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ABOUT HEROES OF THE NORTH

Genesis and Conception

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    What is Heroes of the North?

    Heroes of the North is an award-winning transmedia web series about Canadian superheroes shot in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

    What is Transmedia?

    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.

    What is it all about?

    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.

    How is it funded?

    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.
    Thanks for your Support!!!

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    Ask and you shall be answered...

    Project Wonderful
    Yes. We use Project Wonderful for our advertisement. They make it very easy to advertise on specific sites, such as ours. We also offer other forms of Advertising, such as pages in our printed comics or sponsorship opportunities for the series itself. We are always open to suggestions and ideas in this area, so please do not hesitate to contact us.
    We do make relatively frequent public appearances. You can find out where and when by checking our news blog regularly or by keeping an eye in our nifty EVENTS section, which is accessible by clicking the little calendar icon in the sidebar of the website. Who is attending depends on a lot of factors - actors availability, distance, costs, and so on. But we usually try to bring at least one actor to each events. Who is coming is also announced on our Facebook page and on the blog.
    While we would love to bring every single cast members to every single event we attend, we cannot afford it. Beyond that, these people have careers, lives beyond show business and/or husbands and wives. We have managed so far to get most of the characters at one convention or another: The Canadian, Canadian Shield, Acadia, Black Mantis, Alpha Q, Masquerade, Fleur-de-Lys, 8 Ball, Hornet, Crimson, Black Terror and Medusa Commander have all shown up at one event or the other. That is most of the cast. Some people are too busy and are not available when the conventions are into effect, or it is too long or too far for them. The actors that play 8 Ball, Hornet and Alpha Q actually enjoy conventions and do not mind doing them if they are available. Not everybody does either. We try our very best to bring a wide variety of our actors to shows but it is not always feasible.
    Indie Intertube Awards
    We have been nominated by Clicker.com for Best Web Drama of 2010 amongst an amazing line-up. We did not win. But it felt good to be considered amongst such great web efforts! Nominees can be found here.

    We were also nominated in 8 categories for the 1st Annual
    Indie Intertube awards. Again, we were against some pretty tough competition and we ended up winning two of them. We were nominated for:

    - Best Costume Design; We won that one
    - Best Action;
    - Best Ensemble Drama;
    - Best Score;
    - Best Visual Effects;
    - Best Additional Content;
    - Most Socially Connected;
    - Best Credit Sequence; We won that one as well.

    In 2012, we also won the Indie Interube Award for Best Transmedia web series.

    That's it so far in terms of Awards!
    Bianca Beauchamp as Crimson
    We contacted her management, showed them stuff we had done in the past, sent a script, made an offer, met in person and they eventually said yes.
    We have a few local celebrities already in the show. However, nobody national or international yet - it was not for a lack of trying. Budget and travel limitations are a big factor. But we are always on the lookout for opportunities. We never know.
    We have worked with Edith in the past so she already knew us. We just had to send a script and ask.
    We have worked with Annie in the past on a few projects. She already knows us. We just had to ask.
    We contacted her management, showed them stuff we had done in the past, sent a script, made an offer, met in person with her management people and they eventually said yes.
    They made a comment about wanting to appear on the show after a web article was made about Heroes of the North. We took them at their word and they accepted.
    The usual way: Auditions, word of mouth, nepotism...
    The general answer is yes.

    Anderson Bradshaw (8 Ball) is a stuntman and actor in numerous films, including Taking Lives, Lucky Number Slevin, etc.

    John Fallon is also an actor and has been in numerous films, including 100 feet, Saw II, Deaden, etc.

    Larry Vinette is also a stuntman and has appeared in numerous movies.

    Edith Labelle as appeared in another one of our films,
    RECON 2023: The Gauda Prime Conspiracy.

