Updated: Jan 25
AN EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK OF THE NEW SERIES SILK ROAD
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH
C.J Clayton the Writer, Producer and Director of Photography of SILK ROAD
Five year old Leo is raised by his gun running step father in Afghanistan. When the British Army rescues him he lands on the streets of Chicago. Teaming up with 3 ace computer hackers they decide to steal his stepfather’s money ($22,000,000,000.00) Little do they know the money was supposed to be used to illegally purchase uranium to be sold to Iran....now every government agency in the world is trying to find Leo and his sister to get their hands on the money.
May 5 2019 · Screen grab from 4K footage. Doing the occasional screen grab as I go through footage before delivering hard drives — with Nich Gulycz, Shelyse Cameron, Veronica Gonsalves, Kayden Boisclair and Laine Gillies.
SILK ROAD FINDERS KEEPERS IS SET TO AIR NEXT YEAR IN THE SPRING
A new exciting conspiracy series Written, Produced, Filmed and Directed by C.J Clayton.
The five leads in the show are: Kayden Boisclaire (Leo), Shelyse Cameron (Hex), Laine Gillies (Kayley), Nich Gulicz (Justice) and Shanelle Connell (Abby).
Also Produced by Rodnay Grey, Executive Producer Alan MacFarlane, Line Producer CJay Boisclair, Consulting Producer Shafik Chernovsky, Co-Producer Alex Peterson, Series Producer Tatiana Turner, Associate Producer Alexander Patterson, Composer Roger Leaver. Cinematography C.J Clayton, Karl Heldt, Ethan Ribeiro. Costume Supervisor Trina Monroe-Panich. Steadicam Operator Cody Fofonoff, Special Effects Dan Popoff, Key Makeup Artist Priscilla Clayton, Actors; Scotty Larson (Luka), Tatiana Turner (Natasha), Danica Dreyer, Maia MacDonald, Jacob Gagne, Derek Bistricky and many more. .
Hi everybody. Today we have Chris Clayton, a Okanagan Writer, Director, Producer and Cinematographer on the line to chat about his newest series Silk Road Finders Keepers.
We just had a really great interview with one of the five stars, Shanelle Connell that blew up on social media. So it's really great to talk to you Chris!
C.J Clayton: Thank you, perfect.
Yes Shanelle plays Abby, she's the younger sister of Leo in Silk Road Finders Keepers. When we first created this five years ago, we, were actually shooting a trailer for a company in Vancouver so they could use it for pilot season. And, this story was originally created, kind of like a reverse Cinderella story.
Instead of the wicked Stepmother, you have the wicked Stepfather. The story opens up with the young character Leo. He's five years old. So this young kid is rescued from the wicked Stepdad. It cuts to 12 years later in Chicago, and he's now this street kid looking for his sister, Abby (Shanelle Connell).
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT AND KEY GRIP ASSISTANT(LIGHTING)
"C.J. Clayton, believed in me and no words cannot express my many thank. I had an audition as a Club Doorman, but cast to a Medical Examiner, to which I was elated to portray."
"Right away, I felt a heartwarming sense of family on this SR's set - both crew and cast!" - Peter
Listen PJ Peter Lajoie and Karen Morrow are so inspiring! Listen to their love story, about their rising acting career in Kelowna and their roles in SILK ROAD by CJ Clayton and Alan MacFarlane.
May 13 · 4K screen grab from tonight's second unit shoot. "
There are rumors in the story that Abby (Shanelle Connell has been killed by an overdose and that she had got into drugs, I don't want to give too much of the story away, but what has happened with her in reality is she is now a, an FBI trainee, undercover FBI agent. So he doesn't realize this. Leo teams up with these, these four characters who are just genius computer hackers around his age, Kayden Boisclaire (Leo) Shelyse Cameron (Hex), Laine Gillies (Kayley) and Nich Gulicz (Justice). They find out that the Stepdad all these times, they thought he was killed in Northern Afghanistan. Then find out he's still alive and very successful. The new team hatches this plan to, hack into his bank account and steal all of his money.
( This is based on some real life conspiracy theories that you see going around).
