Cameron And Doyle are Edmonton-based indie filmmakers you’ll want to keep an eye on. The winners of the 2014 Gotta Minute Film Festival are co-writing/directing an original sitcom called Seven Day Weekend and making the most of their new AMPIA memberships, winning an incorporation licence from Bishop MacKenzie and scoring a private pitch session with Bell/CTV! Read more on this ambitious duo…
Cameron And Doyle attended the March Madness Professional Development Day on March 7th, an industry-focused workshop with award-winning filmmakers and guest speaker Norm Hiscock (Kids in the Hall, SNL, Brooklyn Nine Nine). Here’s our interview with Cameron And Doyle.
This year was your first March Madness?
It was, and it was a great experience. The panel discussions really helped us to learn about filmmaking as a craft, and filmmaking as a career. As writers ourselves, it was amazing to hear keynote Norm Hiscock reflect on his 25 years of writing for television.
At March Madness, the motifs of the day were story and production. To develop a sitcom like ours, that means two sets of characters: the characters in the show, and the characters who make the show. Write a story with an emotional spine, and learn from the industry experts.
Did you have the chance to meet any of these industry experts?
We met Greg Jeffs of Insurrection Films. He told us about a dream shot he had composed for an upcoming horror film, and we discussed how the right team—a team who knows how to use the right equipment—helps turn these dream shots into stunning films.
As part of the panel discussion on production, Greg had some great advice about how to assemble a team. He underscored the need to partner with a producer that fits a project, to make a project whole: “It’s always the final 15–30% that makes a producer really worth their salt.”
We had to miss the horror-film panel that Greg was excited for, but we had a pitch session with Brandice Vivier (Bell/CTV) to discuss our Edmonton sitcom, Seven Day Weekend.
What was the impetus to set a sitcom in Edmonton?
While there are shows we love that are set in non-descript metropolitan pubs or Middle American suburbs, so much of our inspiration comes from Edmonton.
We wanted to take the classic odd-couple-roommates formula and give the characters the twist that the Albertan economy has given our lives: a charming, successful oil-and-gas worker paired with a befuddled white-collar entrepreneur. So while one works twentyone-and-seven shifts up North and the other never seems to work, they’re both living on a Seven Day Weekend.
Edmonton is a peculiar context where these two lives can coincide. And it’s produced a vibrant community where a wide range of quirky folks can come together over a pint of beer. Rooting ourselves in our community has really helped us to write characters with emotional spine, which is what gives characters popular appeal and keeps shows on screens across the world.
You had a pitch session at AMPIA March Madness. So is Seven Day Weekend coming to a screen near us?
Well at this point, it’s coming to just one screen. We invite our fellow AMPIA members to join us on April 8th at FAVA (9722 102nd) for the 6pm screening of our pilot episode.
We’re still a ways away from our dream of turning Seven Day Weekend into a hit series on a national network. While we put together an amazing team for our pilot episode, we’ve learned that we need to keep building our team and find a producer with the skills and experience to partner with us and develop a pilot season.
And so it’s a blessing that through AMPIA, we’ve started to meet the Albertans who come together to make these seasons, these films, these dreams.
It sounds like you two are excited to be AMPIA members.
Absolutely. AMPIA has really helped to plug us in to the independent filmmaking community in Alberta.
It’s really a bit of a misnomer—independent filmmaking—because every project demands such a diverse team. There’s no going it alone. To continue to develop as filmmakers, we need this kind of support network, where we can learn from the experts and find the folks who love to partner with the up-and-comers. AMPIA is the natural fit for our professional development.
You can follow Cameron And Doyle on Twitter: @CameronAndDoyle