Updated: Jul 24, 2019

Preston as Spalding Savidge - Rutherford Manor Haunt - By Photo Junkies. Makeup by Amber Wilson.

I’m Here With caught up with the prestigious PRESTON EWASIUK who is excited to be attending the 2019 Banff World Media Festival this week. We finally got to meet him at this year's AMPIA awards thanks to Bill Evans and his team. We shot the official photos for the 45th Rosie Awards for our July edition shot by Icon Experiential Experience. Preston is a Rosie Award winner who resides in Edmonton, and we are in Calgary, but he graciously was able to take some time for a phone call.

Preston is one of the busiest people in film that we can see right now. He just won a Rosie award for Rutherford Manor for best promotional video, which has made a huge noise on social media recently. We had done a story on Tyler Duffy who is one of the stars of the Rutherford trailer before the Rosie awards. We interviewed Tyler about his experience with Rutherford Manor. Now we have the exclusive interview with the creator Preston, which we did last week, about what's happening now for his upcoming project and brand.

Preston accepting his Rosie Award from Executive Director Bill Evans of AMPIA and Landmark Cinemas. Photo by Experimental Experience

On set of Rutherford Manor. Photo by Moss + Fern Photography 

An Exclusive I'm Here With

Interview with PRESTON EWASIUK

So we're on the line with the Creator of Rutherford Manor, PRESTON EWASIUK.

How's it going?

Good Thank You!

Thank you so much for taking the time. We know you're very busy. We just saw the card game photo collaboration with Sandi Somers the director of Ice Blue, Hudson and much more to come. We want to know how are you getting such amazing people to be a part of your project right off the bat?

That's a good question. We believe it's just simply the type of product that we have and the way we have built up the Rutherford Manor Universe. In the past two and a half years, I've been working hard to create exciting products like books, music, comics, art, and we're also about to release a new novel. We're also working on a very cool card game which Sandi posed for. In addition to these products we are also working diligently on scripts for a Television series. We believe that it’s the quality of the products that my team and I are bringing out is what attracts people to Rutherford Manor.

People are certainly interested in what we're doing with Rutherford and the scope of it. We're pretty excited about the fact that we have more people coming on board. As you know, in the film and television world it's very much a networking industry. We feel very blessed and fortunate to have come across so many amazing people right from the get-go in our journey. A lot of people that are fans, work with us, and follow Rutherford Manor know we're always about family and working together. Teamwork is at the core of what we do.

Preston's family with him on the 45th Rosie Awards carpet! Karla Augert & Kaela Augert. Experimental Experience Photo.

We see that and when we had promoted the promotion trailer alone, we had first seen Tamara Pearson and Paul Braaten posting to view the video off Facebook. We jumped right on board to research and find out more and who was behind it, because we were scared as hell from the trailer. It made a feeling. It made a difference in our day. The music to this trailer is hauntingly intriguing. Definitely guys go check out the trailer off Rutherford Manor Facebook page or just Google Rutherford Manor.

You'll find lots of information online. You will see from the trailer, the costuming, the makeup, the scariness behind it has an allure about what the story will be. Preston has been developing Rutherford Manor books and is as well turning it into a TV series. We love that Preston wants to do a TV series because we could see it being a big long-term show for Alberta film.

Preston on set of Rutherford Manor. Photo by Sean Gordon

I'm Here With feels that this could be the next big project that could happen for Alberta film. So we really hope for its success. What we've seen is that you have the ground work done. Rutherford Manor started from a Haunted House in Edmonton. So dressing up scaring people turned into a card game and a book as well! It really is a Universe created by Preston and his team. All of the Alberta Film network is talking about the award winning project. With just one post the audience reached such a maximum response with us from Tyler's article about Rutherford. We see that there is a huge following.

That is part of how this all came about. At the start we had no idea how big it was going to be, but we have a big vision for seeing where this could go.

One of our goals is to ultimately build up, Alberta film. Build up Edmonton too because obviously we're based in Edmonton, but you know, it really is about Alberta film. There's just so much talent in this province with producers, directors, writers, actors, and cinematographers. Alberta is also an amazing place for film sets with so many stunning vistas and we have wonderful antique towns that work really well for our stories.

With our show, it is something that we are fully passionate about and we do hope that shows through in what we do. Ultimately all the other products whether it's the music, the game, what have you, it's all created to support one common goal, to build Rutherford Manor into something that makes a real mark in Pop-Culture.

So yes, we're very excited to continue to help grow Alberta film and one of our major goals is to keep people employed on a regular basis.

Photo by Kaela Augert

“You can ask anybody who knows me, there's one thing I said when I started developing the Rutherford Manor Universe. Nothing would make me happier than to see somebody dressed up like Nox, Lilith, Maestro, or Spalding at a Comic Convention.”

You have a lot of pressure right now but you've done so much of the backstory and scripts, you're ready and we can see that. It speaks volumes of who you are, how you treat people, your ideas and vision. People believe in you from the beginning. You have a new book coming out on June, 13th. Tell us more about that.

