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Spotlight on Bluenose

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

With the 2015 launch of the rebuilt Bluenose II, the moment is right to re-tell the vessel’s incredible story to a new generation through a thrilling documentary capturing one of Atlantic Canada’s greatest sagas of the sea. 

Bluenose: The Legend Lives is produced by Brookes Diamond Productions for KPI Productions in partnership with the Canadian Maritime Heritage Foundation. The show is a mix of historical context, compelling story-telling, spectacular visuals and musical gems by established and emerging Maritime talent, including an original song specially written by Bruce Guthro. Brookes gave us the inside scoop.

Shannon Quinn, musical director Jamie Robinson, Bruce Guthro and cinematographer Wade Cornell.

Bruce GuthroBruce Guthro

How has this production come to be?
I’ve had the idea to do a TV show about the Bluenose for some time and I knew the right person to lead the team was Geoff D’Eon – an accomplished writer/director with whom I’ve collaborated in the past. We share a deep respect for the Bluenose and her immutable place in the history and culture of Nova Scotia as well as a long association with East Coast performers. Geoff has put together a stellar team including musical director Jamie Robinson; producer Moya Walsh; cinematographers Wade Cornell and Mark Hammond; audio recordist Donnie Chapman; audio mixer Brian Power; and editor Warren Jefferies. Musical talent includes Bruce Guthro, Joel Plaskett, Bill Plaskett, Old Man Luedecke, singer Fiona MacGillivray, fiddler Shannon Quinn, along with the Eastern Belles – Meaghan Blanchard, Catherine MacLellan and Ashley Condon.

What drew you to this story in particular?
I have long admired the Bluenose and have been fascinated by her remarkable history. As a passionate Nova Scotian, I thought now is the right time to shine a spotlight on this world-renowned schooner, built in Lunenburg. At one time the vessel was Canada’s most captivating ambassador and we hope to tell her story in a way that is entirely new. It seemed a natural fit to engage the best East Coast talent to help bring her story to life.

What are some of the highlights of the production?
Early in July, the entire crew and cast of performers boarded the Bluenose II and spent three exciting days off the Lunenburg coast under the deft handling of Captain Phil Watson and his crew. Armed with sea-sick pills, the performers and TV crew braved strong winds and rolling swells to create memorable performances above and below decks. All involved were amazing and brought their A-game to some pretty challenging conditions. It was a great treat to work with the Bluenose’s crew as well. Our two cinematographers will be going on board again, this time for a longer haul to get footage of her on the open seas. We are fortunate they are both seasoned sailors and look forward to getting some dramatic footage.

Final thoughts: Filming in Nova Scotia
This production is a great example of what we can achieve in Nova Scotia. We have world-class performers, combined with some of the best film and TV professionals anywhere, a unique story, spectacular location and it all centres on one of the most-recognized symbols in the country. What more could we ask for?

Cinematographer Wade CornellCinematographer Wade Cornell

Mark your calendars! Bluenose: The Legend Lives will air on CBC Saturday, August 27th.

Bluenose: The Legend Lives is qualified to receive funding through the Nova Scotia Film & Television Production Incentive Fund. Learn more about filming in Nova Scotia and accessing the Nova Scotia Film & Television Production Incentive Fund.

Use our Film Fund Estimator tool to estimate funding available for your Nova Scotia production.