Ferreira Fest 67

Published July 2015.

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Summer is in full swing and in the Northern Hemisphere we're staying cool at Ferreira Fest 67 while celebrating Louis Ferreira's acting career and charity projects and the recent adventures of his friends! We have a lot of stuff again this month, from a new charity to photos to an exclusive interview with MOTIVE Executive Producer Dennis Heaton, our Reading Series and exciting Friends news! Come on in, grab a pineapple drink of your choice at our virtual bar and settle in for some good times!
Introducing Ability Online

This month we welcome Ability Online as our newest charity. Read on to find out more!

Louis has just signed on with Ability Online to be their first Cyberdad. Here's why and how he got involved:
LF – "You know, I believe, really what happens is - you raise your kids. I’m a dad, I’m a single dad, and I’ve got a twenty-two year old and he’s completely pretty much independent. And I’m sitting here going, okay, what next?
Because I love being a dad so much. And have, and will continue to do so. But in the midterm, there’s a part of me that feels that something is missing.
And that gap where I think people can get to in their life after the fact is you look to serve in certain areas, and I always respect the people, and this is why we try to find charities, or get involved, and I still want to do much more of that…
So this opportunity presented itself because some guy remembered me from ten years ago, who called me out of the blue and said look, there’s this cause. And I said, “Yeah, let me just…”
He goes, “Would you have dinner with us?”
I said, “Sure, let’s have dinner and let’s talk about it.” I sat down, I talked about it.
She [Michelle McClure] got excited at the idea when I told her my story and my Camp Dada story.
She’s like, “You know what you’d be great at? A cyber dad.”
I’m like, “That’s perfect for me!”
What a great way to continue my dad theme and my dad role, and even the name, with something that got me excited!
And then the possibility that I can, in fact, once again serve others and make a difference, and these are kids who clearly have some challenges.
And the fact that they can feel that there are people out there who are just saying hello, and checking in on a regular basis. I think we all know the value of that, at the end of the day, I feel like more than anyone. And so that’s why I got involved. And so the idea that she was like… I almost felt like I was being knighted. “I knight you cyber dad!”
Oh my gosh! What an honor!
So that’s how that happened."


Here is a brief interview with Executive Director Michelle McClure. Click here to listen to the sound clip:

FF – Hello, Michelle, and welcome to Ferreira Fest. We’re so thrilled to have you join us today! Could you tell us a little bit about Ability Online, what it is that you do, and how it all started?
MM – Absolutely! Ability Online is a small charity. But it started twenty-five years ago by a psychiatrist at the Hospital for Sick Children here in Toronto. And she had discovered back then what was called a bulletin board system where people could communicate with one another in a text based environment using a modem to connect computers together via a phone line. What was ideal about this, that she discovered, is that it didn’t matter what you looked like, whether or not you had a disability, but you could reach out to others and develop a friendship. And people got to know you based on what you wrote, not on what you look like or how you talk.
That was really critical because she was working with a lot of individuals who had severe burns, or physical disabilities, and so she had this “Aha!” moment of what a great way to break down the social isolation that many of these children experience because they have a hard time making friends in the traditional face-to-face environment.

And also many members, especially back then, when we didn’t have the wired world that we do now, many of these children were isolated because they were the only one in their school or their community that had a particular disability or had an accident or an illness, and they didn’t have anybody else that they could talk to that could relate to what they were going through.
So the idea was to create this safe, monitored online community where the children could come online and find others, and be connected to role models and mentors for inspiration and support.
When Dr. Lefebvre  was developing the program, she approached the pediatric rehabilitation center where I was working, and was looking for someone to help her develop the concept. The Hospital for Sick Children worked very closely with what’s now called Holland Bloorview, and that’s where I was working as a recreation therapist. So I was off to meet with her and check it out and just fell in love with the concept of it and thought it was fantastic, and started using it in my practice. I was working primarily with teens with head injuries, and it was amazing to see the change that came over them when they were online and they realized that they could make friends, and that there were other people that understood exactly what they were going through.

The program has evolved over the years and survived for twenty-five years, especially nowadays when we have Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and all those other ways of connecting, that there still is a real need for our program because a lot of our members don’t survive in a Facebook type environment. They might not have the social skills or the cognitive ability to carry on a conversation. And they’re the ones that are going to be teased, and so our environment, because it’s secure and monitored means that there’s absolutely no bullying or teasing. And it’s just this warm, friendly place where they can come and talk about the things that are of interest to them.
Or they can talk about their disability, it’s totally their choice.
It’s also an all-inclusive environment. Anybody who wants to find a friend or be a friend is welcome to join.
We encourage people with all abilities to connect, because that’s what the real world is like. It’s not just all these children with cerebral palsy connecting together, it’s everybody connecting and making those relationships.
And we now have just over six thousand registered members from across Canada and the United States. About twenty-five percent of our membership now is coming from the States.
FF – Oh, that’s wonderful, that’s great that it’s starting to bridge borders and everything. Now, how do you evaluate a successful collaboration in your organization, say between two people who are starting an e-mail thread?
MM – We do content analysis. And you can see the change in attitude that comes through in the messaging, as well as their communication skills. So we really watch for that shift from feeling negative, isolated, lonely, to feeling validated.
And we see an increase in self-esteem and confidence. And you can read that in their words, the messages that come across, and the frequency with which they log on, and they’re coming back. And, for us, we’ve had members that have stayed with us for fifteen-plus years, which is a real testament to the kind of community that we’ve built. And then they want to give back as well, which is the other piece. So it’s not just them coming and taking, but then they want to give back and they become online volunteers, or role models and mentors themselves. Or they tell other people about it.
And then we know. And that’s where the word of mouth has spread. And that we’ve really been successful in making these connections between individuals, and also between organizations.
We work with a lot of healthcare centers and schools across Canada and the States, and those collaborations that help us find the youth and young adult members that would benefit from an environment like ours.
FF – That sounds wonderful. Now, the reason why we became aware of you is because Louis has just recently signed on as a Cyberdad. So, could you tell us what Louis’ role as a Cyberdad would entail, what he’s going to be doing there?
MM – This is really novel for us, and it was so exciting after we met with him, and just heard his passion as a father, in general. I was sharing a story with him about a Cybergrannie that we had, and that many of our children might be in single parent families, or they might be being raised by their grandparents, or they might not have any grandparents, and so to be able to connect them to someone who plays that role in real life, to have someone they can look up to, very much like a role model that we use, we have different athletes; well, when I was talking with him I thought, you know, you would be fantastic with our youth. And not only sharing stories of his role as an actor, which will be very exciting for them, but also his role as a dad and how he nurtures the relationship with his children.

Louis proudly wears the official Ability Online t-shirt
And to be there to encourage the kids and inspire them to follow their dreams, and the dreams can be any size. And so we’re setting up this environment where he’s going to be able to connect. I’ve created a page for him within Ability Online. It has his pictures and talks about his career. But also that the other most important role that he has in his life is not the actor but it’s the dad.
He’ll be able to come online and share his own experiences and be there for those kids that may not have a strong father figure in their life. And we’re thrilled to be able to open this up and create this new role for our members.
FF – That sounds wonderful. Now, how can Ferreira Fest readers get involved and help, and what kind of people are you looking for, and what is the time commitment?

MM – That’s the beauty of running a virtual community. It runs 24/7, we cross the time zones, so people can come online whenever they have any time available to them.
Because it’s a text based forum and its communication is forums where they post their comments, and then they can go in and respond whenever they have a moment, that’s what makes it ideal. And so it’s not a set time of day, it’s whenever you’ve got a moment you can go on and you can join.
So, in terms of the Ferreira Fest readers, they could get involved, there may be people out there that have disabilities or illnesses themselves. They might be mentors where they’re active in a particular sport or have an area of expertise that they could share with other members.
We have people who have an interest in music, in cooking, and they share those talents with others online. They become an online volunteer that helps run a content forum and just be part of the environment.
And it is divided into different sections.
We have a section for the kids and teens. We have one for the young adults. And then we also have a section for parents and professionals. So if there are people out there that are parents and want to get involved in our community, we welcome them. If they are professionals that work in the world of disability, or if they have expertise in an area, for example we have a financial advisor who comes online and answers questions.
And because we have members from the States, it would be great to get some more volunteers who live in the States and can actually answer questions for our American members. Because some of the regulations and guidelines in where you find different services are different from state to state, just as they are from province to province.
But it really is this wonderful community where people who get involved tend to stay. A lot of my volunteers are ten-plus years of service volunteers, because they love the experience.

Help Louis spread the word about Ability Online!
The other area where we would really benefit from assistance is word of mouth. Telling people about Ability Online, and what we do for our families. And we also have an equipment grant program, so for families who are members of Ability Online, and they have a child who’s eighteen years of age and under who has a disability, and they need a particular piece of equipment, then we can help them acquire that equipment through our donation program.
We have the Ability Gives website where people can donate to a specific child and their equipment, and there’s also a “donate now” button on our Ability Online website so that they can, if people are able and willing to help, every dollar makes a difference. And what we’re really thrilled about, because we are a virtual community and I work out of a home office, our overhead expenses are very low.
One hundred percent of the money that we raise for the equipment goes directly to the equipment, and ninety percent of the money that we raise for the online program goes directly to the online program.
So that’s a really great investment, so we’re always looking for members, people to help us spread the word, and then the money to keep the charity going.
FF – Well, that sounds just wonderful. Thank you so much for taking the time, for telling us about Ability Online, and I wish you all the best for your work in supporting such a worthy cause.
MM – Thank you so much for what you’re doing as well and I think this is going to be a wonderful relationship all the way around.
FF – Yes, I agree. So, I hope you have a wonderful rest of the day, and I hope to talk to you soon.
MM – That sounds wonderful, thank you so much.
FF – Okay, thank you, bye-bye.
MM – Bye-bye.
Thanks to Casey for the transcripts!
Please take a moment to visit our new Ability Online Page, and then go to their official website to sign up and join Louis and participate in a way that fits conveniently into your schedule. You can also go straight to their donations page and make a contribution by clicking on the logo below. We have also added a direct link to the donations page in the sidebar on the Home Page.