    Michel Brouillette is an actor and comedian and you can see him in numerous commercials (Gilette, Cage aux Sports).
    Yes it is true. Our first comic, an 80 pages omnibus, was solicited in the November 2011 Diamond Previews and will come out on January 25th, 2012.
    Armando Huerta: Crimson
    Dean Yeagle: Hornet
    Joel Adams: Nordik
    Ty Templeton: Pacifica, Canadian Shield, Acadia
    Donald Caron: Madame Doom, Crimson, The Canadian, Alpha Q, Hornet, Fleur-de-Lys, Nordik, 8 Ball
    Felix Laflamme: Black Terror
    Olivier Raymond: Canadian Shield
    Geof Isherwood: Medusa, Alpha Q and Masquerade, Christmas Black Terror and 8 Ball, Christmas Girls of HOTN, Omnibus 2 Cover, VODA
    Marcus Smith: 8 Ball, Madame Doom, Masquerade, EDO Team, Heroes of the North vs Medusa
    Al Rio: Fleur-de-Lys
    Dan Parent: Love Bites (Canadian, Fleur-de-Lys and Nordik)
    Michael Dooney: Pacifica, Nordik, Fleur-de-Lys
    Patrick Hénaff: Trade Paperback Cover
    This was an artistic choice. We figured that bright colours where not the best choice if you wanted to be stealthy. So we went for black. It also makes it easier for continuity when things get dirty.
    We thought that Lycra and spandex look silly on anyone and we did not have the budget for leather. Latex is form fitting, definitely looks like a superhero outfit and was more in our price range.
    All the latex costumes were provided by Polymorphe, a world renowned latex designer. Our costume designer, Anderson Bradshaw, would draw up the concept and Polymorphe would create the costume based on his illustrations.
    Yes, we will see more of him. A partial conclusion of Episode One will be found at the beginning of Episode 17, Past and Present. There is also more Canadian Shield infos in the Season Finale Comic Book.
    Well, while most of us are Quebecers, the dire reality is that a francophone market is limited to begin with. Superheroes, Canadian ones at that, makes it even more of a niche. It would be financial suicide to hope to make that work on such a small sample of the world population. English is an almost universal language understood in many countries and a good majority of people do have a minimal grasp of it. It increases the chances of the show to be viewed and enjoyed worldwide, while opening up a much bigger market. The nascent web series industry is already cutthroat as it is, we had to make an economically viable decision.
    While we managed to keep the episodes flowing at a decent pace of one every two weeks, we are now quite behind unfortunately. There are many reasons for it but the main one is we have to earn a living and it takes over doing the show sometimes. While we did our best to keep the pace, we got overwhelmed at some point. Do not fear though, everything is shot and we are committed to release the entire first season at the very least. We just cannot establish a precise timetable at this point. The best way to find out when the next show or comic is coming out is to join our newsletter. Another option is to keep an eye on the Events page. Sometimes we throw in the Episodes releases dates or comics releases.
    We have not participated yet to any festivals. However we received a few invitations. We had to refuse because it is our policy to not participate in ANY festival that requires entry fees.  While we understand that it is a cutthroat business for festival organizers - it is hard to get butts in seats anywhere! - we also feel that filmmakers invest lots of their time, energy and money to make their projects and that without them, there would not be festivals in the first place.
    La Presse Cover
    Yes, it is true. The proof is right here on the left. You may view the cover (and read the extensive article) here by downloading the PRESS CLIPPINGS file.
    Besides the ones already viewable in the Gallery, there is Black Terror, Pacifica, Masquerade and Medusa Commander coming up.
    No. It would be cost prohibitive for us to mass produce these things - and frankly we have our hands full with everything else. However, those interested can find the latex costumes at Polymorphe. They do custom jobs, and they are very friendly and open minded. Be warned: it is not cheap but the quality is great - we can fight in them without problems.
    Well, most of us are long time comic book fans and we have been trying to get a show like this going for years. Our main inspiration is obviously Marvel but there is some DC thrown in and a few more obscure references to other indie titles. The main idea was to see how things would be if we had a superhero team, Marvel or DC style, in Canada, with the unique challenges that supposes in a country such as ours.
    First, by participating and visiting the site often. View the episodes, rate them, comment on them. Talk about the show with your friends on forums. Recommend episodes or the comics you like on Facebook. Spread the word. The more people know about the show and visit, the more it gives it relevance to potential advertisers and sponsors. The more it gives it credence for the media as well, therefore increasing the exposure and giving us enough of a platform and arguments to convince others with money or clout that the project is worthwhile, that it has active fans and followers and that they deserve more. We have an amazing group of fans - help us get many more!

    Second, if you can, donate, even if it is very little. It helps cover our server costs and helps us keep everything free for as long as possible.

    Third, buy our gear if you can afford it. This goes towards our production costs and helps us keep paying the actors, technicians, artists and writers that make this all possible.

    Fourth, you find a bug in the site, do not hesitate to write us about it! We are a very small team - we are doing our best to test everything but it's you guys, the end users, who can help us the most with that stuff.

    Fifth, give us your opinions and criticism. Even if it is negative, as long as it is constructive, we love it! Don't be afraid to offend us, we are big boys, we can take it as long as it is done with class and respect. Just writing: this show sucks!, does not help anyone. But if you explain why, or what you would have liked to see to make it better, it is definitely much more helpful to us. Sometimes there is not much we can do about it for budget reasons, but if we can improve it, we will.

    The same reasoning is true for compliments! Just saying it is awesome and it does feel great (and we love to hear it!), but it does not help us pinpoint what works best - telling us that it is awesome and why is much more helpful! Not only that, it makes for much more interesting web conversations!

    Sixth, if you have a website, you can download one of our banners
    here and link back to the site. We are also open to banner exchanges if your site is related to our show ie comic books, manga, genre films, webseries, etc.

