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Arts

Universal Pictures to release #Yeg produced Doc, Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo

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Adam Scorgie (39), is a self-described, “producer, creative hustler, indie filmmaker”. In his movie and TV career that has spanned almost two decades now, he has also been, a voice, dancer, movie and soap opera actor, line-writer, fundraiser, production manager, co-producer, producer, executive producer, equipment sherpa, camera operator, husband, father and more.

While having a tireless, relentless work ethic, believing in himself, his team and taking big chances, is nothing new for Scorgie, the owner multi-award-winning, Edmonton based Score G Productions. He is not one to get too far ahead of what might be in his next professional script.

Adam Scorgie and Danny Trejo

Will Universal Pictures’ world-wide release of Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo, be the Alberta film producer’s big break-out film?

Scorgie, sported a big smile while contemplating his response to being asked if the deal with one of the “big six” Hollywood studios will make him an overnight success? The already, highly acclaimed documentary film maker, energetically deflected, “I am just honoured to have contributed to and be part of a great team.” One of those team members being his long-time collaborators, Vancouver based director, Brett Harvey.

While Scorgie has a two-decade long list of supporters and backers that he does like to thank. Explaining that ‘any success in this business’ is great, he got more serious, “It isn’t about any one production, over another, my proudest accomplishment is my family.” Lead by his wife and mother of three children, Lauren Scorgie.

“What are you doing in Edmonton?” That is something Scorgie hears ‘a lot’ of when travelling to different parts of the world while either working on, fundraising, planning or promoting whatever projects he has in the soup.

Mentor Don Metz gives Adam Scorgie a hug

The B.C., born and raised Scorgie use to answer, “Because I had a chance to come to Alberta to work with Aquila Productions, the job that really changed my life and career.” Expanding, “Working and learning with owner, Don Metz along with Michael Bobroff and Gord Redel was essential for me and my team to get stability and to take that next step.” Adding, “Now I just answer, women’s hockey. There is no better city with the supports, teams, coaches, the U of A Pandas’ programs.”

Turns out, Adam is not only headline grabber in the Scorgie family. His now, 13-year-old daughter Riley, scored 50 goals in 19 games when she was just 11. Garnering the young girl local and international coverage of her own. Including, ESPN’s Best Player in the World of the Week award.

It was not the Wayne Gretzky type numbers she posted that got her international media coverage. It was the fact that she so beat the odds by quickly overcoming a rare and debilitating medical emergency. The family was blind-sided when the youngster struck down by Guillain-Barre syndrome. Leaving her unable to walk or stand-up without supports.

The syndrome uses a person’s immune system to attack the nerves. It starts with weakness and tingling in the extremities, that can quickly spread, paralyzing the bodies proper functions.

Riley Scorgie

While Riley continued to go through a battery of tests, the doctors explained to the stunned and distraught parents that all was not lost. They were told she could recover, “It would take time, a lot of care and physiotherapy.” Adding, “She would not be able to play hockey for at least a year.” The pre-teen flat-out rejected that idea.

Showing the Scorgie family fighting spirit. She quickly became like one of her dad’s featured documentary subjects. Working through treatments as hard as she could to get back. Her dad explained it didn’t stop there, “Holding the rail, she started slowly taking stairs one at a time. Soon, she would then go up and down the stairs without using the railing to try to get her legs working, her balance and back.”

To everyone’s surprise, even while still experiencing weakness and balance issues, she was back on her skates within weeks. The budding star made a team on the last day of try-out and the rest of her scoring feat is history.

Proud papa explains, “We were just glad to see her walk again, in a way this has been a blessing for her. She learned at a young age that nothing you want in life is achieved easily. You hit roadblocks and you have to work through them.” Continuing, “When I talk at panels, I always say that there are no over-night successes. It is a long road, it is a lot of hard work, with roadblocks, disappointments and that you have to take a lot of chances.”