4K Screen Grab - Special thanks to our KGB agent Alex who flew up from Vancouver to help us by playing the Border Scene ending for SR2 - Finders Keepers Pilot Episode
What they didn't realize was the money that they stole from the Stepdad was to purchase uranium to illegally ship to Iran. The FBI, CIA, the bad guys, good guys are trying to get their hands on this money and, and, and stop this from happening.
"Papers" Afghanistan Airport Guard. Once again Devon Kilpatrick kills it with accurate and realistic lighting) — with Shane DC, Amanda Harvey, Alan MacFarlane, Priscilla Clayton, Mihaela Zeta Rasovic, Tatiana Turner-Szalay, Teresa May, Devon Kilpatrick and Benedict Joseph Bennett at the Vernon Regional Airport.
Jacob Gagne shared;
Oh boy I will try to make this short and sweet. I joined silk road in June 2019 so it's going on about 6 months for me now! My experience on silk road felt like I left my body behind in Kelowna and brought my soul down to set wherever that was and for the first time in my life I truly knew I have arrived at my destination and I knew after that day that I know where heaven was on this earth and how to get their.
If I died I would be happy that I was at least doing what I love to do and also doing something bigger than myself I would like to say names of all the beautiful people I have met on the Silk Road but I can not because if I forgot someones name I would feel hurt.
I am thankful for every single person I have met or Even gave eye contact with on set weather they were cast crew extras producer ext every person matters to me I am so thankful and CJ is like a guardian angel he has made people's dreams come true including myself and boy that is so amazing and indescribable and when I say dreams I am not talking about fame or fortune I am talking about a purpose in life where your tribe is on this planet and where you fit in and CJ truly gave me the chance to see it for myself so that it's too late to go back it was set in stone and when you find your purpose it will warm your heart and give you a very special perspective that allows you to do what you love forever. I am so thankful for everyone I have met as the character I am in Silk Road which is named "Dimitri".
He is Lukas nephew and he is a one way thinker in crime and greed he grew up with his family and got trained by his family who are all criminals and killers Dimitri is a very dangerous thinker and he is a survivor and I don't know how much more i can say so I will leave it at that.
So I actually didn't audition long story short I was going to go to Vancouver for acting school but that would have took time due to money issues so anyways I wanted to get some nice headshots to bring with me so I found the first add that popped up and turns out it was CJ as the photographer and I didn't know who he was at the time and I talk alot so eventually he mentioned he was filming a TV show in the Okanogan and I was like a 6 year old waiting to hear my favorite book Read to me due to how down to earth and positive and incredibly hard working CJ was he asked me if I wanted to come help out on set and I said sign me up and then a week later I was on set it was the most beautiful thing helping setup everything and get to know everyone. Then I got to slate for the whole day it was so such a game changer to see it for myself how the process works and it was beautiful even the calm minutes of waiting around you name it and watching the actors come to life when that camera was up and running wow it was so beautiful and awesome to be on the other side and then about halfway through the day I heard them say where is Dimitri and right then my face Went a little red and I felt sick to my stomach because I already thought if the lead didn't show up sometimes whoever is around might fit the part CJ said a week before so I knew what was going on and soon enough elisi Scott asked CJ if I would fit the part and it was hesitant at first but then he said let's see what happens.
I said okay I will give it a shot and inside I was speechless I was the most frightened I had ever been in my Life and I also was the happiest I have ever been at the same time and when that camera was on and everything I did in my life leading up to this turning point was all for getting past that 5 minutes on silk road and hopefully being the right fit and then finally understanding why and understanding what my purpose was after that moment the switch was flicked and there was no turning back anymore so when I said CJ helps make dreams come true he truly does not just for me but many others and I am so thankful to be part of his wonderful story he is telling and very hard working cast and crew and I really hope and pray that this show goes wherever CJ wants it to because he has done some magical things and it's a magical story.
CJ: So we have been shooting this over four seasons throughout the whole year. We started exactly a year ago, November 3rd, 2018 and we needed four very distinct seasons to cover four very different countries. Of course we used locations to shoot in the Okanagan for these four seasons. You know, we've got everything in the Okanagan, we used a local areas in Vernon for the Russian border scenes.
