Year in Review: 'Connecting Flights' resumes in Stony Plain

This article originally ran July 31, 2020 and the title has been trimmed and altered for space.

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Editor’s Note: This article originally ran July 31, 2020 and the title has been trimmed and altered for space. 

With lights, camera and a little bit of action, film production in Alberta has come back and is ready to work in the town of Stony Plain.

One of the first movies to resume work in the province after projects began to kick off around the nation after months of delays is ConnectingFlights. The piece is an adaptation of Canadian playwright Ron Blicq’s Closure and tells the story of a man from England who discovers his father was a Canadian soldier stationed there during the Second World War. He then engages an agency to find him and establish contact and, from that point, drama then ensues in the project that is set to wrap up its production at the beginning of August.

“I was really moved by this play,” director Gilbert Allan said. “I wanted to initially direct from the stage but thought that it would be really impressive, too, if we could adapt it for the screen. My personal touch on this is going to happen in post and I am blending style with some of the younger guys on the crew. We have spent a lot of time talking about the look, but I do not want to really reveal too much about that.”


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SixBlix Flicks Ltd. out of Edmonton is overseeing the shoot and the budget is about $250,000. COVID-19 has dictated stricter health and safety standards with rigorous mask use as well as copious amounts of hand sanitizer. They initially wanted to finish earlier but the lockdowns in March forced a postponement and in another sense made those reciting lines approach their work in new-found ways.

“It is different for sure,” Madison Nyenhuis, who plays Claire Summers in the work, added. “Film sets are very close and personal. To have to stay so apart and try and work relationships from a distance is a very big learning curve. I was working with a dialect coach in Vancouver for the British accent I do in this and the tail-end of those sessions were done via Skype. The lack of human connection there was very strong.”

The work is set to be self-distributed in the future through an aggregate of various platforms like streamers and conventional broadcasters as well as physical media sales. The path to normalcy in the entertainment industry and elsewhere is a slow, steady and at times uncertain one. Allan and his team think they can solider on and above all, hope people remember the world and life itself can be complicated.

“I hope people will have a sense of history and that it is alive when they see this,” said Gordon Barlow actor Deimon Slagg. “This is a real story of real people. I wonder if we will in a way ‘haunt’ the house of the people who let us use their home after we are done with it, too.”

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