Many good things start over a beer, but two guys from Kelowna are hoping to build an entire business off their hopsy brainwave.
Filmmakers Adam Lutz and Denny Lajeunesse have spent the last two months filming a commercial for Big Rock Beer—the sponsor behind the Eddie Awards—in hopes the spot will win them a $10,000 jackpot on which to build their production company.
“We’re looking at doing webinars, web docs, all of that kind of thing,” said Lutz, who has worked on local film projects with his own company, Inverted Sunset Productions, and holds a business degree to help him parlay those artistic talents into a larger bank account.
Lajeunesse also has a company, Purple Vision Productions, but said he’s really hoping the Eddies will give the pair the financial boost they need to start working together on more serious projects—and he put pen to paper to do it.
With only two months to write, film, edit and submit their work, Lajeunesse is the one who actually assembled the script which plays on the Scottish/Irish rivalry with a little French twist at the end.
The bar used for the set was kindly donated by Doc Willoughby’s Pub where general manager Corey Rerick said the opportunity was a win on the business side, no matter how the competition pans out for the filmmakers.
“The owners here have really been reinvesting in the businesses, particularly with the economy the way it is, and this was an opportunity to reinvest in our customers and reinvest in the public,” he said, noting it’s always good for the bar to connect with the community.
Doc Willoughby’s has had film students in from the Centre for Arts and Technology and has also hosted a media event for the RCMP to illustrate the new drinking driving legislation; so the staff are used to working with cameras around.
For Lajeunesse and Lutz, the space was simply a beautiful place to work and they’ve worked in some unique places. Last year, they put together a pilot sitcom in a Kelowna flooring store called Get Floored; the finished product was selected for competition in New York, though it ultimately did not get picked up.
Some of the people who worked on Get Floored returned to work with the pair for this project as well, which Lajeunesse described as a “no budget” affair.
Only 18 commercials will be selected to enter the competition with the winner being announced on-site at the awards in Alberta.
The Eddie Awards are Big Rock Beer’s parody of the Oscars. The company uses its customers to plug the product, throwing a huge red carpet-bash at the end in both Calgary and Edmonton.
Submissions had to be in by March 31, but Lutz and Lajeunesse will not find out how they fared until June.
Altogether the pair figure their entry cost between $500 and $1000 to make; everyone from the actors to those working on set donated their time.