Updated: Apr 25, 2019
Q and A with Scott Lepp Executive Producer of Hudson and The Associate Producer of Heartland For 11 Years
We have been following relentlessly Mr. Lepp from our fandom of the show Heartland, Ice Blue, and Realization. Scott was kind enough to chat with us on his busy day editing his next project with his Director Sandie Somers (Ice Blue movie Award Winner). He had all the excitement we did to talk about his new and exciting series Hudson on CBC Gem.
Exec Prodroducer and Writer Ken Craw, Dir Sandi Somers, Exec Producer Scott Lepp and Director and Actress Michelle Morgan behind the scenes of Hudson. Photos courtesy of CBC
IHW: Hi Scott how are you?
Scott: I’m doing great how are you?
IHW: We are doing amazing. We are really excited to share with you that Heartland's Amber Marshall is on our next cover.
Scott: That’s amazing!
While left in charge of Maggie’s Diner for the week, a driven Jade Virani butts heads with the new girl Sloane - Bianca Caroca, in town while they vie for the new manager position.
The new CBC series Hudson is based in the world of CBC’s long-running drama Heartland, with new characters alongside familiar faces and locations.
Q and A Interview With SCOTT LEPP
IHW: For us it's very serendipitous that Hudson came out this year, since we have Heartland's and Hudson's Amber Marshall chosen by CBC and us, before season 12 premiered. for our next cover. Scott has worked on the show for 11 years. Hudson on CBC Gem is exactly what I was hoping it to be. It’s very different then Heartland but the same loving feel. Fans are going to be quite shocked with how amazing it is. The episodes are 7 ½ minutes to around 12 minutes long. We have watched it over a dozen times and it actually does feel like it’s an hour long show from how full the story line is. It is truly a must watch CBC Gem show. We want to know how did the show come to fruition from the Heartland world.
Scott: Hudson has been in the works for quite some time. It was actually a product of our season 11 digital media plan and the fellas at CBC decided as a part of our season 11 plan. CBC wanted to do a companion series and so they phoned me up and said can you guys come up with an idea. They wanted to do something a little bit different than an actual episode of Heartland and skew it to a little bit younger to teenage audiences and so we just started spit balling right away. The producers of Heartland asked me to take on the role of producer for Hudson and we immediately got Ken Truss, one of the Heartland Writers on board and he started to get on writing and we just started on pre-production. You know it’s kind of funny it ended up where it did, because originally we had the show rodeo oriented and I think that in order to take it to this different level that we wanted to, we didn’t love that and changed it, and loved the idea of getting to know the people of Hudson and focusing on our young adult cast members, is who that story started. Once we decided to set it in and around Maggie's, the story line just took off from there. CBC really loved the direction and they just kept urging us to take it a little bit further, make it a little bit quicker and add some pace and have some fun with it and have them up to no good. It's always fun to play with that kind of stuff. It was a great process.
IHW: Well you guys have done such a good job in keeping the brand of Heartland and storyline relatable and the characters that we already love and know.The opening scene where it’s stars the four main young characters which were all beautiful and amazing actors, they get up to no good at the beginning but they are doing it for a good reason and standing up for themselves and I think that is going to be a really nice interlude to what’s to come and we are just so excited that you guys did this show, because so many shows they end and then you just feel this sadness and have to find a new show to get into. It’s just so cool that you are part of such an important show and that you are keeping it going in such a fun way. Congratulation on Heartland's renewal for season 13. Both shows will be tied into another we hope!
Fan's can literally watch it anywhere on their phone on CBC Gem, on their computer or attached the computer to the television to binge watch the six episodes of season 1.
When is there going to be more episodes coming out?
Scott: That is a great question. We don’t actually know. All of us involved, myself, Ken Toff, my friends at the CBC digital team, our producers and executives including myself want to see how this season's release does and what the viewership numbers are like. Hopefully they come in a place that makes CBC Gem happy and want more and if so I think there is the potential that there could be future seasons. We would just get to work right away, Ken Trof and I have already had multiple conversations on where we would like to take it if there were to be a second season I know the cast that were involved would absolutely love to come back though we are just kind of waiting and seeing. So yes Hopefully people continue to try it out and tell their friends and give us feedback from the social platform. We absolutely love that as well.
