Nine years after writing the script, Inuvik town councillor and assistant deputy mayor Dez Loreen is ready to start filming his stoner-comedy film later this summer.
After producing multiple minute-long Dead North shorts and other brief film projects, Loreen said that the time is here to finally begin the production of his 40-minute-long stoner movie, “Below the Treeline”.
“It’s just a story about moderation. The whole story – without giving too much of it away – is about these guys who party too hard and they lose their money that they’ve been saving up for a very special thing,” said Loreen. “Now it’s time for that special thing but they can’t find the money, so where’d it go? It’s a backtracking tale in that sense.”
Loreen said that the film’s plot is loosely based off of his own experiences growing up here in Inuvik.
“It’s more of a younger perspective of inside the party life… that’s why I wrote it, too, because I’m not that guy anymore,” he said. “My daughter doesn’t know that life. She doesn’t know that Dez. That’s what I like about Inuvik being transient, that nobody knows that Dez.”
The film will be shot entirely in Inuvik, and the members of the cast and crew will consist of local residents.
The group has been rehearsing this month, and filming is scheduled to take place in early July.
“I think it’s got great potential. I really gave it my all. I went into it nine years ago,” he said. “I wrote this script for a couple of my friends in town, and they actually agreed to be in it. That’s the coolest thing now.”
Loreen, who’s also the film’s director and producer, will play one of the lead roles in the film. His wife, Caitlin, will star alongside Kristian Binder, Devon Burgess, Chelsea Lambert and Chris Church.
“I figured that I can produce here very well. David Stewart, awesome guy, is a camera operator and editor. He’s amazing with the camera,” said Loreen. “We’ve done a couple of short films together, and I thought to myself that I really don’t need to wait any longer. Why am I waiting on this?”
The 36-year-old said that he’s been smoking marijuana since he was 15, and added that if he doesn’t make the film now, he knows that he’ll end up regretting it later.
“It’s just something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Why not do it while I’m a town councillor?” he said.
Making the movie is huge for Loreen, who said that he loves everything marijuana.
“I love smoking weed, I love getting high. That’s why making the movie is a big thing for me,” he said. “To tell the stoner experience in the North and just have fun with it.”
Before shipping the final product off to film festivals in Yellowknife and Toronto later in the year, he said that he plans on hosting a premiere screening here in Inuvik over the Labour Day weekend.
“I hope people will laugh. I just want people to laugh. That’s the end result of it all,” he said.