Studio Tour with Trevor Cameron

Missed April’s studio open house? Check out the video below for your own tour with host Trevor Cameron, Director/Actor/Story Editor of Wapos Bay!

Also, a big thanks from everyone here at the studio to all those who made it out and to all of our fans!

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

Storytelling

So, I’m Trevor, the Story Editor of Wapos Bay. Right now it’s cold and we’re locked in our production schedule of the Wapos Bay Movie. Wapos Bay is a real village. Not real in terms of being able to book a vacation to or drive past but it’s real in the sense I love everyone who lives there. When Devon gets the boys in trouble, or Jacob tries something new, or when Horatio decides to dance, I know these people are real because many of their experiences are real. Some of my favourite moments in Wapos are when I  give a story to Wapos from my life.

When I wrote ‘Hardest Lesson‘, an episode that reveals T-Bear’s mother’s death, it was a reflection of my own childhood. You see my father passed away when I was seven. Soon after my family moved to a new city and I had to restart in a new elementary school. I was doing alright up until father’s day. We had to do an art project. It was a a paper shirt with several multicoloured paper ties. Each one of the ties was a coupon for your father. The teacher had no idea of my recent history and when I refused to do it the teacher thought I was the new kid being willful. I could feel my face reddening and eyes welling up. I didn’t want to tell everyone but my secret spilled out of me and down my cheeks and shamed my teacher.

That moment was the springboard for ‘The Hardest Lesson’. Instead of Father’s day it was Mother’s day. Instead of shirts with ties, it was flowers and petals. T-Bear held it together better than I did. His armour was a bit stronger than mine, but that moment, the snapshot helped make a great episode that people could relate to. It won a Gemini for writing, nominated for  direction and music. Won the kid’s jury at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (second place for Adult jury), Best animation at the American Indian Film Festival.

It’s experiences that inform stories. If you look at any of the stories I work on there’s always one beat or moment from my life as a spring board into Wapos Bay.

Wapos Bay Controls all Television

A little known fact about Wapos Bay is every year we get a phone call from someone who thinks we control Television. This seems crazy but there is a sane answer. We’re in the Yellow pages of the phone book as a Television Producer. In fact we’re the only listing.That means if anyone is unhappy with their TV show, any TV show, and wants to complain they open their book and turn to this page. Our page. You may think, “how often can this happen?” The answer is once a year.

Just today someone inquiring about their remote. He needed one with bigger buttons…

So he called us. Why? Because Wapos Bay controls TV!

Last year I was yelled at due to an a channel failing to put on an elderly lady’s soap opera.

I’ve even been berated due to bad reception from an antenna.

I could explain that I cannot help them, instead I try to fix their problems with my mind. The bad reception guy I told to change channels back and forth a bunch of times. That used to work for me when I was a kid. Then I tried to psychically fix it with my mind. I told him to hold on and I’ll see if I can do anything on my end. At that point I closed my eyes and thought hard. It didn’t work.

So I do try to help even though it’s out of my control. I assured the guy who needed bigger buttons on his remote that there were stores in town that can help.

The soap opera lady though was not looking for help she just wanted to yell.

So you heard it here first. Wapos Bay Controls TV.

Courtesy Trevor Cameron, Story Editor

It’s Always Sunny in Wapos Bay

Today, being below forty degrees and snowy, makes me remember back when it snowed in Wapos Bay.

A long time ago, back when ipods were slightly thicker, we had episodes of Wapos Bay that took place in snow.

Yep the white stuff was one of three things on the sets; powdered sugar, styrofoam bits, or cotton batting. Some times just one ingredient, sometimes two or the trifecta would come into play.

To someone who hasn’t worked in stop motion, a set covered in powdered sugar sounds awesome. Imagine every time you breathed you’d taste a bit of sugar. Yummy, until you realized that you breathe a lot. So for the first minute is fun, the first hour is annoying but by halfway through the day you have a sugar high. By the end of the day you don’t want to think about sugar.

The worst is when you have a mix of powdered sugar and styrofoam… gross yet delicious.

The other issue was more simple. Snow in Wapos Bay dances. Not the Cha Cha or the Watusi but the kind of dance that makes shooting hard. When an animator moves an armature (puppet) he or she has to touch the set. If the set is covered in ‘snow’ then any slight touch or breathe made the snow change. Can’t move snow back either (we tried trust us) and any attempt makes the snow move even more. Thus the big snow sets constantly danced.

One time we used cotton batting and it looked great… until we had to walk a character. Once you touch one part, you move the other.

So eventually we started just seeing Wapos in the summer even though we usually shoot in the winter.

Courtesy Trevor Cameron, Story Editor

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:

Award Winning

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).

The Production 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.

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

Wapos Bay Receives Five Gemini Nominations

1 September 2010 – The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television announced that Wapos Bay, the stop motion animated children’s series broadcast on APTN and SCN, has received five Gemini Award nominations. The 25th Annual Gemini Awards ceremony will be held in Toronto November 2nd and 3rd, 2010.

Wapos Bay is among five productions nominated for Best Animated Program or Series. DerRic Starlight, the voice behind the character of Devon, received a nomination for Best Performance in an Animated Program or Series. Trevor Cameron earned two nominations; one for Best Direction in an Animated Program or Series, and one for Best Writing in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series, both for the episode, The Hardest Lesson. Ross Nykiforuk joins the list of nominees for Best Original Music Score for an Animated Program or Series (The Hardest Lesson).

The announcement comes on the eve of the broadcast premiere of Season 5 on APTN, the September launch of the digital media properties, and pre-production for the Wapos Bay Movie commencing in October.

Producer/ writer/ director Melanie Jackson comments: “Working on Wapos Bay has been a wondrous experience. The cast and crew have had such faith in the production since we began, that we’ve built a family. I’m very honored and ecstatic with this years nominations and I know with unwavering confidence they are well earned. I offer my congratulations and appreciation to the nominees, cast and crew of Wapos Bay for their hard work and undying enthusiasm for the little show that could!”

Wapos Bay season five premieres Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) with special guest star David Suzuki (The Nature of Things). Saskatchewan Communications Network (SCN) broadcasts seasons three and four. Wapos Bay Productions is currently in pre-production for the Movie of the Week.