PEI

Island film gets extra help from volunteers

From the hockey rink in Kensington to a bar in Summerside, Islanders have come out to lend their talents to a feature film being shot across P.E.I.

'We wouldn't have been able to shoot the hockey if we didn't have fans in the stands and players on the ice'

James Harper, centre, poses with some of the actors and extras in Still The Water. (Submitted by James Harper)

From the hockey rink in Kensington to a bar in Summerside, Islanders have come out to lend their talents to a feature film being shot across P.E.I.

Still the Water is the story of two hockey-loving brothers in rural P.E.I., who live under the thumb of an abusive, alcoholic father. The film picks up a decade later, as one of the brothers returns home to reconnect. 

The film's production team used social media to help recruit extras, including hockey players.

The production team is planning a preview screening for everyone who was involved in the film, including the extras. (Still The Water)

"We're shooting during the day and it can be stressful for people to find the time to come and be part of the production because they have to work," said writer and director Susan Rodgers.

"We wouldn't have been able to shoot the hockey if we didn't have fans in the stands and hockey players on the ice."

James Harper lies on the ice taking a break during filming of hockey scenes for Still The Water. (Submitted by James Harper)

Rodgers reached out to Summerside recreational hockey player James Harper to help recruit his friends and teammates for three days of shooting at the Kensington rink.

"It was difficult because people work, right," Harper said.

"Thank God, a few of the guys were on unemployment so they all had their work boots on and were looking for work at the same time." 

The production crew used social media to recruit hockey players and fans. (Still The Water)

While some players dropped by for a couple of hours at a time, Harper was there for all three days of filming.

"Three eight-hour days in skates and hockey gear was the longest that I've ever been on skates," Harper said. 

"It was tough."

'Movie star' 

Shelley Tamtom was an extra for the hockey scenes and a bar server at scenes filmed Tuesday at The Wing in Summerside. 

Her cat, Felix, was even part of one of the scenes.

Shelley Tamtom was one of the extras and her cat, Felix, was even part of one of the scenes. (Submitted by Shelley Tamtom)

"What they wanted him to do was walk around a kitchen island," Tamtom said.

"He did that, two takes and it was done. He was a movie star, he did a great job."

Tamtom knows Susan Rodgers from time onstage together in community theatre in Summerside and was happy to help.

"I've witnessed her working so hard to get this movie going and funded," Tamtom said.

"I'm just so proud of her and that dream is coming true for her."

Some of the extras getting set for a bar scene being filmed in Summerside for Still The Water. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Investors and extras

Some of the extras are also investors in the film production or hope to invest before the May 15 deadline. 

The company was approved to sell shares through a government program called Community Economic Development Business. 

"Several of of our investors have been volunteering their time totally," said production co-ordinator Edith Cole.

"We had a couple that after they were there being extras, they're now interested in investing in the movie."

The crew and actors prepare to film a bar scene in Summerside. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Cole says Islanders have been eager to help, however they can.

"They've seen our teaser and they've seen how good it's going to be," Cole said.

"A lot of them know Susan personally and are wanting to be there to help her to make this amazing movie come to fruition."

'It's really tedious'

Rodgers is thankful for all of the volunteers, including the ones on the set.

"We need people beside the main characters, the movie wouldn't have been complete without background actors," Rodgers said.

"But I'm always kind of worried, making sure people are happy. It's long days, it's really tedious."

Susan Rodgers says the background actors flesh out the scenes she's filming for Still The Water. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

The production team is planning a preview screening for everyone who was involved in the film, including the extras.

"They will be top of the list because they're volunteers and we want them to see what kind of magic they helped create," Rodgers said.

"I'm really grateful to them for being part of the production."

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About the Author

Nancy Russell has been a reporter with CBC since 1987, in Whitehorse, Winnipeg, Toronto and Charlottetown. When not on the job, she spends her time on the water or in the gym rowing, or walking her dog. Nancy.Russell@cbc.ca

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