'Electro-punk' TV pilot lands in Saskatoon with low budget, high expectations

They describe it as a supernatural, heroic horror show, and this week in Saskatoon the filmmakers will be working to bring their vision to life.

Filmmakers bring stark alternative vision of Earth to life

Megan Zong and Ed Mendez are among the cast of many working this week to bring Crowsworld to life in Saskatoon. (Catlin Hogan)

It's described as a supernatural, heroic horror show and this week in Saskatoon, the filmmakers behind Crowsworld will be working to bring their vision to life.  

Crowsworld is the brain child of Saskatoon screenwriter Damien Bartlett.

"I was working at a really menial job; basically price checking and watching people go by day after day and the idea in my head was like 'what if people died but didn't know they had died?'" he told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

Screenwriter Damien Bartlett is also offering his acting skills as work continues this week in Saskatoon to shoot a prequel that the filmmakers hope to sell. (Catlin Hogan)

"The idea that you are stuck doing something you hate forever and being trapped in that forever loop."

That is the genesis of Crowsworld, and it is director Levi Mierau's job to bring that stark vision to life.  

"This one has been very interesting because it is an alternative Earth," said Mierau.

Call it 'electro-punk' 

The story that plays out in this other Earth is about a weather analyst in mourning, who is also dealing with a visitor who arrives from a different time and place.

"We don't necessarily have a lot of funding at our disposal so it's finding ways to do this the cheapest we can but also making sure the quality is up to par."

Mierau is trying to create a modern world with a Victorian, industrial feel. Bartlett suggested people call it "electro-punk."

There is a good reason for the low budget approach — Bartlett and Mierau hope to sell this concept to a network like the Space Channel or the Sci-Fi Channel.

Low budget, big future

Making the pilot with their own money ensures control, said Mierau.

"We can be like 'hey do you want this show?' This is what it looks like, with some more money, some actual money, it can look even better."

Bartlett is also keeping his story close to his chest.

"This is going to be a pre-quel teaser," Bartlett said of the show's pilot episode. 

Right now, he won't even talk about Crow — a "very important" character who will come after the teaser episode —  and urged everyone to stay tuned, hinting at a strong female lead.

with files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning