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SAIT alumni launch Alberta-made film

Matt Watterworth and Scott Westby, SAIT Film and Video Production alumni.

SAIT-alumni directed and produced revenge thriller, In Plainview, is available to stream on Amazon Prime and Apple TV. Pictured above: Director Matt Watterworth (left) and Producer Scott Westby (right).

When Matt Watterworth (FVP ’08) received the title of SAIT Outstanding Young Alumnus in 2015, he said it felt like an honour he didn’t deserve.

At the time, the Film and Video Production grad had co-founded Calgary’s Full Swing Productions with fellow SAIT alumnus Scott Westby (FVP ’08), and was advocating for Alberta’s film industry in a number of regional leadership roles — but had not yet directed his first feature film.

Oh, how things have changed.

Watterworth’s directorial debut, In Plainview, has officially launched across Canada and the United States. The film, set in the Canadian prairies, tells the gritty story of an ex-dirty-cop in hiding being hunted by the partner he betrayed, an unhinged hired gun and a jilted ex-lover who want his ill-gotten fortune — and their own brand of revenge. In Plainview stars Aaron Douglas ("Battlestar Galactica," "Van Helsing"), Shaun Johnston ("Heartland," "Wynonna Earp"), and Chantal Perron ("Fargo," "Tribal").

When asked about how he achieved his goal of making a feature film, Watterworth credits his hands-on education.

“Without SAIT, I wouldn't have been able to do it.”

In Plainview star Aaron Douglas and Director Matt Watterworth on set.

In Plainview star Aaron Douglas and Director Matt Watterworth on set. (Courtesy @theaarondouglas.)

Homegrown talent

Produced by Westby through the studio he and Watterworth co-founded, the film is chock-full of Alberta talent — both on and off screen — and was filmed in Calgary, Cochrane and surrounding areas. The result is an action-packed revenge thriller that aims to serve the very region in which it’s set.

“The entire process of creating In Plainview was an incredible coalescence of talent and support from all corners of the Alberta film community,” says Watterworth.

“We’re honoured to be able to present the finished movie which features the hard work and skill of a broad range of actors, craftspeople, and infrastructure available to Albertan creators.”

Behind-the-scenes of In Plainview — Alberta location scouting (left) and actor Brady Roberts in action (right).

Behind-the-scenes of In Plainview — Alberta location scouting (left) and actor Brady Roberts in action (right). (Courtesy @mattwatterworth.)

In Plainview was made with the support of Telefilm Canada’s Micro-Budget Production Program, The Talent Fund, The Alberta Media Fund, the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers, Calgary Economic Development, ACTRA, the Alberta Media Production Industries Association and The Alberta Post Production Association.

Film production during COVID-19

In Plainview was shot before a world-wide pandemic would change everything. But Watterworth and Westby note that Alberta’s Film Industry could stand to benefit from the Alberta COVID-19 Border Testing Pilot Program, which allows eligible participants to leave quarantine early.

“With the recent boon from Alberta’s shortened quarantine program, locally-made film and television productions are poised to become an important component in the province’s diversification efforts,” says Westby.

Even though the film will premier in homes instead of in theatres, the filmmakers are eager to share their passion project with the world.

“The film is a labour of love and we can’t wait for people to watch,” says Watterworth.

Jonesin’, the duo’s second film for which they swapped roles, is on track to release later this year — stay tuned.

Pass the popcorn 

Support Alberta’s film industry and two of SAIT’s own with an at-home viewing of In Plainview on Amazon Prime and Apple TV — visit inplainview.ca to learn more.

Ready to call “action!” on a career in film? Check out SAIT’s DSLR Video Production Certificate of Achievement and Film and Video Production program.

In Plainview is not yet rated and contains scenes of violence, sexuality and coarse language. Viewer discretion is advised.

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