Tag Archives: Republic of Doyle

Hudson & Rex: Tony Butt reveals the secrets to scouting locations

After a few weeks away, Hudson & Rex returned to Citytv last week on a new night. Now airing on Thursdays, Charlie, Rex, Sarah, Joe and Jesse are back at it, taking a bite out of crime (I know, I’m sorry) in and around St. John’s, Newfoundland.

This week’s new episode is “Fast Eddies,” and Rogers Media has this to say about the storyline:

After a reviled restaurateur’s food truck explodes, killing one of his employees, Charlie and Rex find themselves with a few too many suspects. Plus, a flirtation has Charlie torn between a possible new love interest and Rex, who makes no secret of his feelings on the matter.

The return of Hudson & Rex also marks the return of our behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew. This week we caught up with locations manager Tony Butt.

A man and a woman face each other, standing on a boat.How did you get into the industry in the first place?
Tony Butt: I had spent my 20s in the oil industry and I quit because I didn’t like what I was doing and didn’t know what I was doing. I went on a motorcycle trip and was sitting in a theatre in New Orleans, watching a film festival and said, ‘That’s what I’ll do.’ So, I came back to St. John’s and started dabbling in the incredible co-operative called the Newfoundland Independent Film Co-operative. I walked in one day and they were training for films and the only job left was locations, so I took it. I’ve spent a bunch of years doing that.

I’ve worked in other departments and have been out of the industry for six or seven years and then I [joined Hudson & Rex].

Where does the location manager fit into the production schedule? You’re somewhere between the initial script and the filming.
TB: The script comes down and the art director vets it. We sit down together and bring in the director as soon as possible and we look at everyone’s vision. I then go out and scout locations, keeping in mind practicality, aesthetics and the needs of both the director and the production. And then I present as many options as I can get. And you try and cluster locations as much as you can. There were some challenges on Hudson & Rex because they wanted a cosmopolitan feel with a lot of modern buildings. We don’t have a lot of that, per se, so we had to work with those restrictions. And we shot in winter but they didn’t want to see snow. That didn’t have much to do with me, but it did have some. Everyone pulled together and I was really impressed.

Have you got locations in your back pocket for reference so you have an idea of a place as soon as you see it in a script?
TB: Absolutely. And, also, St. John’s is a small city that has developed in segments. You know the neighbourhoods. This one was developed in the 80s, this one was developed in the 60s, so you can really narrow down your search. And then, you try to build a day around one location without having to move the unit, ideally. And you have people to help you, like real estate agents and people who manage properties. So, yeah, you have properties that you go to first and then go further if you have to.

Hudson & Rex airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Citytv.

Images courtesy of Rogers Media.

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Links: Caught

From Tony Wong of the Toronto Star:

Link: It was hard for Allan Hawco to shake TV alter-ego Jake Doyle. But along came David Slaney and Caught.
It’s hard to shake the legacy of Jake Doyle.

The beloved Canadian detective from TV’s Republic of Doyle was created by Newfoundland’s Allan Hawco and ran for five seasons on the CBC. The multi-talented Hawco was, to say the least, invested in the character of the roguish Doyle, serving a mind-boggling multitude of roles as the series showrunner, writer, executive producer and star. Continue reading.

From Richard Crouse of Metro:

Link: Allan Hawco gets Caught up in adaptation of Giller Prize finalist
“I was totally burned out at the end of Republic of Doyle,” says Allan Hawco. “When we finished six seasons every cool idea I ever had, every cool line I ever had, every cool plot idea, everything, I’d used it. My charm was gone. I was happy to have something to fill up the well again.” Continue reading.

From Bill Brioux of the Canadian Press:

Link: CBC’s new drama ‘Caught’ like ‘a grown-up ‘Doyle”
Two years ago, Allan Hawco was working on a script for a TV series when he asked another writer — fellow Newfoundlander Adriana Maggs — to read an early draft and give an honest opinion.

“Don’t take this the wrong way,” said Maggs, “but it feels like a grown-up ‘Doyle.”‘ Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Caught stars warn that everyone is hiding something in the new CBC series
“Every character is duplicitous and there’s so many sides to who they can be. As an audience member, you’re constantly guessing because no one is saying what they mean. It’s so refreshing to find a script that isn’t on the nose like that and you can really play the layers.” Continue reading.

From Eric Volmers of the Calgary Herald:

Link: Paul Gross plays a very different Mountie in CBC’s gritty Caught
“He has lots of demons that he is hauling around with him. As the scripts came in and they were a little more fleshed out I realized that this was the thing he has to do. It’s like the last thing he might get a chance to do.” Continue reading.

