Vancouver-based Dreamfilm Productions is delving into modern marriages and a car competition in two upcoming documentaries slated for Canadian networks, says EP Sue Ridout.
Coming up through Dreamfilm in early 2011 is the one-hour doc Thoroughly Modern Marriage for CBC’s Doc Zone. The doc explores why the institution of marriage still exists. Ridout says that they’ve been filming couples in all stages: those just getting married, a couple in an open marriage, mixed marriages and couples that have been married for 50 to 70 years. She says the documentary will aim to answer the question of ‘why people embrace a slightly archaic institution?’
Ridout says they’re currently filming 10 couples. That’s a departure from some of Dreamfilm’s other works that tend to focus on one person, or one couple, such as the 2009 Gemini Award-winning documentary Peace Warrior. That doc – which aired on CTV – was an intimate portrait of Captain Trevor Greene and his fiancée, and how they coped after Greene suffered brain injuries following an axe attack in Afghanistan. ‘The marriage doc is more of a survey piece,’ says Ridout.
Discovery Network in Canada will air Dreamfilm’s other project, X-Cars, this fall. The two-hour documentary follows a Canadian team competing in an international competition, the X Prize, which tasks competitors with designing and building a consumer vehicle that can exceed 100 miles per gallon. The X Prize began with over 120 teams and is currently whittled down to 28. Ridout says selecting George Parker and his Future Vehicle Technologies (FVT) crew, made up mostly of mechanics from Maple Ridge, B.C., was a complete gamble. ‘We didn’t know if [they] could go the distance,’ she says.
The FVT crew is still in the competition, at work on their three-wheeled aerodynamic car, which began as a sketch drawn on a napkin in 1985. Three winning vehicles will be named in September 2010, and the winning teams will receive $10 million in prizes. ‘I’m not a car person, but the story is so great,’ says Ridout.