Invermere native D. W. Wilson is an award-winning short story writer and a pair of filmmakers from the Lower Mainland plan to make one of his Columbia Valley adventures come to life with their new short film, Floodplain.
Floodplain follows the story of two Invermere high school sweethearts in a coming-of-age drama set on the waters of the Columbia Valley floodplains. Featuring characters from Wilson’s BBC National Short Story Award-winning story “The Dead Roads” and the BC Book Prize-nominated “Once You Break a Knuckle,” both director Jeremy Lutter of Vancouver and Leo award-winning writer and producer Daniel Hogg felt that the characters were truly people anyone could relate to.
“We decided to settle on Floodplain because it was visual, and just the two characters of the story were really relatable, “ Lutter told The Valley Echo.
“The story has such a lyrical quality about it,” said Hogg. “There’s something I can’t quite put my finger on about it, but I really identify with the characters and the story that the characters are going through is something fairly universal… it just feels very complete, and everything in the story serves to reinforce itself as a theme.”
Lutter, who just returned from the world-famous Cannes Film Festival, recently came to Invermere to get a feel for the setting that Wilson tried to portray in his original story. He said he now understands more about what it might be like to grow up in small-town Invermere, and was very impressed with how beautiful Invermere actually is.
“It’s a very picturesque town, it was gorgeous,” he said.
Lutter and Hogg have worked together for a number of years, and actually know Wilson personally, having met him in Victoria. They decided on this particular story because of how they felt about the characters, and are currently up in the air about where to actually shoot it.
The obvious choice would be in Invermere, however the logistics of both of them coming out from Vancouver and Victoria may prove to be too hard to organize, they said. They have another closer location in mind where they can build and float their custom raft on a river that has similar mountain scenery. While they would prefer to shoot in Invermere if at all possible, a final decision has yet to be made. When they finally do start filming, expected to be sometime in July, the duo will have a total cast of five and a crew of anywhere between 12 and 20. The film will run for about 12 minutes, which Hogg said was the usual length of their projects together.
“We’re hoping, especially with this project, to use them as a launching pad to move on to bigger and better things,” Hogg said. “Short films, as wonderful as they are as art films, and as valid as they are in terms of storytelling, they don’t bring a lot of money in.”
With this in mind, the pair has also begun fundraising to help bring their vision to life in the best possible quality. Using the crowdfunding site Indiegogo.com, they are hoping to raise $3,500, which will facilitate construction of the hero’s souped-up raft, and get their cast and crew safely out on the water. You can visit www.indiegogo.com/floodplain to receive project updates, watch video or view pictures. If you decide to support the project, you can donate money in exchange for perks, such as original storyboards or a DVD of the finished project.
“I just love entertaining people, being able to tell a story people can connect with,” Hogg said. “To be able to get an emotional reaction out of people, whether they it’s because they’re laughing or they’re moved in some way, that’s what I really love to do.”
“I’m just in love with storytelling,” Lutter said. “I look for good stories more than anything.”