Regina’s HalterMedia is the definition of a homegrown video production company. Since graduating from the University of Regina’s film department in 2010, owner Adrian Halter has been busy crafting local stories with big results. Since starting his production house in 2011, Halter and his team have worked on projects ranging from Accessible Media Inc. documentaries to promotional videos for the likes of the City of Regina and the Queen City’s Italian Star Deli. Now, with support from our Feature Film & TV Production Grant, the company has turned their attention to a Saskatchewan-food based docuseries called Flat Out Food. The project, released by Citytv, is now gearing up for its third season.
In their words, the docuseries “explores unique SK ingredients on their journey from the field, forest or pasture to the plate.” That process has meant looking at old prairie standbys like beef and wheat, but it has also meant documenting walleye fishing and foraging for chanterelles. According to Halter, the wide scope of the series has allowed for not just Saskatchewan stories to be told, but for Saskatchewan film’s economic and social impact to be felt.
“Season 1 of this series was selected by the Government of Saskatchewan to represent Saskatchewan at the Frankfurt Book Fair which was a great honour. There is also a lot of anecdotal evidence that our show is impacting tourism in the province as many of our participants say they have patrons who heard about their business through our show. We have received high praise from Tourism Saskatchewan and Tourism Saskatoon about what our show represents to the province. In addition to economic opportunities, we have also hired dailies from local communities to help with production including Regina, Saskatoon, and Ile-a-la-Crosse. Not only does this provide income to people but it also helps expand awareness about the TV/Film industry in our province.”
On the business side, HalterMedia inked deals for seasons one and two with Toronto-based broadcaster Blue Ant Media. They’ve also drawn interest from French distributor Only Distrib. Closer to home, the series has been featured by the Globe and Mail, the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, in the pages of Alberta-based digital magazine Eat North, and in Air Canada’s in-flight magazine. Halter works closely with co-producer and show host Jenn Sharp to highlight stories across the province, with the show being inspired by the stories in Sharp’s book, Flat Out Delicious. In line with those prairie roots, Halter shared just how vital it is to draw both the content and the crew from our province when he spoke to the Star Phoenix’s Jocelyn Bennett.
“It was really important to Jenn and I that if we’re making a show that focuses on Saskatchewan ingredients and Saskatchewan producers, the crew and the people making the show are also from Saskatchewan. The series is a true Saskatchewan documentary series in the sense that it’s entirely shot here by people that live here. It’s entirely edited here. And the score for the series is 100 per cent original music composed in Saskatchewan.”
Now with their eyes firmly set on season three, which was also partially funded by Creative Saskatchewan, HalterMedia is preparing to release episodes that tell the stories of producers and restaurants in places like Yorkton, Beauval, Manitou Beach, and Nokomis. Those episodes will hit your small screen sometime in 2023. While you wait, you can catch up on seasons one and two via Citytv’s website.
Did you read this profile and think either: “I’m hungry” or “I could make a TV series about things I love”? We can’t help you with the first one, but we can point you towards the grant that helped bring Flat Out Foot to fruition. Recently, we’ve combined our television and feature film production grants. Whether as part of our Saskatchewan stream or our service production stream, grant applicants are eligible for bonuses if they film in the province frequently, shoot the show rurally, and/or keep the post production work within our borders. For more information on how you can receive up to 30% of your eligible expenses towards your project (up to five million dollars) check out our program guidelines.
Written by John Loeppky.