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Canadian film icon Jason Bourque made his first movie at the age of 14.

“It was a zombie flick called Dead Skin,” Bourque told the 16 attendees of the third annual Heavy Hitting HorrorFest Pitch-to-Screen Luncheon. “Which is a pretty good title I think, I’m surprised no one has copied that yet.”

Other titles in Bourque’s extensive career as a writer/director/producer include: Ghouls, Hellhound, End of the World, Arctic Blast, Metal Tornado, and Black Fly which was based on a real serial killer that lived in Bourque’s childhood neighbourhood in Nova Scotia.

With a C.V. like that, Bourque is a perfect mentor for HorrorFest filmmakers and the luncheon was hugely successful as Jason covered everything from fake blood recipes to how to properly create a pitch deck, to what avenues are currently open for script selling success.

Bourque is known for shooting features fast and efficiently (his average is 12-13 shoot days) and he stressed the importance of preparation, giving incredible insight on the value of shot lists, storyboards, and blocking shots before production starts.

“Jason works fast and kicks ass,” says HorrorFest founder Feet Banks. “It’s a real privilege to have someone with his knowledge and enthusiasm up here in Whistler talking to young and emerging filmmakers.”

With 16 attendees (including 3scor-month old Parker Ray-Clark, who has a successful year ahead in the props department) gathering at iconic Sushi Village, the first Pitch-To-Screen event of 2019 can only be looked at as a resounding success, with more than one attendee commenting on how helpful Jason’s advice was for people working on scriptwriting projects.

“It’s incredible to be able to glean all this knowledge off Jason, and learn some of his tricks,” Banks adds. “But for me the greatest benefit of these events is how everyone walks away totally inspired to get out there and start creating. That’s what I love the most because it means everyone’s stuff will be that much weirder, bloodier, gnarlier and more awesome when the festival rolls around.”

The Heavy Hitting HorrorFest is slated for October 30, 2019 in Whistler BC and submissions are open until September 15, 2019.

Heavy Hitting Horrorfest Workshop 2019
Heavy Hitting Horrorfest team at the Pitch to Screen Workshop with Jason Bourque. From left to right, Feet Banks, Jason Bourque, Chantal Limoges, Stu MacKay-Smith, and Jon Veder.
Heavy Hitting Horrorfest Workshop 2019