We had a friend of mine, and his wife supplies us with the army tanks. They worked out really well and were authentic for the scenes.
Alan McFarland Actor, Executive Producer, Second Unit Director and Stunts Coordinator
CJ: Alan McFarland came on board about six months ago, we were shooting some scenes and we needed a stunt coordinator. We have a lot of stunts, special effects in the series. I just happened to notice an advertisement on the internet for somebody looking for a line producer to do a budget for a film that they wanted to shoot in. We've since become very good friends and between the two of us now, we have 11 other projects and development. One of mine, 10 of his. Vineyard and Used Mercs, is up next for us, which is a low budget feature that we're just in the midst of late stages of the development.
CJ: We've managed to pull actors from all over for Silk Road. It started out as a very small crew, a very small cast. The project started out with how we were renting equipment. I got tired of being a slave to renting to regular companies. We basically took a pile of credit cards and said, look, we're just going to buy all of our own equipment. So we spent, upwards of probably $40,000, bought C stands, the lights, uniforms, water, police car for, scenes, two camera bodies, full lens package.
Well, Chris, you are one interesting person. The people around you really love you. You are all about the work.
Somebody told me a long time ago, I think it was Ron Howard, I can't remember. I did a workshop with him in LA years ago, and he said, when, when people would come out as this theater, "after watching your movie, you want them doing one of two things to be a really successful filmmaker, you either want them in tears or wanting to burn the theater down a sudden you've gone one of two reactions."
Without people like you, there would be no opportunity for others to put in their art. So it's a big deal. What you're doing, creating a lot of projects with your friend Alan.
Before we close, I have to give a lot of credit to my wife Priscilla Clayton. Geez, she's been behind me. We actually met on a film set when I was a production manager, and, she's been behind my filmmaking 100%, in the last five years since we got married and we have two more little ones. I know they are adorable, but, Alan McFarlane calls them the berserkers.
When I told her I wanted to sell my new truck and get a used truck to help finance some of this she goes, what do we need a new truck for as long as we have something to pack your equipment around.
Priscilla is the key makeup artist for Silk Road and their productions.
You know, in the late seventies, early eighties, myself and six other people originally created the film commission and the guy called Mark Flett was the first film commissioner and he was our vice president and it wasn't called the film commission back then. It was called something else. I spent a lot of time, even when I was in Vancouver for 15 or 20 years, uh, filmmakers up to this area and trying to get help into this area itself yet. Uh, so we, we, we decided that, you know, Colona will be our next step for, instead of a little too tiny for me. The goal is to someday build a big 50,000, 80,000 square foot studio in Kelowna, but I mean, that's a long ways off being 61 years old now.
Agent Teresa May and talent Tatiana Turner (Natasha) on set of Silk Road Finders Keepers
TONY SCHLEPPE: Originally I audition with Finders Keepers was a store clerk. I was later called to play the role of FBI, but they changed that scene. Then they asked me to play BLACK OPS. T2 WHO ARE THE BAD GUYS.
Actors Alan Macfarlane, and Corky Mckoy and I in Silk Road kidnap Abby (Shanelle Connell), interrogate her and give her a drug to make her talk. A small scene to play, little dialogue but wow what fun. The cast and crew are nothing short of incredible. This was my first time ever to do acting and I loved it. Teresa May is such a sweetheart. I cannot say enough about the whole, wonderful experience.
Alyssa Belisle plays the Tech Supervisor in the FBI office. She is eager to help out and gives off a slight nerdy vibe but you can count on her to get the job done.
For me the auditioning process including going inside in groups of two, so I auditioned along side a young man who was going for the same role as I. If I remember correctly there were a few others going for the same role as well but I was the only woman. Weeks later I received a text from my amazing agent Teresa May asking if I was available to film on the upcoming weekend.
Though my role was small and I wasn’t on set as much as others, I felt very welcome there. It was a wonderful experience and I loved meeting so many amazing actors and crew members. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
How long have you been in the film & What was your experience on set like for Silk Road?