Rejections is another tip Scorgie shares during industry Q&A’s, “Our movies have been commercially successful, but I’ve lost count of how many Film Festivals we have been turned down by every year. I tell everyone to never give up.”

His team’s long list of rejections to be shown at international film festivals include, Inmate #1; The Rise of Danny Trejo.

One of Danny Trejo’s most memorable characters, Isador Cortez, better known as Machete

Scorgie explains why this release announcement is such a big deal for any full-length documentary maker, “In its 108-year history, Universal Pictures has only released 70 documentaries like this (world-wide).” Happily adding, “The official Universal Pictures trailer, has already had over a million views.”

For those movie fans that like to look for local landmarks, you will have to know what the inside of the old Remand Centre (closed April 2013) and the Panther Gym look like, “Danny came to Edmonton, some boxing shots that made the cut, where in Panthers gym.” Adding, “All of the sit-down prison interviews with Danny are from the old Remand Centre.”  Lots of love for Alberta, the staff was awesome, love the blue-collar approach from the Alberta film industry, the minimal egos and continued support, is why I continue to produce out of Edmonton.”

Movie fans might see something they know, the inside of the old Remand Centre and the Panther Gym where scenes were filmed.

So, what’s next for the Score G Productions team? “We have a documentary on UFC Hall of Famer, Michael Bisping in post-production.” Scorgie said adding, “Plus we have docs on Arturo Gatti and Roy Jones Jr. in production.”

Scorgie asked to add one last important shout out for a long-time supporter and to also add a tip for Canadian TV audiences, “I wouldn’t have a career and our production team wouldn’t be successful without Super Channel’s amazing support over the years. Super Channel is key for indie Canadian filmmakers and support better than ANY other network in Canada PERIOD!” Adding for those that want to watch the film early, “I highly recommend Canadians support local and subscribe to Super Channel. A bonus is that it’s the only place in the world where you can currently watch or stream Inmate #1; The Rise of Danny Trejo.”

Synopsis.  Inmate #1; The Rise of Danny Synopsis

The Trejo documentary features the radical ups-and-downs this amazing and tirless 75-year-old. The film takes the audience through the life of one of the scarcest looking bad guys in the history of cinema. Weaving through never-before-seen visuals and personal testimony and stories from Danny, his closest family, friends, movie stars and producers. The movie shows how the LA born Trejo goes from a life of drugs, armed robbery, hard prison time, overcome his demons, becoming a champion boxer in San Quentin, through to the red carpets of some of his 400+ Hollywood credits, to helping troubled addicts, a successful business owner and community leader. For over 50 years of sobriety, Trejo’s personal mission and debt to society is to pay it forward and give back to his community every single day. The Hollywood icon has become a symbol of hope to people around the world.

Other award winning projects Adam Scorgie has worked on

Alberta

Business Spotlight: Capturing Life’s Most Memorable Moments

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Vannessa Brown is a professional birth, motherhood and family photographer specializing in the documentation of life’s “unplanned, unposed, and unexpected moments.” From a child opening its eyes for the very first time, to a father holding his wife and new baby beside the birthing pool, to a toddler gently cradling their new sibling on their lap, Vannessa is passionate about capturing the beautiful and fleeting moments of birth and life. 

With an academic background in engineering, Vannessa began to explore photography when she was pregnant with her son, and it was her research on birthing that inspired her interest in birth photography. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Vannessa Brown Photography was officially launched in 2011, and after photographing her first birth in May 2012, Vannessa never looked back. 

As a photographer, each experience brings with it its own unique demands – for periods of up to 5 weeks, she has to be available at a moments notice, and it can take up to 50 hours to properly document a single birthing experience.


Photo Credit: Vannessa Brown Photography 

In the last 8 years, she has documented nearly 100 births in hospitals all across Edmonton, in birthing centres, operating rooms and midwifery clinics, as well as home births in bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms. “It is an honor,” she says, “I am so grateful and thankful to the families who trust me to be a part of these life-changing events.” 

