Sask. mockumentary filmed, released during pandemic to help people laugh

·2 min read
Standing is a Sask.-made miniseries filmed and released during the pandemic.  (BNDT Media/Youtube - image credit)
Standing is a Sask.-made miniseries filmed and released during the pandemic. (BNDT Media/Youtube - image credit)

A Saskatchewan director is hoping to brighten spirits with a Saskatchewan-made miniseries.

Standing is a mockumentary featuring Saskatchewan comedians and actors. Director Jeremy Bastian got his start with his first film Audacity! back in 2019. Now he's directed, helped write and acted in the four-episode miniseries released at the beginning of April.

"I really wanted to make a project that helps people laugh," Bastian told The Afternoon Edition.

"At the start of the pandemic even something like Tiger King … how it made people a bit happier during a tough time. I wanted to kind of do the same," he said. "I saw that there really were some funny and hilarious people in Saskatchewan that I wanted to make a comedy project."

The miniseries follows three comedians and their talent manager as they try their best to become famous in their small prairie city.

"It was a lot of fun. I think sometimes it was hard to keep a straight face during some of the filming and I had to hide some smiles," Bastian said. "The experience was so great. Even during the pandemic, just being able to make something creative and being together with friends."

Bastian and the crew filmed the series in Saskatoon in October, following COVID-19 protocols. The protocols limited the amount of people on the crew and cast — they had 15 people total. Bastian said they found little ways to make the filming still work.

"For example, one of the executive producers or one of the other cast and crew would have to dress up in a different wardrobe and kind of play a person walking in the background just to add a bit more life and spontaneity to the scene," he said.

"We had a lot of fun experimenting, and we're really happy with what we were able to come up with."

The miniseries was partially funded by Creative Saskatchewan's Web Series Grant. It was released on Youtube on April 1. He said it was different than usual because of the mockumentary format.

"It's more like The Office or something like Parks and Recreation instead of a traditional Hollywood style film," Bastian said. "So that also gave us some flexibility, especially during the pandemic, to make something fun."