The book takes place at a different time from the original Rutherford Manor stories that you saw in our teaser trailer and the back stories that we've created. It happens about 17 years before Spalding’s twins Lisa and Louise Savidge are born. It tells the story of a much younger Spalding Savidge working with Nox’s father Alastor. They work as resurrectionists for the White Hand, a mob organization in Chicago.

Essentially what they're doing is providing dead bodies for Universities to study. This practice was actually a real thing back in the late 1800’s. It was one of the ways that medical anatomy studies actually happened.

In addition to these macabre activities the book also invites the reader into the inner workings of the inhabitants of the Manor, their motivations, struggles, worries, insecurities, passions, and much more. We are pretty proud of the work done on this new novel.

How the book was created is actually quite interesting and it comes back down to the importance of fans and networking at conventions. The author of the book, Konn Lavery, is an award winning horror/thriller author who had already written many books when we met him at the Calgary Horror Con.

We are super stoked to announce the award winning Rutherford Manor book, The White Hand, has officially sold out the copies that author Konn Lavery took with him down to the Calgary Horror Con!

Books are available worldwide on Amazon

We also have books at Audrey's in Edmonton, coming soon to Chapters, and we are getting them in a local Calgary store too.

How I met Konn is actually a cool story. During the horror convention I was in costume with Hugh and Therese from Rutherford Manor Haunt, hanging out with George Willbur from the Halloween movies. While we were taking some pictures with George, and enjoying some conversation, my wife Karla comes up to me and says I have meet this guy she met. So after we finished chatting with George we went over and I met Konn Lavery. The first thing I noticed was that he had a nice professional vendor booth highlighting his many books. What really stood out for me when I met Konn was the fact that he was an amazing communicator. He's very attentive, listens well, and is very engaging in conversation.

Afterwards my wife Karla followed up with him and set up a meeting for Konn and I to meet back in Edmonton. We sat down for coffee and that initial meeting started the beginnings of writing the next Rutherford Manor book.

I'm very excited for this new book. It's really going to take the Rutherford Manor Universe to a whole new level that fans have never seen before. The next two books in the series are also already in the works. It's kind of crazy was going on. Of course at the same time as our book writing, we have another team of writers developing the television show. We've already finished writing our digital series which were promoting right now.

Preston with stars Tyler Duffy and Kimberley Philpott from Rutherford Manor. Photography by Icon Experimental Experience.

There is so much more to the stories of Rutherford Manor that I couldn’t possibly give all the details right now. Rest assured that when people see the show in action, it will bring them into our world in a big way with the character driven storytelling.

So connecting with the right artists to get it filmed is the best way to achieve your goals, is that right? You have Sandi Somers part of the project.

I’m a big believer in strong teams of talented people. Some of the amazing people that are involved in the project at this point, is Director Sandy Somers, Producer Julian Black Antelope, Director Georgina Lightning, and my Executive Producer on the show, Rob Scratch Mitchell.

Scratch has been instrumental in moving this project forward in the TV and Film industries. He already has a couple shows on the Discovery Channel and his influence and connections has accelerated our ability to meet and talk to people in the industry.

I can't really give away too much but we are talking with several distribution channels. It's a very exciting time and everything is happening certainly a lot faster than anything I envisioned. When I started all of this, it was with a small short story book. Now here we are, embarking on TV. It keeps you very humble.

Photo by Sean Gordon. Shooting in an old Grain Elevator - Gore scene at the end of the trailer


We are very excited to announce that the Rutherford Manor's 'Pilot Episode' Script which was written by Preston Ewasiuk, Jordan Lesko, Sharayah Piercey, and Neil Chase last fall, has been chosen in two festivals already! To celebrate here is a previously UNRELEASED poster concept created by art maestro Jamie Pruden!

Fans will be on the edge of their seats waiting to see more. I would like to dive a little bit more into the story idea for the TV show and some of the characters. What can fans really look forward to with that?

The series centers on the character Spalding Savage which, as you know, is played by Tyler Duffy in the teaser trailer. Spalding is a family man and businessman. He is basically just a normal guy, but he has some very dark secrets.

Ultimately he's just trying to have a normal family life, raise his daughters, run his business scams, teach his daughters the trade, and have an affair with a woman in town. All of this changes quickly for him when a new person comes to town and it's a priest, Father Lorcan. This priest is a staunch warrior for God, but he has his own agenda. His true agenda is actually quite dark, disturbing, and very manipulative.

Lorcan eventually interferes with Spalding’s life and everything he has worked so hard to build and protect. Everything from messing around with his business relationships, putting a wedge between him and his wife, manipulating his daughters, and screwing up his affair with his mistress. But, I don't want to give away TOO much.

Although the show revolves around Spalding and Lorcan, we also have VERY strong female characters as well. There are also so many sub stories, love triangles, supernatural elements, demons, conspiracies, and racism.

