Burlington filmmaker’s The Drownsman now available on DVD/Blu-Ray
Angela Coughlan Pool used for underwater scenes
By Dennis Smith – Special to Burlington Post
The Drownsman was created to scare viewers like the villains in the A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th film series have done. But there’s a twist to the title character of this newly-released film, made partly in Burlington. “We wanted to create our own type of character,” said producer Christopher Giroux. “The Drownsman is a monster who haunts through the water.”
The horror/suspense movie is available in DVD and Blu-ray formats at Walmart, HMV, Amazon.com and other retailers. “Horror is pretty universal. There’s a very diehard fan base for horror worldwide. It’s a fun genre. I’m a diehard horror fan myself.” – Christopher Giroux, co-producer of The Drownsman
Filmed in late 2013, The Drownsman has earned awards at festivals from Buenos Aires to Buffalo. “The film just played in Spain,” said Giroux. “It’s a never-ending journey. It’s like having a child.” The movie is about a woman who almost drowns, develops hydrophobia and has visions of an evil figure. Friends intervene, but everyone winds up in a dark place where no one is safe.
“With horror films, you can have romance, comedy and action – you can kind of have all the elements,” said Giroux. “This one is dramatic.” With cast and crew, he plunged into filming in Angela Coughlan Pool at M.M. Robinson H.S., his old high school. “It was fun. I shot my first movies at M.M. Robinson. I wanted to bring the production back to where I began,” said Giroux. “The pool is also where I learned to swim.” The difficult underwater shooting was completed with help from an underwater photographer, Float N’ Flag Dive Centre and the City of Burlington.
Most of the filming was done in snowy Mount Forest. “Some members of the community there came out and helped us build our set,” recalled Giroux. When schedules permit, he does films with Chad Archibald (The Drownsman’s director, co-writer and producer), Cody Calahan (co-writer), Jeff Maher and James O’Donnell. “I’ve worked with Chad and Cody very closely,” said Giroux. “The last couple of years, we’ve made countless music videos and numerous features.”
With Black Fawn Films, Giroux has produced videos for Megadeth, The Trews featuring Serena Rider, Theory of a Deadman and others. As producer, Giroux has handled filming locations, catering, accounting, creative planning and other responsibilities. He even found a contortionist for the group’s next film, Bed of the Dead.
“It’s like Bob Seger’s song (Night Moves) – ‘Workin’ on mysteries without any clues,’ ” said Giroux. He also worked previously with Ry Barrett, who played the title character in The Drownsman. “It’s great having him be our murderous monster,” said Giroux.
The lead female Michelle Mylett, won Best Actress at the Montreal HorrorFest for her performance in the film. Burlington’s Beth McLeod was art director, while former local resident Karl Janisse was 1st camera assistant. The horror business is booming for Giroux and the team.
The Drownsman is a production of Breakthrough Entertainment and Black Fawn Films. An earlier movie, Antisocial, is available in Canada, the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. Similar international distribution is planned for The Drownsman. “Horror is pretty universal. There’s a very diehard fan base for horror worldwide,” said Giroux. “It’s a fun genre. I’m a diehard horror fan myself.”
Giroux was also nominated for Burlington’s Arts Person of the Year and co-founded the Tottering Biped Film Festival with Trevor Copp.
The Drownsman will also be available through Super Channel Canada and iTunes.
For more details, visit www.blackfawnfilms.com.