Jade starring the gorgeous Madison Cheeatow and Sloane as Bianca Caroca
IHW: So what is the hashtag that everybody is supposed to use for the show?
Scott: We have been using hashtag welcome to Hudson and you can also find us on Facebook and Instagram @hudsononcbc. Those are our most active platforms I know that CBC television account as well on Twitter, Facebook like to promote Hudson which is amazing but those are the best ways to find us.
IHW: Definitely and audiences can also go right to CBC Gem and put in Heartland and put in Hudson and have a frenzy of enjoying the characters in both. I just really think it’s so cool how you kept the main Heartland stars within this. When Amber Marshall says, "I've been there done that, it's time for someone else to take the stage." That to us was brilliant writing, cinematography and editing in episode 3. For the true #iloveheartland fans, they will see how connected the shows are, but also for the new fans they are going to think almost the same thing and realize the effect Amy's character had and has on Hudson. Amber Marshall does her scenes so beautifully always. Really, they are all stars, every single one of the actors does such an amazing job. It’s very cool that Michelle Morgan and Sandy Somers direct this as well. Women behind the screen.
Scott: Yes I love those two, you mentioned it briefly earlier Sandy and I collaborated on Ice Blue which is a feature film that was last year coming out digitally as well this year and Michelle was of course the star of the show and so we’ve all worked together before and it was just kind of match made in heaven. Of Course I go to Sandy. Sandy is just an incredible and amazing local director and then to be able to give Michelle the opportunity to continue her growth as a director as well. It was a total no brainer. We worked together before, we know have a rapport and so it made things run so smoothly on a show that was quite difficult to do for those 8 days a shot right in the middle of July in Stampede. So I was just absolutely thrilled to work with them again.
Georgie - Alisha Newton, Trace - Sam Muik, Jade - Madison Cheeatow, Amy - Amber Marshall
The fresh new series is Directed by Michelle Morgan (“Lou Fleming” on Heartland) and Sandi Somers. Written by Alexandra Clarke and Ken Craw. Produced by Iylond Entertainment, Seven24 Films and Dynamo Films Executive Producers: Scott Lepp and Ken Craw
When Amber Marshall says, "I've been there done that, it's time for someone else to take the stage." That to us was brilliant writing, cinematography and editing in her episode 3 scene.
Director and Star Michelle Morgan as Lou Fleming” (on Heartland) in Hudson with Slaone played by Bianca
“Jade” - Madison Cheeatow
“Sloane” - Bianca Caroca
“Trace” - Sam Muik
Additional Cast and Cameos:
“Melissa” - Allison Lynch
“Kobe” - Owen Crow Shoe
“Lou” - Michelle Morgan
“Georgie” - Alisha Newton
“Amy” - Amber Marshall
“Ty” - Graham Wardle
Heartland and Hudson Stars, Ty played by Graham Wardle & Georgie play by Alisha Newton
IHW: With spin offs there are definitely risks because the fans always want it to be either exactly the same or very different but you and your show nailed it. So I have literally watched this show more than a dozen times and it doesn’t take that long which is nice because it’s max 12 minutes an episode. Iit keeps you wanting more so really great job. I did want to ask for the viewers more about you, how did you become one of Canada’s and Alberta’s biggest Producers. How did that even come about with your schooling and how hard you worked to get here in your film career?
