs, joining the 11 existing partnership programs Netflix has funded to nurture the next generation of Canadian creators from underrepresented communities.

“Indigenous communities in Canada are rich with unique stories, and organizations like imagineNATIVE, The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) and Wapikoni Mobile are vital to ensuring these voices are heard,” said Stéphane Cardin, Director of Public Policy, Netflix Canada. “Netflix is proud to help launch these three programs, which will reach Indigenous communities across the country.”

imagineNATIVE
The game-changing Netflix-imagineNATIVE partnership will demonstrate an unprecedented level of support for Indigenous filmmakers in Canada, who have urgent needs for professional development programming designed from Indigenous perspectives and delivered within Indigenous contexts by an Indigenous-run organization. Over the next three-and-a-half years, imagineNATIVE will undertake or expand six distinct activities aimed at Indigenous screenwriters, directors and producers through its Institute department:

  • Indigenous Producers Lab
  • Indigenous Directors Lab
  • Indigenous Screenwriting Intensive
  • ‘imagineNATIVE Originals’ Mentorship Commissions
  • Original Storytellers Series Incubator
  • Festival Industry Days & Year-Round Institute Series.

“We are thrilled to partner with Netflix to offer an unprecedented series of professional development initiatives at imagineNATIVE,” says Jason Ryle, executive director of imagineNATIVE. “This funding is a significant investment in opportunities for Indigenous directors, producers, and screenwriters in Canada, and marks one of the largest sponsorships in imagineNATIVE’s history.”

The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO)
The ISO-Netflix Production Mentorship and Apprenticeship Program will provide second phase support for Indigenous projects that may have received development support through other programs such as those offered by imagineNATIVE Institute, Hot Docs, Banff World Media Festival, or Whistler Film Festival, as well as others. The Program will include two streams: Key Creative Apprenticeships and Cultural Mentorships for directors, producers, screenwriters and showrunners.

“ISO spent the last year in consultations with Indigenous creators and this fund responds to their expressed need for new funding opportunities that will advance work and career opportunities, as well as allow them to follow protocols and practices that are central to Indigenous ways of working,” says Jesse Wente, director of the Indigenous Screen Office.

Wapikoni Mobile
Mentoring and coaching are at the heart of the unique Wapikoni Mobile development experience, and increased accessibility of tools, spaces and trainers are offered through the mobility of its studios. Wapikoni’s approach is centred around the belief that it is essential for the next generation to be inspired by the success of their community. With this new partnership, Wapikoni will be able to coordinate its important collective of emerging filmmakers, organize the numerous opportunities, and structure a program of both continuing education and professional coaching which will have a profound and lasting impact on the next generation of Indigenous creators.

At the centre of Wapikoni’s priorities is the intent to highlight a significant collection of audiovisual works and an immeasurable cultural heritage of artistic expression and Indigenous identity while promoting:

  • Mediation, dialogue
  • Awareness, education
  • Building bridges between Nations, Peoples and generations.

“At Wapikoni, we believe that many young Indigenous artists are isolated from opportunity. When travelling to them locally to offer tools and resources to create short films, we discovered that this journey also leads to supporting the development of talented, emerging filmmakers. Learning from the creative process is at the heart of important social transformations, especially in terms of personal growth, community development, community involvement. We are proud to support the emergence of unique artistic and cultural signatures which will have an invaluable contribution to new audiovisual productions,” explains Odile Joannette, from the Pessamit First Nation of Quebec, and executive director at Wapikoni. “The support from Netflix will allow us to continue to foster narrative sovereignty and cinematographic excellence, and we are absolutely thrilled to count Netflix as a partner, not only for our organization but also for the voices of Indigenous youth,” she added.

Netflix’s support of these programs comes from its fund to develop the next generation of Canadian creators and talent, focused on underrepresented communities in the screen industry. This announcement marks the 11th, 12th and 13th partnerships since the fund was announced in September 2017. Other recent announcements in 2019 include partnerships with the Inside Out Film Festival, RIDM (Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal), and the Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada (APFC).

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Ian Carpenter lives his dream showrunning Netflix’s Slasher: Solstice

Ian Carpenter was convinced Aaron Martin didn’t like his writing style. Yes, Martin—the showrunner behind series like Degrassi: The Next Generation, The Best Years and Saving Hope—had hired Carpenter to work on Being Erica, but since then … nothing.

“He and I would meet for a work day in a café and I would ask him what he was working on, and he would tell me about this great thing and all of the great writers he had in the room with him,” Carpenter says with a laugh. “I hit a point when I said to myself, ‘Well, maybe he doesn’t like my writing.'” It turns out the right project hadn’t come along. Until now.

