© Southwest Booster file photo
Dead Prairies Productions has begun working on a script for Redneck Betties: The Movie to bring the local roller derby stars to the big screen in a mocumentary.
Just as the Redneck Betties are preparing to begin a new roller derby season, work is being done behind the scenes to help the Betties star on the silver screen.
Dead Prairies Productions has begun working on a script to make this movie project a reality, with Redneck Betties: The Movie now on the drawing board as a mockumentary featuring the popular local derby dames.
Following the movie making successes of the low budget Zombageddon in 2012 and last year's project Swift Nightmares, this latest movie is being driven by a number of creative minds including Devon Oman. After working as a producer on the previous two productions, he is excited to move from zombies, ghosts, clowns and vampires into a mockumentary style movie.
"There's so much you can do with it. There's so many ideas out there," Oman said of the pieces of the project which are just beginning to fall into place. "I like just creating new ideas all the time."
The Redneck Betties are no strangers to the big screen, as they assisted with the production of a fake trailer for Zombageddon.
"That was hilarious, and I loved working with them. I can't wait to do that again because they're really supportive and they're willing to help out as much as possible."
Oman is passionate about the film process and the artistic outlet it is giving people in the areas of video production, cinematography, acting, directing, and make-up.
"I love film making to be honest. I just love the whole concept of filming a low-budget in Swift Current."
In fact, over the winter months Dead Prairies Productions wrote and filmed a trio of short films (Were-Goat, The Lyrics, and Land of Terror) along with teaser trailers which will soon be released on DVD.
Oman conceded that they are carefully moving this project forward, instead of rushing to simply get another full length movie completed. Plus with a growing face base for the sport of Roller Derby, he wants to ensure the movie accurately reflects the culture around the sport.
"We have to take a long process with the Redneck Betties because they're well known, and we want to take our time making this movie awesome."
"We're trying to improve on each film," Oman added. "We're still amateurs, we're not going to be professionals anytime soon. We're still learning."
As the project moves forward, they will not be issuing a release date early in the movie, as he does not want deadline pressures impacting the project.
"It's a big process. There's filming, editing, pre-production, post production, advertising, marketing, just a whole big process," he said. "We're going to wait until we watch the footage and we're satisfied with the film. That way it places less stress on everybody."
Dead Prairies Productions found themselves with a regional cult classic on their hands with their debut movie Zombageddon. Originally the creative endeavour of Bob Taylor, Devon Oman and Logan Demorest, the production snowballed in scope after an unexpected amount of people jumped on their movie making bandwagon.
They then jumped into Swift Nightmares, written by Oman, Wendy Lockman, and Reuben Parker. The movie was produced by Oman, Reuben Parker and Vicky Parker, with directing credits to Lockman, Brian Dueck, Iain Workman, and Vicky Parker.
"Swift Nightmares was basically three stories, Tales from the Crypt style," Oman said. "One was with a clown, one with a vampire, and one with a ghost, and they all connect together with a bridge story in between."
"I think it was better on paper than on film," he admitted. "But it was a nice little thing I thought. It's hard connecting those type of genres together… it was kind of hard to mix all three together, but we tried."
He was also excited by the fact they became better in their movie making talents.
"We had more experience this time around and you can definitely tell we improved on some parts. The cinematography work, I think we improved on a lot. And just the group worked together pretty well too. We still had audio issues, but we're trying to improve that for the next film. It's really hard to find the right equipment for the films, especially with a $700 budget," he laughed.
More importantly, the movies have featured a fundraising component, as DVD and merchandise sales have assisted in raising over $1,300 for the Swift Current SPCA.
Oman is hoping Dead Prairies Productions can also benefit from some fundraising efforts, helping them avoid the problem of starting every new project with no funds.
"It's really hard staring off with zero dollars every film. It's a pain in the butt trying to get that budget going before we start filming and we run into problems with this or that without a budget."