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Spotlight on Halloween Party

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Amy Groening and T. Thomason star in HALLOWEEN PARTY (Paul McCurdy)


Production is underway on filmmaker Jay Dahl’s HALLOWEEN PARTY, a contemporary urban thriller shooting in various locations in and around Halifax, with a theatrical release set for 2017. We caught up with producer Bill Niven, who also produced The Book of Negroes and Heartbeat, to learn more about bringing this ‘party’ to the screen.

How did this production come about?

Northeast Films was created in 2009 by myself and filmmaker Jay Dahl to develop commercially-oriented film and television programming for Canadian and international markets. HALLOWEEN PARTY is another project from the incredible – and frightening! – mind of my partner Jay, whose credits include the award-winning horror film THERE ARE MONSTERS. Jay and I have complimentary skills and talents that give us an edge in both the creative and business aspects of our work. We have a number of exciting new projects at various stages of development. One of our growth strategies is to work with co-production and financing partners across Canada and internationally. For instance we have a one-hour TV drama series in development with Canadian industry leader eOne Entertainment. The overall aim of our company is to produce high-quality programming that resonates with audiences everywhere.

Can you share a brief synopsis of the production?

HALLOWEEN PARTY centres on a college student who unwittingly releases terrifying entities from her school’s past via a Halloween‐themed computer meme. This is a thriller, so we don’t want to give too much away! I can guarantee that it’s definitely going to be scary. 

Halloween Party set photo (Paul McCurdy)

What can you share with us about the team working with you on this production?

The film is being put together by a talented team of hardworking Nova Scotians. Jay Dahl is both the writer and director on this project, so this is his vision. Our Director of Photography is Kyle Cameron (THERE ARE MONSTERS) and the incredible set design is by Michael Pierson (WEREWOLF). Hair & Make-up is by Victoria Bouchard; Costume Design by Emlyn Murray, who happens to be the daughter of Nova Scotia actor/directors Mary Colin Chisholm and Christian Murray. There’s a lot of young talent on our crew, and we’re really fostering an environment of mentorship. There is a real sense of community on our set, and I’m proud of that.

Our amazing cast includes the talented Amy Groening (GOON, TEEN LUST, BACKPACKERS), newcomer T. Thomason and well-known Nova Scotian actress Shelley Thompson.

What goes into filming a production like this?

What people often don’t realize is that it takes many years to bring a film to life, from inception to the big screen. We started developing HALLOWEEN PARTY three years ago. Jay honed the script throughout development, and we were able to bring in investors across Canada from both private and public sectors. We started filming in October in various locations around Halifax and once we wrap, we will go through six months of post-production to edit the picture, add the music and special effects, and mix the sound.

Film is a highly collaborative medium – HALLOWEEN PARTY involves a team of over 60 people working closely together to bring the project to fruition.

Directed by Jay Dahl; Cinematography by Kyle Cameron (Paul McCurdy)

What’s the best thing, from your viewpoint, about doing what you do from Nova Scotia?

I’m from Cape Breton originally. Nova Scotia is my home and the quality of life here is second to none.  I have worked in Toronto, Paris, New York and Los Angeles but I wouldn’t trade them for Halifax. At Northeast Films, we tell Nova Scotia stories, bringing them to life for audiences around the world. I find it personally gratifying to produce an export commodity that will not only travel the globe, but also employs young Nova Scotians, keeping their talent here in our province.

How can interested people learn more about the production?

Follow us on Twitter (@NortheastFilms) and like our page on Facebook (HalloweenPartyFilm) for updates and behind the scenes photos and videos.

And when and where can we see this production once complete?

You can watch HALLOWEEN PARTY in a theatre near you in Fall 2017.

HALLOWEEN PARTY is qualified to receive funding through the Nova Scotia Film & Television Production Incentive Fund. To learn more about filming in Nova Scotia, read the Nova Scotia Film & Television Production Incentive Fund 

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