Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Langford-based film studio aims big with new production

June 22, 2015 by Tori Dmytar, contributing writer

Just over a year ago, a dream was put into production. Alexander Panagopoulos and his team over at Langford’s Ragnarock Studios wanted to create a film project to get their company up and running.

They had developed a story set in ancient Greece, and, as a fan of action movies like 300 and having Greek ancestry himself, Panagopoulos knew that he had to undertake this project.

He says that ancient Greece is the hardest thing to film in a backyard, and that is precisely why the team decided to take this challenge on.

“I knew that we should shoot what was an almost unobtainable quest,” says Panagopoulos. “If we went for the hardest film genre to film with very little money and we pulled that off successfully, we would have some chops and we would get people’s attention.”

The Forever Legends is an ambitious project from Langford’s Ragnarock Studios (photo provided).

The Forever Legends is an ambitious project from Langford’s Ragnarock Studios (photo provided).

The concept trailer for their project, The Forever Legends, has just been released, and Panagopoulos couldn’t be more excited. Now that they have the momentum going, he and his team do not want to stop. They’ve just accomplished something everyone thought was impossible.

“I personally thought it was going to be vacation time, but I’m more fired up than ever now,” says Panagopoulos. “When you do something that’s supposedly impossible, when you’re done, you’re like, ‘Well, what else is possible?’”

They are now working on getting funding for the complete project, as well as getting stunt people trained; they’re hoping to start filming the epic fight scenes by the end of summer. One thing Panagopoulos discovered was the vast amount of raw talent on the island just waiting to be showcased. They now have a team assembled that consists of parkour specialists, set designers, and countless artisans that design armour and masks… and he found them only five minutes down the road. That makes Panagopoulos curious about what else is hidden here on the island.

“The only way we got it done was bringing the community in, but because of the approach that we used, now we have so much more equipment and so many more people and it’s just like the door has just finally opened to what’s really possible,” he says.

Panagopoulos thinks that we have everything we need on the island to make our film industry thrive, and he says that’s one of the major goals of Ragnarock, who hope to use The Forever Legends to get the ball rolling with the local film industry.

“Our overall dream would be to build a larger company that can serve the industries that come north,” says Panagopoulos, “but also service our own industry and tell our own Canadian stories right here on the island. I have, so far, not found any reason why it can’t be done.”

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3 Responses to “Langford-based film studio aims big with new production”
  1. AJ says:

    Thanks Lee for your comments. The work we’ve done so far has garnered us enough attention to attract an established producer, who has already made steps to move the project forward. The project is being reworked as a television series, rather than a one-off, 90-min project.

    You are of course, more than welcome to make whatever films you want. That’s part of what makes filmmaking so democratic! We feel that there is no dishonor in failure when you are attempting something bigger than most people can be bothered to dream. There is no fault in being audacious. The efforts and exposure so far has given us exactly what we were looking for. We weren’t interested in pursuing the low/no budget short film stuff because doing that stuff usually just gets you lost in the crowd of everyone else doing the same thing. In order to punch through the noise, as the adage says ‘Go big or go home!’. This trailer was done as a proof of concept, with less money than those low/no budget projects that you speak of. Why not work on things that get us excited? Life is too short to not live your dreams.

    We chose to do something difficult right out of the gate because we knew that after the crucible, we’d have a solid team, access to the talent, and the drive to shoot whatever is asked of us when it came to servicing client shoots.

    ‘Where there is unity, there is always victory.” The team that was built to make this project pulled a ton of local talent. If nothing else came of this, we know that those involved had a great time on the project and are all willing to work with us again, so I call that a huge win that makes it all worthwhile!

    Thanks Jenny! Glad you liked it!

  2. Lee says:

    I understand passion and following a dream, but a series of short, engaging, well made no/low-budget films with limited visual effects would serve you better to get your name established, rather than attempting an epic, mythology-driven, visual effects heavy period piece. So many more opportunities to fail are introduced with an epic tentpole film, especially when first starting out. It’s akin to putting the cart before the horse. Limiting the failures is key. Instead, get noticed, get a reputation by building a quality body of short-form entertainment, then go after your dream epic after you have the necessary experience. You still get to do what you love, making films, and you get to learn and grow along the way. Good luck to you!

  3. Jenny Millar says:

    Great article… loved the trailer at the premiere. Great to see local talent in action.

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