Scott: Well I think you keyed it right at the end about working hard. You know for anybody that is about a filmmaker or young producer which I would still consider myself. It takes time and it takes effort and it took for me some sacrifice in my personal life and things of that nature but. I actually started out years and years ago in broadcast journalism and that was where I thought I was going to end up and spend my whole career. I wanted to be a sports journalist and so I went to school for that, but as part of my final project, this was back in Lethbridge College in 2004, I did a documentary and the documentary ended up airing on local tv in Lethbridge. It was nominated for my first ever Alberta Film and TV Award as best student project and I got the bug after that. And then of course I’m from a small oilfield community called Rosemary Alberta which is over Brooks Alberta area which is an oilfield centric community and of course my father and brother all of my family members all came up in the oil industry. So I actually moved back home did that but I could not get the film industry out of my head. So I basically did that for a couple of years, raised some money to go to film school and I moved to Vancouver and I spent a year in Vancouver at the Vancouver Film School which was really perfect for me. It’s funny now when I look back because that was about 25 years old at the time and I thought I was too old to do anything longer than a 1 year program. I think it’s hilarious now. I was quite naïve too didn’t really know that there was much of an industry in Alberta. And so I moved back kind of hesitantly not knowing what there was here and just happened to move back right when Hartland was transitioning from season 1 to season 2 and there was a couple of openings. I knew that I wanted to be a Producer by this time and so I heard there was a producer's assistant opening and so I went for it and interviewed with at the time Tina Greywall and she chose me for the job and that’s how it started with season 2 as the producers assistant and basically I just kind of drove her around that was the biggest part of the job at the time which was great because I got to spend a lot of time with the producers and learn so much just by osmosis basically by being in the same place with these people.
Director Sandi Somers and Exec Prod Scott Lepp, behind the scenes on Hudson
Then from there I just stuck it out. I always said if another opportunity comes up that is better than Heartland, I’ll go but it never happened so I just stuck it out and I’m very grateful to Tina Greywall and of course Jamie Paulrock who came in after her at 7 24 Films they kind of adapted the job for my skill set and which I did draw a lot of my broadcast journalism skills as a reporter and brought that over on to Heartland to create content for Virtual Media. And then from there all I wanted to do was produce and that’s it and Heartland is an institution and one of the biggest shows in Canada and good luck in convincing anybody to hand it over to a child basically. So I wasn’t going to win that battle. I had to come up with ways to help with my career on my own and that is why I got into independent producing. I was so very fortunate to have met and partnered with Sandy Somers. Ice Blue was kind of in the works and we got going on that. I did a couple of short films and then we did Ice Blue, and then Hudson. We are doing another series called Realization right at this very moment. I’m just sitting out a mixed session on that right now. That’s kinda evolution of it and I would encourage all young film makers and anyone who wants to produce to try to do some of their own stuff because you will never have to learn more in order to get that accomplished. It’s been a long time and a tough go but, I’m finally getting to some places where there is opportunity for me.
Stars Trace played by Sam Muik & Sloane played by Bianca Caroca and Jade played by Madison Cheeatow
IHW: Well have you certainly done amazing for helping Canada’s view and fans are going to love this show. Can we just say one thing about how cute Trace is in the show! The ladies are just going to love him. At the end of the 6 part series there is this moment between Jade and Trace, that you just know that he’s has the same love that Graham had for Amber. I’m very excited to see where their relationship is going to go.
Scott: Yeah that is actually a great moment to key on and I love how you said It’s Amy and Ty. Trace is played by friend Sam Robert Muick and Sam has become a really great friend throughout this whole process. He’s a wonderful actor. I love speaking with him about the project because he is so proud of it and rightfully so because he does such a great job. What makes him so proud is he’s this middle 20s young man who comes in plays a small town cowboy and is just so accepting in everything around him and he handles everything that comes up with such grace. He is super proud of that and the character and it shows on screen and we are so lucky to have him for the role.
IHW: Yes Sam is a very very good actor and extremely talented. He actually has the smile a little bit of Tom Cruise. He really reminded me of when he was really young in Top Gun or something. This guy is going places. You have a stellar cast, a stellar show and they are lucky to have you and Sandy and Michelle Morgan. Stellar job guys.
Scott: Thank you very much. I really appreciate your support.
Scott Lepp worked on Heartland for 11 years and is now the Executive Producer for Hudson on CBC, He is so charming and talented! You can really see his work in Hudson from how strong and how well it flows. As well how much the cast and producers love him on social media. @mslepp
HUDSON IS FLAWLESS, NEW AND FRESH; Interview With SCOTT LEPP
Find his interview on iTunes
Follow Hudson on CBC
Realization is his next project!
Interview by I'm Here With Magazine
Transcribing by Isabel Hernandez
Web Design JMR
Photos courtesy of CBC