Former James Bay producer wins grant for web series

The first time Marena Dix caught a glimpse of one of the Star Wars movies, she had to peer through a sliding glass door.

Former James Bay resident Marena Dix is the producer of Inconceiveable

The first time Marena Dix caught a glimpse of one of the Star Wars movies, she had to peer through the sliding glass door of her grandparents’ home.

Dix was about 10 years old at the time and her parents wouldn’t allow her to watch any of the Star Wars  films, likely due to the violence. However, during a family gathering, her older cousins decided to turn on Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and Dix was quickly shooed away to the backyard.

But that didn’t stop her from watching it as she pressed her face into the glass door. What she saw amazed her.

“I absolutely adore that film. I think it’s such a complete universe and the characters are just so weird, random and beautiful. It’s still one of my all time favourite films,” said the now 24-year-old, adding she has since watched that film hundreds of times.

“I think it was just the stars and space ship which was so cool to me.”

That moment, along with the rest of the Star Wars franchise, sparked Dix’s life-long passion for film.

While the former James Bay resident grew up watching films when she was younger, it wasn’t until Dix completed her first year at the University of Victoria when she realized she wanted to put all of her efforts into making films rather than just watching them on the big screen.

“I’ve always loved films. A huge influence for me was Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings and just seeing the scope and creating different worlds,” said Dix, who currently works as a post-supervisor for a studio in Burnaby.

“I love the escapism that film offers and the ability to create a world that doesn’t exist in our reality is just so beautiful.”

In 2012, she moved to Vancouver to enrol in the Vancouver Film School and dabbled in many behind-the-scenes roles such as location production assistant and producer’s assistant, but always gravitated back to more managerial roles such as producing.

Now, her producing skills will be put to the test after Dix, along with a team of people, were recently awarded a $50,000 StoryHive grant to create a web series.

The comedy series called Inconceivable is about Rita and Adam, who enter into a modern, label-less relationship for six short months. After breaking up, they learn Rita is pregnant and decide to keep the baby and enter the world of unplanned parenthood.

For Dix, it was a project she jumped at the chance to get involved with.

The series is based on the true story of series creator Joel Ashton McCarthy and Rachel Kirkpatrick, who are expecting their baby in the fall.

So far, the team has filmed one 10-minute episode (part of which was filmed in Dix’s Vancouver apartment), with the goal to create five to seven more episodes beginning in January with the help of the grant.

Along with funding, the series will also be distributed on Telus Optik On Demand.

StoryHive is a program through Telus that provides grants to local creative talent in Western Canada.

For more information about Inconceivable, visit storyhive.com.