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Spotlight on Peep Media

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A shot from Edge of East, one of Peep Media’s previous productions that explores subcultures from the east coast of Canada

Peep Media Inc.’s newest documentary will examine and celebrate the stories of two east coasters anchored to their daily commitments, while driven to chase their extraordinary dreams. We caught up with the producer, Jessica Brown, to learn more about the production:

 Without giving too much away, what can you share with us about this production?

This is Peep Media Inc.’s third documentary with CBC and documentary Channel. Peep Media Inc., co-owned by Jackie Torrens and myself, although still a young company, focuses on unique stories told through a unique lens. This next dreamer documentary continues that focus, and brings to light how dreams and fantasies are an integral part of defining who we are, even as we hit our middle ages.

 Where will this new documentary be airing?

This documentary will be airing on two channels: documentary Channel will have the premier national broadcast, followed by CBC’s Absolutely Maritimes strand for regional broadcast. Following suit with Peep’s other films, we will also be submitting the completed film in the festival circuit.

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

In following Peep Media’s focus of telling unique stories through a unique lens, what attracts our team to these stories is the contradiction of what is expected versus what is the reality. In our past projects we have taken on stereotypes about certain groups of people and flipped them on their heads. Edge of East focused on three groups- the UFO’ers of Shag Harbour, the Steampunks of Halifax, and the Yodelers of Kings County. My Week on Welfare, a documentary we produced in 2015, focuses on two individuals struggling to survive on the welfare system in Nova Scotia. Both of these stories introduce societal stereotypes, and then pull back the stereotypical curtain to reveal the reality.

What goes into filming a production like this?

Research and development is a huge part of the process. Jackie has an incredible way of seeing the magic in stories that many might overlook. We make it a priority at Peep Media to meet with our characters in advance of even pitching the project ideas. We believe very strongly in creating a trusting relationship with our characters in order to tell their stories through our own voices. Once production is under way, we tend to work with crew members who not only bring immense talent to the projects, but also have the right temperament for what can often be an emotional and self-reflecting journey. We do the same with post production. Working with the right crew for both production and post production is of the greatest importance to us.

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

My favorite thing about this project is the characters. I don’t think there is a person among us who has never had a dream of what they would be when they grew up, however, we are told eventually that we have to grow up and give up. Our two characters in this documentary are inspiring individuals. Both have endured the hard knocks of life, but both have a sparkle that comes out when they follow their dreams.  As adults, I think this sparkle is often thought of as juvenile…I don’t agree with that. What makes our hearts beat is what gives us joy and allows us to deal with the hard times. Without it, where would we be?

Jackie Torrens and Jessica Brown of Peep Media

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

For me, my production partnership with Jackie is the best thing about doing what we do. As mentioned, Jackie is an incredible story teller. Her excitement and curiosity about people is contagious, and we have the same sensibilities when it comes to finding the humanity. I also love working with the crew. We have a huge roster of extremely talented people in this province, and there is nothing like seeing everyone working together for the same goal – to tell a good story.

What does Nova Scotia offer your industry?

Nova Scotia is known for having hard working, talented people in the arts. In fact, we are known for this across the country. We are also a province of story tellers. There is a wealth of interesting stories out here, and we are lucky to be able to explore them. Recognition and support is also a huge element to the industry here. Our past projects have both been nominated for Best Documentary at the Screen Nova Scotia Awards, and My Week on Welfare also got an official shout out in the NS Legislature. The film community in this province is a family, and we are happy to be the quirky cousins in the documentary world.

For more information on Peep Media Inc., follow us on Twitter (@peep_media) or check out our website.

East Coast Fame Game is qualified to receive funding through the Nova Scotia Film & Television Production Incentive Fund. East Coast Fame Game is a working title only for the production, the official release title will be announced at a later date once the documentary is complete. 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.