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Spotlight on Haunted

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Haunted hosts Paul Kimball & Holly Stevens - photo credit: Haunted Productions Inc.

Haunted, a Nova Scotia television series will tell the story of two best friends who explore the darkest and scariest corners of Nova Scotia. We caught up with producer Ron Foley Macdonald to learn more about the production.

Tell us about this production

It’s a series of 13 half hours for Eastlink TV and it’s examinations of paranormal reports in mostly rural Nova Scotia. I think we’re going to concentrate on the South Shore – there’s been a cluster of reports around Shelburne and Liverpool in the last year or two. One of them is an absolutely dynamite case of a really old house where things start moving around on their own, and not through the weather or anything, but in much more strange and unexplained ways. We may also be doing Cumberland/Northern Nova Scotia, but it’ll be mostly outside of Halifax.

And have you identified all of your locations yet?

We have about six or seven of them, a little bit more than half. So we’re looking at a January to May production cycle. The host and film maker is Paul Kimball, who has done a lot of paranormal examinations. He has certainly made his reputation as a UFO researcher and is part of an international network of people.

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

Paul Kimball is the writer and director; he’ll also be involved in the editing. His brother James Kimball is the production accountant and manager, it’s nice, he arranges everything and then ends up having to pay all the bills (laughs). He’s worked with Paul on a lot of UFO productions, which has taken them all over the world – they’ve shot in Britain, Southwestern United States… So this production is right up in their area of expertise. We’re very lucky to have Dillon Garland [behind the camera], who’s a young, hot-shot. He’s just done his first feature, which is called Afraid To Speak and he’s got a raft of music video awards from East Coast Music Awards and Nova Scotia Music Week – he’s really something.  

About how many people are involved on the production aspect of this?

Throughout the entire series, there will be a total of 18 people employed.

Tell us about other productions you would have worked on in the past?

We just put our feature film Exit Thread through a long and slightly unorthodox festival run. We went into smaller festivals, some around 10 or 15 years old, and we were very successful – we got into 47! Just last week it played in Phnom Penh in Cambodia, it was in Sherman Oaks in Los Angeles, and it won best feature in the Detroit Trinity Festival and in several others. We’ve won three Best Picture awards, as well as two Best Actress awards for Hilary Connell.

So this is being produced for Eastlink, are you going to be showing this outside of the province?

My understanding of Eastlink is that they have substantial territories in Ontario, Alberta, British Colombia and PEI. It will also be available through its on-demand network.

On a personal note, what’s your favourite thing about this production?

Well it’s going to be more interesting for me, because we previously did a feature film, which is six weeks of craziness. This is going to be more gentle and spread out – you can’t script it beforehand to a certain degree. It’s an intense combination of landscape and architecture, because you’re seeking out these disturbances, and you really need to know the lay of the land to see how it’s going to come out. There’s an element for me of discovery, which I think is really exciting.

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

Nova Scotia punches above its weight when it comes to film. One of my fields is the history of film making in Nova Scotia, and this is where the first feature film was made in 1913: Evangeline. This is also where the most expensive film of all time was shot: The Titanic. There’s a long tradition here, and there’s also the fact there’s incredible people working here.

Haunted 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.