The Children's Aid Foundation

It's a Newzapalooza!
The Toronto Star's Jim Rankin chats about Newzapalooza, a battle of the bands fundraiser event for The Children's Aid Foundation. Check it out here!

Click here to read the most recent CAF newsletter The Buzz for a wealth of information about this great organization. To make a donation please click on the logo below. Every penny helps disadvantaged kids lead a better life!

The Good Neighbours Club
The Good Neighbours Club is accepting applications for the following position - Manager, Development and Community Engagement. Interested? Click here.

New Fact Sheets have been posted to GNC's website. Read them for a quick overview of what the club does and some demographics of its members.
"Every week on Tuesday afternoons, the men get together on the 2nd floor and have a musical jam session. Occasionally, they even break out into Karaoke. Already today the staff on the main floor were serenaded by
an amazingly talented member playing us some tunes on his accordion. Felt like I was in Italia again." - Lauro Monteiro on GNC's Facebook page.
If you can't sing your way out of a brown paper bag and your musical talent is equivalent to that of a medium-sized rock you can make a donation instead and keep the good folks at GNC jammin' on Tuesday afternoons! Click on the logo below and follow the easy and secure link.

Project Limelight
The entire performance of East Side Story is now available for viewing online, so if you were unable to squeeze in a trip to Vancouver you can now watch it right here!

  Our junior member Vicky loves East Side Story and highly recommends it! So if you have any young people in your lives, watch the show together with them!

posted with parental approval
The Project Limelight kids participated in RUSH Vancouver's urban scavenger hunt benefiting The BC Lung Association. Check out their fun photos here, here and here!

Co-Founder Maureen Webb was honored with the Women in Film & Television Vancouver Spotlight Award. Maureen is also the casting director for MOTIVE. Congratulations, Maureen!

Tuesday Night Live (TNL) is an ongoing storytelling series, at The Lux Lounge which brings actors, producers, directors, agents and writers together in an intimate setting for the common purpose of sharing our experiences through stories, and raising awareness for Project Limelight Society. Come and listen to a story (approximately 10 minutes) then ask a few questions to our storytellers. The event is free, but we have a suggested donation of $5. Guests can enjoy appetizers, meals and drinks from the delicious kitchen at The Lux Lounge throughout the evening. We start at 7pm and finish by 8:30. Karaoke after! The next session is on July 28th!

Can't make it to Vancouver because you live on the other side of the planet? Never fear. You can participate by making a donation. Just click on the logo and follow the instructions - it's easy and safe.


The Prince George Citizen has a wrap-up of the 2015 Leo Awards, and Louis as well as MOTIVE gets a mention.
The MOTIVE production team will return to work soon and get ready to start filming Season 4! Until then everyone is busy preparing or working on other projects. Or, as in the case of Showrunner Dennis Heaton, joining The Friends of Louis Ferreira with the awesome interview up next!

Dennis Heaton is an Executive Producer and writer for Louis' current show MOTIVE. He kindly agreed to an interview with Ferreira Fest this month.

We'll let Louis introduce him to you!
Listen to the sound clip here:

LF – "Dennis Heaton was the man behind the curtain on Motive for the first season. And, rightly so, was given that position in the second season and has been helming the show since then.
Dennis is humble, and he’s super talented at what he does, but he’s also very accessible. And that to me is the key: that I can pick up the phone and really have a conversation. As a brother, as a friend, not with that line drawn in the sand of the Executive Director, or whatever it is that some of these guys tend to do.

And, so, that accessibility for me is probably his greatest strength.
We talk now more than ever. And it’s really, a lot of times, just enjoying each other’s personalities as much as a little bit of the work stuff. So there’s more friendship on the side of that then there is… so there’s a mutual respect, I think.
I’ve watched him grow in the position and I love that, I love that was an opportunity that he’s had, so, and made the most of it, with what he was given. And so, for that I’m grateful for… to him and for the friendship.
Because if you don’t have access to a showrunner or a captain, or there’s no captain on a team, then in my opinion the show, which is a very difficult thing to start doing to begin with, becomes even much more difficult when there isn’t someone helming the ship.
We need a captain. And Dennis has been our captain for a while now and I’m grateful for him, too."

