Wapos Bay Q&A at ImagineNATIVE 2011

Check out the video from ImagineNATIVE 2011, including the intros & welcome and Q & A from the Closing Night Gala, and interviews with Andrea Menard, and Dennis, Melanie & Eric Jackson!

And check out the official trailer!

Long Goodbyes Preview

Can’t watch Sunday’s livestream? Watch the official trailer below to hold you over until the broadcast premiere on APTN! The national broadcast premiere is Saturday, Dec. 3 on APTN (8 p.m. ET on APTN HD and APTN East, 8 p.m. MT on APTN West, 8 p.m. CT on APTN North).

Make sure to watch for the eBooks, video game and episode downloads coming this fall.. And check out waposbay.com and waposbay.com/blog for all the latest news and updates from Wapos Bay!

Sneak Peek: Long Goodbyes

Here are a couple photos from Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes. Make sure you catch the one time free livestream this Sunday – click here for more details!

Is sky diving on your bucket list?

And check out this Canada AM clip from today when producers Dennis and Melanie Jackson visited the studio to talk with Beverly Thomson and Seamus O’Regan about the end of Wapos Bay. Click here to watch!

Lorne Cardinal & Dennis Jackson

Beverly Thomson, Dennis Jackson, Melanie Jackson & Seamus O’Regan

Long Goodbyes Premiere & Livestream

The World Premiere & Stream

Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes, based on the Gemini award-winning TV series, will have its world premiere at the prestigious imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto at its Closing Night Gala presented by Global Toronto. A co-production with the National Film Board of Canada, the movie was selected for the closing night of the Festival’s 12th edition.

If you will be in the area or are interested in attending…
Sunday, Oct. 23 at 7:00pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St W)

Tickets for the world premiere / imagineNATIVE are available in-person at the TIFF Bell Lightbox or Phoenix Concert Theatre, by calling the TIFF Box Office at 416-599-8433, or online at www.imaginenative.org.

Fans from around the world will also have the opportunity to be part of the premiere via the Closing Night Technical Partner IsumaTV and a free live streaming at www.isuma.tv/nfb. Creator / producers Dennis & Melanie Jackson, actors Andrea Menard (The Velvet Devil, Moccasin Flats) and Eric Jackson will be available for the Q & A following the screening, moderated by imagineNATIVE executive director Jason Ryle who will be taking questions from the floor and via Skype for the online viewers.

“It is humbling to have our Wapos Bay finale movie screened at imagineNATIVE because it is one of the premiere indigenous film festivals in the world,” said Dennis Jackson. “It is always an honour to be recognized by your peers whether other indigenous people, animators, filmmakers or friends. This screening will be a unique experience because fans can log in online and they don’t necessarily have to be here in Toronto to watch the premiere.”

The night will feature a special tribute to Wapos Bay cast member, the late Gordon Tootoosis (North of 60, Legends of the Fall). Announcements of the future of Wapos Bay will also be made on the night, including the launch of several digital media properties. Led by Brooke Burgess (writer, director & producer of Broken Saints), properties include a Mario kart racer – style video game, eBooks and episode downloads.

Other Festivals

The movie has also been selected to screen at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (Oct. 29), American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco (Nov. 5) and LA Skins Festival in Los Angeles (Nov. 16-20).

Broadcast Premiere on APTN

The national broadcast premiere for Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes is Saturday, Dec. 3 on APTN (8 p.m. ET on APTN HD and APTN East, 8 p.m. MT on APTN West, 8 p.m. CT on APTN North).

Coming Soon!

Make sure to watch for the eBooks, video game and episode downloads coming this fall.. And check out waposbay.com and waposbay.com/blog for all the latest news and updates from Wapos Bay!


Pixar Master Class Partly Sponsored by Wapos Bay Productions

Wapos Bay Productions is sponsoring Pixar artists Andrew Gordon’s and Matthew Luhn’s world class Animation & Story Master Class with a private screening and reception to be held on September 16 and 17th in convocation hall at the U of S.

This Master Class is a two-day seminar for industry professionals, students and enthusiasts. Demos and lectures organized with visuals, live-action and animated clips to give attendees the tools needed to create their own stories and quality animations.

At the end of Day 1, attendees will head to the Broadway Theatre for a private screening of the Wapos Bay movie: Long Goodbyes followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and a reception.

Tickets are $450 ($250 for students). Click here to register!

On The Ice, Wapos Bay bookend ImagineNative fest

August 12th, 2011 by Emily Claire Afan at Playback Magazine

Writer/director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (Iñupiaq) will open the ImagineNative Film & Media Arts Festival this fall with the Canadian premiere of dramatic feature On The Ice, while the world premiere of stop-motion feature Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes from Saskatchewan’s Dennis and Melanie Jackson will cap it off.

MacLean’s feature, starring Josiah Patkotak and Frank Qutuq Irelan, is based on his short film Sukimi, which revolves around two best friends who become involved in a tragic accident.

Long Goodbyes, meanwhile, is based on the stop-motion APTN series Wapos Bay (pictured) featuring voice work by Gordon Tootoosis (North of 60, Legends of the Fall), Andrea Menard (The Velvet Devil) and Lorne Cardinal (Corner Gas). The closing night screening for this film will be presented in memory of Tootoosis, who passed away this July at age 69.

