Award-winning filmmaker falls in love with Newfoundland, now calls it home
It may seem like an odd choice for a filmmaker from Ontario, who has lived around the world, but Martine Blue is excited about her move to Grand Bank. Photo by Paul Herridge/Transcontinental Media
When Martine Blue took a trip to Newfoundland in 2001, she fell in love and vowed to move here someday.
Now she has.
The 37-year-old, award-winning filmmaker has lived around the world (including New York City during the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks), but explained she was drawn to the province through stories she had heard from one of her best friends, a Newfoundlander.
When a friend from Ontario followed her parents, who had moved to Burin, the situation was perfect.
"Her mom found us this house advertised on TV for insanely cheap money, that I could actually buy on my credit card.
"So I bought the house and we moved."
She and her husband, Isaac, arrived in Grand Bank at the end of December, just in time for New Year's.
"It was a dream. Now we own our own home, and across from the ocean."
Blue started making films independently in the mid-1990s and shot her first short flick, "El Evictor," in 1997. The movie, shot in New York's Lower East Side, illustrated the effects of developers transforming an area for the wealthy.
Discouraged by the high costs and other difficulties often involved in making a film, she decided to take a few years off, during which time she wrote fiction, but came to miss the art form.
"In 2004, I started writing 'SuperZeros,' and I got back into it wholeheartedly."
That film, her first foray into full-length feature filmmaking, followed a group of destitute "superheroes" in their attempt to thwart a big-city mayor intent on banning homelessness.
"SuperZeros," shot in Toronto, was her first digital movie. She said a friend, who acted in the film and works at a production house there, is helping her develop the movie into a series.
All told, Blue has five films in the can and another currently in post-production, and is working on a short comedic piece, which she is planning to make on the Burin Peninsula.
"I'm really cryptic about stuff that isn't cut yet, but it's a comedic film that's going to have some rapping in it, and the subject is Newfoundland, basically. It's going to have a comedic character and an ugly stick.
"I'm looking to do a series of those, and if I get funding, I'd like to have them put on TV as interstitials, which are short little pieces you put in between regular programming."
Taking on TV
Blue recently finished a television production program in Toronto, learning the logistics of the industry, and is looking to branch out in an attempt to broaden her sights further than just independent film.
She's also set up a video production business in Grand Bank, Dream Shake Video.
Blue specializes in wedding videos, but also shoots commercials, live events, demo reels, promotional footage and conferences - pretty much anything someone would like.
The company's tagline is, "We shoot and edit anything that moves."
She's also looking for actors, singers, musicians and creative people in general to collaborate with on films.
"I'm finding that more of a challenge in Newfoundland.
"I was living north of Toronto, but the city was pretty accessible to me, so it was a lot easier because, I guess, everybody flocks there. It's a Mecca for getting into film and television, so I found it easy to cast there, and I also worked in the theatre, so I had a lot of contacts already."
Blue would also like to meet someone with a recording studio, who can record songs for her next short film.
"And somebody who can play an ugly stick."
She's hoping that once word gets around, things will perk up.
"If I can find people in the area, that I don't have to go to St. John's, and work with them, that would be ideal, really."
So far, since moving to the area, Blue has shot some news footage for NTV, noting that after living in large cities like New York and Toronto, she found police here really helpful and easy to get along with. She's hoping do more freelance work with the station.
Blue acknowledged there's been some adjusting, but she's excited to be living in a town where she can walk anywhere she wants to go. The couple had lived on a lake in the woods for several years.
"We were kind of shocked. I was like, 'Wow. The hospital is really close. That's good.' My husband said, 'Everything's really close.' Before, we had to drive for half an hour. It's nice."
The Southern Gazette