And so without much further ado, please welcome Dennis Heaton to The Friends of Louis Ferreira!
Listen to the sound clip here:

FF – Hi Dennis, and welcome to Ferreira Fest. We’re so thrilled to have you join us today. So, let’s start with something really simple. Who is Dennis Heaton and what gets you up in the morning?

DH – Well, who is Dennis Heaton? Hopefully I’m Dennis Heaton. I’m the executive producer and showrunner for the TV series Motive, which is made up here in Vancouver, British Columbia. And what gets me up in the morning, besides talking to you, is making TV every day.

FF – Right. Wonderful. So, what inspired you to be a writer and a producer? And do you do any other kind of creative work in that line? Or maybe even totally apart from that.

DH – Oh sure. I knew I wanted to work in the film industry when I was in elementary school.

I had a childhood love of horror movies. I would get up at midnight on Friday night with my Dad and we’d watch The Beast of Yucca Flats and Night of the Living Dead and just all those old creature features that they’d run, after all the decent citizens of the world were asleep. 

And I just fell in love with monster movies. So when I was twelve, I thought I was going to do special effects. That’s what I really wanted to get into.
Dennis with the model of a Mugwump from the movie "Naked Lunch". Incidentally, Louis was in that movie!
And then, over time, I developed a love of writing. It was something I always did as a hobby, something to pass the time. I didn’t really realize that I could have a career as a writer, probably until I got into college and finally made the connection between screenwriting and paychecks.  And basically, by then I had the desire but I still didn’t really have the wherewithal to get into it. I ended up in a career in animation for about seven or eight years. And I started out as a production artist. Then I became a production supervisor, and then finally a producer. I produced a TV series for MTV called The Brothers Grunt with Danny Antonucci who created the cartoon character Lupo the Butcher and Ed, Edd ‘n’ Eddy.

I was the producer on a couple of Gary Larson: Tales from the Farside projects.

FF – Oh my god, yeah.

DH – One was a Halloween special for CBS. And then the second was a direct to video sequel that we did. So, I was doing all this animation producing and in the back of my head it was like, you want to write. You want to write!

And so eventually I shifted over to writing for cartoons. So, for a number of years I was in the zone where I was still doing some producing, and then I was writing for cartoons, and during that time I directed episodes of Transformers for Fox Kids. A series of Beast Machines, I directed a couple of documentaries, and gradually, as the animation writing became more and more focused, I became more of a full time writer. And then from there, from the animation writing, I segued into writing for live action and started staffing on different TV shows. And, staff writing, being in the writers room on different TV shows.

And worked my way up that ladder to showrunning Motive.

FF – Are you still involved in animation? I seem to recall you getting a Leo recently for something that you had done?

DH – I do. Yeah, I won a Leo Award for a script I wrote for a series called Nerds and Monsters called Are You Gonna Eat That?

FF – Now, Dennis, at Ferreira Fest here, we have a vested interest in mentorship. We’re always interested in how people get to where they’re at. Who were, and possibly even still are, your mentors? And do you, yourself, have an interest in mentoring?

Writers Julie Puckrin, Dennis Heaton, James Thorpe and Thomas Pound put some color in their stories for CTV's Motive. (photo by Jeff Weddell)
DH – Definitely, I have an interest in mentoring. Whether I do a good job at it or not, you’d have to talk to the mentees. The writing aspect of the film industry, I would say, has very much of a mentor structure to it. Simply out of the fact that the writing room itself always requires there to be a cross-spectrum of writers.

So you’ll have more experienced writers, like the writers with fifteen, twenty years’ experience, and then you’ll have writers with ten to fifteen years’ experience, and then the writers right out of the gate, up to ten years’ experience.

You build a room with the various levels of experience because everybody has something different to bring to the table. But you always want to make sure that you’re giving the newer writers an opportunity to get into the room and to develop their voice. So, there’s that aspect of it, and then of course on a one-on-one level, I’ll go out and have coffee with pretty much anybody who phones me, who’s looking to be a writer, if I have the time.

I’m going to caveat that, because sometimes I don’t have the time to meet with people, but when I’m in my down period, I try to meet with as many motivated writers who are obviously making the effort to get the information, I’m more than happy to sit down and talk with them.
I talk to a lot of students, I go to a lot of classrooms and talk about the career. So I’m always doing whatever outreach I can do with newer writers.
In terms of my own career, I’ve had a few people that I would consider mentors, both in and out of writing. I would say that Pete Mohan who gave me one of my first jobs in the writers’ room has been one of my biggest mentors. He’s still a guy I’ll call for advice. So, I’ve been in the industry now… like if I go back to when I started out as a production artist, I’ve been in the industry now for over twenty-five years. And I still reach out to people like Pete and say, “You know, I’m not sure about this, what would you do?”

It’s always great to have that person to bounce ideas off, so the fact that somebody would consider me that resource, I’d be quite pleased with.