I joined the Silk Road Finders Keepers family around July or August. They had already been filming for several months at that point, but I had just signed on with Teresa as an actor and within a couple of weeks of that, CJ was holding his workshop. That's where I met everyone and it's pretty cool that my first acting class in Kelowna basically got me my first film job. They had lost some crew to other projects or obligations and needed to bump John from 2nd AD to AD, so they needed a new 2nd and CJ had essentially asked me personally if I was interested, which I sometimes still feel pretty excited about! I was super daunted at first considering I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but CJ has been really encouraging and patient with me and I feel like I owe him a lot.
All I've wanted since I was a little girl was to be an actor. I'm not there yet, but I really enjoy being able to observe everything that happens behind the scenes. Silk Road was and is my very first experience on a film set, and this is something I've been working towards my entire life so every second I'm on set I'm just totally enthralled by everything that's going on. I'm from Kamloops, but I will never hesitate to get in my car and drive the two hours to set. I love being there, everyone really is like family and you always are learning something new. There's always something exciting happening, there's always a lot of laughs. It's a lot of fun. Alan always has some crazy stories to tell, and I think I've met at least one new person every time I've been on set. I really enjoy the downtime because we spend so much time together just talking and learning about each other. I've made some amazing connections here and I've met some really cool people that I'm so happy to feel like I'll be friends with forever. I'm just as excited to follow their journies as well and see where they get to go from here. Jacob and I have so much in common in terms of how passionate we are about film so we really connected that way, and John has been the most incredible mentor. I've gotten pretty close with a few of them and they all hold such a big place in my heart. I'm so grateful that I get to be part of the Okanagan film community with these talented filmmakers.
How was the auditioning process for you share what happened? I was brought on as crew before I did any auditioning. I think I auditioned for a character named Rebecca, which was just a self tape that I did from home. I obviously didn't get the part but I was already on as 2nd AD so it's ok! I'm just so happy to be involved. Tell us about your role? To be honest I pretty much just show up to set and figure it out as I go! I still get pretty intimidated. Basically it's my job to make sure I get everyone's autograph. In the real world I'd probably never get on as an assistant director but it's great practice. I learn a lot. Sometimes I get to be assistant camera as well and I've learned that I really love slating!
Everyone who knows me knows how long I've been dying to be a part of something like this, so the most exciting thing for me is to come home and tell everyone, "Today I got to yell 'Action'!" They think it's pretty cool. That's when the 9 year old girl in me really comes out! I even went out and bought my own fancy clipboard to really embrace my role.
I'm still so eager to get in front of the camera, but I really love what I'm doing. I have hopes that Silk Road will be the beginning of a bright future for me. I couldn't ask for a better start to this career. I think everyone's dream is to be able to do what they love for a living, so I feel really lucky that I kind of get to do that.
Derek Bistricky on set of Silk Road with Cast and crew members
2019 was the year I joined the phenomenal cast & crew of Silk Road/Finders Keepers as Detective Harrison Director & Scriptwriter CJ & his lovely wife Priscilla .. Honored to be their friend & be a part of their vision. Executive Producer & Actor Alan M. an incredible talent.
I've learned much from him. Producer and Actor Rodney who is an amazing friend and mentor. Also a shout out to my good friend and fellow actor Josh one of many cast and crew group photos. It truly is a pleasure to see magic happen because of all of them."
Tell us about your role in Silk Road?
Lead FBI agent "Detective Cody Harrison"
The first thing you likely will notice about principal actor Derek Bistricky who plays the role of "Detective Harrison" in the upcoming series "Silk Road / Finders Keepers", beyond his 6'1" 210-pound frame, is his distinctive deep masculine voice -- which projects strength, confidence, and authority. It did play a factor in him being cast as the lead FBI agent, Derek Bistricky believes, as throughout his adult life he's made many fans because of his voice.
How was your audition process?
Auditioning for Silk Road was a very positive experience. I had a day to prepare, and if memory serves me, I believe I was the last of about 30 reading for the role of a lead character's Dad.
