A SHORT SYNOPSIS
February’s Dog takes place in Alberta in modern time and is set against the beautiful and iconic back drop of the Canadian Rocky Mountains under a shroud of winter snow. It follows two uniquely different, yet typical men – Dale Walters (played by Paul J. Chinook) is a very charismatic and lighthearted man that works hard to enjoy a life of adventure and excitement. His work partner, Nigel Loggins, (played by Kevin Davey) is a military veteran who is quiet and calculated in his approach towards life. The film opens with these two men as they are finishing up work on a Friday. They get called into the office at the end of the day and are laid off by their boss Arthur Newbury, (played by Doug Wilson) a very clean cut, to the point, middle aged manager. Arthur is a friend and suggests that this is just temporary, and that they will be back at work in three months – just as soon as market oil prices recover. Dale and Nigel interpret this “break” quite differently and act accordingly. Ultimately though, both men find themselves in a merciless battle against desperation and depression. How will they get out? Or will they? The story is a hard one but one that needs to be told as it is far too common silent battle in today’s society.
THE VIEWER EXPERIENCE
This film is like none other. It starts off light and comical and proceeds at a break neck pace through chaos and turmoil and will expose the audience to a complete and thorough roller coaster of emotions. We watch noble men stumble and fall, we are unexpectedly blindsided with unforeseen catastrophes, darkness washes out the light, lives are altered painfully and permanently right before our very eyes. This film will leave the viewer with thoughts and feelings that will require time and presence to process.
Being a fourth generation Albertan, my family is intimately connected to Alberta and its history. No matter where I am, this will always be home. I always thought Alberta would continue on its magical journey of providing for hard working people like it always did. I got into the oil & gas industry early on in my career to put my hard work in like all my family before me. The crash that started in the winter of 2014 was nothing short of a nightmare. After eighteen years of sacrifice and hard work, I found myself (along with many of my friends and peers) slowly sinking into a mental void — that no one was really talking about or wanting to address. Instead of conversations about vacations, children on the way, promotions, and generally uplifting stories, all I heard was my friends losing houses, divorces, depression, bankruptcies, and immense suffering. It was unbearable – seeing people I looked up to lose everything including confidence in themselves, and any hope for a better day. So when I thought about writing a screenplay, this story literally poured out of me. I think maybe partially out of necessity to deal with the trauma and also to help others deal with it as well. – Paul J. Chinook