FF – That’s the funny thing about mentoring, we’re never really too old for it, to receive mentoring, and we’re never too young to mentor someone else. Because even if you’re just an hour ahead of some other person who’s doing what you’re trying to do, what you’re doing, you have that hour, or that day or that year, ahead of them, and you can pass on that information.

DH – That’s a really, really good point. Because sometimes that’s a critical hour that you’ve got.

FF – Right. Exactly. So, now, basing on this mentoring idea, what was the most useful piece of advice that you received that helped you break into the business or advance a huge step ahead?

DH – That’s a great question, Bea, wow! One of the best pieces of advice that I ever got was – if you want to write, you gotta write. It’s really easy to say you want to be a writer, and it’s really hard to get up every morning and spend two hours before you go to a day job, sitting at a keyboard typing, typing an idea, writing a story, doing a character sketch.

Dennis with the Canadian Screen Award he won for Call Me Fitz
A friend of mine once described writing  “Many are called but few are chosen”. What I always loved about that statement is, it’s really easy to want to be a writer, but it’s really hard to put the hours in to actually get there. And it’s tenacity. People talk about the luck of getting into the film and television industry, and to a certain extent I agree, but it’s a manufactured luck, and it’s a luck that’s manufactured from putting in the sweat equity and investing in yourself, and spending the time to train yourself. Because there’s no magic formula to being a writer.

You can read all the books on writing and on screenwriting that have ever been published, and nobody’s ever going to say, all you have to do is give the gypsy queen a silver quarter and you’re a writer.

If I could have done it that way, I would have, because I’m inherently lazy. So it’s just, you’ve got to put the time in.

FF – Yeah, I’ve heard that from other writers, too, that there’s so much self-motivation involved because nobody can say, sit down and write, you have to say that to yourself and you just simply have to do it, and overcome the blocks and just work through it, because if that motivation isn’t in yourself, nobody’s going to give that to you.

DH – Exactly.

FF – Now, with the rise of social media, creative artists have an opportunity to receive immediate feedback from the viewers. Do you feel that this affects the creative process, both positively or negatively, and if so, how?

DH – That’s a great question. Definitely, social media affects a show these days. And I think it’s great. Positive or negative feedback is great to get. Simply because it means that people are reacting to the material that you’re putting out there. I think the absolute worst thing that you could have happen to a project that you make is to have people go, “eh,” and just move on.

Right? A negative reaction is still a reaction, and it’s a reaction that you can learn something from. I would say you have to develop a thick skin, probably a thicker skin than you had to develop before social media. And, don’t get me wrong, if you’re going to be a writer, you’re basically putting yourself into the path of unbridled criticism.

Everybody’s going to have an opinion about what you do and what you put down on paper. And sometimes those opinions are going to be spot on, and other times those opinions are going to be completely out of the blue. But any criticism given in a respectful manner, intended to improve the quality of a project, is always going to be welcome.

And I would say that is the biggest downside of social media, is, the criticism is sometimes non-constructive. I’ll give you a non-Motive example. I did a web-series once called, My Pal Satan. It was six little shorts about a human woman who ends up with Satan as a roommate. The idea was, what would it be like if you literally had the roommate from Hell?

FF – Oh, I think I’ve been there, actually.

DH – A lot of us have. A lot of us have been there. And so I wrote and produced this web-series, and obviously I love it because I took the effort to get the Canadian Film Centre interested, so that they would help fund it, hire a cast and crew and get a bunch of volunteers to make the thing with me. So, you do this labor of love, and you put it out into the world, and you get a response on the audience feedback page that goes, “This show is…” and I’m toning down some of the language, so when you hear me say ‘crap’ think of the other word. “This show is crap, this show is just awful, everybody involved should kill themselves.”

It’s horrible, what do you do with that?

The anonymity of the internet, a lot of people take unfair advantage of it. That’s why I say, you’ve got to really develop a thick skin. Because it’s a cliché, but the haters are going to hate, kind of thing. And you’ve got to accept that.
I think it’s a mistake that some people go online and all they look for is the positive reaction. Right? You can’t take the gravy without the gristle.

And if you can’t weather the negative feedback then you shouldn’t go hunting for the positive feedback.

FF – Right. Exactly.

DH – A little bit of a meandering response.
FF – No, that’s perfectly okay. That’s what we’re looking for here. Your voice, your thoughts.

So now, what was your most rewarding work experience on a creative level?

DH – I love to write comedy as well as police procedurals and genre stuff. And I did a short film called Head Shot a number of years ago. And it was a short film, it’s a comedy about an actor, he thinks he’s gone to an audition, only to discover that he’s actually been hired to do a snuff film.

And then he finds out that they’re going to fire him because he’s a lousy actor, so he fights for the role. He’s like, no, I can be killed in a snuff film, like…

FF – Right.

