Press quotes about the movie

We were thrilled to pack the TIFF Bell Lightbox for the world premiere of Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes! Here’s what some of the press had to say about the movie…

“Long Goodbyes was charming, funny & oozed a loving warmth. Would definitely see again!”
Emily Claire Afan, Writer / Contributor, Village Gamer and Orange Paperclip

“Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes is a family friendly film that uses a creative and enhanced form of stop motion animation to tell the story of two kids whose father has accepted a political position that will mean relocating to the big city – and their ever more complicated attempts to prolong and pospone their farewells. While it has all of the hallmarks of the kind of well meaning children’s TV programming that the characters and storyline originally come from, including a ‘good citizen’ message, the clever script also features a few jokes just for the parents. The animation is seamless and slickly produced, with elaborately constructed sets.”
Anya Wassenberg, Writer / Reviewer, Arts & Culture Blog

“Wapos Bay has enjoyed six seasons of broadcast as an animated series. It has been a very positive experience for young aboriginal people to have themselves represented in television, as one audience member stated in the Q&A following the [world premiere at imagineNATIVE]. A child being able to self-identify with characters in the media is very important in identitying development and helps reaffirm self-worth. Many parents expressed their gratitude to the creators, cast and crew of the series.”
Tyler Hagan, Arts Correspondent, CBC

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!

Wapos Bay Feature on MBC Radio

Check out this great piece from April’s studio open house courtesy of MBC Radio. It includes an exclusive interview with Dennis Jackson (creator/writer/director/producer), as well as, Melanie Jackson (producer), Ryan Lockwood (transmedia producer) and actress Andrea Menard!

Listen here! Wapos Bay – MBC Radio

Nominated for Best Comedy and the Ruth Shaw Award

Wapos Bay is nominated for a Golden Sheaf Award for Best Comedy as well as the Ruth Shaw Award at this year’s Yorkton Film Festival! Both nominations are for Episode 29 – The World According to Devon, written by Trevor Cameron and directed by Cam Lizotte.

Congratulations and good luck to Dennis Jackson, Melanie Jackson, Cam Lizotte, Anand Ramayya, Trevor Cameron and the Wapos Bay cast and crew!

Synopsis

Devon tells his version of the T-Bear and Devon living in prehistory and trying to become men.  In Devon’s story, Wapos Bay is negotiating peace with the Brown Toe people; a rival tribe down the river and the Brown Toe Chief is concerned about reports of strangers on the river.

In a bid to show their maturity they discover the Principal Steele is on a trade mission whilst looking for a spice route to China. They boys help him and inadvertently get put in the middle of Wapos Bay’s peace with the Brown Toe people and this new stranger. The boys stand up for Principal Steele and learn becoming men isn’t just about showing how strong you are; it’s also about using their sensibilities.  The Brown Toe people and Wapos Bay adults end up trading with Principal Steele and Talon, T-Bear and Devon are declared men for their bravery.  Devon ends his story and impresses everyone including his teacher and they allow him to tell another story.  Devon has found his new gift of oral storytelling.

About Wapos Bay

The kids of Wapos Bay love adventure. And their playground is a vast area that’s been home to their Cree ancestors for millennia: northern Saskatchewan.

Ten-year-old T-Bear, 9-year-old Talon and 6-year-old Raven star in Wapos Bay, a light-hearted stop-motion animation series about growing up in a remote Cree community. In Wapos Bay, modern life and ancient traditions meet. Hunting and gathering, dog sledding and shimmering northern lights are part of every day but so are video games, TV and cell phones. Guided by elders, extended family and their own insatiable curiosity, the three children learn how to balance traditional ways with newer ones. Their discoveries unfold against the backdrop of northern Saskatchewan’s varied seasons—winter, spring thaw, spring, summer, fall and freeze-up.  As they explore the world around them, the three children acquire some valuable lessons about respect, cooperation, honesty and tolerance. And of course, they also teach the adults a few things.

Aboriginal filmmakers Dennis and Melanie Jackson’s exquisite characters come alive with the voices of well known Aboriginal performers such as Gordon Tootoosis (North of 60, Legends of the Fall), Andrea Menard (The Velvet Devil) and Lorne Cardinal (Corner Gas). Wapos Bay is a fascinating, and often humorous portrait of a northern Aboriginal community from the perspective of its children.

Day 1: Shooting begins on “Long Goodbyes” at Wapos Bay Studio

The stop motion children’s animation series that has been going for five seasons and won numerous awards and screened at festivals around the world officially begins production on its movie today. The production team is also delighted to announce the launch of WaposBay.com and their production blog, as well as the development of a “Wapos Bay” video game.

