Tag Archives: Shaftesbury

Link: Rachel Lefevre, Matt Whelan Starring in ‘The Sounds’ for Acorn TV, Sky NZ, CBC

From Stewart Clarke of Variety:

Link: Rachel Lefevre, Matt Whelan Starring in ‘The Sounds’ for Acorn TV, Sky NZ, CBC
AMC Networks-owned streamer Acorn TV, Kiwi pay-TV platform Sky NZ, and Canadian pubcaster CBC are tuning into “The Sounds,” an original thriller set on New Zealand’s South Island.

The eight-parter will star Rachelle Lefevre (“Under the Dome”) and Matt Whelan (“Narcos”) as a couple who move to Marlborough Sounds to start a new life. When Tom disappears, unsettling facts about him soon come to light, and the search brings long-buried wounds to the surface. Continue reading.

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Hudson & Rex showrunner Derek Schreyer teases Season 2

After a break of only a few months, Hudson & Rex returns for its second season on Citytv. We couldn’t be happier. The crime drama, based out of St. John’s and starring John Reardon, Mayko Nguyen, Kevin Hanchard, Justin Kelly and German Shepherd Diesel vom Burgimwald is a must-see for anyone that enjoys their mysteries lighter in tone and with a great ensemble cast.

In Tuesday’s debut—at 8 p.m. ET on Citytv—Charlie (Reardon) and Rex (Diesel vom Burgimwald) discover a wanted criminal has been living in St. John’s under a false identity for 20 years and end up in the crosshairs when the man’s past catches up with him. Along for the ride are the capable Doctor Sarah Truong (Nguyen), Superintendent Joe Donovan (Hanchard) and Tech Analyst Jesse Mills (Kelly). And, with David Hewlett, Shiva Negar, Janet Kidder and Noam Jenkins in guest roles, it makes for a fast-paced and highly enjoyable first instalment.

We spoke to showrunner Derek Schreyer—who took over for Season 1 showrunner Ken Cuperus—about what’s to come, including a visit to France.

How’s filming been going?
Derek Schreyer: It’s been going great. It’s been really fun. For Season 2, we really pushed to get some scripts done in time for the summer, which relies on some of the amazing, amazing summer scenarios of St. John’s. So that’s been really a lot of fun.

I sort of jumped on board this as a showrunner about two-thirds of the way through Season 1. I’d never been there before, so it was like I just got thrown into the fire. It was two months of absolute pain because we were way behind and I had to do a lot of stuff. But I knew it’s the first year of the show, and every time there’s the first year of a show, there’s a lot of cooks and a lot of people really care about it, and want to make sure that it’s right. And this show’s been developed for 10 years. I mean, there’s a lot of different voices and whatnot.

I just started to really connect with the environment. I just loved St. John’s, and I love the area, and I love Diesel and the crew.

You were filming in Saint Pierre and Miquelon. What can you say about that storyline?
DS: My first episode, the one I co-wrote with my friend Alex Pugsley, is going to be set there. It’s kind of a Bon Cop, Bad Cop thing where the climax takes place in Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

Two men, a woman and a dog stand next to a parked car.One of the things about Hudson & Rex that I like is that everybody’s on an even keel, human and canine, and I love this team that you guys have established with this group of police officers that are solving these crimes.
DS: Yeah, I think it’s definitely interesting because this is obviously based on Inspector Rex. That had a certain model, and that was basically a man and his dog, which meant that there was always one of those two POVs. We’ve gone more with an ensemble feel with the dog at the mix. I just love being on a show where the No. 1 on the call sheet is a dog. It really lessens egos. They all really love just to interact with a dog. It really changes the chemistry of the set, I think.

One thing I wanted to do before we started season two is just to bring in Sherri [Davis, Diesel vom Burgimwald’s trainer] just to have her talk about the kind of things that Diesel can do. She’ll mention that she has a dog that can play as a wolf. And all of a sudden, there comes an episode right there. It could be an episode where we’re in the forest with a wolf, and plots appear, and then maybe Rex can do this, he can balance on a rope as he crosses. All of a sudden, plots ignite from that.

You already mentioned Saint Pierre and Miquelon; what are some themes and a couple of storylines that you follow in Season 2?
DS: We’ve got one that’s delved into the Insta celebrity culture. It’s kind of a comedy from Bridesmaids meets the Instagram culture. We have one called ‘The Woods Have Eyes,’ where this woman goes missing after she sees something, and the mother comes in and believes that she … we actually track her to the forest somewhere, and Rex and the team ended up discovering a sort of a shady, almost a Stranger Things-type organization, and try to figure out what they’re doing. That’s kind of neat.

Then we have one set which is super fun, it’s called ‘Game of Bones.’ It’s going to be set in the world of LARPing. It’s a completely eccentric cast of characters of LARPers who portray these characters on this battlefield. There’s a character that dies and has sort of a death rune carved in his body, and that’s symbolic of something in the sort of medieval Viking lore, and we have to explore that. So that’s kind of a really fun world.

We have one called ‘Rex in the City,’ which explores the dating culture. It’s a real bunch of mixed, fun stuff. Some of it’s a little heavier handed, and some of it’s lighter. But I think we’ve sort of figured out our tone, so we’re a fairly grounded show. We have a little bit of heart, a little bit of humour, and hopefully some really cool stories.

Hudson & Rex airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Citytv.