One of the stories of racism centers on an aboriginal character, Billy. He's in a relationship with Nox’s sister, Vivian, who is a caucasian woman. It that era the couple experiences strong racism towards not only Billy, but also condemnation of their relationship from townspeople and members of Billy’s band. We are going to show racism for what it really was in that era.

Of course these challenging sub-plots are going to create a whole bunch of tension in the characters’ lives and for residents of the Manor. The family are champions for the downtrodden and rejected as they are so fringe themselves. They are very accepting of the relationship between Billy and Vivian and will defend them against racism and bullying at all costs.

There is so much more to the stories of Rutherford Manor that I couldn’t possibly give all the details right now. Rest assured that when people see the show in action, it will bring them into our world in a big way with the character driven storytelling.

Photo by Sean Gordon - Tyler Duffy (Spalding Savidge) Samantha Jeffery (Penny Savidge)

People are already talking about the project way before it's even come to fruition. That means something impressed people with the way you've developed your brand and who you are is solid. People are going to be really excited to see it. The concept is very different. I think people are going to like to dive into a different world but sometimes, the scenes will be similar to what people are going through in their lives.

The card game that you guys are doing and photographing these days for. We are interested to hear more about this as well. How did you come up with an idea to do a card game as well?

That’s actually a very interesting story. The card game was created by a local Edmonton guy, Christopher Thrall, and the idea for the game came about in what I thought was just a passing joking comment. Chris and I had a casual conversation at Theatre Garage here in Edmonton and he had mentioned it would be really cool to do a card game. I thought he was just joking around and we just kind of laughed about. I didn't even pay any mind to it as I thought he wasn’t serious. At the time I was very focused on all the other things that we're in development. The books, album, teaser trailer, and comics were taking up so much time.

After that evening I went on holiday with my family to Florida and halfway through the trip I received a text from Chris stating that he pretty much had the rough layout of the game done. Needless to say I was very surprised. I gave Chris a call that evening, we setup a meeting when I got home, and production of the The Black Altar card game, began.

On set photo by Sean Gordon

At that time I had already been working with artist Jamie Pruden, who was creating art for other Rutherford Manor projects, and asked him to sit down with me to discuss this new project. That was one of the easiest meetings I ever had with an artist, Jamie simply said. “Okay, let's do it.” Now we are in the last quarter of production for the game with a late fall release.

As you can tell from the cards we released on Facebook, we've had a tremendous amount of interest in people modeling for the game with over a hundred models already. Response to the game has been tremendous.

As far as game play goes, the game is wrapped around the main characters of Rutherford Manor. You actually play the main characters that live in the Manor with players each controlling a wing of the house.

The whole premise of the game is strangers will come to the front door of the Manor and your job is to lure them into your wing of the house through the use various game cards. Once a poor unfortunate soul (stranger) is in your wing of the house, the player works though turns and cards to kill the stranger, and stash the victim’s soul in their Black Altar. Eventually the demon Muunat will show up later in the game and whoever has the most souls stashed, wins.

The game also has many twists and turns with different events, actions, and tools in the cards that can change the game and allow players to interact with each other in competitive ways. We’ve been testing the game for MANY months and we even actually had members of the Edmonton Board Game Association come out and test the game with us which was amazing. It's kind of a macabre game, but it’s also very fun!

Preston and Karla at the 45th Rosie Awards (AMPIA), Edmonton, 2019. Photo by Kaela Augert.

I’m Here With shares their congratulations to Preston and Karla. We love that these two are a team and making it work together and thriving in their career and life. That's very inspirational to us. Rutherford’s creation is a family affair. It was beautiful to see these two celebrating their AMPIA (Rosie Award), and getting that accolade to help them move forward. Now all of Alberta knows their names and can continue to support and follow their team.

Rutherford Manor's Instagram

Winner of 2019's Rosie Awards for Best Promotional Video

A new macabre darkness for the millennium

Humble beginnings that grew into a horror story of vast proportions is one way to describe Rutherford Manor. It all started in 2013 with a small yard based home haunt to scare the local kids and raise money for charities and the local Food Bank. Over the years this simple, humble idea has now grown into a massive multi-award winning haunted house, pop-culture brand, and thriller/horror media series with worldwide appeal. The vast appeal of Rutherford Manor has been due to its unique characters and compelling stories created for the Haunted House. These creepy tales of love, hate, debauchery, tragedy, betrayal, evil, and death brought a realism to haunt attendees and a new pop-culture fan base of horror and thriller fans worldwide. Rutherford Manor has grown from these humble beginnings into a worldwide phenomenon and unique collection of books, comics, music, games, art, and an upcoming television series that tells the fantastical story of the Manors’ most infamous residents, the Fleshers and Savidges.

This gruesome family is a twisted morbid clan of psychopaths and cold calculating killers which try hard to have normal lives with the people in their community, but also think nothing of the despicable things they do behind closed doors. Horror fans from all over North America, Europe, South America and Asia are embracing our unique brand of horror stories with Rutherford Manor products is now selling in over a dozen countries.

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