Heroes of the North is an independently produced award-winning transmedia web series about Canadian superheroes shot in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The story is told through live action episodes, comic books, Tech Sheets, character diairies, a novel, photobooks and more.
We also have a wide range of merchandise, from the print versions or digital versions of the comics and books, figurines, artists reproductions, T-shirts and DVDs!
The series follows the adventures of Canadian superheroes who are working for the Canadian Defense Organization (CDO).
Divided in two entities, the Eastern Defence Organization (EDO) and the Western Defence Organization (WDO), their mission is to protect Canadian interests and the safety of its citizens.
The CDO has agents and representatives in each provinces and territories.
You can always check out what Wikipedia says but in a nutshell, it is the art of telling a story in different platforms and mediums using current digital technologies.
We tell the story through videos, of course, but also in comic books, novellas, novel, photo books, photo novellas (coming soon!), and (eventually) videogames.
The series follows the adventures of Canadian superheroes who are working for the Canadian Defense Organization (CDO). Divided in two entities, the Eastern Defence Organization (EDO) and the Western Defence Organization (WDO).
Their mission is to protect Canadian interests and the safety of its citizens.
The CDO has agents and representatives in each provinces and territories.
The series tone is somewhat dark, but with definite touch of humour.
The heroes have powers and abilities that are somewhat within the limits or a little beyond current science and technologies. Of course there is creative license and realism when dealing with superheroes is always to be taken with a grain of salt, but that is the general direction.
The first Season is divided in four chapters of five episodes each.
Chapter One: Origins deals with the backgrounds of our main superheroes.
Chapter Two: Recruitment tells how they got to worked together and the inherent tensions that it created. It also plants the seeds of their confrontation with a powerful terrorist organization known as Medusa.
Chapter Three: Madame Doom deals with a shadowy former model turned drug dealer and her plans to disrupt a fashion event in Montreal. Everything is of course indirectly linked to Medusa.
Chapter Four: Medusa Rising brings Medusa and its shadowy Commander a little more in the forefront as he prepares for his big reveal…
The second Season will have three chapters. The first chapter, New beginnings, has been launched recently.
Chapter Five: New Beginnings will present some new Heroes from other provinces and territories and set the stage for things to come.
Heroes of the North is privately funded. It all comes out of our pockets and our own blood, sweat and tears. No grants or anything.
We sell merchandise, comic books, figurines, etc. in order to offset the production costs.
There is also a part of our revenues that comes from advertising.
Also we have made the second Season available through VOD or through Memberships.
From time to time, we also run support campaigns for specific goals.
We also accept donations, if you are so inclined.
Heroes of the North came to be in the late afternoon of a superb spring day in Montreal.
Producer Christian Viel was cooking burgers on the roof of our production office at the time with Anderson Bradshaw (8 Ball).
They were talking about their current frustration in finding funding for various projects. Projects they would actually like to do.
The discussion came towards past failed attempts at making a superhero movie. And then the flash came: technology would permit us, at its current level, to pull it off for cheap, as long as the shows were not too long.
The web series format appeared to be the ideal medium for those limitations.
They started talking characters, coming up with names while Andy started sketching some looks and designs.
Realizing they would not have the time to write most of the stories, they put an ad in Craig list to recruits writers and the rest followed suit.
Three main writers were originally selected and a few others were hired to complete other stories that came up later in the development process.
When originally conceived, Heroes of the North was supposed to be ten episodes.
The original episode plan was as follows:
Episode One: Genesis (currently episode 6 and a portion of episode 7).
Episode Two: Brothers in Arms (Episode 8)
Episode Three: Kiss of Death (Episode 7)
Episode Four: Cold Turkey (Episode 10)
Episode Five: Crimson (Episode 12)
Episode Six:Fashion Statement (Episode 13)
Episode Seven: Enter the Zombots! (Episode 14)
Episode Eight: Secret Lives (Episode 9)
Episode Nine: Wardrobe Malfunction (Episode 15)
Episode Ten: Brave New World (Episode 18)
What sounded like a great plan soon changed. As we discussed the stories, we decided to add the five origins stories to supplement the storyline, as we were afraid that people would need more background to care about totally new characters.
Initially, those origins were designed to play in between the first ten episodes. That plan obviously changed as we moved ahead. We thought it would be better to show the Origins first. It was not our best move.
When we contacted Polymorphe to help us with some of the costumes, they showed us a stunning piece they had done for something else and designed for Marie-Claude Bourbonnais. See picture on the right. Photo and Design credits are on the picture.
The look was killer, the model had a definite Gen13 look and we know a good thing when we see it. We immediately got in touch with Marie-Claude to offer her a role in the series and as soon as she said yes (it took some convincing), we got to work on writing an additional episode, which was labeled Episode 11 and got the title of Hornet's Nest. We did not even have to do a character design for that one. The look was settled real fast.
That brought the total episodes to be shot to sixteen.
By that point, we had our cast all lined up - we had been auditioning since the spring. We had all our costumes and actors. We were finally ready to go! But we were quickly running out of weather!
The first sixteen episodes of "Heroes of the North" were mostly shot in November '09 in the Montreal area, on a fifteen days schedule.