Images courtesy of Rogers Media.

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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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Shaftesbury’s Ireland-Canada co-pro Dead Still currently in production for RTE, Acorn TV, and Citytv

From a media release:

Dublin-based Deadpan Pictures and Toronto-based producer Shaftesbury today announced that production is underway on new mystery drama series DEAD STILL (6 X 60). The Ireland-Canada co-production is co-commissioned by RTÉ and Acorn Media Enterprises (AME) alongside ZDF Enterprises. Set in 1880s Ireland in the Victorian era heyday of “postmortem photography,” the six-episode period drama follows a renowned memorial photographer as he investigates the murders of his recently deceased subjects. DEAD STILL is written by John Morton and directed by Imogen Murphy (Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope, Red Rock) and Craig David Wallace (Slasher, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, Murdoch Mysteries). Acorn Media Enterprises has secured all rights in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom; co-premiere rights in Canada; and secondary rights in Ireland. ZDF Enterprises will distribute the series in the rest of the world. It was developed with the support of Screen Ireland and Creative Europe. DEAD STILL will premiere in 2020 on RTÉ in Ireland, on Acorn TV in the United States as an Acorn TV Original, and in Canada on Citytv, a division of Rogers Media. The series, with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), is currently filming on location in and around Dublin through June 2019.

DEAD STILL blends mystery and drama with gallows humour, and features an incredible ensemble of acclaimed international actors including Michael Smiley (Luther as DS Benny Silver, Wire in the Blood, Death and Nightingales) as Brock Blennerhasset, Kerr Logan (Game of Thrones, Victoria, Alias Grace) as Conall Molloy, Eileen O’Higgins (Brooklyn, Mary Queen of Scots) as Nancy Vickers, and Aidan O’Hare (Jackie, Pilis) as Detective Frederick Regan. DEAD STILL also stars Jimmy Smallhorne (Taken Down, Clean Break) as Cecil Carruthers, Mark Rendall (Departure, Versailles) as Percy Cummins, Peter Campion (Derry Girls, Kat and Alfie: Redwater) as Henry Vickers, Michael Patric (Frontier, Supernatural), and Martin Donovan (Big Little Lies, Fahrenheit 451).

Dublin, 1880. The practice of memorial portraiture is at the height of its popularity – that is, the portrait photography of the recently deceased. As renowned memorial photographer Brock Blennerhasset (Smiley) expands his business with the help of his would-be actress niece Nancy Vickers (O’Higgins) and assistant Conall Molloy (Logan), someone with more sinister designs is getting in on the death photography game. A serial killer is cashing in on the sordid, developing taste for ‘snuff’ imagery – pictures of people in their death throes. The murders escalate and Detective Frederick Regan (O’Hare) of the Dublin Metropolitan Police suspects that Ireland may have its first serial murderer at large. As Blennerhasset becomes a possible suspect and his family is put in harm’s way, they must track down the serial killer before he strikes again.

DEAD STILL is executive produced by Paul Donovan, Ailish McElmeel, Christina Jennings, and Scott Garvie, and produced by Suzanne McAuley. DEAD STILL is an Ireland/Canada treaty co-production produced by Deadpan Pictures (Ireland) and Shaftesbury (Canada) in association with RTÉ, Acorn TV with Acorn Media Enterprises, ZDF Enterprises, and BAI, and with the participation of the Irish Tax Credit, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit. DEAD STILL was developed with the support of Screen Ireland and Creative Europe.

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#1 Citytv original scripted series Hudson & Rex renewed for Season 2

From a media release:

Shaftesbury and Pope Productions are thrilled to announce freshman hit series HUDSON & REX has been renewed for season two by Citytv (16 x 60), just six episodes into its 16-episode first season. HUDSON & REX is Citytv’s highest-rated original scripted series since 2015, reaching more than 2.5M viewers during its first six debut episodes*. Season 1 of the series returns from a mid-season hiatus on June 13, with episodes moving to Thursdays at 8 ET/PT on Citytv.

Inspired by Inspector Rex, one of the most successful international television franchises airing for a total of 18 seasons in 125 countries, HUDSON & REX has been acquired by Italy’s TV powerhouse RAI for primetime. Additional territory deals to be announced in the coming weeks.

HUDSON & REX is an action-packed police-procedural drama set in St. John’s, Nfld. The series follows the partnership between cunning Major Crimes detective, Charlie Hudson (John Reardon; Van Helsing, Continuum), and his partner, Rex (canine Diesel vom Burgimwald), a German Shepherd with heightened senses and formerly with the K-9 police unit. Based on the Austrian drama Inspector Rex, HUDSON & REX also stars Mayko Nguyen (Killjoys) as Doctor Sarah Truong, Kevin Hanchard (Orphan Black) as Superintendent Joe Donovan and Justin Kelly (Wynonna Earp) as Tech Analyst Jesse Mills.

HUDSON & REX is produced by Shaftesbury and Pope Productions Ltd., in association with Citytv, a division of Rogers Media, and Beta Film GmbH. HUDSON & REX is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, and Ken Cuperus; co-executive producers are Derek Schreyer, John Callaghan, and Jessie Gabe. Paul Pope and Julie Lacey are producers. Friedemann Goez and Oliver Bachert are executive producers for Beta Film GmbH. Produced with the participation of the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. Beta Film GmbH holds worldwide distribution rights.

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