DH – So it’s basically a blooper reel from a snuff film. It got accepted into the Berlin Film Festival, and I got to go. And I’m sitting with this international audience of film-goers with this five minute snuff film that I shot in eight hours. And everybody’s laughing, and, to be sitting there and experience that level of enjoyment for something that you’ve made, getting that immediate feedback of the audience, is really cool. It’s really cool.

FF – What an experience, that sounds great! So now, we’ve said before, you’re currently writing for Motive and you’re also executive producing the series.

DH – Yeah.

FF – Now, when you start working on a new show, what do you do to get to know the actors and their characters so you can write in their voice?

DH – Oh man, that’s a good question. The voice of a character is always a developmental process. The first few scripts are often written in the vacuum of not having a cast. We write several scripts during the development stage, and a pilot is written sometimes years before a show is actually created, or actually greenlit for production.

It’s a bit of a fusion of what you put on the paper being interpreted by the actor, coming back to you, and you seeing what the actor’s bringing to the table, and then modifying the voice to suit the direction that the actor has started to take things. You’ll start to see it in the initial audition tapes of the actors that you’ve selected, you see their cadence and their nuances and how they morph the lines to change an emphasis, or to, what we call, take the marbles out of the mouth.

Which is, the writer has written a gormy bit of dialogue that’s kind of awkward to say. And you don’t always necessarily know you’ve written a chunky line, until you hear someone try to say it. And it’s like, oh, right. That’s awful.

FF – Sounds a little wooden, there, yeah? 

DH – Yeah. It’s like, "I’m so sorry that I made you say that".

Dennis on the set of MOTIVE. Photo by Karen Iam.
For me, at least, it’s always a give and take process of paying attention to what either they’re doing, what the actors are doing in the dailies, or just being on the floor with them and listening to the rehearsal of the dialogue and going, yeah, that doesn’t work, let’s try changing stuff on the fly, or if an actor has a suggestion to tighten up a line, or to get a point across more succinctly. It’s a give and take.

FF – So it must be, in a way, more rewarding to stick with a show for a while and get to know the characters and write for them for a while as opposed to writing one script for a show, like a one-off thing.
DH – Definitely. It’s definitely more rewarding. I’ve been doing Motive now for four years, and finally in season four I feel like I’ve got a handle on it. So… I’m finally getting to know what I’m doing.

FF – Well, it’s like getting to know real people, in effect, you don’t get to know them in a week or two anyway.

DH – No.

FF – You just explore them slowly over time.

FF – So now, what are the special challenges, or joys, as the case may be, in writing for a character like Oscar Vega?

DH – Vega is such a cool detective to write for because both Vega and Flynn are, in my opinion, not your typical procedural detectives. They both have a capacity to see beyond the simplistic black and white attitude of good and bad, and understand that people sometimes do terrible things for a good reason. And their understanding that there’s more complexity to a situation than “bad guy must be caught and punished”, which is definitely still something that has to happen, but to know that by having a greater understanding of why something happened, can lead to a satisfying resolution.

FF – Right. Yeah, and, I’ve just re-watched some of the episodes, and it’s really surprising to me, and delightful in a way, that sometimes you’re on the murderer’s side. Not on the victim’s side. Whereas most police procedurals put you on the side of the victim and you feel sorry for them, and all that, and the bad guy is the bad guy. And that’s it. But, in many ways, the murderer’s story, oftentimes in Motive, is more interesting than anyone else’s. And you feel empathy for them.
DH – Exactly. Exactly. And what’s always really important, for me, is that they have killed, so I don’t want to be in a situation where we’re rooting for the killer, because there’s very few circumstances where, and I’m talking about this on a narrative level, a television level, there’s very few circumstances where I believe in storytelling you can actually get behind the killer. Right? Where you can actually say that the killer’s actions are just and noble.

Dennis with the MOTIVE gang at the 2015 Leo Awards, winning the award for Best Dramatic Series. Photo by YVRShoots.
Generally in storytelling, it’s a revenge film; a tenet of a revenge film is the fact that the justice system is impotent, unable to do anything to help the person. You actually have to take the audience on a story through a horrific event happening to an individual, that individual looking for justice through the civilized channels of society, through the police and through the courts. And those systems have to fundamentally fail him or her before they can pick up the gun and go out and kill on their own.

That’s the true narrative structure of a revenge film. And, the flaw of that, of applying that to a show like Motive, is my cops aren’t incompetent. These are extremely intelligent people. So, I never want my murderers to be above the law. I can definitely have the empathetic killer, the sympathetic killer and sometimes we even manage to get in the completely awful killer who absolutely does not deserve any sympathy from the audience. I think that’s why this show is always so surprising, because you never know what kind of killer you’re going to get. Unlike other procedurals where it’s like, killer = bad.

FF – Let’s talk a little bit about Louis, here. We’re getting towards the end! Do you have any memorable experiences with Louis that you would like to share?

