In 2003, the French and Canadian governments initiated the working holiday visa program, aka Programme Vacances et Travail (PVT), giving the opportunity to thousands of French people between the ages of 18 and 35 to come spend a year in Canada as tourists but also as workers. Many of them choose to come to Vancouver because they want to get some ‘West Coast’ experience, improve their English, and oftentimes because they are talented creative people who want to start a career in the film industry.
Of course, they tend to gather for parties and other social events, and that’s pretty much how the idea of this show was born. The creators of the show, Frederique Remy and Fred Goldstein, met with a bunch of current and former Pévétistes (also spelled PVTistes, but a bit harder to read in English) and asked them if they would be willing to share their experience with the rest of the world. They all were pretty excited and volunteered to help turn the idea into a real adventure.
Les Pévétistes is a ‘slice-of-life’ kind of show. There is no real ‘arc’, we are just following Greg, a newcomer to Canada, in his attempts to cope with a new country and a new culture. Every episode features a typical moment in Greg’s life, in order for the non-Canadians to discover how we live in Canada, and for the non-French, to discover what the French do when they live in Canada.
Les Pévétistes is a zero-budget web series. It means that no-one gets paid, and that whatever money is needed comes from the pockets of the cast and crew. That’s the reason why the cast and crew are credited as ‘co-producers.’
Our technical means are willingly limited. We shoot with one camera (P2 or DSLR depending on the context) and we only have camera sound. The idea is to never spend more than 4 hours shooting, and 5 hours editing (including translation and subtitles.)
In the credits, you will also see ‘written by’ or ‘story by’. ‘Written by’ means the episode has been entirely scripted. ‘Story by’ means that the show is improvised, based on the story idea and the director’s lead. So bear with us if we cannot give you a homogeneous quality, or make you laugh every ten seconds. We ain’t no Chuck Lorres, but we sure hope to be able to be as hilarious as he is once in a while.
Only three of our lead actors have formal actor training. Every one else is an amateur, so please, bear with us on that point too. All in all, you’ll see that everyone is doing a pretty good job!
The first season should include 10 episodes. But if you like the show, we’ll do our best to shoot a second season, maybe a third, why not a fourth?… Who knows?
Finally, we want to make this website more than just a web series publication web site. In our ‘Bonus’ section, you will find clips of real Pévétistes sharing their experience, bloopers, and information on how to participate to the show.
Enough with the blah blah… Go check out the pilot, and enjoy the show!