Watch above: Stars lined the red carpet in Saskatoon as Tisdale native Brett Butt premiered his new movie. From the small screen to the big screen, will it translate?
SASKATOON – From the small screen to the big screen, Corner Gas: The Movie made its world premiere in Saskatoon on Monday. Red carpet ready were two of the show’s stars including Brent Butt, the creator, writer and executive producer of the show.
“I’m really happy with the movie that we made and I’m looking forward to getting in there with people to see it for the first time,” said Butt.
More than 300 guests were invited to the private matinee showing of the film at Scotiabank Theatre Saskatoon.
Many in attendance admit they fell in love with the show’s innate ability to portray our rural roots so well.
“The fact that it’s just so small town Saskatchewan, how I grew up and how probably a lot of other people grew up here.”
“I think the humour, mainly the comedy and the down-to-earthiness of the program itself was good portrayal of Saskatchewan and the people in it.”
Butt said if he knew the secret to the show’s success he would duplicate it many times over but thinks it has something to do with Corner Gas‘s authenticity.
“The network didn’t tell us we had to appeal to a certain demographic or anything so we just did want we legitimately thought was good and funny thinking it was all going to be done after that summer anyway and I think people could tell we weren’t trying to sell them anything.”
Airing in more than 25 countries around the globe, Corner Gas ran for 107 episodes over six seasons. Five years after shutting production down, the show returned to the province to film the movie in Rouleau, Sask. for a month in late June.
“I don’t think there was any place else that could recreate Saskatchewan so I’m just glad that it all worked out, it was pretty nip and tuck there for awhile but lucky, CreativeSask stepped in and Tourism Saskatchewan and all of our funders in Ontario as well so it made it happen,” said Lorne Cardinal, who played Davis Quinton on Corner Gas.
Watch below: Brent Butt and Lorne Cardinal on the Morning News
The biggest challenge, admits Butt, was taking the 22 minute show and converting it into a full blown 87 minute production.
“With a TV show it has a known time, a known rhythm, the characters are known, the stories are small so you want to bring that along because that’s what people love about the show but you also have to ramp it up a bit, rise the stakes, make it a cinematic experience,” said Butt.
“That was the difficult part, that’s why it took so long to write, we would be writing and realize this isn’t working, we’ve got to go back and start from scratch.”
A labour of love that took the team more than two and half years to script and execute, without any second thoughts on the part of the cast.
“Everyone was jumping right on board, clearing their schedules, saying when, let us know when so it was pretty unanimous across the board,” added Cardinal.
The movie is set to play in more than 100 theatres across Canada from Dec. 3-7 and will be broadcast on television later that month.
Tickets to the movie can be purchased online or by checking your local theatre listings.