Here’s a quick peak at the studio from yesterday:

“It’s been a long journey for us,” said producer Anand Ramayya of their start in 2003 with a pilot episode, the eventual development to a series that began airing in 2005, and winning their fourth Gemini award in 2010. “In the last five years we’ve done over $11 million dollars of production in Saskatoon, and we’ve employed over 50 people every single year. We’re proud to have built up the reputation we have [as being one of the top-rated stop motion studios in the country].”

“Long Goodbyes” will be the final installment of the TV series. In addition to regulars Lorne Cardinal (Corner Gas) and Gordon Tootoosis (Legends of the Fall), expect to hear some new voices in the movie, including Canada AM’s Seamus O’ReganBeverly Thomson, Marci Ien and Jeff Hutcheson. The movie will premiere in the fall on APTN with a limited advance theatrical release.

View an animatic teaser clip from the movie at:

Award Winning – Gemini Award for Best Writing in a Children/Youth Series

Wapos Bay Productions recently won the 2010 Gemini Award for Best Writing in a Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or Series, to Trevor Cameron for his episode, The Hardest Lesson.

Over the years, Wapos Bay has earned many awards of excellence. We spoke with the award winning cast and crew at our celebration on April 24 2009, about the win of the 2008 Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Individual or Ensemble Cast in an Animated Production. The 2008 Award went to the cast of “Guardians” including Andrea Menard, Gordon Tootoosis, Lorne Cardinal, DerRic Starlight, Trevor Cameron, Jody Peters, Eric Jackson, Raven Brass, Taylor Cook, and guest star Lee Majors (Six Million Dollar Man).

Here is a complete list of awards and selected nominations to date:

Watch Wapos Bay Season 5 on APTN

The Season 5 Finale “Treasure of the Sierra Metis” is on APTN this week.  In case you missed the other episodes, dont worry!  APTN will be airing them all over again starting next week with “Time Management” featuring David Suzuki.

Talon, T-Bear, and Devon follow a treasure map belonging to Sierra, the last Metis gold miner and realize finding treasure is only half the battle.

WATCH “Treasure of the Sierra Metis” (and the Wapos Bay Series each week) on:

APTN HD

Wednesdays at 4:00 pm (ET)

Thursdays at 8:30 pm (ET)

Saturdays at 9:00 am (ET)


APTN EAST FEED

Wednesdays at 4:00 pm (ET)

Saturdays at 10:00 am (ET)


APTN WEST FEED

Saturdays at 10:00 am (MT)

Sundays at 10:30 am (MT)


Wapos Bay is on SCN

You can still watch Season 3 & 4 of Wapos Bay on SCN in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  Currently broadcast on:

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 noon and 5:00 pm (CT)

Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 am and 4:00 pm (CT)

Wapos Bay Productions wishes to thank everyone at SCN for all of the years of support for the series.  Visit SCN.ca to see some great Saskatchewan-made programs.

This is How We Do It

Wapos Bay is a collaborative effort of over 40 technicians, animators, artists, administrative personnel and a key creative team of writers, directors and producers. The animation studio extends over a 11,000 square foot warehouse and houses all aspects of our production, from the art department and the animation bays to the post-production facilities.

The world of Wapos Bay is brought to life using stop-motion animation. The Wapos Bay characters are 6-8 inch puppets made by a team of craftspeople using plastics and foam latex, metal wire and various other materials.  All the characters are animated using wire armatures, which are movable metal frameworks manipulated by the animators. As the armatures are positioned, 24 high-resolution digital still photos are taken of each small change in movement to create one second of on-screen motion.  (If one second of on-screen time requires almost an hour of work, imagine how long it takes to make a full 24-minute episode!) The eyelids and eyebrow movements of the puppets are hand-sculpted by the animators using Plasticine. Vinyl mouth shapes, designed and crafted in the studio, are carefully placed on the character for every frame of dialogue or expression change, finishing the intricate work of animating the puppet.

Hundreds of hours have been spent by a team of carpenters and craftspeople to create this miniature world that appears life-size on screen. Miniature house interiors and other props are painstakingly handcrafted so they appear lifelike on camera. Forest landscapes are created using a variety of natural and artificial materials to showcase the realistic northern look of Wapos Bay. The look is then augmented by realistic background photos taken in and around northern Saskatchewan. Many backgrounds are also inserted at the postproduction stage by using “greenscreens” and computer effects.

The voices of the Wapos Bay characters reflect some of Canada’s best Aboriginal talent. Actors like Gordon Tootoosis, Lorne Cardinal and Andrea Menard bring their own personality and humour to the stories written by Dennis Jackson, Melanie Jackson and Trevor Cameron.

The Wapos Bay team includes a mix of seasoned professionals and numerous emerging technicians and animators from Saskatoon’s dynamic animation community. The skills and talents they bring to this production reflect the growing pool of impressive artistic and technical talent in Saskatoon. It is through a tremendous combination of creativity, hard work and vision that Wapos Bay has come into being and continues to capture the imaginations of children and adults alike.

Page 1 of 212