Originally posted on Happy Medium's Facebook Page on 13 August 2016.
Well, it's time -- the pilot is ready! But first, a bit of a novel...
As most of you know, I am a writer – not an experienced filmmaker.
My goal is to share my stories and to make people laugh, but it's not always easy as a Canadian to get your work produced, unless you live in Vancouver or Toronto.
When you live in a smaller city like Victoria, you’ve really got to hustle. It was out of necessity and sheer ambition, that I decided to direct and produce this pilot episode of Happy Medium.
To those of you unfamiliar with the term a pilot episode “is a standalone episode of a television series that is used to sell the show. … The pilot is meant to be the testing ground to gauge whether a series will be successful … [and is] an early step in the development of a television series. … Pilots [are used] to discover whether an entertaining concept can be successfully realized. ... They are best thought of as prototypes of the show that is to follow, because elements often change from pilot to series.” – Wikipedia
While the pilot episode is 20 minutes long, and formatted like a traditional sitcom, I am hoping to film a 10-episode (10 minutes each) web series, based on this. While the editing and sound is a little rough, I believe that with funding and a proper lighting and sound team, we will make something really great!
As someone with zero camera, lighting, or editing experience, filming this episode was a crash course in filmmaking. I probably saved 20k in tuition filming this thing… Surprisingly enough though, I found myself relying on skills that I learned during my management and customer service roles the most. Who would have thought that my experiences in tech support, or even at Tim Hortons, would help me to be a better producer? My past jobs taught me not only how to write query emails that would appeal to many different readers, but also taught my how to delegate tasks, how to deal with all sorts of people, how to speak strongly in order to accomplish my goals.
I wrote the first draft of the feature length version of Happy Medium about four years ago now. It was relegated to sit in my documents folder until summer of 2015, when two members of my screenwriting group (shout out to Piper and Tanya!) showed interest in reading it. If my friend Tanya hadn't said that she loved the characters and could see it being a series, none of this could have happened.
Thank you so much to the actors (who all doubled as crew!) (Jaymie Chudiak, Sarah Elizabeth Katy, Bret A. Newton, Joel D. Montgrand, Randy Justis, Kristopher Tyson Koniczek), to my friend Becca for encouraging me to write five more pages, and to my husband who told me that he was proud of me for just going for it. Thank you as well to all of the extras, and to Smiths Pub, the Greater Victoria Public Library, and the Chemainus Fuller Lake Motel for allowing us to film at your locations. A special thank you to Beaver Buzz Energy as well for keeping our crew caffinated!
And finally, a thank you to everyone who has liked this page and invited their friends. Your actions keep the local arts alive! As cliché as it sounds, your continued support through likes and shares is what is needed to make the Happy Medium series a reality.
And now, with out further ado, our super low/no budget pilot of Happy Medium!
Please show your support by sharing this page, and inviting as many people to like us as you can. Let’s make the Happy Medium series a reality!
P.S: To any of you out there that have always wanted to film something, but couldn’t afford to go to film school, don’t let money stand in tour way. Network like crazy, volunteer, or just shoot something on your phone. I have no idea if Happy Medium will become a success, but just trying has been one of the best feelings ever. You can do this!
P.P.S: Please also support us on Indiegogo! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/happy-medium-the-series/