The Arts and Entertainment Magazine has just learned that actor Andrew Jackson, who we recently interviewed in our March 2011 issue, will be playing alongside veteran actor Blu Mankuma (2012, ‘Look Who’s Talking), and Connor Stanhope (Smallville, Merlin’s Apprentice) in ‘Jake & Jasper: A Ferret Tale’. Alison Parker is also the Producer and Director for this film. Also onboard is another rising Canadian actress, Nina Hagerty.
This is a short film and it is very interesting how they pulled it together. This is going to be a must-see film with great acting, talented cast and crew, and fabulous story-line. We are hoping that this ‘G’- rated film will become available for movie-goers everywhere in the very near future.
With us we have the cast members, and the film’s producer, and we want to ask them questions about the film:
TAEM- Andrew, tell us the theme behind the movie and the role that you play in it.
AJ- A family torn apart with grief attempts to deal with the loss of a mother and wife. The father lacks the tools necessary to help his children deal with their shattered world. It takes a very special relationship between a boy and his new found ferret friend to save him from his pain and ultimately bring the boy and his family back together.
I believe our relationship to the animal world is sacred.
TAEM- How does your character interact with the other characters in the plot?
AJ- My character tries in vain to appeal to both his children and keep the family strong and intact. The father is filled with grief and frustration. Though he loves his children very much, he often reaches out to them from a place of confusion and anger. He feels lost as a parent and fights back his feelings of desolation and failure.
AJ- We filmed mainly in Langley & New Westminster, BC, Canada. The forest scene was shot in a beautiful location.
TAEM- Blu, You are also an actor with an incredible amount of experience. Tell us of your role in this film.
BM-I play the Principal of the school Jake is attending and, after witnessing his involvement in yet another school skirmish, I call a meeting with Jake and his father to inform them both that at this time, I feel it’s best for the school and for Jake to part company. I suggest he enroll in a “Specialized School” more equipped to handle the issues with which Jake is wrestling. My character cares a great deal about Jake’s well being but, having to look at the bigger picture, he must be mindful of his responsibility to the other students and their parents, as well. Many of whom have not been shy about voicing their concerns. He is sympathetic to the fact that Jake has just recently lost his mother and that this will place an already overtaxing burden on Jake’s Father, but the school’s needs come first.
TAEM- How does your true life character relate to that in your film’s role.
BM-I have been in the role of mediator repeatedly in my life and I understand how hard it is to make a decision that will affect an individual’s perspective on life and his or her role in it. The hope is to make the right decision so that the negative impact is as minimal as possible and a positive outcome is just around the corner. Life throws curves at all of us sooner or later. The younger we are, the less capable we are of handling it due to our lack of experience. But that is from whence the experience comes, life itself. There is no better teacher. So I see my character as I have seen myself many, many times before as a good man in a tough situation with many people counting on him to straighten things out with as little fuss as possible. So, with compassion, understanding and love……he does what he must and trusts that, in the end, everything will work out for the best. In real life, I think I tend to lead just a tad more with my heart than the good Principal but I can totally relate to his dilemma. I think he’s the right man in the right place at the best of times. I know that is true of myself.
CS- I play the lead role of Jake in this film. At the start you will see that I’m a really sad boy because my Mom has died. I get in trouble at school and don’t talk to anyone. My sister leaves home to live with her boyfriend and she leaves a ferret for me to keep me company. In the film you’ll see how Jake starts to get really close to the ferret who he names Jasper and the 2 of them end up on an adventure in the forest. A lot of the film shows what happens to Jake and Jasper in the forest.
TAEM- How exciting is this for you to work alongside so well-known actors as Andrew and Blu, and what have you learned from them?
CS- I really enjoyed working with Andrew and Blu. It’s always fun on set getting to know my co-stars.
TAEM- Another up and coming celebrity is Nina Hagerty, who is making an impression in Canada in film and on stage. Nina, tell us about your work with the Encore Dance Academy.
NH- Encore Dance Academy was the third dance school I had danced with. I took my first year of musical theater with Encore, two years of ballet technique, two years of jazz and entered my eighth year of hip hop. I started dancing when I was four years old but didn’t start competing until I was eight or nine. Musical theater was definitely my favorite to perform. We competed in competitions like Peak Invitational, Dance Power and Dream Team Dance Festival, as well as our year end shows. Even though I had been training in hip hop longer, I preferred ballet much more.
TAEM- Tell us about your role with this film.
NH- In ‘Jake & Jasper’ I play Andrew Jackson’s daughter, Jesse. She’s rebellious, free-spirited and really does love her family, but after her mother’s death there has been a disconnect between her and her father. They fight a lot and they’re both struggling to cope with what has happened. Jesse can’t handle it anymore so she moves out, leaving her pet ferret with her younger brother.
NH- ‘Left Coast” was a project I worked on a few years ago. I had a small actor role, but the show was about a father who moves his children from the city to a fictional gulf island to become cheese-makers. I was very excited to join the cast of ‘Jake & Jasper’, it is my first film and I had an awesome experience. I loved the storyline and I’ve actually been a fan of ferrets for a while now so it was pretty neat to get to work with one on set. Alison Parker, the director, was beyond great to work with, and the other actors as well. Connor and Andrew are both fantastic actors and it was a pleasure to get to work with them.
TAEM- Alison, when do you think this film will be available to the public, and what further process will it take to reach that point?
AP- People can actually pre-order the DVD now from our website at www.theferretmovie.com and we hope to have the film completed and ready to ship sometime this November. We still have a lot of editing to do, plus color timing, sound design, ADR and then of course graphic design for the DVD artwork and packaging. I also need to edit the EPK and a few other bonus features!
TAEM- Where can people get a glimpse of this film, and how can interested parties contact you to help support it?
AP- I’ll be releasing an official trailer soon on our website and Facebook page. I’m very active on the Facebook page, constantly posting behind the scenes pictures and videos and interacting with the fans. This film was crowd-funded by almost 200 people, so I like to keep them up to date. To see the film itself, stay tuned to our social media pages to find out when you can see it at a film festival near you.
TAEM- What other wildlife did you add to the film in order to round out the effect they would have on the movie’s story, and what is the eventual goal that you look to achieve with it?
AP- I’m a huge animal lover so I decided to go all out on this film and get as many animals as I could. Besides Falcor the Ferret, the film features a black wolf, a white horse, a raccoon, a skunk, two rabbits, and a Great Horned Owl. I feel the animals really added to the production value of the film, as well as the cute factor. I was also heavily influenced by the movie The Neverending Story, so you’re going to notice some similarities there. I think animal lovers and families around the world are going to love this movie. There’s nothing more special and heartwarming than the bond between an animal and a human. Or in this case, a boy and his ferret.
The Arts and Entertainment Magazine is very excited about the future of this film, and we just know that it will win many awards. I would not be surprised if a studio, such as Disney, will eventually pick it up. We want to thank the cast members, and it’s producer, for answering our inquiries about it and wish them, and the production company behind it much luck with bringing it into fruition and hope to hear more about it from them in the near future.
The publisist for Andrew Jackson, Blu Mankuma, and the ‘Jake & Jasper: A Ferret Tail’ movie is William Wanstrom. For further questions on this production please contact him at http://www.wanstrom.com