Kelvin Redvers says it has been a long time since he has been this excited by a film project.
“We were driving through the Fraser River canyon,” he said, talking about a return trip from the North with friends earlier this year. “I knew I needed to find a film idea to set there.”
‘Rattlesnake’ is the story of a girl who has to grow up and learn to survive in a harsh environment after her father dies from a snakebite. The short film seeks to explore the coming-of-age theme on a backdrop of danger and adventure in the wilderness.
“I think there’s a simplicity to it,” said Redvers. “Sometimes stories in short films are really complex, with plot twists and stuff. This is a really human story, and I think audiences will really relate to it.”
Redvers now needs funding to get this project off the ground. He turned to crowd-funding website indiegogo, looking to raise $3,000 in the next three weeks and, as of Sept. 8, had already surpassed $2,500.
“There are people out there who make short films for $300,000 and $500,000,” he said. “Obviously that’s not what we’re doing here, but we figure we could make it for $4,000, but we’re aiming to raise $5,000 in all. Of course, there will always be more costs further down the line, but we want to focus on just shooting the film for right now.”
Redvers said he is feeling pressure from the time constraint of the fundraising campaign and the project, and hopes people will support his work before the deadline. The film’s location – exposed to the elements on the side of a mountain – means that filming has to wrap up this year before the snow flies or go into next spring and summer.
“At this point, there are so many variables, so many people working together on this,” Redvers said. “My feeling is that if it doesn’t happen now, it won’t happen at all. We’re so dependent on the weather. We need to get it done before winter.”
Actor-turned-producer Laura Adkin told The Hub she is excited to join Redvers’ team for the project and was primarily drawn to his passion for the story and subject.
“We really need to support each other in this industry,” she said. “I tend to align myself with people who are on their way up and Kelvin is certainly one of those.”
‘Rattlesnake’ will be the first film Adkin produces, but does not act in. She also works for a production company in Vancouver and has researched crowd-funding for other projects. When Redvers told her that was his plan for ‘Rattlesnake’, she jumped right on board.
“I think my knowledge of it fits well with the project and I’m really excited to work with Kelvin on something he is clearly so passionate about,” Adkin said.
Redvers moved to Vancouver to work for CTV several years ago, but remains proud of his hometown and regularly visits. He said growing up in Hay River was a unique experience for a young filmmaker.
“I can’t imagine having the access I had to make movies anywhere but Hay River,” he said, noting he and his friends were basically given the run of Diamond Jenness Secondary School for their projects.
Redvers also said growing up in a small town – far from putting him at a disadvantage to the city kids he works with in the South – gave him an edge.
“Especially being down here, growing up in a small town, I have a different perspective from my colleagues and other filmmakers,” he explained. “And that’s really something you need in the film industry.”
— Sarah Ladik