Eas­ton’s Trea­sure crew ex­cited for fu­ture

Re­ceive stand­ing ova­tion fol­low­ing pre­miere

The Compass - - News - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

HAR­BOUR GRACE, NL — Over 300 peo­ple gath­ered at the Splash Cen­tre in Har­bour Grace on Fri­day, June 23rd, for the pre­miere of Eas­ton’s Trea­sure.

Eas­ton’s Trea­sure is a ze­r­obud­get film project de­tail­ing the story of Peter Eas­ton, a famed pri­va­teer turned pi­rate of the 1600s, who, ac­cord­ing to sto­ries, spent much of his time in Har­bour Grace.

Stafford Jenk­ins, di­rec­tor for the project, told The Com­pass that the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence was some­thing he had al­ways dreamed of, and that the pre­miere night was more suc­cess­ful than he could have hoped for.

“Not only was the en­tire room nearly full of fans and sup­port­ers, but we got a stand­ing ova­tion at the end of the screen­ing,” Jenk­ins said. “I bauled, to be to­tally hon­est. That was the first time any­one’s seen our work, and it was to­tally over­whelm­ing to see such a pos­i­tive re­ac­tion from peo­ple.”

The pre­miere, which show­cased the team’s short film, saw 376 of the 398 tick­ets sold, with 358 to­tal at­ten­dees. The Splash Cen­tre had been dec­o­rated to look like a Hol­ly­woodlevel event, com­plete with a red car­pet and spe­cial ar­rival via a bus rented out specif­i­cally for the crew.

Jenk­ins said that the sup­port from peo­ple up to this point has left him speech­less, ex­plain­ing that the ef­fort from fans across the prov­ince has made the project even more re­ward­ing.

A spe­cific in­stance, which Jenk­ins said still leaves him in awe, is a do­na­tion made by a Tim Hor­ton’s lo­cated in St. John’s. Staff at the restau­rant saved tips over a num­ber of weeks, do­nat­ing the money to the Eas­ton’s Trea­sure team to help with ca­ter­ing costs for the pre­miere event. The do­na­tion to­taled some­where around $300, and is some­thing Jenk­ins said he’ll never for­get.

“These peo­ple have bills to pay, fam­i­lies to feed and care for, while work­ing min­i­mum wage jobs. Those tips could re­ally make a dif­fer­ence for them, but in­stead they de­cided to do­nate it to us,” Stafford said, a sense of shock still ev­i­dent in his voice. “They re­ally be­lieved in what we were do­ing. A lot of peo­ple do. It’s some­thing I don’t think I’ve yet been able to wrap my mind around, but I ap­pre­ci­ate ev­ery­thing from the bot­tom of my heart.”

Jenk­ins went on to in­clude the names of ev­ery worker at the Tim Hor­ton’s lo­ca­tion in the cred­its of the film.

Pre­serv­ing his­tory

The story of Peter Eas­ton is one that Jenk­ins feels is quite pop­u­lar in the Har­bour Grace area, but added that as time goes on and peo­ple get older, sto­ries slowly die off as the tra­di­tion of sto­ry­telling in New­found­land be­comes less and less com­mon.

Jenk­ins said that this was one of the goals with Eas­ton’s Trea­sure, as he felt that pre­serv­ing a part of the prov­ince’s his­tory in film only ex­tended the story’s life cy­cle.

“These days, no one re­ally sits around to tell sto­ries like they did so many years ago,” Jenk­ins ex­plained. “It’s a dy­ing tra­di­tion, but film is far from dead, so why not mix the two? Not only does it tell a great story, it keeps tra­di­tion and cul­ture alive, and I think that’s im­por­tant for this prov­ince.”

The Eas­ton’s Trea­sure crew were in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in Har­bour Grace’s up­com­ing Pi­rates to Pilots Fes­ti­val, where they dressed in cos­tume dur­ing the fes­ti­val’s ac­tiv­i­ties.

Jenk­ins also noted that he would soon be trav­el­ing to Toronto for a meet­ing re­gard­ing the fu­ture of the six-episode se­ries. Though he could not pro­vide much de­tail as of yet, he added that it’s an ex­cit­ing move for the en­tire team, and that it may spell out a brighter fu­ture for the pro­duc­tion.

“I re­ally don’t know how to ex­plain all of this. It’s al­ways been a dream of mine, and we as a team have turned this con­cept into a re­al­ity. That’s more than I could have ever asked for,” said Jenk­ins. “I know it sounds cliché, but I can’t wait to see what the fu­ture holds for us as a team.”

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Mem­bers of the Eas­ton’s Trea­sure crew dur­ing the pre­miere of their short film. From left to right (back row): Robert Du­mond, Corey Reynolds, Robert Dicks, Pa­trick Far­rell, (front row): Ralph Dawe, Stafford Jenk­ins.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Robert Du­mond (left) and Stafford Jenk­ins dur­ing the pre­miere of Eas­ton’s Trea­sure, a pro­duc­tion that’s been in the works for the past cou­ple of years.

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