Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/11/2011 (3585 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
What do you do in your spare time? You might be a collector or you may like to do home improvements. Some of us may choose to hit the gym or join a team. Maybe you practise with a band or write a weekly column.
We all enjoy different activities when time allows. Local filmmaker Chris Beyette spends most of his spare time behind his camera creating movies.
This weekend he’s putting his latest project on display. His short film "A Tell Tale Haunting" (PG) will precede the main attraction (Winnipeg director Bevan Klassen’s "Of Games and Escapes") at the Evans Theatre at Brandon University.
Produced on a shoestring budget of $2,000, "A Tell Tale Haunting" is Beyette’s third short film production within the past six years.
Both of his prior efforts,"Gun of the Fallen" and "Pocket Change", were shot at various locations in Brandon. The latter won an award in the Manitoba Challenge category at the 2010 Reel to Reel International film festival in Winnipeg.
Beyette’s also been involved in various capacities with many videos produced through Anarchist Films a small local film company based in Brandon.
For his latest flick, Beyette decided a rural location would best suit the story, so he set up on location at his parent’s farm just north of Neepawa. This particular site near Riding Mountain makes a perfect setting for this modernization of a classic Edgar Allen Poe short story that was first published in 1849.
Beyette has been behind the lens more or less for nearly 20 years. After graduating from ACC’s Media Production course in 1992, he went on to work as a cameraman and video editor at CKX-TV throughout the remainder of the ’90s and up until the station was forced to pull the plug two years ago.
Despite the demise of CKX, Beyette managed to stay busy with a myriad of video projects in his spare time while working full time as a clerk at one of Brandon’s MLCC stores.
Filmmaking is a labour of love that Beyette would like to see grow from the hobby stage to a full-time occupation.
"To be honest, if a talent agency called me and said hey, we want you to direct or if an opportunity came about to relocate to Hollywood or any other market, I wouldn’t hesitate," Beyette said.
He’s currently planning on shooting a feature-length project in the spring that he plans to submit to acquisition executives for various production houses with hopes of sparking further interest in his work.
(By the way, Chris, if you need any music written for your next project there’s an excellent talent pool of local musicians you can select from!)
Thanks to a support group of friends and family, Beyette has been able to pursue his love of filmmaking. Actors are hired on a voluntary basis and locations are usually gratis.
This time around, Beyette was fortunate enough to cast Hollywood actor Travis McHenry who handles the lead role.
Some of the notable things McHenry has been credited in include his role as an agent in "Body of Lies" (Leo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe, directed by Ridley Scott) as well as a couple episodes of "Wicked Attraction" and "Creepy Canada." Currently he’s been involved with various theatre productions.
In "A Tell Tale Haunting," McHenry plays Jimmy Deacon, who accidently shoots his neighbour. He then becomes haunted and consequently driven insane after the horrific accident, which takes place in a shed situated on his farm.
The rest of the cast is made up of local actors: Mike Jones (Detective Towns), Dean Munchinsky (Louis Boorman) and Shaun Cameron (Bobby Boorman). There’s also a crafty cameo featuring Beyette’s wife Erin.
"A Tell Tale Haunting" will roll just before the main attraction throughout this weekend at the Evans Theatre. Show times are 7:30 nightly Friday through Sunday.
Frank McGwire is a radio personality and booster of the music scene in Brandon and Westman.