Much of her focus and creative approach has been informed by her own experience as a mother of two. From the moment of the actual birth, to the weeks and months after bringing a new child home, it is easy for special memories and moments to get lost among busy schedules and exhaustion. “You think as a mom, you’ll always remember, but you don’t,” she says, “it breaks my heart that I don’t remember all of the little things.” 

According to Vannessa, it is common for clients to be on the fence regarding birth photography. However, having been on both sides of the camera herself, as both the photographer and the photographed, “It is worth it,” she states simply, “these are details that are unique to each family’s journey. They are priceless.” 

In addition to birth photography, the packages offered by Vannessa Brown Photography include the Family Documentary Session, the Motherhood Session and the Family Mini Session, all specifically designed to capture life as it is. With a focus on real personalities and authentic family dynamics, Vannessa captures the moments you never knew you didn’t want to forget. Sessions can take place in your home or on location at a favorite local restaurant, park, or play area, creating real and lasting memories beyond the classic “Sunday best” family portraits. 

To learn more about birth, motherhood and family photography by Vannessa Brown Photography, visit https://www.vannessabrown.com.  

 

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

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Alberta

Lieutenant Governor of Alberta celebrates ten emerging artists for 2020

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Lieutenant Governor of Alberta celebrates ten emerging artists for 2020

Alberta’s 2020 Emerging Artists named

Edmonton (June 4, 2020)

The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation today announced awards totaling $100,000 to the 10 recipients of its 2020 Emerging Artist Award.  More than 60 invited guests joined the Zoom awards show, which is now public, and available on the Youtube link above.

“We are pleased to be able to invest in advancing the careers of these outstanding artists at the early stages of their professional development” says Foundation Chair, Arlene Strom. “When economic times are tough, our artists are particularly vulnerable. And in the midst of societal change and upheaval, ensuring our artist voices and perspectives are heard is critical.”

Here are this year’s awardees:

  • Kablusiak, visual, multidisciplinary artist, Calgary
  • Amy LeBlanc, writer, Calgary
  • Luc Tellier, theatre, Edmonton
  • Carlos Foggin, music, classical, Calgary
  • Lauren Crazybull, visual, Edmonton
  • Evan Pearce, multi-media, music, new technology, Edmonton
  • Molly Wreakes, music, French Horn, Edmonton
  • Bruce Cinnamon, writer, Edmonton
  • Tamara Lee-Anne Cardinal, visual, multimedia, Calgary
  • Griffin Cork, theatre and film, Calgary

Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta congratulated the awardees on a Zoom meeting June 4, 2020. Each awardee receives a $10,000 cash award, a handcrafted medal and 2020 Emerging Artist certificate.

The 10 recipients were selected from 160 applications in a two-tiered adjudication process overseen by The Banff Centre. The adjudication panel included: Denise Clarke, associate artist, One Yellow Rabbit, 2007 Distinguished Artist awardee;  Adam Fox, Director of Programs, National Music Centre; Lindsey Sharman, curator, Art Gallery of Alberta; Alice Major; writer, poet, 2017 Distinguished Artist awardee.

Here is some background the each of the artists:

Kablusiak (they/them) is an Inuvialuk artist based in Mohkinstsis/Calgary and holds a BFA in Drawing from the Alberta University of the Arts.  Recognition for Kablusiak includes the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize (2017) and the Primary Colours Emerging Artist Award (2018), and short-list nominee for the Sobey Art Awards (2019).  A multi-disciplinary artist, they imbue a variety of mediums with their trademark ironic humour to address cultural displacement. 

Amy LeBlanc is the author of three books: her debut poetry collection, I know something you don’t know, was published with Gordon Hill Press

in March 2020.  Her novella, Unlocking, will be published by the UCalgary Press in 2021. Pedlar Press will publish her short story collection, Homebodies, in 2022. Her very timely master’s thesis is a work of fiction examining pandemics and chronic illness.