From Melissa Girimonte of The Televixen:

Link: A conversation with the cast and executive producer of Caught
“With this, you’re doing long-form drama. It’s essentially the same kind of stories that you would tell in an independent feature or feature film, but you get to go further in depth with the characters. Instead of spending two and a half hours with the characters, you’re spending five hours, or maybe 10 hours depending on [the series]. It just allows you to get deeper into the story. You cut narrow and deep.” Continue reading.

 

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Caught: Allan Hawco’s adaptation of Lisa Moore’s novel was worth the wait

Way back in the spring of 2016, the CBC announced Caught—an adaptation of Lisa Moore’s acclaimed noverl—as part of its 2016-17 broadcast lineup. But by June of 2016, Caught‘s fate had changed. So, what was the reasoning behind the project’s delay of over a year? Timing.

“This got announced back when we were wrapping Republic of Doyle,” Allan Hawco, Caught‘s writer, showrunner, executive producer and star, says. “I took the time to go deeper into the material. The ambition of the material, the ambition of the period and because it’s an adaptation of Lisa’s book, we just needed the time to gather more resources.”

The wait has been worth it.

Debuting Monday at 9 p.m. on CBC, Caught is a five-part roller coaster caper lovingly wrapped up in the pot-fragranced, lead gas guzzling, rock anthem setting that is 1978.

Tori Anderson as Ada, Greg Bryk as Cyril Carter

Locked up after a drug deal goes wrong, David Slaney (Allan Hawco) breaks out of a New Brunswick prison to try one more caper with his former partner Brian Hearn (Eric Johnson). It’s Slaney’s last chance at freedom, but nothing is what it seems. Slings & Arrow‘s Paul Gross plays RCMP detective Roy Patterson; Open Heart‘s Tori Anderson is Ada, Brian’s gal pal; Mary Kills People‘s Charlotte Sullivan is Jennifer Baker;  Rookie Blue‘s Enuka Okuma is KC Williams, a DEA agent who teams with Roy; and Greg Bryk as Cyril Carter, a friend of Brian’s.

Eric Johnson as Brian Hearn

Monday’s debut opens to the strains of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Up Around the Bend,” as Slaney sprints through a darkened forest, prison dogs and guards at his heels. But as Slaney quickly discovers, his friend Brian may be the reason he ended up in prison in the first place. Filmed in St. John’s, Hamilton, Ont., and the Dominican Republic, Caught certainly captures the late 70s in all its glory, from pale brown leather jackets and wood panelling to the permed hair and tobacco smoke hanging over everything. And, as Slaney crosses the country attempting to evade capture at the hands of Patterson and KC, we meet colourful characters along the way.

Hawco purchased the television rights to Caught after Tecca Crosby, eOne’s senior vice-president of creative affairs, handed the book to him in 2014. Hawco was in Toronto performing Belleville at The Company Theatre and headed back to where he was staying. He and Perry Chafe—one of his partners at Take the Shot Productions and executive producer on Doyle, Frontier and Caught—bought a couple of copies of the book at a local Chapters bookstore. Hawco read Caught in three hours.

Paul Gross as Roy Patterson

“I could hear the soundtrack, I could see the show right away,” Hawco says. “The rights for the book were being sought after by a bunch of people, so I called Lisa and said, ‘I want to work with you on this.’ I think the pedigree of Doyle and that we were just starting Frontier at the time helped. The character of Slaney spoke to me.” Hawco credits Moore’s writing—the ability to craft an inner monologue on the page—with his connection to Slaney and offered the veteran performer the opportunity to play a role he’s never done. Hawco did futz with the source material a bit when crafting his adapation—creating KC Williams as a partner for Patterson, who is a lone wolf in the novel—and some plot deviations, but the novel’s DNA is still there.

Enuka Okuma as KC Williams

“For a cops and smugglers story on television, there were some plot points we had to adjust and characters’ drives that needed to be changed,” Hawco says. “But I worked really hard to anchor all that in pivotal moments in the book so that you’re not watching a completely different thing. I tried to honour the pillars that Lisa put in there.”

