Marty Chan is one of E-Town’s most successful writers ever. He’s best known for his popular children’s and young adult books including Keepers of the Vault, Infinity Coil, and the award-winning The Mystery of the Frozen Brains. But he’s also a screenwriter who worked on the TV series Jake and the Kid and received a Gemini nomination for his TV pilot The Orange Seed Myth.
Chan's best-known play is the semi-autobiographical Mom, Dad, I’m Living With a White Girl, about the culture clash of being a Chinese-Canadian finding work and love in the arts in Edmonton. The play’s been produced across Canada and in New York. Chan was the first playwright in residence at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre, Canada’s biggest and busiest regional performing arts centre.
In today’s episode of MF GALAXY, Marty Chan discusses:
Along the way I refer to The Memory Eaters, his unpublished novel he wrote for Book Television 3 Day Novel Contest reality TV series, season 1, for which I was a judge. The novel was a pre-Walking Dead zombie story that was uniquely from the zombie’s perspective and touchingly and profoundly addressed loneliness, isolation, social networks, and love. He also cites his opera The Forbidden Phoenix which incorporated the classic Chinese story of the Monkey King and Chinese Canadian experiences.
We spoke on June 23, 2008 at his home in Edmonton. This interview has never been aired before. And now on MF GALAXY, my conversation with Marty Chan.
If you listen to CBC Radio then you’ve almost certainly heard the comedy of Neil Grahn. He’s been a debater on The Debaters, but he’s best known as one of the sketch comics on and lead writer for The Irrelevant Show.
Years ago Grahn was part of a pioneering sketch comedy troupe in Edmonton called Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie which included Cathleen Rootsaert, Wes Borg, and the late Joe Bird, which was briefly a television show. He’s currently the writer/director/producer behind the Gemini Award-winning series Taking It Off, and he’s a documentarian with many films to his credit including one about Amber Valley, one of the earliest African towns in Alberta. He’s constantly busy writing pilots and hustling to put new work into gear. The man is a machine, with plenty of wisdom to share about making it in the business of comedy writing.
In today’s episode of MF GALAXY, Neil Grahn discusses:
He spoke with me at his home in South-West Edmonton on November 19, 2014. And now on MF GALAXY, my conversation with Neil Grahn.
If you’re a Canadian who loves books as much as you love radio, then it’s almost a guarantee that legendary broadcaster Shelagh Rogers has been in your life for a long time.
Rogers is the host and producer of CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter, Canada’s leading author-interview radio show focusing on indigenous and settler Canadian writers. She started at CBC in 1980, hosting music and current affairs programmes, and working her way up eventually became the permanent guest host on Peter Gzowski’s Morningside, the host of This Morning, and also of Sounds Like Canada.
She’s won a range of awards and honourary doctorates, and as a result of her work and advocacy, Native Counseling Services of Alberta gave her their Achievement in the Aboriginal Community Award, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada inducted her as an honourary witness, the Order of Canada elected her as an Officer, and the University of Victoria named her Chancellor.
Rogers was in Edmonton on February 28, 2017 to host the Edmonton Public Library’s Conversation about Reconciliation at the Ramada Inn on Kingsway. Before she took the stage, we spoke briefly about a range of topics, including:
And now on MF GALAXY, my conversation with Shelagh Rogers.
Shelagh Rogers provided EPL with a selection of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children's books that explore residential schools, reconciliation, and Indigenous identity.
You ever dream of being a filmmaker? Maybe writing or directing television? Maybe you thought about it and figured that moving to Hollywood was out of the question, or even if you were willing to go, that climbing the ladder in Hollywood was too long a shot?
Or even if you were willing to try the long slog, you wouldn’t want men in suits ruining the stories you really want to tell by replacing all your egalitarian ideas with offensive stereotypes, or shoving all your most ingenious character creation, plots, and world-building into a blender to turn them into mass-market pablum? Because it takes millions of dollars to make a movie, which you could never raise on your own?
What if I told you that you could stay in your home town or even home country, tell the stories you want to tell and the way you want to tell them, and that it wouldn’t be Hollywood paying the bills, but your most loyal fans? Sound too good to be true?
It won’t sound that way to maverick indie filmmaker and pioneering crowdfunder Ben Dobyns, because that’s exactly what he’s done and doing.
Dobyns is a film producer, editor, cinematographer, composer, writer, and director, and one of the founders of Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, or ZOE. He also has a minor in Latin. He worked for years in Seattle and has now relocated to Vancouver BC. He and ZOE have just completed their third season of their indie-TV comedy-fantasy series JourneyQuest.
They’ve also produced Strowlers, a forthcoming series about a world in which magic is suppressed and regulated by a xenophobic, oppressive government.
In today’s episode of MF GALAXY, Ben Dobyns discusses:
We spoke by Skype on February 15, 2017, and began by discussing the critically-important question that a mentor asked him about what price he was willing to pay for success in filmmaking.
Ben Dobyns IMDb http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1389141/
Zombie Orpheus Entertainment YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ZombieOrpheusEnt
Zombie Orpheus Entertainment is fan funded and creator distributed. Support them at Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/zombieorpheus