Looks like the folks behind Just Passing Through didn’t make top stamps this year, and will be needing your Tuesday night bingo money if they’re going to be making a proper Pogey Beach movie.
If you haven’t put your peepers to it just yet, Just Passing Through is only about the most successful web series ever produced about Maritime living. Its two season run of twelve episodes has had almost a million views, and has a rapidly growing fan base on Facebook.
The show follows Island boys Terry and Parnell Gallant (Dennis Trainor & Robbie Moses) as they head off to make some big out-west Alberta money, before they get hung up at their cousin Owen’s place (Tyler Sequin) in Toronto. It relates the idiosyncrasies of our east coast microcosm and accentuates them against the massive petri dish of big city life. If you haven’t lived it, you know someone who has; creators Jeremy Larter, Jason Larter, and Geoff Read just tell it funnier.
Pogey Beach, which the proposed film would be based on, is a show-within-a-show from the first season that has proven popular in its own right. The 10-minute short has had over 106k views itself. As their page describes it:
“Pogey Beach is a greasy R-rated beach comedy – an updated version of the beach party movies of the 1960’s. The story centres on the lives of the unemployed beach bums who are living the pogey dream – collecting employment insurance all summer long. In other words, they’re paid by the government to drink, dune screw, play crib, work for cash under the table and smoke hash. When a stuck up prick from Toronto, Winslow Lockwood, moves to Pogey Beach with his goody two-shoes teenage daughter Bethany, he has no clue that his island paradise is overrun by pogey cheats who can’t wait to teach a “girl from away” about the unemployed lifestyle. The innocent Bethany gets taken in by a group of pogey bums, led by Gary Gallant, the self proclaimed ‘King of Pogey Beach’. Gary has been on top stamps(highest amount of employment insurance you can be paid) for 15 years and is considered by many to be the hottest piece of arse around. Bethany is also drawn to Gary’s arch nemesis, Lyle MacDonald, a spiritual pogey bum who’s rumoured to have been collecting EI since birth. Lyle and Gary both get major hard-ons for Bethany and fight for her love. When Lyle’s estranged father and retired pogey narc, Ira MacAskill, is hired by Winslow to work undercover and catch the pogey cheats, it threatens a sacred Maritime way of life for everyone who answers no, no, no, yes, no to the 5 pogey questions.”
Creator, director, producer, writer, editor Jeremy Larter explains that a Pogey Beach movie would be a stopgap measure to keep fans happy while settling some business for Just Passing Through, “We’re trying to find distribution for Just Passing Through on a streaming service. This will probably take months to solidify if it happens at all. In the meantime we’ve decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign for a Pogey Beach movie. This way we can keep making stuff and keep momentum going. Youtube was great for season 1 & 2. The easy access meant more people watching the show and that helped to build a fan base. At this stage we can’t keep producing the show on that type of budget…”
The first season of Just Passing Through was created using a combination of funding from the Independent Production Fund and Innovation PEI. Season two was produced again using funding from IPF, as well as a Kickstarter campaign. Continued funding from IPF for the third season has seen some complications and has been delayed. “Primarily because of the lack of wider distribution,” says Larter. “Something was in the works but a decision on it was delayed and it didn’t come through in time for our application. So we’re still hoping something can be worked out this year to keep making the show.”
The Kickstarter aims to raise a modest film budget of $50,000 for the production of the Pogey Beach movie. The campaign features contributor perks like some wicked t-shirts from the meme-generating series along with plenty of other swag. If successful, the campaign shooting would begin in September, with an expectation of releasing the film in December or January. Larter is hopeful that additional funding will be found to shoot season three of Just Passing Through in 2017.