Luc Tellier is a theatre actor, director, and educator from Amiskwaciy Waskahikan, colonially known as Edmonton. He’s been seen in over twenty-five professional productions since graduating from MacEwan University’s Theatre Arts Program in 2014. As an arts educator and through his own freelance workshops, he mentors hundreds of students every year – sharing his belief that the arts are for everyone!

Carlos Foggin is driven by his passion to share live orchestral music with as many Albertans as possible! In 2016, he founded the Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra which has since performed to more than 30,000 Albertans in over 50 concerts in small southern communities. He is a celebrated pianist, organist and improviser and has performed internationally on some of the world’s greatest organs.

Lauren Crazybull is a Blackfoot Dene artist living in Edmonton.  In 2019, Lauren was selected as Alberta’s inaugural artist in residence and was long listed for the Kingston Portrait Prize. Through her art, Lauren is asking poignant questions about how Indigenous identities can be represented, experienced, celebrated and understood through portraiture.

Evan Pearce began his career by editing music videos using found footage for local bands, but he’s now on the leading edge of two new emerging technology art forms: VJ-ing and New Media – working at the intersection of music, video, and leading-edge technology. Evan is fascinated with incorporating XR (Extended Reality) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) in a live performance setting while VJing – and beyond.

Molly Wreakes is a classical french horn player originally from Edmonton, who has performed internationally as both a chamber and orchestral musician.  Molly served as the academist with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra In 2018/19 – performing with the orchestra and training with their horn section and orchestra members. Molly is also an avid chamber musician who is inspired to explore community outreach opportunities through music and musical creativity.

Bruce Cinnamon is a writer whose creative work thrives in the radiant sunshine of the gigantic Alberta sky, twisting and bending the familiar prairie landscape into carnivalesque fantasies.  Bruce won the 2015 Alberta Views short story contest; his first novel, The Melting Queen, was published by NeWest Press in 2019. He is currently working on his second novel, a fantasy story about a small Alberta town which suddenly vanishes when it is torn into a parallel universe by a predatory City.

Tamara Lee-Anne Cardinal is a multi-media artist, community activist, and perpetual learner. She is a recipient of the National BMO 1st Art! Competition Award, and of the 2017 Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Award. Cardinal has been an active member in the urban Indigenous community in Treaty 7 Territory. Her work reflects the teachings she receives along her journey – and invites  others to become a part of the process, to partake in its making.

Griffin Cork is a Calgary-born actor and producer in the film and theatre industries. He is co-founder and Artistic Producer of Hoodlum Theatre, a small collective dedicated to creating disruptive and unabashed work. His company Numera Films took home an AMPIA Rosie Award for Best Web Series – Fiction in 2019 for Abracadaver. Griffin is committed to telling engaging, Albertan stories and strives to merge the mediums of film and theatre.

Backgrounder: About the awards

The late Fil Fraser, the late Tommy Banks, the late John Poole and Jenny Belzberg (Calgary) established the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation in 2003 to celebrate and promote excellence in the arts. The endowments they established were created with philanthropic dollars and gifts from the Province of Alberta and Government of Canada.

Since its inception in 2003, the Foundation has awarded $1,230,000 to 20 Distinguished Artists and 63 Emerging Artists, all Alberta affiliated.

The Foundation administers two awards programs:

  • The Emerging Artist Awardsprogram, established in 2008, gives up to 10 awards of $10,000 each to support and encourage promising artists early in their professional careers. Emerging Artist Awards are given out in even years.
  • The Distinguished Artist Awardsprogram, begun in 2005, gives up to three awards of $30,000 each in recognition of outstanding achievement in, or contribution to, the arts in Alberta. Distinguished Artist Awards are given in odd years. The 2019 Distinguished Artist Awards celebration will be in Maskwacis, Battle River region in September 21, 2019.

Todayville’s President Lloyd Lewis is a Board Director of the Foundation and was the Master of Ceremonies for this year’s online awards show.

Read more on Todayville.

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