The World War II portion of Episode One was shot on a nice October afternoon three weeks before, in one full day that started at 4 AM and finished at sunset.
Latex being a heat exchanger, meaning that it takes your body heat and sends it away, basically making you colder than if you were naked, shooting outside in the first cold days of November proved to be most challenging for our valiant actors...
As we started putting together the show, we realized that some things were perhaps not clear enough or that some characters needed more room to breath (like Masquerade). So we started writing a few more shows. Episode 11 (All that Masquerade) was born that way.
After running a successful contest on Facebook in order to find a name for one of our upcoming Heroes, we decided we should shoot an episode with her in Season One. Episode 17, Pacifica was born.
At that point, we figured we might as well go all out and make 20 episodes. Episode 16 was born out of many coincidences we cannot reveal without spoiling the show and Episode 18 (Past and Present) came to be a mean to tie everything together in one organic story.
The bulk of the shooting was done on two, sometimes three Panasonic HVX-200A. We made copious use of the Fig rig but most of the show was done handheld with sporadic use of a tripod.
All the shows are cut on Final Cut Pro 7 (now X) in 720p 24fps HD.
Award-winning Canadian editor/director Christian Viel began his career at the age of 20 by writing, producing, directing and editing Lignes de Vie, an ambitious feature length police action drama. He kept himself busy by producing, directing and editing about 50 shorts films, most of them action oriented.
In 1992, he directed a ten minute demo reel for BlackWatch Communications, The Hunter which got him the nickname of Montreal’s John Woo by the press.
In 2003, he wrote, produced, directed and edited RECON 2020 an ambitious militaryscience-fiction film that follows a bunch of space marines on a suicide mission on a deserted colony. The film won numerous awards, most notably Best Sci-Fi/Action Film at the Sci-Fi London Film Festival in England in 2005 and the Best Science-Fiction Film award at the Wreck-Beach Film Festival.
The film was also an official selection of the Fantasia Film Festival as well as a special presentation at the Indie Meet Las Vegas.
Christian has since produced, directed and edited seven feature films and two webseries.
Christian is currently hard at work finishing off Heroes of the North, his latest web series.
Yann Brouillette was born in Montreal in 1981 and has loved comic books since he's a kid. Despite his parents' aversion for them, Yann and his brother sneakily exchanged tooth fairy's money for the latest issues of the X-Men... and did not believe in tooth fairies.
Since its first issue in 2010, Yann became the head-writer for the Canadian super hero comic book series Heroes of the North with the publication of the Canadian Shield issue #1, which he co-wrote with his brother. Simultaneously, Yann has written sci-fi short stories for the Zidara9 Québec anthology as well as Enfer Corps. a series of funny stories surrounding a bunch of pathetic devils for the Lanfeust Mag.
Rumor has it that Yann obtained his Masters in organic chemistry from Université de Montréal in 2005 and his Ph. D. in organic chemistry from Montpellier University in 2008. It's true. Now a chemistry professor at Dawson College since 2009, Yann is offering a new complementary course to non-science students entitled "Comic Book Chemistry" where he uses situations depicted in graphic novels to describe basic chemistry. In sum, he hopes you will enjoy reading Heroes of the North's comics as much as he liked writing them.
Michel Brouillette is a young stand-up comedian, actor and writer. After the completion of his Bachelor in Fine Arts from Concordia University, Michel joins the École Nationale de l’Humour, a famous Montreal comedy school. He quickly becomes known in the bar scene all over the province of Quebec.
Passionate about films, he wears the Canadian Shield superhero suit for the action-packed Canadian web series Heroes of the North. The same year, he plays a professional limbo-athlete in the web comedy series Toujours plus bas and obtains many dramatic roles in independent feature films, popular television dramas and of course, a bunch of commercials.
Creative and versatile, Michel is also a remarkable stand–up writer and scriptwriter. Fresh out of school, he rewrites and adds punch lines to the teenage super hero TV series Les Kiki Tronic (Télé Québec). He also writes the 6th and 7th season of the popular reality TV show Ma Maison RONA (TVA). His hard work and comic effectiveness brings him to become Marie-Lise Pilote’s main comedy author. He co-writes her latest stand up show “ Réconfortante” for which he was nominated for “Best writer” at “Le gala des Olivier 2013”.
His latest web serie project, La Brigadière, was also nominated at Le gala des Gémeaux for «Best web serie». Michel has signed several webisodes of the Heroes of the North saga and numerous comic books, always in collaboration with his trusty brother. In the Yann and Michel dynamic writing duo, who is the hero and who the sidekick? This you will never know...
Dave Michaels is a lifelong fan of comic books and is so passionate about them, he practically bleeds comics!
As writer of the Full Page Bleed column on eXpress News & Reviews (ENR) for eXpertComics.com for 3 years and counting, “The Bleeder King” has had the chance to interview dozens of comic book industry professionals, legends, cosplay models and even a movie star or two.
Now he is making his mark not only adding his brand of dark, twisted humour to the Heroes of the North by writing comics, but also some of the episodes of the live action web series as well!
Dave is here to turn the world of Canadian superheroes on its head, so somebody should call 911!