Award-winning film, partly shot in the Stettler region, continues to reach a broader audience

Award-winning film, partly shot in the Stettler region, continues to reach a broader audience

Abracadavers follows the story of Chris whose mom died in a freak hair salon chair accident

An award-winning series that was partly shot in the Stettler region, including Ol’ MacDonald’s Resort, continues to garner critical acclaim and reach a broader audience.

After over 20 festivals world-wide and 35 award wins and nominations, the flagship series Abracadavers has locked down a distribution deal with Zombie Orpheus Entertainment!, explained Calgary-based Griffin Cork, who both co-produced and starred in the project.

And on Jan. 1st, Abracadavers will also be available on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and The Fantasy Network in the U.K, the U.S, Germany and Japan.

The series will also be available on The Fantasy Network and iTunes in Canada, and will continue to be available on Telus’ Optik TV.

“We are very proud of Abracadavers as our first larger budget project with an entirely Albertan cast and crew,” said Cork.

Cork, along with co-producers Morgan Ermter (who also directed the series), Gianna Isabella and Josef Wright, went into production in the summer of 2018 with the support of The Calgary Film Centre’s Project Lab, and Telus’ STORYHIVE program.

Cork recalls the catalyst for the story coming at a time when Ermster and Wright has just recently graduated from SAIT in Calgary, and Cork was still immersed in his BFA studies.

Abracadavers follows the story of Chris (terrifically played by Cork), whose mom died in a freak hair salon chair accident.

Ever since then, he’s been attached to the chair responsible for her death, according to a synopsis.

Gabriel, his closest friend, believes this is more than an obsession and along with their group of friends kidnaps him on a trip. On the road trip everyone discovers, as Chris had previously begun to expect, that the salon chair gives those close to it superpowers.

Chris, on the other hand, comes to understand he’s in fact struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and learns, along with his friends, that dealing with super-human abilities is something easier to grapple with than what’s going on in your mind.

“The group trips, stumbles, but ultimately works and grows together to understand their new-found abilities and more importantly, themselves.”

“The whole theme of going on this trip to figure out your identity and the person you want to be in this world – it was very close to home for us,” Cork explained, adding that about four years prior to crafting the scripts, Ermter and Wright had been walking down an alley one day near Ermter’s old house, and they came upon an intact hair salon chair.

“They just took it and thought, well, we have to work this in somehow,” he added with a laugh. Indeed. The foundation of the story continued to take shape.

Ultimately a teams of writers, including Ermter, Alanna Schwartz, Ethan Harder, Danae Pritchard, Aaron Belot and art director Rachael Haugan began fleshing out the thoroughly engaging stories.

“We did three STORYHIVE editions and we had $10,000 to make the first initial pilot,” he said. “We took that pilot and showed it around at the Banff World Media Fest and garnered some interest in it.

“The whole first season was funded by STORYHIVE and The Calgary Film Centre. And it went from there,” he said. “Abracadavers was our largest undertaking as filmmakers and as a company. And we could not be happier with its journey.”

For Cork, who has also appeared in Heartland, The Black Donnellys andEverfall, tackling the relatively complex role of Chris proved a challenge, albeit a compelling and fulfilling one.

The challenging part included finding an powerful emotional connection to the character of Chris who is grieving such a deep, personal loss.

Meanwhile, co-starring with Cork are Emma Houghton (The PsyBorgs), Samantha Jeffery (The Magicians, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before 3) and Reamonn Joshee (Wynonna Earp, True Fiction, Jonesin’).

To date, Abracadavers has received more than 35 award wins and nominations, including ‘Best Web Series’ at the Los Angeles Film Awards, the AMPIA Rosie Awards, the New Vision International Film Festival, the Global Film Festival Awards and CSIF’s first inaugural Stinger Awards.

Ermter also picked up several Best Director wins and nominations, and composer Scott Steneker also took home a Best Original Music Score award at the AMPIA Rosies, among others.

These days, Cork hopes the series continues to generate conversation amongst viewers on everything from dealing with grief to supporting someone through that journey.

“What I really connected with in this story is establishing identity,” he added. “You might not know who you are, what you are doing or what you want to do, and I don’t know that you need to know right away,” he pointed out.

”There is no rush on that.”

Check out www.abracadavers.tv or find the series on Facebook and Instagram.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Award-winning film, partly shot in the Stettler region, continues to reach a broader audience

Award-winning film, partly shot in the Stettler region, continues to reach a broader audience

Award-winning film, partly shot in the Stettler region, continues to reach a broader audience

Just Posted

File photo
City of Wetaskiwin launches Whistle-blower Program

Whistle-blower program acts as anonymous forum to hold local government accountable

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Rock Soup Craig Haavalsen is sleeping in a tent outside Rock Soup’s location until the Go Fund Me for Rock Soup raises $10,000. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Putting normalcy into asking for help: New non-profit sets up in Wetaskiwin

Rock Soup non-profit is a new secular Food Bank putting down roots in Wetaskiwin.

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season’s top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Curling Canada has provisional approval for Calgary’s hub-city concept from Alberta Health

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

A scene from last year’s Light the Night fundraiser at the Stettler Town and Country Museum. This year’s rendition is on a drive-through basis only, but it still promises to be a not-to-be-missed seasonal highlight. (Independent file photo)
Stettler Town and Country Museum hosts ‘Light the Night’

This year’s rendition is drive-through only, but will still prove to be a dazzling display

(Black Press File Photo)
Rimbey woman gathering Christmas gifts for seniors at Valleyview Manor

Margaret Tanasiuk says she doesn’t want anyone to feel forgotten on Christmas morning

Most Read