Last fall I had the great chance to spend the day on set of Jann Arden’s new TV show airing on CTV, aptly named JANN. A small group of North American journalists and media were invited to cover what’s known in the business as a “press junket”. Spend the day on set in beautiful Bragg Creek, Alberta, watching them film, round table interviews with the cast and crew, getting some behind the scenes glimpses, all to support the launch of a new show.
Well did we ever have a great day, despite the fact that the snow decided to fall just days before they were to wrap their 19 day production schedule. SO much snow in fact that it caused a MASSIVE kink in the production team’s vision. They were shooting fall scenes. Sitting on the dock scenes. Now we had a TON of snow. What to do? I am not joking when I say I heard that some of the team were out in the fields with brooms, literally sweeping the snow out of the shots. Oh Alberta how we love you!
While we left the logistics to the experts, it was such an amazing day, watching the magic happen in Bragg Creek. PS I’ve decided one day I will live there on the weekends.
ROAD TRIP TO BRAGG CREEK
We all met at the beautiful Westin Hotel in downtown Calgary and boarded a van driven by crew to take us to set. Once on board we all introduced ourselves and set out on the 45 minute trip southwest to Bragg Creek. When we arrived, we were immediately ushered into a small tent to wait quietly, as they were filming a scene adjacent to the tent, inside a garage. In the scenes we watched them shoot, Jann and her mother Nora (played by the incredibly talented Deborah Grover) are dealing with some emotional dialogue. But first, let’s back up.
WHAT IS JANN ABOUT?
CTV- In Jann, Jann Arden plays a fictionalized, self-deprecating version of herself: a singer songwriter of a “certain age” in severe denial of the harsh reality that her former music career is slowly (okay rapidly) fading away. But it’s not just Jann’s career that’s on life support – she’s newly single (don’t remind her), her sister may disown her, and her mother may be showing early signs of memory loss. Jann’s personal life is in shambles and she’s convinced that the cure-all is to enlist a new manager to help rebrand her image. Filled with plenty of LOL moments, she embarks on a quest to return to greatness and go viral, but instead gets tangled in the pressures of her ‘real’ life. Jann is at the crossroads between who she was and who she wants to be. Can Jann stage a comeback, reclaim fame…and be there for the people who love her? – For more Jann and to watch online, look no further!
The cast is absolutely amazing, we can see this from spending just 1 day with them all. We had the chance to meet Jann, Deborah Grover (Nora), Zoie Palmer (Max), Elena Juatco (Cale), Jason Blicker (Todd), Alexa Ray Steele (Charlie), along with co-creators Jennica Harper, Leah Gauthier. I can honestly say the all around vibe was just so warm, welcoming and supportive…everything you hope TV should be. Jann referenced a few times that this was her first turn at acting, but you would truly never guess it. She brings the utmost professionalism, humor and again, WARMTH to every room she enters.
LUNCH IS SERVED
When they finished shooting the scene, we piled back into the van and headed for a quick bathroom break and then lunch, just a minute away from set. It was so much fun to see a working set in action. Everyone had a job, everyone knew their marks, everyone was on TASK. That’s also the case when you shoot an entire season of a show in under a month, you don’t have time to waste. Focused cast and crew!
Little known fact: you are driven everywhere on set, for safety reasons. Quick bathroom break and we all headed into the building to eat some lunch.
EAT WE DID – my hats off to the craft service team on set. There were SO many choices! Of course being the foodie I am, I was so excited to see just how much variety they provide to the cast and crew. Really, when you think about it, they arrive in the dark and often leave in the dark so the long days make for hungry actors and crew members! This catering department had really done their homework, you had every dietary need and want covered, even those who fall into the “non cilantro” camp were covered.
What also warmed my heart was seeing some of the cast eating with the crew. You hear so often of it being quite separated, but certainly not this day in Bragg Creek!
PS in case you’re curious, I had the bacon prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin and salad. And a homemade peanut butter cookie. DIVINE. Then later in the day I had veggie tempura as I stood in the snow waiting for a shot to finish. YES, tempura being rolled around in a warming station on a wagon, along with potstickers! So good. #setlife
QUIET ON THE SET!
After lunch we settled back into our tent to watch them shooting the final scenes of the day. You could honestly hear a pin drop on that set, in the beautiful snowy mountains. This scene was a particularly emotional one between Jann and Deborah. Despite the chilly temperatures, our spirits were high as we felt so lucky to have been a part of this unique day on set. I also might have needed a couple tissues during these scenes, even though the show is part comedy. It’s just so good.
THAT’S A WRAP
With the last scenes for the day “in the can”, some of the cast and crew met us at a nearby Bragg Creek treasure, The Italian Farmhouse for some yummy food and drinks. A perfect end to a wonderful day on set. Thanks CTV, cast, crew and of course Jann Arden for having us on set, a day we won’t ever forget!
UPDATE as of April 16, 2019: Jann is an amazing show, we are more than halfway through Season 1 and cannot WAIT for Season 2 to be announced. It’s THAT good. Thank you to the cast and crew who made us all feel so welcome on set.
Enjoy! Meg xo
To catch up on all the episodes of JANN, here you go!
For PR Inquiries: MATTHEW ALMEIDA- Publicist, CTV– firstname.lastname@example.org