Producer Spotlight: Jeremy Larter
An Islander from the beginning, Jeremy Larter was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and raised in West Covehead where his family once owned a poultry farm. His grandmother who is now 92, resides in Charlottetown and his parents both continue to live in Covehead. Keeping close to his roots, he’s moved away from home but lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.
“I really like meeting all the new people that seem to come out of the woodwork to film a new project and creating new relationships”
Jeremy Larter is best known for his work on projects such as Pogey Beach, Just Passing Through, and most recently assisted his close friend Adam Perry on A Small Fortune, along with his friends and now business partners, Jason Arsenault and Jenna MacMillan.
Jeremy, Jason, and Jenna have recently formed a new company called 63 Lights Entertainment. Their first project as a newly formed partnership is to begin filming this summer in Prince Edward Island and they are casting now. There are no details yet on the upcoming production but here’s a hint. It’s named after one of the most commonly asked questions on the Island. They hope to have “Who’s Your Father” ready for the film festivals in 2023 but may take until 2024.
Having filmed in both larger city centers and in Prince Edward Island, we asked Jeremy what he enjoys about filming in his home province.
Q: What do you enjoy most about filming in your home province?
A: I really like meeting all the new people that seem to come out of the woodwork to film a new project and creating new relationships. It’s a big machine that requires a lot of cooperation, vehicles, extras, it’s a very intense environment for about a month and then we all go our separate ways until we come together again for another project. I love seeing the different places on the Island you never knew existed while scouting new locations.
What I like about a small town is the low degree of separation, making it much easier to tap into resources. If you need a location, you call your dad’s friend. If you need a hot rod car from the 70’s, you call your cousin. All those pieces help put together a film industry that can grow.
Q: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced filming in PEI?
A: Filmmaking is one big challenge. PEI is a newer film industry and finding new people to crew up can be difficult. Working with smaller crews, you need very experienced people. That experience base is currently building on the Island as more and more film productions come here.
When 63 Lights Entertainment was applying to Telefilm to produce “Who’s Your Father?”, Innovation PEI was able to help by providing development funding which enabled us to hire a marketing person, develop a marketing plan, hone a script and develop a pitch packet for our application.
Q: Do you have a favourite production?
A: I don’t really have a favourite production, as each experience has been different with a different set of challenges. It’s really about the logistics and time management. It’s a very practical exercise.
There’s the artistry involved but you need to be in a certain place at a certain time with the right people to make something happen to get the job done for that day.
Q: What do you think is the biggest draw to attract more filmmakers to want to come to Prince Edward Island?
A: The Island really sells itself. We see lots of landscapes in tourism advertisements but not as much in the movies. We can forget that PEI is a very exotic place when you put it on a movie screen. For someone in New York, it could be California, or anywhere. Also, the proximity of everything is really special. A beach, rolling fields, a small town, all within 20 minutes.
Having a competitive labour incentive/rebate really helps when competing with other provinces. Really having a base of talent, highly trained crew, infrastructure and access to equipment needs to be built on.
We really enjoyed talking with Jeremy about his past and upcoming projects as well as his thoughts on filming in PEI, highlighting both the wins and the challenges.
If you want to help support film industry in PEI, the best way you can do that is to go out to your local theatre and watch the movies. Every time someone buys or rents on Amazon, iTunes, or YouTube, the companies, producers, distributors all get a little money to help support their next project. And as always, word of mouth is the most effective way to bring awareness to new productions in PEI.