Inside The Book Shop on Main Street, where local poet Shane Koyczan will be filming a short film series in May. The filming will be happening at night to keep the store open for business.                                Dustin Godfrey/Western News

Inside The Book Shop on Main Street, where local poet Shane Koyczan will be filming a short film series in May. The filming will be happening at night to keep the store open for business. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

Shane Koyczan filming short series in Penticton

The series will break from the ‘intensely personal’ spoken word art he is known around the world for

A Penticton poet, that is world renowned, is filming a different kind of project in town starting next month.

Shane Koyczan, who has delivered his spoken word around the world and is the subject of the documentary Shut Up and Say Something, is working on a short film series titled Literally. The project will be filmed in The Book Shop on Main Street, and will star Koyczan, but the crew is releasing few details at this time.

Related: B.C. poet pens tribute to Humboldt

Koyczan said the new project, set to start filming on May 13, is a break from his “intensely personal” spoken word performances.

“It takes a toll. I’d say there’s a weight that comes with it. You get a lot of letters from people who reached out about their own personal stuff,” he said.

“(I needed) to have some breathing room in terms of my own sanity, and I wanted to try something a little different and exercise some different creative muscles.”

Koyczan wrote the screenplay and is taking a major role in the visual aspects of the project, which will include eight parts of about 15 minutes and an epilogue. He said he hopes to provide a little vacation from a world that seems to be spiralling out of control.

Related: Koyczan eager to be in front of hometown crowd

“I wanted to sort of make a story that’s lovely, a story about gravity, a story about small towns and book stores and all those things. It’s about a lot of things,” he said. “I’m happy to be doing it in Penticton. I have a great fondness for this place.”

Shooting in The Book Shop, which will be done at night to not disrupt business, was something he wanted to do, but wasn’t initially sure he would be able to achieve.

“It’s the first place that I recognize when I landed here that’s still here. A lot of Penticton’s changed,” he said.

“I definitely wanted to do it there, and so I was very lucky that the Stevenson family (which owns the store), they’re so receptive and open to these kind of things, and they were like ‘of course, yes, come in.’”

The project will be his first full screenplay of his own initiative, and he said working on a larger project, which involves numerous moving parts with their own niche experts, has been a learning experience.

“It’s a question of being able to bring all those people together and create something that still works in the same language.”

Koyczan has collaborated on projects, and while he did note herding artists can be a challenge, there are also some benefits beyond that niche expertise.

“(It’s) also very exciting, too, because it’s kind of infectious when you work with those other people who then become excited about the thing that you’re doing,” he said.

While the film won’t have any sort of mention of poetry or spoken word art, editor Jean-Denis Rouette, who also edited Shut Up and Say Something, said the film still has its “Shane-isms.”

“It has a lot of his humour, which is sort of undeniable. He’s always had that. It’s always been a big part of him: his humour, and a lot of his compassion and his world view,” Rouette said.

Though he performs regularly on stage — and even then, he said performances come with a lot of anxiety — Koyczan said this is “a whole different beast.” But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any experience.

After enrolling in a drafting class, Koyczan was bumped due to overflow into the next class down in the alphabet: drama.

“I was very socially awkward and didn’t know how to talk to people, and it turned out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise, because it gave me a bit of that education, that sort of social education that’s needed,” he said.

The project will be holding a local audition in the next week, with information to be released, soon.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Oliver Municipal Aiport runway will be extended in spring 2021. (Oliver Municipal Airport / Facebook)
Oliver airport runway to be extended

The extension will be funded through a provincial grant

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

BC Housing has proposed that the emergency winter shelter at Victory Church at 352 Winnipeg Street be extended as a shelter until March 31, 2022. It was originally intended to be open until April 1, 2021. (Jesse Day - Western News)
One more year of ‘temporary’ homeless shelter in Penticton?

BC Housing has applied to extend Victory Church as a shelter for those experiencing homelessness

The Wrong Turn Tavern in Keremeos is for sale. (Facebook)
Popular Keremeos tavern up for sale

Owner Liza Sanders is selling The Wrong Turn Tavern for $800,000

Walter Makepeace was shocked to find two of his beehives were missing from his Keremeos acreage Feb. 20, 2020. (Contributed)
Allegedly stolen beehives create buzz in Keremeos

Walter Makepeace was shocked to see two beehives had gone missing from his property

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here are the stories that made waves in the Okanagan-Shuswap

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Arrow Lakes Caribou Society said the new caribou pen near the Nakusp Hotsprings is close to completion. (Submitted)
Maternity caribou pen near Nakusp inches closer to fruition

While Nakusp recently approved the project’s lease, caribou captures are delayed due to COVID-19

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021
Kamloops-Thompson school district drafts new dress code policy after students sent home

The new policy is being created after a NorKam secondary student was sent home because of what she was wearing

Most Read