Creative individuals from around the Okanagan are taking another leap towards creating their own video-series centred around a quirky, female lawyer.
Stephanie Townsend, from Lake Country, is the production designer. After spending two years at UBCO, the 22-year-old general arts student was inspired by her professor Myron Campbell to take her talents elsewhere.
Townsend, along with Kelowna-native Sinead Grewcock, created the web series idea Gotcha!, along with eight others, most of whom are from the Okanagan Valley.
The story follows young Gina Danino, a quirky klutz and outstanding lawyer, recognized by her vibrant suit.
The pitch video received $10,000 after votes were tallied on Storyhive’s website, which funds productions and supports filmmakers in B.C. and Alta.
— Gotcha! Series (@GotchaSeries) October 7, 2017
“There’s a lot of excitement because I’ve known Sinead for a couple years now and I know how hardworking she is and how passionate she is… it’s a really great opportunity for me as well to branch out and dive into something bigger,” said Townsend.
Gotcha! is now one of 30 projects competing for the top spot of $50,000. Upon winning, the team will create a full-length series. The $10,000 will be put into creating a pilot episode, which will be released in early February.
Anyone can vote on the episode once it’s released on www.storyhive.com.
Intensive planning is going into the process for the pilot, now that funding has been announced.
Grewcock, 21, is the mastermind behind it all. She keeps her phone on her, writing ideas for episodes as she juggles doing improvisation performances around Vancouver and working part-time at the Independent Theatre Company.
“For so long it’s been trying to get the project supported, trying to get funding, trying to get a team. Now it’s so wonderful because there’s so many people on board,” said the Mount Boucherie Secondary and Vancouver Academy of the Dramatic Arts graduate.
Grewcock’s interests with film started with acting in high school. She also enjoys a confident lead character. “I’ve always done lead roles with strong female characters, that’s really important to me,” she said.
With Gotcha!, Grewcock imagined character Gina like Austin Powers and Ron Burgundy as “just these really confident and competent characters who are completely oblivious to their surroundings but they’re really successful.”
The colourful suit is meant to radiate Gina’s confidence and charisma, with physical comedy, said Grewcock, who will be playing the character.
The casting is also big on gender and racial diversity, she said.
Townsend’s role in design will turn Grewcock’s vision into a reality with locations, props, costumes and more.
What’s important is to be open to collaboration, said Grewcock.
The pair met while working at the Lake Country Coffee House a few years ago, and shared an instant connection.
“We couldn’t help but not be friends,” said Grewcock, as they shared the same taste on a variety of topics.
Townsend got on board with the Gotcha! team a month ago, but the full script was already created. While attending Capilano University as a third-year student, she plans to make use of the university’s resources for the production.
“What I love about film is the endless opportunities I keep discovering,” she said, wanting to keep pushing herself with trying new things, but also enjoying quirky, funny things.
Now in the second phase, Townsend will work with the team more in person, having previously communicated through Skype, she said. Gina’s character suits Grewcock, she said.
“I know Sinead and I know her. It makes me super happy knowing she’s doing something that’s true to herself.”
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