Caught airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

 

 

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Production begins on new CBC original drama series Caught starring Allan Hawco and Paul Gross

From a media release:

Take The Shot Productions announced the start of production of the new CBC original drama series CAUGHT, which will premiere in winter 2018 on CBC, as announced at the public broadcaster’s 2017-18 season preview launch last week. Starring Allan Hawco (who will play David Slaney) and Paul Gross (playing Patterson) and produced by Take The Shot Productions, filming kicked off this week in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Executive producers include Allan Hawco, Perry Chafe, John Vatcher, Alex Patrick, Peter Blackie, Rob Blackie and Michael Levine. The series is written by Allan Hawco along with John Krizanc, Adriana Maggs, and Julia Cohen. It will be directed by TJ Scott and John Vatcher. CAUGHT is adapted from Canadian author Lisa Moore’s acclaimed novel of the same name (published by House of Anansi Press), which was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize and selected as an Amazon.ca Best Book and for The Globe 100 Books in 2013.

CAUGHT is a new series set in 1978. Locked up after a drug deal goes wrong, David Slaney (Hawco) makes a daring break from a New Brunswick prison to attempt one more deal with his former partner (Eric Johnson) – all this with a dogmatic police officer, Patterson (Paul Gross), at his heels. It’s Slaney’s last chance at freedom – but in this tale of bravado and betrayal, nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted.

CAUGHT stars Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle, Frontier, The Book of Negroes), Paul Gross (Alias Grace, Hyena Road, Passchendaele), Tori Anderson (Open Heart, No Tomorrow), Eric Johnson (Fifty Shades Darker, The Knick), Charlotte Sullivan (Chicago Fire, Disappearance), Greg Bryk (Bitten, Frontier) and Enuka Okuma (Rookie Blue, Battle of Sexes).

ABOUT TAKE THE SHOT PRODUCTIONS
Take The Shot Productions Inc. has developed and produced award winning content which has garnered critical and commercial success, both domestically and globally. Based in St John’s Newfoundland, TTS produces a variety of both scripted and unscripted projects for television. Past productions include award nominated series Republic of Doyle on CBC and Discovery Canada/Netflix Worldwide Original Series Frontier, starring Game of Thrones and Aquaman’s Jason Momoa. Frontier will be returning for Season 2 in 2017. Other projects have included the hot factual series Majumder Manor, Boy on Bridge featuring Great Big Sea frontman Alan Doyle, HBO Canada’s Shaun Majumder, and Every Word is Absolutely True.

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Discovery heads into a new Frontier

Allan Hawco is up front that Frontier is not “an Allan Hawco vanity project.”

He says that a couple of times during the course of our chat about Discovery Canada’s first foray into scripted television. Yes, he’s set to co-star in the six-parter about the fight for wealth and power in the North American fur trade of the late 18th century, but he’s not the lead. That honour goes to Jason Momoa. Instead, Hawco will remain largely behind the scenes, serving as an executive producer alongside his fellow Take the Shot Production partners, two of whom—Rob (on the right in the above picture) and Peter Blackie—actually conceived of the project.

“There are so many stories to mine from history around the world, especially here in Canada, that has never fully been exploited,” Hawco says. “That’s just bizarre to me. I think there is a real appetite from Canadians to hear their stories told in an interesting and thought-provoking way.” Hawco, who starred, directed, wrote and produced Republic of Doyle for six seasons describes Frontier as being the story of the birth of capitalism in North America, and the greed, blood and power that went along with it. Frontier begins with The Hudson Bay Company, which has a monopoly on what’s happening during the fur trade in the region that will one day be Canada. Smaller factions seek out their own piece of the pie; Hawco portrays Douglas Brown, who plots alongside his brothers to steal some of the HBC’s thunder.

Rob Blackie explains the idea for Frontier came about thanks to a chance meeting at MIPCOM between business parter Alex Patrick and Discovery’s Edwina Follows. The network’s interest in having more dramatic, scripted programming lead to the brothers kicking around ideas for a time period history-based series; they presented Follows with two projects and Frontier was greenlit.

‘It’s an interesting, super-violent part of Canadian history that not a lot of people know about,” Blackie says. “As soon as we started researching it, we were shocked at how little we knew and how conflictual the time period was. The deeper we got, the more interesting it got.” Momoa plays the series’ anti-hero, a part-Irish, part-Cree man named Declan who works with a gang and becomes an unlikely host to a boy named Michael who has been living on the streets of London. Other cast includes Alun Armstrong, Landon Liboiron, Zoe Boyle and Jessica Matten.

Production just wrapped filming in England and has set up shop in St. John’s until a Christmas hiatus. Then it’s on to Louisbourg, N.S., to film at the famous fort and Morrisburg, Ont., to capture action at Fort Wellington in February.

“Winter has an inherent beauty and, if you can capture it, an amazing production value,” Blackie says. “And it’s true to the story. Winter was an important part of the fur trade.”

Frontier debuts on Discovery Canada and Netflix outside of Canada in 2016.

(Photo credit: Duncan de Young on set of Frontier.)

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