The ImagineNative fest will take place in Toronto from Oct. 19 to 23.

Read the article here!

Spotlight on NSI Alumni Dennis & Melanie Jackson

By Liz Hover, NSI

2011 marks the National Screen Institute’s 25th birthday. We’ve been training writers, directors and producers how to be storytellers since 1986.

In our latest alumni spotlight we’re proud to feature husband and wife team Dennis and Melanie Jackson.

Between them they’ve been students in four of our training programs. Not only are they the clever folks behind the award-winning TV series Wapos Bay (developed through NSI Totally Television) but they also find time to give back as associate faculty members of NSI’s New Voices program. Together they run Dark Thunder Productions Inc.

Spotlight on Dennis and Melanie Jackson

Dennis says: “NSI training gave me a confidence in the pitching process by teaching me the dos and don’ts when approaching a potential broadcaster. They’ve structured this by streamlining your project to its essence so that you know exactly what the broadcaster needs to know about you and your show.

Dennis is a graduate of NSI Totally Television (2002-03), the Aboriginal Cultural Trade Initiative (2004) and Featuring Aboriginal Stories Program (2009).

He began his career in elementary school watching 16mm prints of animation on aboriginal creation tales. Dennis remembers sitting at the back of the class as the teacher explained animation with the individual frames. Dennis has since received Gemini nominations for both his writing and directing of Wapos Bay. This animated series has received four Gemini awards of excellence.

Melanie Jackson says: “NSI training gave me confidence in the co-production process by teaching me the dos and don’ts when approaching a potential partner.  [The program] allowed me to participate in learning the process and what’s available in the international industry.”

Melanie is a graduate of NSI Storytellers (2005) and Featuring Aboriginal Stories Program (2009).

Melanie is a producer with over 14 years proven experience in development and programming of many hours of original drama and documentaries across several channels.

She has led creative professionals and built effective teams responsible for the delivery of quality programs. She brings a fresh perspective to the type of film, TV and digital media productions that can be successful in the marketplace and what skills are needed to create them.

Her ability to work with the leaders in our industry will help develop the most innovative, relevant and uniquely positioned in providing quality indigenous storytelling, high production values with excellence in stop-motion animation personnel and facilities.

Their successful TV series Wapos Bay is wrapping up with a movie called Long Goodbyes which will premiere in the fall on APTN with a limited advance theatrical release.

Read the official article here!

New inspiration for Wapos creators

Wapos Bay’s Trevor Cameron, who is the voice of the character Kohkom, and the character Jacob talk over the script in a set up shot.
Photograph by: Sp Gord Waldner, The StarPhoenix

By Sean Trembath, The StarPhoenix April 19, 2011

After a decade, 34 episodes and one feature-length movie, the team behind beloved Saskatchewan stop-motion children’s show Wapos Bay is moving on.

“It’s quite bittersweet. You develop a project for so long. It’s 10 years we’ve been doing Wapos Bay here in Saskatchewan,” said Melanie Jackson, who wrote, produced and directed the show with her husband Dennis.

Monday was the last day of shooting on Long Goodbyes, a movie of the week for APTN, the final chapter of the show. The movie will air this fall, date to be announced.

The Saskatoon studio is still full of characters and sets familiar to all who have seen the show. While some models will be re-purposed, fans could get a chance to own a piece of the show’s history.

“We might have some draws or a contest to be able to take part of Wapos Bay home,” said Melanie.

Promoting the movie has given the studio a chance to try out a new medium, its first video game, in co-operation with Toronto game development studio in Phantom Compass.

“All the visual assets for the video game were produced here in the studio,” said TransMedia producer Ryan Lockwood.

Wapos Racerz is a Mario Kart-style racing game featuring characters and locations from Wapos Bay. The Canadian Media Fund, a federal program designed to encourage development across all forms of digital media, helped with financing.

“We just wanted to extend the whole Wapos Bay experience into other spaces that kids and fans of the series could play, share and interact with,” said Lockwood.

The game, still in development, will be released on several Internet game sites a few weeks before the movie airs.

While sad to see Wapos Bay end, both Dennis and Melanie are ready to move on to Guardians, their next stop-motion project. Guardians is a science fiction series for teenagers set 41 million years in the future after an ice age. The story follows teenagers of various indigenous descents who have been raised from embryos by robots in an underground bunker as they venture out into a world vastly different from what we know today.

The Jacksons have been developing the show for seven years, but the idea goes even farther back.

“It’s a series I’ve always had, since I was 14. It became more affordable to do something sci-fi, with computer software getting better and a lot of animators coming out, especially here in Saskatoon,” said Dennis. His excitement was palpable as he talked about getting the project underway and designing the fantastic settings and creatures his characters will encounter.

“In pre-production, we’re going to be exploring these worlds – what we can build, what has to be computer graphics. It’s just going to be a huge development process,” he said.

Guardians will begin shooting next winter. The first six episodes will air in the fall of 2012 on APTN.

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Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/entertainment/inspiration+Wapos+creators/4638644/story.html#ixzz1K4vHCg00