March 23, 2015

My Top 5 Storyhive Picks

STORYHIVE has unleashed the latest stream of original webisodes from Alberta producers. Each of these 15 projects are in the running for $50,000 to follow up their pilot with a full series, backed by Telus Optik TV. You can help decide who gets that funding by registering on the STORYHIVE site, watching the projects and giving your vote! You have until Thursday, March 26 to participate, so get on it!

Here are my Top 5 Picks:

1. Straight to Video: A B-Movie Odyssey

Directors Cody Kennedy and Tim Rutherford
Yes, I'm totally biased because I've worked with these guys and I love everything they do, but I also work with the best, so put that in your pipe! Darryl Merpaw (Hybrid Moments) has joined the crew as the head writer (very cool!) and the collective obsession of everything genre that lives in the House of Heathens means you can expect an homage to your favourite unheard-of films and massive cameos. For instance, Tristan Risk (American Mary), Jesse Lipscombe (Hell on Wheels, Truckstop Bloodsuckers) and Mark Meer (Tiny Plastic Men) are in the first episode. Mind explosions.

Kevin Martin plays a video store clerk who accidentally unleashes a vortex inside the store that pulls him into the movies. Now, he must fight his way through different genre films to survive.

2. Necessary Evil

Director Mark Kandborg
Creator Randy Brososky plays a lovable cubicle-bound drone Azmodeus, a low-level demon in corporate hell who is about to get a life-changing phone call! Necessary Evil has top notch comedic writing, cinematography and the monster make-up is superb! This series is all about character, brought to you by some of Edmonton's finest actors in the theatre and film scene. I can't wait to see what will happen next!

3. Nine Lives

Created by Stephen Baden
This is SO original, dark and freaking hilarious. Immediately I was impressed with the news reels and cinematic structure. This web series is super fun, fresh and perfectly executed. Pardon the pun.  This is based on the "true" crime story is about the series of cat murders that took place in St. Albert in 2006.

4. Top Monster

Created by Andrew Guardamano
LOVE THIS. Part dark dungeon of drag, part reality series, part fractured fairy tale... Top Monster is packed full of amazing practical fx and dark comedy. And I love the host! I am so impressed with the dark tales Andrew Guardamano is spinning. You may remember his work from the last STORYHIVE stream with a masculine take on Snow White in Of Them All, which I loved. Watch out for Guardamano. I'm a huge fan.

5. AN.X.O.

Director: Vincent T. Joachim
AN.X.O explores the life of Azarias, a new Guardian Angel who is assigned to protect a young university student. I'm super impressed with the visual fx and cinematography in this and the fight scene is awesome! Our lead is ready to bust a move! I love this project because it feels like a modern Highway to Heaven - hush if you're too young to remember.

All of the 15 creators across the province need your vote and there are other amazing projects so please watch them all. As a fan of genre, I've based my list on my favourite go-tos: monsters, practical fx, great lead characters and a wonderfully developed storyworld.

I encourage you to participate with this STORYHIVE contest and help foster someone's dream! There is a huge prize at the end of this for one lucky team, but hopefully all of these deserving projects get picked up and developed because I'd watch them all. Best of luck everyone!


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