Numera Films has wrapped shooting on the second season of the critically-acclaimed Abracadavers, with parts of the first season having been filmed in the Stettler area a few years back.
This time around, production began this past July and continued until late August with shooting locations being around Calgary and Longview.
But those who were smitten with season one won’t want to miss how the compelling story continues to unfold.
For season two, producers Griffin Cork, Morgan Ermter and Gianna Isabella have joined forces with Canadian Screen Award nominated producer Jesse Lipscombe.
Meanwhile, the first season landed much in the way of critical praise, garnering more than 35 award wins and nominations at over 20 international festivals including ‘Best Web Series’ at the Los Angeles Film Awards, the AMPIA Rosie Awards, the New Vision International Film Festival, the Global Film Festival Awards and CSIF’s first inaugural Stinger Awards.
“It’s left me kind of speechless in the sense that it started off as a project by a group of friends who got together with a message that we all kind of identified with – finding an identity,” explained Cork.
“We felt pretty passionate about it and someone gave us some money to make it, and so we did,” he added with a laugh. “There was no way we could know how well it would be received.”
Part of the success flows from the fact that the project was a labour of love amongst friends, he added.
“Everyone wanted to be there, and we were loving the work that we were doing,” he said. “It’s the way to ensure a good product.”
Abracadavers follows the story of Chris (played by Cork), who’s mom died in a freak hair salon chair accident. Ever since then, he’s been attached to the chair responsible for her death.
After a road trip with his friends Gabriel (Jordan Wright), Maria (Courtney Tromburg), Allie (Emma Houghton) and Paul (Franco Correa), it’s revealed that the chair gives those near it supernatural abilities.
“I think it will always remain relevant because even though the first season was focused on young adults coming out of high school – the very basic messages are finding your place in the world, who you are in your group of close friends, and also the ways that people deal with grief,” explained Cork.
“Those are pretty universal topics that you can relate to at any stage of your life,” he added.
As the second season begins, the group finds themselves at a camp for super-powered youth.
According to a synopsis, after one of them disappears following an unexplained explosion, the friends are left in a lurch.
“Between learning how to control their powers and investigating the counsellors, the group struggles to keep their relationships intact while adapting to a strange unfamiliar environment.”
As to the roots of the original story’s concept, Cork has explained that about four years prior to crafting the scripts, Ermter and Wright had been walking down an alley one day near Ermter’s old house, and they came upon an intact hair salon chair.
“They just took it and thought, well, we have to work this in somehow,” he added with a laugh.
The foundation of the story continued to take shape.
Ultimately a teams of writers, including Ermter, Alanna Schwartz, Ethan Harder, Danae Pritchard, Aaron Belot and art director Rachael Haugan began fleshing out the thoroughly engaging stories.
When season two is released, fans will also recognize that unique ‘look’ to the project that was so firmly established during the first series from a production point of view as well. Colours were even carefully chosen to reflect any number of thematic elements and emotions, as were filming angles and specific elements of the cinematography.
A relatively seamless process of pulling it all together again comes largely from teaming up with a group of trusted friends who have been collaborating for years.
“That synergy is so important,” observed Cork. “Something we also believe in is to give everyone time. We are very conscience of not doing a two-week shoot of 16-hour days. That’s not how we want to operate as a company. So we do a longer shoot period than we think we may even need, and we always keep it t0 eight to 10-hour days,” he said. “We believe that it’s a very people-focused industry.
Season two will be out in early 2022.
“Sometimes we will still just get together, with a camera, no money and shoot little, five-minute films,” he said with a laugh.
Check out www.abracadavers.tv or find the series on Facebook and Instagram.