Six Vancouver Island musicians converge in Parksville to write the theme song for "lifer" musicians. Will the plan work?
This observational documentary captures 6 "lifer" musicians who gather at the highly-regarded Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge in Parksville, Vancouver Island. The task? Write and record the theme song for fellow Island musicians, artists and creative entrepreneurs. Viewers will get "fly on the wall" exclusive access to these unique writing sessions. Making the task more intriguing are the artists' eclectic talents, personalities and backgrounds which offer colossal potential to deliver a timeless song and compelling stories and interactions. One part "It Might Get Loud," one part "Some Kind of Monster," and 100% Vancouver Island, this documentary will groove you, move you, and prove to you that you can make a living doing work you love, even if you live in isolated Small Town, BC.
Our Vancouver Island-based team includes 4 Telus STORYHIVE alumni who literally bring polished and professional lenses to our production. Our crew members' passion for music and their creative interests round out this project's certain success.
Dinah D began to produce, manage and book her own bands over 20 yrs ago. Between “Dinah D & The Contraband Swingclub”, “The Kerplunks” and freelance work for other artists, she stays busy both on and off stage. Dinah lives on Gabriola Island and has a small farm and loves her chickens and bees. As an artist, Dinah enjoys sharing her self-taught skills with others and has a keen understanding of the complex behind-the-scenes skills a self-managed artist needs to stay working. Dinah has also played the role in arts and culture projects and events, including being a Juno Awards judge!
Many people discover Ray during ferry trips to Vancouver when they catch Vivaldi’s Four Seasons emanating from the outside deck. Ray uses every space possible to practice and perform, much to the appreciation of his accidental audiences. Originally hailing from South Korea, Ray is a teacher and violinist. He currently attends Vancouver Island University and is pursuing his Bachelor of Education. He loves all classical performances, and also incorporates his rock and roll and heavy metal influences into his own pieces. He’s going to add a unique influence to this project’s sound.
Jona has been playing music professionally for over 30 years since her start in Iceland. She has travelled to a significant number of locations around the world to perform. A master vocalist and performance coach, drummer and lead singer in The Femme Fatales and Moonshine Mollys, she also sings in the popular Wunderbread. Jona owns and operates Indie Entertainment and West Coast Vocal academy. She has also worked with at risk youth in the community through music for over 10 years.
Vancouver Island born-Ryan McMahon has been creating and releasing music for twenty years, both as a solo artist and as a member of harmony-darlings Lion Bear Fox. He has played shows world-wide, is mentored by Junkhouse legend Tom Wilson, licensed music to major network television programs, and shared the stage with everyone from the Guess Who’s Burton Cummings to Buffy Sainte Marie. His most recent work, “In Line For a Smile,” has been hailed as his best, most poetic work to date. A multi-award winner and a music festival mainstay, Ryan is finding that a life in music truly begins at 40.
The idea of Sweet SantaFe was conceived by Christine and Michel in the fishing district, Santa Fe, on the outskirts of Havana. Immersed in Cuban culture, Sweet SantaFe evolved as the two seasoned songwriters learned to speak each others language through the gift of song. The infectious Cuban Trova-style rhythms inspire the audience to dance and the lyrically-painted scenes enchant the listener. Sweet SantaFe’s distinct style has been influenced by the likes of North America’s Alison Krauss and Sarah McLachlan, Cuba’s Pablo Milanes, and Brazil’s Tom Jobim.
Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge is quickly becoming THE place for Parksville and Qualicum Beach artists and community members to converge. Doug Pickard, Meg Keene and their crew of volunteers ensure that this space is safe and welcoming for all, while attracting musicians from across Canada such as legendary Barney Bentall, Jane Siberry, and Alfie Zappacosta, as well as legends-in-waiting Ryan McMahon, Sweet SantaFe, Towers and Trees, and countless others.
Tourists flock to Vancouver Island for its countless artists' festivals, hidden crafters, and artisanal food and beverage attractions. "Lifers" recognizes the eclectic, funky and fearless attributes of this artistic community in Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo and beyond and will serve to highlight the area as a beacon for artists and aficionados.
Central Vancouver Island has seen a surge in homelessness, drug use and mental illness struggles. Several of our artists put a deep focus on mental health matters through their initiatives. As our artists co-write and discuss what it means to be a successful musician, it's highly likely that conversations around the current mental health matters in the area arise in the film.
Central Vancouver Island is seeing a healthy growth in diversity, especially noticeable on central Vancouver Island where urban areas have historically been visibly white. This project is proud to feature an artist of Indigenous heritage, as well as artists who have immigrated to Canada and offer alternative perspectives on music, careers, and ways of living.
Canadian artists constantly refer to Parksville's Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge as the best venue they've played at. The location offers a natural and nurturing backdrop for the songwriting and storytelling process. The film's producer is also scouting the right recording studio that will provide an extension to the nurturing esthetic the artists require in order to create their best work.
The film's sequences will weave the beauty and grit of its artists' music with their stories of being "lifer" musicians who are making it in spite of - and BECAUSE OF - their lives as Vancouver Islanders.
"Lifers" is observational, in the style of the blockbuster music documentaries "It Might Get Loud" and "Some Kind of Monster." Our artists tell the story without nudging or prompting from the director or crew. The excitement about this project comes from not knowing the exact trajectory of the film.
Our director has recruited a stellar crew consisting of 5 cinematographers and a professional sound person, allowing us to capture high quality, expressive footage. Several of our filmmakers, as well as the producer and director, are musicians, which will allow us to connect with the musicians and foster the creative space they require to successfully write and record their "Lifers" theme song.
Have passport, will travel. The "Lifers" producer and director have created a strategic list of music festivals to which they will submit this documentary. They are prepared to travel in order to promote this film, its artists and Vancouver Island.
Press releases and pitches to key publications and outlets will shine a light on this project. These will commence at the outset of the project in order to get a step ahead for promotion.
We'll arrange screenings with key people who represent our target audience to ensure that the film is resonating AND to create a buzz around the project. After the film's release, the producer will be arranging and attending screenings on Vancouver Island and beyond.
We're creating a song, and we'll be sharing it with the masses! We are poised to promote the "Lifers" song on various music platforms.