Hat becomes backdrop for short film

·2 min read

Medicine Hat takes centre stage in a Saskatchewan filmmaker’s first production.

Brysen Mann, author, scriptwriter and director, will make his directorial debut with the short film The Price Tag, filmed entirely in Medicine Hat.

“The Price Tag is a gritty drama with a touch of humour,” Mann told the News. “It is the story of a hardened individual, Ray, who is intent on robbing a bar owned by Jeff, a hard-working family man. During their interaction, they share, reluctantly at times, some insights about themselves and find common ground.”

Filming for the project began in January and largely focused on exterior shots. Unforeseen circumstances resulted in a two-month pause on filming, however Mann and his crew are schedule to return to Medicine Hat in May and wrap up filming in June.

Mann said he chose Medicine Hat as the backdrop of his film largely due to the vibrant murals which decorate the city’s downtown and will be captured in several exterior shots.

After selecting the city as his location, Mann reached out to local media arts and design organization, Pulp. Digital Creators.

“They really assisted me in allocating and sourcing a film crew. They helped me scout locations and the additional film equipment needs and everything,” said Mann. “I found it, not only a great experience, but very fortunate Medicine Hat has a resource like them available to support people doing projects such as mine.

“As well, there has been a wide array of businesses and individuals … which were extremely helpful with this project, so I’m quite enjoying Medicine Hat as a location and (for its) resources. Without their participation, I would not have seen this project being as rewarding and successful as it has been to date.”

Mann is also grateful for his six-person film crew, five of whom are from Medicine Hat.

“We have a great film crew which currently includes April Mandziak, James Kuehn, Benjamin Weir, Jessika Babe, Neil Braun and Rachelle Mandziak,” he said. “All the film crew who are participating are extremely talented.”

Mann is also hoping to find a local actor to fill one of the film’s speaking roles.

“I’m hoping to find (an actor) as local as possible, but if not within Medicine Hat, definitely within Alberta.”

Local is an important aspect of Mann’s work.

“I’m residing in Saskatchewan, but am a former Alberta resident,” he said. “But I’m actually relocating back to Alberta next year because I want (future) film projects to be based out of Alberta or Saskatchewan as much as I can, (in regards to) locations, actors and film crew. Just try to keep things local as possible.”

The approximately 35-minute film is set to be released sometime this summer. Mann hopes to share his work with audiences across Canada and the world, by entering them in film-festivals.

KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

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