There is this entire generation of millennials and beyond consuming, creating and distributing content on the web and social media—laptops and mobile devices are the new TV—and a Peterborough raised filmmaker named Danielle Lapointe has embraced this empowering digital era full on.
Danielle, a Kenner grad who currently resides in Montreal after studying film production at Concordia, produces and stars in the comedy web series Shooting the Moonthat was just released this summer and is quickly gaining in popularity, as great content and video do on the web and digital platforms.
Danielle Lapointe and Jeremy Sandor, co-directors of Shooting the Moon
Shooting the Moon is an autobiographical comedy following Danielle's journey as an Ontario girl adjusting to life in Montreal's film industry—and Episode 6, "Homesick", was filmed in Peterborough. In the episode (watch it at end of post), Danielle goes home to Peterborough to visit her Mom, Dad and Nana, but finds that the relaxing vacation she'd hoped for is anything but.
"The role that Peterborough plays in Shooting the Moon is that my character (also named Danielle) is closely tied to her small town Ontario roots," Danielle tells PTBOCanada. "Anyone who moved from a smaller town to a city—especially with an added language barrier—can tell you that there are adjustments to make. For me, I wanted to play up the naiveté of my character. In Episode #6, my character ends up going home to visit her family for a respite from her constant filmmaking failures."
Danielle in Episode 6 at family brunch
Since its online launch, the web series has been gaining lots of great critical praise. In its biggest honour yet, it has now been chosen as one of the "Official Selections" at the 3rd Annual NYC Web Fest—which has become one of the world's largest and most influential festivals for new media creators. NYC Web is a celebration of the best web series that have been released online in the past year.
Danielle got her early video training at Kenner in Peterborough. "It was at Kenner that I started making video projects and experimenting with various artistic mediums after years of painting and drawing being my medium of choice," she tells PTBOCanada, adding that she returns home to Peterborough several times a year for "the fresh air, swimming, canoeing, campfires, downtown Hunter Street life, and her friends and family."
Danielle in Episode 6
Danielle says that her web series was born out of frustration. "I was working at a movie theatre, trying to figure out how to fund my filmmaking or get a job that suited me in the film industry, and my daily encounters started to feel like I was living inside of a sitcom. Whether it be the former classmates I would run into at parties who were all doing 'exciting things' or the endless search for paying jobs, I started writing down all of these anecdotes and then realized I had enough to start making either a feature film or web series."
The web series format seemed most fitting for Danielle to tell her quick stories, so she decided to focus on that medium. "There's something really liberating that creating for the web provides," she tells PTBOCanada. "The traditional filmmaking trajectory is to finish your film, then spend tons of money to enter it into festivals, and if it isn't selected, you either release it online a few years later for the hell of it or the film just kind of disappears into non existence. With the web, you are your own distributor, your own publisher, and although it's up to you to market it, you aren't waiting for a festival's permission to show people your work."
Danielle in Episode 6
Danielle's talent and passion for her craft—and innovative choice of platform to distribute it—has translated into success for her with this screening at NYC Web Fest, which runs from November 10th to 12th (Danielle's web series screens on Saturday the 12th). Danielle and the series co-director Jeremy Sandor—a talented Montreal-based filmmaker from Toronto—will be travelling to New York to attend, and represent Canada as one of the few Canadian Series featured in the festival.
Danielle and Jeremy have filmed this series on a shoestring budget, proving once again that great content and video can get noticed on the social web. One can imagine this show not only building more momentum online in future seasons—and more views as people re-watch or discover Season 1—but being picked up by traditional cable TV somewhere down the road (or Netflix).
Danielle in Episode 6
You can watch Season One of Shooting the Moonhere, and watch the "Homesick" episode filmed in Peterborough below...