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Goon director Dowse willing to put the team on ice again

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Michael Dowse (right) with The F Word stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan.

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SUPPLIED PHOTO Michael Dowse (right) with The F Word stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan.

The last guy you'd expect to make a romantic comedy, filmmaker Michael Dowse was in Winnipeg on Thursday night to preview his new Daniel Radcliffe comedy, The F Word at Polo Park Silver City.

Bear in mind that in these parts, Dowse is better known as the director of the raucous hockey comedy Goon, which was shot in southern Manitoba in 2010.

For the record, Dowse confirms he would be interested in coming back here to shoot Goon 2, pending a viable finished screenplay from the film's star/co-screenwriter Jay Baruchel.

"It's just a matter of everyone wanting to have the right idea and getting the story right," Dowse said during a pre-screening chat at the Fairmont Hotel.

"Everyone really loves the project and loves those characters and we just want to make sure we get it right. And if that takes some time, then that takes some time. Jay's working on it and I'm looking forward to reading what he's done."

It helps, Dowse says, that the Canadian hockey comedy was a box office hit in the United Kingdom, of all places.

"I spit out my beer when I heard that the U.K. had bought it for theatrical release," he laughs, giving credit to the film's star Seann William Scott. "Seann's films always over-perform there. He's a big star there, not that he's not a star everywhere else.

"The reason it did so well there was there was no video-on-demand and there was no piracy. They treated it like a traditional release, it went out early in January, they put together a poster, they put it up on every bus stop and lo and behold, it worked."

The film's North American box office suffered, Dowse said, due to an American video-on-demand release.

"As soon as you go VOD, it's available to be pirated," Dowse says. "The response to the movie was fantastic, but unfortunately, 75 per cent of the people who saw it didn't pay for it. When it came out in Canada, sure you could see it in theatres but we got screwed because there were literally 1,000 seeds of it on Pirate Bay.

"I'm continually running onto people who say, 'I've seen it eight times,' and I say, 'Great, how many times did you pay for it?' 'Zero.'

"In fact, I've had a couple of experiences where people just come up to me and give me 20 bucks," he says. "They say: 'I've stolen a lot of your movies.'"

The F Word opens in theatres Friday, Aug. 22.

-- -- --

A intense pre-production process is underway before the 22-episode TV series The Pinkertons goes to camera Aug. 18.

The reason? The syndicated series show will actually start airing episodes in October, making for a very quick turn-around -- in these parts, anyway -- between production and air dates.

"We're feeling confident that we can do it," says Rhonda Baker, vice-president of production for local production company Buffalo Gal Pictures. "We can make it work. We're just having to be selective on what sets we'll be using right out of the gate."

The series will be set in the American Midwest in the 1860s. Presumably, that will mean the series will be shooting some rural settings, though the principal locations have not been finalized, Baker says. Once it starts, the series, which announced its star is Scottish actor Angus Macfadyen, will shoot here until March.

"It's fast," Baker says. "We'll be showing off.

"We're all feeling a series is essential to the local industry, so we're pretty happy."

Buffalo Gal is evidently so confident, it still has another series on the burner, a sketch comedy called Sunnyside, co-produced by Toronto's Counterfeit Pictures, which is set to commence shooting Sept. 8.

randall.king@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 2, 2014 G9

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About Randall King

In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.

His dad was Winnipeg musician Jimmy King, a one-time columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press. One of his brothers is a playwright. Another is a singer-songwriter.

Randall has been content to cover the entertainment beat in one capacity or another since 1990.

His beat is film, and the job has placed him in the same room as diverse talents, from Martin Scorsese to Martin Short, from Julie Christie to Julia Styles. He has met three James Bonds (four if you count Woody Allen), and director Russ Meyer once told him: "I like your style."

He really likes his job.

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