Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Flashbits from Banff!

The Banff World Television Festival was held from June 7-10th of this year! And among the many special guest speakers at the event were none other than the co-creators of Flashpoint, Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus #1) and Mark Ellis. At the festival, they held a one our session talking about their craft, and answering such burning questions like:

What was their secret of breaking into the US market when so many others have tried before and failed?

How do you make a Canadian series airing worldwide not look like it was made in Canada?

How much influence does CTV and CBS have on creative decisions, such as direction and casting?

Their appearances and experiences with the show were written about in the press!

¤Before it all started, the New York Times talked with Mark and Stephanie, along with Anne Marie La Traverse (Producer), Bill Mustos (Producer), and Nina Tassler (President of CBS). They spoke of how the show came to be, how it doesn't look Canadian, and how the American entertainment industry has shifted to allow more international fare to be broadcast. Flashpoint was a pioneer in letting Canadian TV get on US airwaves!

¤Days after the festival, posted an article talking about how the show was shaped at the writing table - instead of having a show runner, all of the writers and freelancers collaborate as a team. However, we disagree with their comment about their lack of experience. Stephanie Morgenstern has acted on various TV shows and wrote for two critically acclaimed short films, Remembrance and Curtains. The former even has a movie in the works. Mark Ellis was also a writer on Remembrance. While this may not seem like a lot, the fact that these two productions won many awards speaks volumes that they had some pretty good skills to start with! Plus, the show spent four years in development (watch the W5 special for more). That's more than many shows on the air today can say!

¤Sometime after the festival , the Calgary Sun posted an article wherein Mark and Stephanie talked about some of the challenges to stay true to Canada within the episodes, despite limitations put on by CBS.

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