Barker Street Cinema is at it again.
After shooting a full-length Christmas movie in Prince George a few weeks ago, the team has steamrolled through a prequel to a new film.
During a recent two-night shoot, the video for a song called The Train was completed at the Central Interior Railway & Forestry Museum.
Local musician and actor William Kuklis wrote the song and James Douglas of Barker Street Cinema asked if he could use it for a futuristic film.
The project was developed into a proposal for a Creative BC grant. Kuklis received $9,500, which is 75 per cent of the total cost of the project.
"So what I did was do a recording of the song and made a more cinematic version with the help of my band The Ebbs (Joseph Shea and Finn Scott-Neff) as well as another great artist Ellen Braun," Kuklis said.
On the set from dusk and chugging along through the night, Kuklis called upon talented friends to help make this four-minute movie.
"This was a really cool project because it's not generally my style to write cinematic pieces of music," Kuklis laughed.
He railroaded his bandmates Shea and Scott-Neff into being actors for the video shoot along with Braun and another talented friend Ferris Vasko.
"I needed Farris to play the banjo because I can't play two instruments at once," Kuklis said. "So I roped her into being a musician and part of the story line so Joe and Finn are actors and Ferris is a banjo player. It was cool the way everyone just jumped in and got out of their comfort zone a bit."
The Railway & Forestry Museum is such a great place, especially at night, he added.
"We were really grateful to be able to film there," Kuklis said. "And of course James and all his talented folks from Barker Street Cinema - it's pretty exciting. I saw some of the footage and it's going to look really cool and it's so amazing that we used all local talent."
The Train is the prequel to a futuristic dystopian short film called Ariel Alpha, written by Chris Dias, another local resident.
Douglas said in 2019 Dias approached him and asked if there was any opportunity to get a short film done and Douglas said he was all aboard. Douglas was looking for an artificial intelligence love story that would feature cosplayer Becca Scott from the United States, who he had previously met at Northern FanCon. A few short weeks later, Douglas had the script in hand and it was full steam ahead for Ariel Alpha until COVID-19 stopped the process in its tracks.
Douglas knew he wanted the film to be filled with local music and had approached Kuklis to write songs for the anticipated film.
"So I had been thinking about it all year and then the opportunity came up with Creative BC so I thought we could make a video as a sort of precursor for Ariel Alpha because we still want to make the film," Douglas said. The music video would hint at what's to come in the futuristic film.
"When we realized we could probably make a music video of The Train while waiting to make the film I immediately thought of the Railway & Forestry Museum, obviously because of trains but also it's just such a cool place," Douglas said. "We really had a blast for those couple of nights and I think it's going to look really, really good."
Tentative release date for The Train is April 29.
To stay tuned for news visit https://barkerstreetcinema.ca/.