Our Project and Our Story
Sea Wolf Summer Camp: a busy little Manitoba filmmaking colony where the campers pass the time making props, dressing sets, loading movie cameras and, in the evenings, shooting a WWI submarine movie starring themselves before the wienie roast and late-night skinny dipping.
Sounds like a summer daydream? It is, but it's also really happening. For ten days in late June, some of the most talented and film-obsessed people in very talented and film-obsessed Winnipeg will converge on nearby Falcon Lake (less than two hours from the city) to make, from scratch, a movie about a wayward German submarine fetching up on the coast of Newfoundland during WWI.
And who is behind this summer-holiday movie fantasy? That's me, Andy Smetanka, animator and camp director. If you've seen the Guy Maddin documentary My Winnipeg, you might remember the animation. I did that. Do you like Guy Maddin movies? Many of the people who will be helping me make my movie have helped Guy make his.
And there's your answer to something you might have been wondering: why Winnipeg? The answer is: because it's Winnipeg. As a filmmaker and rabid movie fan, for years now I've felt an intense affinity with the city, its strange movies and friendly inhabitants so when it came time to plan my debut feature, there was no question about where to make it or with whom. Sometimes I think maybe I'm a one-man lost tribe of the place who somehow wandered west to Montana before birth. I don't mean to get all melodramatic on you, but really: it feels like kind of a homecoming.
Sea Wolf Summer Camp is going to run mostly on good vibes and volunteer spirit, but we do need some money for certain things. We're going to be shooting on film (color and black and white) at a cost of some $5,000 in stock, processing and transfer. The goal is to use as much salvaged material and re-purposed recycling to build our sets, but we'll need some lumber and set/prop materials, not to mention renting the location, to the tune of about $2000. Then of course we need to keep our campers happy with good food and lots of it, so another $2000 or so to hire a cook and buy groceries. When all is said and done, and with a little luck and a lot of hard work, we'll just about break even making the movie and, in the process, offering a crash-course in soup-to-nuts filmmaking to 25 participants. Everybody will get to try everything: building sets, making props, shooting film and, of course, roasting wienies. We'll have an amazing, one-of-a-kind movie to show for our efforts, and we'll have had the best summer camp experience ever. Please help!
director, animator, camp director