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Moose Jaw filmmaker needs 100 extras to finish

Community filmmaker Jeremy Ratzlaff is directing his biggest film ever at the Mae Wilson Theatre and is excited to work with some of Saskatchewan’s best professionals.
Fear n Trembling film
"Fear and Trembling" is the name of a new film that community filmmaker Jeremy Ratzlaff is directing. Photo courtesy Facebook

MOOSE JAW — Community filmmaker Jeremy Ratzlaff is directing his biggest film ever at the Mae Wilson Theatre and is excited to work with some of Saskatchewan’s best professionals.

The filmmaker needs 100 extras and invites people of all ages to the Mae Wilson Theatre on Sunday, Sept. 18, from 12 to 4 p.m. You must register to be an extra, so email

Ratzlaff’s company, Lamp Black Studios, is producing Fear and Trembling, a play within a film that looks behind the scenes at a theatre production going off the rails. The play’s director attempts to produce a show called The Binding of Isaac using her church community, but things go poorly behind the scenes. 

Ratzlaff was hesitant to reveal much else about the film or its themes but noted it is about community. Creating the film is also a community effort, which excites him since that is one aspect of filmmaking he loves. He also appreciated having some of the best professionals in the province working in Moose Jaw. 

Besides the 100 extras, more than 50 people are working on the film, which is 15 minutes long, has a 21-page script and costs $50,000 to make. Ratzlaff said he enjoys working with many of the cast and crew, while they are excited to learn from each other and make something “really big” together.

“It’s a big, short film,” he said, since, for example, it features a camera crew of four people and a sound team of four people.

“Budgetary, it’s rare to spend that much money on a short … . It’s big in the sense of the time we’re taking to get things right and the team we’ve assembled to have it look its absolute best.”

This process is also where community happens “in the heat of a creative endeavour like this,” Ratzlaff said. “Filmmaking is this beautiful culmination of a community of artists that all have their own departments and different things to offer, that are all working on the same vision.

“And it’s so exciting and it’s beautiful and it’s by far the thing that energizes me.”

Ratzlaff has worked on bigger productions, but this is the largest film he has directed. He joked that the film’s working title is actually “My State of Being” because he is filled with some fear and trembling. However, he is also confident because of the professionals helping to bring this film together.

“There’s so much that I can relax and let go of because people that are even better than me in these different areas are coming here to do their best,” he continued. “So the hard work is already done.”

Ratzlaff co-wrote the script with Tim Lenko and Dustan Hlady in January, while he and other producers have been furiously working the past few months on pre-production. They will shoot until Monday and then work until January to finish the film.

The director plans to screen the film at the Mae Wilson theatre first before releasing it online and showcasing it at film festivals. 

“I’m so excited to do this in Moose Jaw. I work on productions typically in Regina (and) Saskatoon — that’s where a lot of the community is. There’s not a lot of filmmaking in Moose Jaw,” Ratzlaff said. 

“I’m just excited to bring it here because the community is so wonderful. Everyone at the Cultural Centre, it’s just an incredible group of people here,” he added. “They’re so accommodating and welcoming. I’m just so proud of Moose Jaw and excited to do it here.”