Kitsilano returns to Focus

Schools & Students

The Kitsilano Secondary team behind a groundbreaking student-created television show are getting ready to launch season two.

They say viewers can expect more twists and turns in the second season of Focus, which premieres at the Rio Theatre, Vancouver, on May 18.

“It’s going to make you think a lot,” said actor and editor Jeremy Shirley. “The story branches off then comes back together in the last two episodes and makes sense.”

Many members of the team have multiple roles in the production, whether that is as director, writer, actor, editor or crew. The eight-episode season features contributions from 13 writers and they were assisted by teacher Scott Ramsay to pull their work together into a coherent story.

“Last year there was a romantic theme going, this year it’s a little darker and it’s more exciting,” said Ramsay. “Each writer adds their own heart into the story, but they still have to follow the plot threads.”

Focus started out as a solution to mounting a theatrical production while Kitsilano was temporarily without an auditorium because of a rebuild. The project has been embraced by the school – large posters advertising the new season line the school’s central corridor – and the team have put many hours of their own time into the production. They have filmed in a wide range of locations, including Vancouver Airport, Harrison Hot Springs, Maple Ridge and at parks, beaches, restaurants and cafes around the Lower Mainland. The production is believed to be the largest by a high school in North America.

Working on Focus has developed the cast and crew’s skills, and improved their level of professionalism, said actor Darquise St. Germain, adding: “We’re learning a lot from each other.”