    And finally, we cannot say it enough: SPREAD THE WORD and your enthusiasm for the show! Create fan sites or Facebook fan pages! Send us your artwork for the fan gallery! Be the greatest fans of a web series EVER!
    The two members of Les hasbines played a part in an episode of Heroes of the North (Episode 19) as Nouveaux Felquistes. They got some comics and a T-shirt out of the experience and decided to do "web series product placement" in their show, to hilarious results, at least to those in the know...
    Entirely out of our pockets. No grants, no subventions, nothing. Our main expense is salaries to our collaborators. We cannot pay a fortune but we do pay way above minimum wages. We do and financed everything out of pocket. Why^ Because we believe in the project and because we like it. Items bought in the store, ads, donations, eventually membership, allow us to keep some of the costs down. We hope to preserve the show for free because that is how we envisioned it but if we cannot at least break even, then we will have no choice but to seek out a better revenue stream or cease the show production altogether.
    It is currently in the works!
    Email us with FAQ in the subject Header and your answer will be here within a few days. Fair enough?
    There is 20 Episodes included in Season One.
    The budget varies greatly depending on the episodes, but a good average would be roughly $5000 CAD per episode, most of which is salaries and food.
    We tried for years to get a Canadian superhero project done through traditional means but without success. A 10 minutes promo of an old project shot in 1992 is available in the Members section. With the advent of the new technologies in terms of editing, special effects and cameras, we saw the opportunity to do it ourselves and finally have our dream see the light of day, perhaps without all the trappings of a real budget but at least it lives.
    The Canadian Shield/The Canadian: I think this one is obvious -Captain America. We need a nationalistic symbol and the Captain is hard one to beat.

    Fleur-de-Lys: Quebec would not go well with the idea of National superheroes so we had to create one specifically for the Province. Simple enough. Add electric bracelets created by Hydro-Quebec and you have a classic! Plus it allowed us to introduce the New Felquists as she would have to deal with Quebec's homegrown terrorists.

    Nordik: We wanted someone to deal with the Arctic parts of the country. We wanted to avoid the usual inuit/native cliché yet represent the hardship of those isolated part of the country.

    Black Terror: This one is a cross between a superhero film project we had try to develop for years and the public domain character from the now defunct Nedor comic line.

    8 Ball: This is Anderson Bradshaw's creation, also another superhero film we tried to develop for years without success. We took part of the original storyline and adapted it to our new Universe.
    The first Season was shot in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with stock footage from other parts of Canada, including Fredericton and Vancouver.
    Most of the show was shot on various incarnations of the Panasonic HVX-200A and some scenes were shot with a Canon 5D Mark II and a GoPro camera.
    Whenever we can, yes. We think it looks better than anything we can do CGI. When that is not possible, we use live action stock footage, like the fantastic stuff available at Detonation Films. If don't have what we need through stock footage, then we resort to CGI. But it is usually last resort as it is resources intensive and usually does not look that good, at least when fire is concerned.
    Very! Most of the show was shot in November and December 2009. As you can imagine,it was not very warm. Especially for those wearing the skimpy outfits...
    Nothing extravagant and nothing full on, but definitely expect some sexy moments.
    While we would have loved to keep the show free, the reality is that it costs a lot of money to make it… We tried to run a crowd funding campaign without success and we came to the conclusion that if we want to keep making the best show we can, we need to put a price on it. We want to move forward, not backwards. Things are explained in this blog post.
    The Canadian Costume Design image
    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.
    8 Ball Original Production Design image
    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)
    Black Terror Original Production Costume Design image
    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.
    Marie-Claude Bourbonnais in the original incartnation of the Hornet Costume image
    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!
    Edith Labelle Freezing while shooting in November image
    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.

    Alexandra Ordolis as Pacifica image
    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.
    COMING SOON!

    CREW

    CHRISTIAN VIEL
    Producer/Director/Editor
    YANN BROUILLETTE
    HEAD WRITER COMICS/ACTOR
    MICHEL BROUILLETTE
    HEAD WRITER - EPISODES/ACTOR
    ANDERSON BRADSHAW
    STUNT COORDINATOR/ACTOR

    PRESS

    If you need things are not available here, please CONTACT us. We will be happy to oblige.
    This is the basic Heroes of the North press kit. Contains pictures, characters and storylines descriptions, in pdf format.
    This folder contains all the press releases put out by Heroes of the North in pdf format.
    This folder contains articles about the show from La Presse and several other printed publications, in pdf format.

    LOGOS

    This is the Heroes of the North logo in EPS format.
    This is the Medusa logo in EPS format (Black).

    BANNERS

    You have a website and want to help us promote the show? Download our banners here!
    Summer 1942

    The Moncton Experiments

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    October 1944

    Canadian Shield disappears behind enemy lines. His body and those of his teammates are never found.

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    April 1945

    The Canadian Shield escapes the clutches of Dr. Mengele in Berlin.

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    May 1945

    The Canadian Shield confronts Dr. Mengele as Berlin falls.

    This will be covered in the first full length episode of Season 2.
    July 1973

    Mengele kidnaps a Vietnamese woman pregnant with twins...

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    More to come...

    Thanks for your support!
    COMING SOON!
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