Slasher: Solstice is the third season of the franchise created by Martin—it’s available on Netflix now—and Carpenter is on board not just as a writer but showrunner too. Martin’s latest creation, Another Life starring Katee Sackhoff, had been greenlit by Netflix meaning he wasn’t available to handle Solstice. Enter Carpenter, horror fanboy.

“Every meeting that I was having with anyone, when they asked me what I wanted to work on it was horror,” he says. “That’s all I want to do for the next many years.”

Slasher: Solstice keeps the franchise’s cast intact by reuniting several actors from past seasons in Dean McDermott, Joanna Vannicola, Paula Brancati, Erin Karpluk, Jim Watson, Jefferson Brown and Paulino Nunes with new faces in Baraka Rahmani, Lisa Berry, Mercedes Morris and Salvatore Antonio. And, like the franchise, Solstice meets up with these characters as awful things happen in present-day to match a truly terrible occurrence in the past.

We spoke to Ian Carpenter about his dream gig.

How did the writing for this season come about?
Ian Carpenter: Aaron had pitched the season, it had been approved and he had written an amazing pilot that is, for the most part, entirely there. If I changed anything, it was maybe five per cent. Thirteen out of the 15 characters were there and he knew who [was behind the crimes] and the whole arc down the line. He had the tent poles worked out and then we sat down and broke the next four episodes. And then, once he became unavailable, I broke the remaining four with a writer named Matt MacLennan. At all times I was, of course, running things by Aaron. There were a couple of massive twists that I sent to him and got super-excited responses back. It was so much fun to freak out the creator.

Can an eagle-eyed viewer spot the person or people behind this during the season?
IC: I didn’t encounter anyone that had picked it out and wasn’t floored by the story. But, as a guy who has spent a lot of time with the episodes, I’m pleased with how much it is seeded in there. Like, ‘Oh my god, when this person is saying this, really this is going on.’

A woman screams while crouching over a dead body.A big part of Slasher’s storytelling is through flashback. I noticed this goes back as far as 20 years. It that the furthest?
IC: I think so. I’m obsessed with the emotional weight of everything and I want us to mourn the characters who die. As I’ve been working on this I’ve come to realize how much I want there to be hope, positivity or light in the show. In this season, as it is in past seasons, is that the deaths mean something. It’s not a nihilistic lopping off of people’s heads all over the place for no reason. For sure, there are a couple of characters people want to see die and probably celebrate their end, but at all times I want to feel the weight of what’s happening.

Adam MacDonald directed all of Solstice’s episodes. What was it like working with him?
IC: We’ve been friends for, I think, something like 20 years. I was hired maybe two weeks before Adam was and they were pursuing him ahead of time so it was just bizarre, amazing luck that we were on it together. We were close then and we are way more close now. I would put his work up against anyone’s. It’s so incredible. I have never worked with a director who has a more visceral connection to the camera. I love the expressiveness of the camera and he has done something that really stands out in the genre and on TV.

The apartment building serves as the main focal point for much of the action and story. Was it always the intention to have that claustrophobic feel?
IC: Aaron was riffing off the case in New York City where the woman was murdered in front of her apartment building and people watched but did nothing. We wanted to spin around that and I loved the claustrophobia of it, and of people brushing up against each other, getting in each other’s business and driving each other crazy. And it makes those moments where you leave the building extra special.

You not only have a diverse cast but you don’t shy away from storylines containing xenophobia, hatred, inclusion or acceptance.
IC: It’s a huge part of everything Aaron has ever done and I’m the same way. I wanted to make it carte blanche across the board and I feel like it led us to discover some really exciting talent. And, it’s a big part of some of the themes this season. Netflix was totally into that and was a big part of this season’s pitch. It’s fun to tell those stories right now because it’s so important. A lot of hard work went into not making it simplistic.

Slasher: Solstice is streaming on Netflix now.

Images courtesy of Shaftesbury.

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Link: Brand new third season “Slasher: Solstice” is coming to Netflix in May!

From John Squires of Bloody Disgusting:

Link: Brand new third season “Slasher: Solstice” is coming to Netflix in May!
Originally a Chiller production, the series “Slasher” has found a new home at Netflix, and they’ve announced with poster art this morning that “Slasher: Solstice” will premiere May 23!

Backcountry and Pyewacket‘s Adam MacDonald directed the entire third season of the horror anthology series for Canadian creator and original content producer, Shaftesbury. Continue reading.

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