The last time we talked with one of the producers of the documentary surrounding the life and times of Dr. William Mainprize, the two were in the midst of shooting the footage they needed and conducting interviews to learn more about the man that was so influential to the area.
Now, Midale natives Jack Hilkewich and Murray Kerr have about 90% of the footage shot and are tracking down some of Mainprize's relatives to talk more about him. The two have put a lot of love and care into the project to explore the life of the man who spent 50 years as a doctor in the area.
"Jack and I grew up in Midale," said Kerr. "It was hard not to know Dr. Mainprize growing up in Midale growing up as a kid. People didn't refer to him as Dr. Mainprize, he was Doc and people knew exactly who you were talking about. Fortunately, I was around long enough to see Dr. Mainprize out and about, he actually lived in my neighbourhood. We used to cut through his yard once in a while to go to school."
There are also more interviews with members of Mainprize's family that have moved to other parts of the country, over 40 different film reels that they have collected that need to be converted to 4K video for the documentary, and there are some stories they want to tell through 3D rendering. With all that still left, the two are looking to raise some money to finish off the project just to get the project together, and it's pricey. They have set up a GoFundMe page with a goal of $295,000 to finish the project off properly to their vision.
"The only one I found was in Los Angeles and just to convert all those reels to digital is about $7500 US," said Hilkewich. "Indian Head has an amazing company called 'Film Rescue' that does a lot of similar stuff, but they don't do 4K yet."
Other expenses such as the cost of travel to finish off the interview they need, a new editing computer that works with 4K video, the 3D animation of the stories from family members and friends of Mainprize, storage space, fees to enter film festivals, and so much more fill out the rest of the costs.
Overall, there is still much to do before the documentary will be seen on screens, but when it finally does get there, Hilkewich has some parts that he is particularly excited to share with the world.
"In order to create a documentary with a wider reach than just the local audience that may have known Dr. Mainprize or went to the old park, we sort of expanded the scope of the documentary to not just focus on Dr. Mainprize and his heroic deeds, but to focus on the people that worked alongside of him and how the environment shaped people's lives. So essentially if you didn't help each other out during those times when there were no roads and the weather was horrible and travel was pretty much impossible, people died. So there was a real sense of community out of necessity because it wasn't an easy place to live in 1911 when Doc first arrived."
For updates on how the project is going and more information on how to support them, listen to the audio above, the GoFundMe page link in the story above, or check out their Facebook page here.