Creative Saskatchewan is pleased to see the hard work of Saskatoon production company, KarmaFilm, and Métis director, Trevor Cameron, come to fruition in their documentary series Shadow Of…
The series dives into the history of some important, but not well known, local Indigenous heroes. The project received the following support from Creative Saskatchewan:
Creative Saskatchewan’s Film & Television Development program
SaskTel Max Equity Fund – administered by Creative Saskatchewan
Television Production Program (now a combined Feature Film & Television Production Program)
Shadow of… was released recently as part of recognizing and celebrating Indigenous peoples in Canada and their stories for National Indigenous History Month. When asked about the ‘why’ behind this project, Cameron has this to say:
“I found in my research while doing Shadow of Dumont, my last documentary about the life and legacy of Gabriel Dumont, there was a lot of interesting people hiding in Saskatchewan’s history. I wanted to throw some light on them and cast a shadow!
The other why behind ‘Shadow of’ was to battle against those who ‘gate-keep’ history or believe the past should be only read about. Lots of interesting insight is waiting to be chatted about.”
Often projects result in special learning moments for the producers. Cameron comments on a few of his ‘ah ha’ moments, including the fact that researching historic Indigenous women proved more than a little challenging, “I thought the research would be the easy part. Nope. Many barriers, both systemic and overt, were waiting to slow the process down,” Cameron explains, “it was a constant battle to bring their stories out and celebrate their achievements.”
Additionally, COVID-19 slowed the production process down in a big way – multitasking and patience were key – but the wait was well worth it by the end. Reflecting on the high points of the production, for Cameron it all comes to back his experience as the interviewer. "My role is to be just smart enough to get into trouble in this series. So I temper the pursuit of hard history, with my subjects legacies, and seeing if I can relate to their lives by today’s standards. That means looking at every interview as a conversation with a cousin or close friend. Light teasing, honest observations, defusing tense moments.
I also keep myself open to ‘side quests’. Those are bits of story that lead you potentially away from the safety of known history. Finding a less travelled bit of story, leads to interesting experiences, other times it’s a dead end. Those moments are great highs, because I don’t know the ending until I’m there."
We asked Cameron, why Saskatchewan? Of all the places to choose to film, Cameron had a personal connection to the prairie province.
“My family’s Metis roots have grown out of Saskatchewan and I’ve always considered it one of my homes, even though the farm was sold well before I was born,” Cameron says, “I also came to love the province when I lived there during filming of Wapos Bay, and Rabbit Fall.”
Creative Saskatchewan is pleased to support the efforts of creative entrepreneurs like Cameron and his team and look forward to their future success.
“Without Creative Saskatchewan, making a Saskatchewan specific production would be underfunded to the point where I’d be having to bring in out of province empties at Sarcan, and shoot on flip phones, both of which could be seen as a crime!”
All photos courtesy of the production, Shadow Of…
Tune in to CityTV to watch Shadow Of…and watch this space for its appearance at film festival screenings.
View the media release here.