It’s truly a made-in-Edmonton initiative. A full-length feature film shot entirely in Edmonton, with nearly its entire cast and crew also from the city, is set to debut at the Garneau Theatre next week.
Hot Box is an adult comedy about a massive house party with several intersecting stories, many of which are set inside a 1970s station wagon.
Some of the story lines include a young man seeking advice from an older man on how to get his crush to talk to him, a group of girls who are convinced there’s a serial killer at the party, and there may or may not be an adult film star in attendance.
Needless to say, craziness ensues.
The movie has 58 speaking parts and dozens of extras. The movie’s writer and director said the nearly 100-person cast and crew are mostly from Edmonton, with a handful from Calgary.
“I was amazed at how everything came together. It was very low budget, a couple of us basically funded it ourselves,” Brandon Rhiness said.
“It’s a uniquely Edmonton production. This movie is Edmonton.”
Pre-production on the film began last spring. The goal was to shoot it in September, but financial setbacks pushed the filming to November. The entire film was shot over a two-week period.
The movie was filmed inside a house on the outskirts of the city, which Rhiness said was rented from the City of Edmonton. The only catch — the house was empty so they needed a bit of help finding furniture and household items to fill it up.
“Some of the cast and crew lent us their furniture. We also put out a call for anyone in Edmonton that had furniture to get rid of. We offered to take it off their hands,” Rhiness said.
“We spent a whole day driving around the city, picking up furniture that we used in the movie, then dropped off at Goodwill or the dump afterwards.”
Rhiness said the local film community is small, but quite active. Producing full-length films isn’t as common as short films due to the time, money and resources that go into the longer features.
“Finding the people is easy. We have so many great people that are willing to work and they’re talented,” Rhiness said. “Finding the money is very difficult. For this one, it basically came out of mine and a couple people’s pockets.
“We’re trying to use this to step up to the next level, kind of show what we can do — that we can get a project finished on a reasonable budget… Hopefully for the next one we can do a much bigger project.”
The film debuts at the Garneau on Tuesday, April 23 at 9 p.m. More information can be found on Facebook.
Scroll through the gallery below to see behind-the-scenes shots of the filming of Hot Box