DH – Louis is such a treat to have on set. He has such a great sense of humor. He is so much fun to be around when we’re filming. If we’re ever in a tight situation, the pressures of the production are just starting to weigh, it’s always going to be him that cracks a joke and gets everybody’s moods lifted. So, there are too many instances of that, to think of just one.

FF – Here’s the last question I have for you, Dennis. If you had to describe Louis in four words, what would they be?

DH – In four words?

FF – Yes.

DH – Here we go. So these are the four words I would use to describe Louis.

Hilarious. Generous. Melodious. And talented.

FF – Those are great words! Thank you so much Dennis! So, anyways, that was it, for our conversation today. Thank you so much for being with us here at Ferreira Fest. And I really appreciate you spending the time and I hope you have a wonderful rest of the day.

DH – Thanks, Bea, and thank you for arranging this, this has been a lot of fun.

FF – Okay, thanks, bye-bye.

DH – Have a good day.

Thanks to Margo for lining up this great interview and providing several questions, and to Casey for the transcript!
Please visit Dennis Heaton's Page here at The Friends of Louis Ferreira for photos, videos that are mentioned in the interview and that you can watch right there, a bio and complete filmography!

Follow Dennis Heaton on Twitter at @DennisHeaton2


Louis and his colleague Lauren Holly shared a few photos over the past month!
Click on the image to see the original posts.

Juy 1, 2015 - Canada Day at Niagara Falls (photo shared by Louis)

At Lauren Holly's 4th of July Party (photo shared by Lauren Holly)


Billie knows how to relax in style (photo shared by Louis)


In honor of our friend Dennis Heaton we have 831 caps of Motive's Season 3 Episode 1 this month. "6 Months Later" was written by Dennis, and it sets up the story arc of the entire season.


Here is a direct link to the album: https://ferreirafestscreencaps.shutterfly.com/pictures/11634



This month we have a question from Chris in Valdosta, Georgia:

Are you doing Camp Dada with your daughter this summer? I really enjoyed her interview. She seems like such a great young lady. You must be so proud of her!
Listen to the sound clip here:
LF – "Awww, well thank you, what a great question! Yes, we just finished our fourteenth summer together. It’s a little different because I always, up until year twelve, I had both kids. And even last year I had Aidan a little bit of the time, so the transition’s happened where Camp Dada ends up being me and my daughter.
But what I in fact did this year was, of course, I shortened my usual period of time in half so that she now is going to Africa on a Me To We excursion, where I believe the next chapter of her life awaits her.

It’s like this with birds in the nest, and you’re like, “Okay, you can fly, you’re ready.”

It breaks your heart as a parent. Because even at the airport today, the other parents were looking at me, and Sawyer was like, “Dad! You’re losing it!” I just kept hugging her and she’s like, “But the other parents are laughing.” But in a very sweet way, because I was just being me.
But I was just sitting there going, wow, it’s an amazing thing. And I say this in the best way, what a gift, when you feel that kind of love, or that kind of power, that kind of emotion. Some people are afraid of it, because they think it’s weak.
It’s that whole thing: vulnerability is our power.
The fact that I could be so moved by just saying good-bye and have that kind of emotional reaction, to me it’s such a powerful testament to our human nature that I know that the only thing that matters at the end of the day is our love for ourselves and our love for each other.
Nothing else, at the end of the day, nothing will ever match that feeling.
And I am so grateful, grateful, grateful that through acting, I’ve been able to do the Camp Dada the years that I’ve done. And I’m just beyond blessed. And I know that with all my heart.
But, yes, Camp Dada will be a very difficult thing to say good-bye to.
Every time I say Camp Dada, they go, “Camp Data? D A T A?”
I go, “No, no, no. Dad with an A.”
“What do you mean, like Da Da?”
I say, “Yeah, like you’re two years old. Dada. Like that, D A D A.”
I have to always explain it. And they always give me a look… they must think it’s a camp for children, I don’t know what they think, but it’s always funny, the reaction."

Thanks to Casey for the transcript! Got a question for Louis? Send an email!


Every month Louis reads a chapter from one of his favorite books, Are You as Happy as Your Dog? by Alan Cohen. Mr. Cohen has kindly granted his permission for us to post Louis' book reading clips here. Please join me in thanking him and be sure to visit his website at alancohen.com.

Click on the thumbnail of the book cover to purchase a copy of the book:

You can listen to the book readings on the Reading Series Page.
Here is this month's chapter.

Listen to the sound clip here:

Chapter #29: Think Big

No one ever told Munchie that he was little, so he acts big.

When I take him on walks through the country, he chases cows and horses. I think they are more surprised than intimidated to be corralled by a barking tumbleweed. But it works.

Munch usually gets the critters to move at least a little bit, and he comes back with a triumphant smile.

Once he got a cement truck to stop. He sat in front of it and barked until it came to a halt.

Munchie thinks big and so he lives big.



