Independent's Day

By Charelle Evelyn on November 16 2015

The reluctant genius Chad Magnant never intended to get behind the camera. But after years of prodding from high-school friends who wanted him involved in projects, he finally gave in about four years ago.

The Prince-George raised Magnant always had a creative streak.

“I was always into music and I was doing music,” said Magnant, whose industrial Scorpion Frequency work can be found online and in film.

The availability of technology made it harder for Magnant to resist film.

“Everything’s so cheap now – like cameras – it was almost stupid not to do it at this point. I think more back in the day, in the 90s, it was so expensive even to do a low-budget movie. Now everyone’s shooting with offthe- shelf cameras and it looks good,” he said.

The writer-director’s credits include Defenseless, Through Blood Like Ice, Stalking and Pigboy and a variety of other short films. He also worked on the music video for Jeremy Breaks’ Come Down (shot in Barkerville) and directed William Kuklis’ Save Me (shot in P.G.). He has regular collaborators, such as Norm Coyne and Michael Kroestch, but said the writing is his gig.

“I’ve been doing the writing out of necessity – because no one else will,” he laughed. “But when we get down to actually doing it, it’s definitely collaborative.” It’s a bit of a thrill seeing his work on a big screen, Magnant said, when festivals around the country pick up the films. His latest flick Pigboy – a found footage-style short – was selected for the Fright Night Theatre Film Festival in Hamilton, Ont.

“It’s kind of cool to see people watching something you made,” he said.

The unlikely duo Technically, it actually makes perfect sense that Daniel Stark and John Chuby ended up working together.

A University of Northern B.C. basketball player with a dislocated shoulder and a physiotherapist were probably fated to meet and start talking about film. Luckily for Stark and Chuby, that destiny was theirs to discover about two years ago.

In his senior year as a Timberwolf, Stark had plans for getting together with some Vancouver friends to shoot a swampmonster movie. He was finishing up his marketing degree and would have the time to finally do a big film project.

Chuby had already been testing the film waters and when colleagues heard about Stark’s plans, encouraged the two of them to put their movie minds together.

“Meeting Dan and actually finding someone that was actually into the same stuff and had the same kind of drive that I did with it was a huge asset because film’s not something you can do by yourself,” said Chuby. “There’s certain things you can do, but with productions at the level we’re trying to do you need a creative team to pull things off.”

“It was love at first sight,” said Stark.

Chuby helped out with Stark’s Summit Lake shot horror film but the next collaboration was what really set them on their path. Along with Chuby’s high school friend Jeremy Abbott, the trio put together a CBC ComedyCoup sit-com pitch Geoff and the Ninja, which made it just shy of the competition’s top five.

“Geoff and the Ninja opened up a new door for us. We decided that we have to keep riding this wave and put our smaller projects on hold for a while,” said Stark. The duo wants to take advantage of connections made through the process that have put eyes on their work.

They’ve spent the summer fleshing out the most-Canadian of feature film ideas: a hockeythemed horror comedy called Penalty Kill.

With the writing process wrapping up, Chuby and Stark are hoping to shoot a trailer and start finding financing over the next couple of months.

 

CHARELLE EVELYN

REPORTER FOR THE PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN

Journalist, west coast native, music lover. Made in Canada.

A2015Norm Coyne