The audition went so well, that when I got word 2 days later from my agent, that I didn't get that role, I was a tad disappointed. That was until later that day, I was informed I was instead cast for the principal role of "Harrison", the lead FBI agent, which for me as an actor was a dream come true.
2019 was my breakout year in film. My principal role on "Silk Road / Finders Keepers" is no doubt my key role in my acting portfolio and I feel very blessed. Add to that, I was in a music video for New York music artist Michelle DeAngelis, for her dance hit "Not Your Girl", as the 'sugar Daddy', in a series of business promotional videos for the HeChangedIt App, and in a background army role, for the tv series "Project Blue Book" which is to air in January 2020 on the History Channel.
Locally, I worked behind-the-scenes as Associate Producer for the TV talk/variety program "The Real Deal TV" with Lisa Redl who was manning a camera, guest management, and talent scouting.
All in all, 2019 has been a most engaging year and look to expand my horizons in 2020 as a producer, screenwriter, and voice work. I love the film industry that much and will take it wherever it leads me.
What was your experience on set like?
The vibe on "Silk Road / Finders Keepers" has been nothing short of inspiring. The entirety of cast & crew was both professional and visionary. If the expression "you are only as good as your weakest link", then on this set there was no weak link to be found. The cast is the perfect mix of experience and up-and-comers that bring it. Positivity and creativity ruled the day, with Director CJ Clayton leading the way, allowing the cast and crew to take ownership of their piece in the series. My role as "Harrison" is an important character in the fabric of the story, and CJ approved of improvising when needed to bring his exceptional script even more alive.
It is rare to see an entire cast & crew gel together so well with a collective spirit that we were doing something very special. I really do believe it will pay positive dividends for this series and will draw lots of fans, and ignite many cast and crew involved to a brighter future in the industry. With the likes of CJ Clayton as Director and Scriptwriter, Alan Macfarlane as Executive Producer and actor, and Rodney Gray as Producer, it's not hard to get excited.
November 25, 2019 · Makeup and Hair team. Also Liz Hale (Missing from picture) for helping with location hair design and supplying us with the location Hair makeup and hair facility. My amazing wife Priscilla Clayton (Key MU) Kris Rostecki (Key Set Hair Design ) and our lead actresses Shanelle Connell who plays Abby.
Well, you're doing a great job. I love that you want to support your local industry. That's very impressive that you, started film group in Kelowna
Chris J. Clayton was born in 1958 in Blackpool England and moved to Canada in 1967. First working in theatre in Kelowna BC Canada he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1980 when the film industry in western Canada was in its infancy. First working as an actor and later a stuntman on such TV series as Air wolf and 21 Jump Street, he quickly learned the ropes of the behind-the-scenes technical side of the business. Chris developed an organization that was the first location finding service in the Okanagan Valley. From 1978 to 1980 he was founder and president of the Interior Film Production Association (now the Okanagan Film Commission).
Chris J. Clayton © Draht Photography
Chris took a two year leave from the industry in 1989 when his father, sound technician John A. Clayton, passed away. Chris returned to the industry in 1993 as a transport coordinator and 2nd Unit Production manager for Shavick Entertainment in Vancouver and after 7 films for Shavick decided to step up to higher ground as a freelance as a writer, production manager and producer. From May of 1994 to July 1999 Chris sat on the Board of Directors and headed several internal departments of A.C.F.C (Association of Canadian Film Craftsmen)local 2020 in Vancouver BC. As of September 20th 2012 Chris is the CEO and President of Island Films Inc and It's subsidiary Island Rock Releasing located in Kelowna, British Columbia and Produces and Directs Television Commercials and Music Video's for Canadian and International talent.
Chris, between Music Video's, works as Former Transportation Coordinator for various production companies filming in the Okanagan Valley until taking on the roll of Service Producer and Director/Cinematographer for Infinity Films Inc.. Chris (As of Feb 2018) is President and CEO of Infinity Films Inc.., Island Rock Releasing Inc. and Infinity Cine Products. .
Photos by @priscillaannclayton
I'M HERE WITH PR