Brent Lanyon, who was raised in the Comox Valley, lives in Victoria now.

Valley-raised filmmaker receives television production grant

Tommy Lindholm had an inkling that, despite a downpour, hot coffee wouldn’t be the drink of choice for Darnell Walker, as he attempts to run a marathon around a local track.

Lindholm is narrating the event, as Darnell’s wife Margret stirs the coffee with her finger.

This scene is one of five in a series of mini-clips which recently got Comox Valley writer and director Brent Lanyon a $10,000 Storyhive grant to produce his web series pilot Tommy Lindholm presents The Bucket List.

“We are out there and have something to prove,” explained Lanyon, who now lives in Victoria. “We are an older group, with the youngest crew member at 45 years of age. We thought we’ve just got to go for it.”

Lanyon, who has written two books and a variety of short films, made his foray into the film industry initially as an actor who worked on projects in greater Victoria.

He did some behind the scenes work on a few projects which didn’t come to fruition – something that Lanyon said frustrated him.

“It was like having a cake and not putting it in the oven.”

He took that frustration and channeled it into filmmaking, and made his first film The Jacket – a 40-minute film on being drafted for the Vietnam War.

Following the release of his initial film, he was contacted by a variety of industry professionals, and “found a good bunch of people,” specifically three other people with whom he formed the production company 29 Takes Productions.

The production company created the film The Woman Down the Lane, about the fentanyl crisis, which Lanyon noted is a “very true, gritty story.”

He needed a change in theme for his next script and decided to tackle humour. He described Tommy Lindholm as a documentary in a similar vein as a Monty Python comedy.

He applied to Storyhive in mid-September.

With the help of Telus, Storyhive has funded productions and supported filmmakers with funding, distribution and support.

29 Takes Productions was one of approximately 200 companies to apply to Storyhive.

Following Stage 1 voting, a handful of productions were chosen to create a pilot, including Lanyon’s. A pilot episode of Tommy Lindholm is set for production in early November, and his production team must submit it to Storyhive by January for Stage 2 voting.

Winning videos will be selected to receive a larger grant, plus training and mentorship opportunities and distribution on select Telus platforms.

“It really allows us to be seen by a huge audience,” added Lanyon.

The grant will allow for him to buy and rent new equipment, and to pay actors.

“Before, we’ve done it all for free – we do it for the love of it.”

Ultimately, he said the goal is to see the show develop into a series.

Stage 2 voting opens in February 2018.

To watch a trailer of the series, visit Storyhive.

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