Those Damned Canadians has garnered more accolades on the web-based film circuit than any of its competition. The show has been described as a gay take on Curb Your Enthusiasm, with one critic saying of the series, “Each episode runs around eight minutes, and they’re marvels of storytelling. Each one is a chapter in an ongoing story while still featuring at least one standout scene that somehow has room to breathe in the short runtime.“ It takes a truly talented writer to engineer episodes at this length that spotlight sophisticated storytelling and feel satisfying, and that person is co-creator and actress Sara Botsford. The Huffington Post spoke to Botsford and co-creator Christopher Brown.
When conceiving Those Damn Canadians, creator Sara Botsford, says that she and co-creator and partner Christopher Brown (pictured above) wanted a show that was funny but that also had great production values. “We wanted, and I think have achieved, a great look, great sound quality, music, editing etc. We weren’t going for a not quite ready for prime time look or feel. All the actors are experienced professionals and we wanted the production to support those talents.”
According to Botsford, Canada is famous for it’s comics. Everyone from Seth Rogen and Catherine O’hara, to Martin Short, Dan Ackroyd, Eugene Levy, Jim Carey etc. “When you think of the comedies of Christopher Guest, and the comic turns that Eugene Levy and Catherine Ohara have done in them…the combination of absurdity and pathos…that kind of humor always makes me laugh. I also love Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm...Watching the characters struggle through the hassles of their day to day life, and putting them in absurd situations that they have to try to overcome, offer the best comedy situations”
Despite the high level of humor achieved in Canadians, Bostford hadn’t done comedy before. “I had written a feature screenplay that had a lot of comedy in it, but I hadn’t written a comedy…and I had never written in the web series format before, so that was challenging.” Botsford adds, “The best thing about it, was that I really knew the voices I was writing for. CB (Brown) and I have a theatre company in LA and we often direct together, so we had directed Christopher Shyer and Jessica Steen, Tara and Phil Brenninkmeyer and Larissa Laskin on stage. Lynda Boyd’s character is a very exaggerated version of an agent in Canada that I am very familiar with, and I have coached Shyer numerous times over the years, so I know when I write a line, how he is going to deliver it.” Botsford thinks that’s why people like Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen and Kristen Wig work together repeatedly. “It’s not just about being friends. It’s about knowing that you can rely on the rhythm of the performance, which is hugely important in comedy.”
Brown, a visual effects veteran (who’s currently working on FX’s hit The Strain) has an amazing eye for detail when looking at the frame of a shot, which brings a whole technical aspect to Canadians missing from most web series. For both of creators, the series offered an opportunity to be creative in whatever ways we possibly could. “We have a million story ideas, so we would love to shoot more of the show, either in Web series format, or, ideally, as a half hour format on television. Failing that, I would like to do Those Damn Canadians the Movie.”
So would we.
You can watch the trailer below! And you can go watch it here.