In person, Darryl Nepinak is very soft-spoken but his sense of humour sneaks up on you, It’s a thinking person’s brand of laughter.

It's not surprising that the Saulteaux filmmaker is best known for making short films with comedic, ironic twists.

Currently, Nepinak is the video club facilitator with the Winnipeg North End Arts Centre where he works with Aboriginal youth.  

Nepinak’s films are being showcased at the Urban Shaman Gallery from Nov. 1 – Dec. 7. SCENE asked the filmmaker to share a few secrets of his success in comedic shorts.

  1. Characters are important. “I always make the characters in stories fun and relateable -- like a broke cousin,” says Nepinak. Everyone has that one person they know who isn’t the first person to pick up the tab.
  2. Style on a shoestring budget. “I’ll always try and shoot documentary style as you can get away with murder,” says Nepinak adding “When you shoot doc style no one really cares about the audio and video just your story.”
  3. Settings that you recognize. “I try to take advantage of places and surroundings to make good TV,” he says.  “I will make it look like a higher budget by using locations of interest.” Look out for your favourite Winnipeg locales in his films
  4. The surprise twist. “Most of my shorts will have a little surprise at the end,” smiles Nepinak. It’s like the extra scene at the end of a Hollywood blockbuster that draws a lot of laughs.
  5. The right idea. “Just being able to take an idea and making it fun,” says Nepinak, who thrives on the challenge of turning something simple into something memorable.

Nepinak uses all these elements when he is crafting a film. “It’s like making hangover soup, you need all these ingredients to make it work,” he says.

Note: Hangover soup is a staple of ground beef, macaroni, tomatoes, and soup broth to make a meal that will fix anyone right up.

The opening reception for The Darryl Nepinak Show is Friday, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m. at the Urban Shaman Gallery. It runs until December 7.

INDIAN from Darryl Nepinak on Vimeo.