Oak Bay filmmakers delve into Hell

Documentary exploring the underworld airs on Vision TV

Hell: A Survivor’s Guide Host Brian Paisley near Hell

Pitching Hell was a cinch, says Oak Bay filmmaker David Springbett.

Springbett and Heather MacAndrew, of Asterisk Productions in Oak Bay, were perfectly poised for the topic.

“We’ve got a little bit of a track record of doing somewhat off-beat and tough subjects,” Springbett said. “Our previous program was the Fantastic Logic of Eternity and before that we did a series called Apocalypse … When?

Vision TV gave Hell: A Survivor’s Guide the green light and work started in May for the documentary that airs Monday, Feb. 8.

Hell host Brian Paisely was nominated for the 2013 BC Leo Award for Screenwriting (documentary program or series) for Apocalypse … When? a five-part Vision TV series about the origins, implications and repercussions of Doomsday thinking.

“This one we knew generally they’d be interested in it and they said, ‘Sure give us a pitch.’ The pitch was easy,” Springbett said.

“Making is always interesting because as with any film, sometimes they fall together really nicely and others you have to change course in the middle of it because things don’t go as you would think.”

The exploration of Hell went primarily well. In fact they only axed one bit of cave footage from the wilderness beyond Duncan. They went out with some UVic cavers and despite the beauty and interest, were only able to use a snippet of footage.

The film acts as a travel guide for the underworld, dipping into the history and imagery.

“There are lots of stories about Hell. Sometimes people leave and sometimes people don’t leave. So how about a guide book of it through the history of it?” Springbett said.

Throughout the film, Paisley refers to the fictional guidebook, as he turns to artists such as Homer, Virgil, Dante, Bosch, Doré and Rubens, who created compelling images of Hell. He also talks to scholars, writers and theologians, and to a psychologist who ponders why Hell has had such an impact on our lives. Experts include Oak Bay’s Dr. Laurel Bowman, UVic assistant professor in Greek and Roman Studies, Dr. Shamma Boyarin, assistant teaching professor at UVic, and the two UVic cavers.

The art of finding those minds and voices falls to local researcher Sherry Lepage.

“We come up with a general idea of the kind of people we’re looking for – she finds them,” Springbett said. “That’s a real art and Sherry’s quite good at it.”

Once she finds the minds to be mined, those people need to be pinned down.

They started to edit in August and by early December the film was ready. “Which is fairly quick for us, it’s usually about a year,” the Oak Bay filmmaker said.

Every film is a steep learning curve, he says. It’s also the most enjoyable part of creating a documentary.

“It’s like taking a university course with no exams,” he said. “Well I guess there is an exam because you have to make a film at the end.”

For this film they even visit Hell – Hell, Michigan – a tiny place built up as a travel destination with mini golf, T-shirts and other underworld-related merchandise. A place making light of the name.  “It’s a bit of lightness because it’s this little speck on the map,” Springbett said. “It’s a little unincorporated village.”

The world premier of Hell: A Survivor’s Guide runs tonight, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. on VisionTV (Channel 120 on Shaw). After the premier, find it at visiontv.ca under ‘shows.’ Visit asterisk.ca to learn more about the film company.

 

Just Posted

Oak Bay High student selected for Canada Youth Olympic Team

Barbarians rugby player Lachlan Kratz heads to Las Vegas for Qualifiers

Crash at Tillicum Centre breaks traffic signal

Emergency crews on scene, avoid the area

Victoria council denies 44-unit building after tie vote

Proposed rental development on Burdett Avenue divides City and residents

Police still searching for missing Langford teen

Ashley Garland could be using the alias Michelle Adams

Therapy dogs make appearance at B.C. Games

The St. John’s Ambulance therapy dog program launches a pilot project at the 2018 Kamloops B.C. Winter Games

Canucks fold 5-3 in first ever trip to Vegas

Daniel Sedin had two points as Canucks fall to the Golden Knights Friday night

That’s a wrap: B.C. Games results after Day 1

Vancouver-Coastal Zone 5 is in the lead for medals Friday at the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games

Sticking the landing at the B.C. Games

Gymnasts talk competition, B.C. Winter Games, and teamwork in Kamloops

$153M in federal cash to fund child care, education training in B.C.

Bilateral agreement will create 1,370 new infant and toddler spaces

A B.C. woman talks her life in the sex trade

A view into the life from one Kelowna prostitute and the issues it can cause for women

Twitter feed prays for — instead of preying on — B.C. MLAs

Non-partisan Christian group wants to support politicians through personalized prayer

BC Ferries report net loss of $14.8 million in third quarter

CEO assures public it’s smooth sailing, advises of new ‘fare initiatives’

Hundreds march for justice in death of Winnipeg teen

Tina Fontaine was pulled from a river in 2014, her body wrapped in a blanket and weighed down by rocks

Most Read