Our friend Jade just lost her beloved little dog Bébé on July 3. She kindly gave her permission to share her email here:
"I lost my beloved Bébé early this morning. Her lung collapsed. I took her to the vet. She survived the surgery, but perished a few hours later. I have been crying non stop. I've been told it's just a dog. But she was my baby. It is a horrible, deep sadness."

Here are two photos of little Bébé:
If you've lost a dear pet please share your photos with us. Send an email, post on the Forum (choose "new discussion" in the Pets thread, sign up is easy and free), or use our Guestbook.

Bradley Stryker

Bradley Stryker's script for "Silent Hero" was a semi-finalist in Script Pipeline's 2015 Screenwriting Contest. Congratulations!

He also celebrated his birthday on June 29th by watching "Kinky Boots" on Broadway with Caitlin.

Peter Kelamis

Meet Peter Kelamis in person! You can catch up with Peter at Creation Entertainment's Official Stargate SG-1/ Atlantis/ Universe 2015 Convention in Chicago, Illinois on August 14-16, 2015, at The Westin O'Hare Hotel, or on Labor Day weekend at Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. Peter gives great hugs!

Peter has just shot the pilot for a new TV show. He can't mention the title but you can read about his adventures here and here.

And recently he voiced the character Randall from Monsters University for Disney Infinity.  Looks like the project hasn't even been officially announced yet. Congrats, Peter!

Peter poses with the Grey Goose poster horse. Painted hooves? Check. Top Hat? Check.
Manly pose? Check.

Peter makes a trip to the bar.  Too bad that pretty horse didn't come with a tray to help him out.

Rob Munic

Rob is on Twitter! Follow him at @PTPMunic!

We've updated Rob's Production credits for Murder In The First which still airs Monday nights on TNT. Catch missed episodes right here.
Here's Rob Munic looking all badass while working as a guest DJ at 88.5 KCSN in Los Angeles.

Is there anything this guy can't do?

Rob is a writer, producer and actor. Check out his page here at The Friends of Louis Ferreira!
Rob's current show Empire (he is writing for the series) has been nominated for the Teen Choice Breakout TV Show award. You can vote by clicking on and following this link.

You can watch all of Empire's Season 1 episodes here. Season 2 starts on September 23 on FOX.

Rob did a push-up battle with Empire showrunner Ilene Chaiken. Click on the
image to watch the video!
Here's Rob with his fellow Empire writers in the Writers' Room.

Rob went to a Tales From the Toilet Screening Party - here he is with the creator of the series Brian Rousso.
Watch the trailer for this hilarious series and read more about it at Funny Or Die!

Ingrid Rogers

Ingrid can currently be seen as Holly in a recurring role on the TNT show Murder in the First. Her next episode will air on August 3rd. Check your local listings!

High praise for Ingrid's work can be found on Twitter here, here and here. Be sure to watch her in Bruja Blanca in two weeks!

Jennifer Spence

Jen's Page has been updated with new credits!

Jennifer and her latest short film The Adept won the following Accolade Global Film Competition awards:   Direction, Original Score (The Adept), Leading Actor (Adam Greydon Reid as Ben), Leading Actress (Jennifer Spence as Maddy)

The Adept also won the Best Shorts Competition's Award of Excellence - Special Mention.

Congratulations, Jennifer!!
David Dingess

David announced that he is the new music teacher at Alexander II Magnet School in Macon, Georgia. Yo kids - you'll have the best teacher ever! Check out all the cool stuff he's done on David's Page here at The Friends of Louis Ferreira!

David in front of his new school

David can't wait for school to start!

Justin Chance
Chance has posted some new original artwork. Check out his gallery on Chance's Page and view everything in full size.

Eric Banerd

Eric will be in episode 1.7 of The Man in the High Castle. You can watch the trailer here!

One of his bands, The Wild Romantics, has been playing up a storm this summer! Check out their Instagram page! They'll be playing next on July 25th at Rock of the Woods Music Festival in Cowichan Valley, BC. Be sure to visit Eric's Page for much more info about this talented young artist!
Eric and TWR on stage at The Port Theater

Eric jamming in the studio!      photo by popsndjme

Patrick Gilmore
Patrick shared a few photos of himself, and they're about as different in style as can be.
Call it The Four Faces of Patrick Gilmore.
Click on the images to see the original posts.

Here's Patrick with his buddy Jeff Ox, ca 1979, all sweet and innocent...

photo by AaronRTS
...but don't mess with him now!

Patrick with his friend Peter New
in his favorite movie!
Sadly, it never got made.

And you always thought you can't sing under water! Click on the image for a video to prove you wrong. So VERY wrong.
Lots more photos and fun stuff with Patrick can be found on Patrick's Page! From goofy to gory to gorgeous - it's all there!
A million thanks go to our Update Manager Alma for  keeping up with all of our Friends' and Charities' activities!

Margo has update our Online Articles Archives. Check back often as new files will be uploaded frequently!


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We hope to see you all next month!

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