6 Pressing Questions With the Creator of Sharkasaurus
Everything you wanted to know about the new, Calgary-created film that stars a shark-dinosaur
Photograph by Kenneth Locke
What’s a Sharkasaurus?
Sharkasaurus is a short film set in the Badlands of Alberta in which a paleontologist and a creationist accidentally awaken a shark-dinosaur. The film was conceived and directed by Spencer Estabrooks and funded by Telus Storyhive.
Who is Spencer Estabrooks?
Spencer Estabrooks is a Calgary writer, director and editor. Besides Sharkasaurus, he’s known for the web series One Hit Die and The Hunt, Rue Morgue magazine’s pick for The Best Short Film of 2013.
do?What else does Spencer
His day job is overseeing the restoration of all 150 episodes of [U.S. sitcom] Perfect Strangers from the original 35-millimetre film. “At one point, I started tweeting random Balki-isms,” Estabrooks says. Who wouldn’t?
What’s Telus Storyhive?
This program invited creators from Calgary and Edmonton to apply for $10,000 grants to produce short films and documentaries, for distribution on Optik Local via Optik TV On Demand. Ten projects were chosen for funding based on community votes.
Why did Sharkasaurus get so many votes?
Spencer and his team conducted an intense three-week grassroots marketing effort to promote their film, including a poster campaign and the Twitter handle @sharkasaurusnow, which posted everything from goofy jokes to tiny burger-week-themed stop-motion films. The exposure succeeded in winning Sharkasaurus its Telus Storyhive funding. It also had the unintended benefit of making it easier to secure a team for the shoot, because by the time Estabrooks was recruiting, most people in the community were aware of the project.
The film, which was finished just in time for [Discovery Channel’s popular] Shark Week in August, goes on the horror festival circuit in October and premieres at Storyhive on September 16 at the Plaza. Learn more at spencerestabrooks.com.
A sneak peek at Sharkasaurus
Sharkasaurus premieres on Sept. 16. The Plaza, 1133 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-283-2222, theplaza.ca.