AN INTERVIEW WITH JULIAN BLACK ANTELOPE, DIRECTOR OF "SECRET HISTORY: THE WILD WEST"
Winner: Best Trailer - June 2021 Edition
JULIAN BLACK ANTELOPE
WRITER, DIRECTOR & PRODUCER
JULIAN BLACK ANTELOPE
From the "Buckskin, Black Horse family of the Weasel People", Black Antelope is a nationally & internationally recognized working actor ("The Flash", "Hold the Dark", "Tribal", "Penny Dreadful", "Condor", "Blackstone"), who also brings a growing body of work behind the camera writing and producing on several feature films, documentary’s and now his own television series Secret History (TM) : "The Wild West" as Showrunner, Director, & Star of.
After a 10-year career in the Canadian music business, JBA’s transition to film and television seemed an obvious choice. In addition to Acting and doing Stunt work, he began working in a variety of production capacities to round out a complete working knowledge of ALL aspects of the film and television industry.
JBA’s industry relationships, skills, experience and “hands on” approach, make him a strong and valuable asset to film and television production and creative development where he continues to use his acting profile to leverage, build and maintain positive relationships with broadcasters and producers worldwide.
Awards / Nominations
. 2019 AMPIA Nominee-Best Dramatic Feature (Knuckleball)
. 2017 Canadian Screen Award (CSA)
Best Performance in a Guest Role Dramatic Series
. 2017 AMPIA Nominee-Best Screen Writer/Drama Under 30 (The Agreement)
. 2017 CND Governor Generals Award
Nominee for Canadian History (The Agreement)
. 2016 AMPIA Nominee-Best Dramatic Feature (Empyrean)
Thank you Julian for having us. What led you to decide and reveal this "Secret History"?
Growing up in southern Alberta, I quickly found the history being taught to us in mainstream
public schools was very one sided. There was hardly ever any mention of the Indigenous
leaders and their accomplishments/contributions. The focus in Canada was always through the western perspective instead of the first peoples’, whose land this truly is.
The trailer is really a teaser! We can already guess there will be history, stories,
magic, teachings and more in the series. How did you organize your research to create
I was fortunate enough to grow up with Blackfoot elders. On the reserves within the Blackfoot confederacy (Kainai, Piikuni, Siksika, Aamskaapiipiikuni), we have many old people who are knowledge keepers in every sense of the word. Traditionally, all knowledge is passed down orally. How something is told to you is how it must be told again, so nothing gets changed or lost.
The old people are strict like that. For the Blackfoot, the people are still very rich in the
traditional ways of knowing, ceremonies, societies etc, so the knowledge is still intact. I am
fortunate enough to be part of that. The series is about what’s NOT written in history books.
Would you care to reveal a little more than your teaser does? For example, does the
series go by themes, or is it chronologically arranged? Or any other clue(s) you're
inclined to leak…
Season 1 “The Wild West”, of the Secret History series, focuses on western Canada and the
people who shaped this country. We delve into the mystical and metaphysical influences behind these historical indigenous icons as a way to invite interest into their achievements.
We explore the lives of characters like Jerry Potts, whose spirit protector was cat that enables Jerry to survive nearly 40 gun battles without a scratch, or Calfshirt; a powerful leader who, through a pact with a grizzly spirit, begat the power to be impervious to bullets or knives; or even Lowhorn who had the power to reincarnate himself and would inevitably defy conventional explanation as there was undisputed proof to him living four lives.
Let's get your viewers to know you better. What were the first signs of your
inclination for the arts? How did your career develop, when did you realize you wanted to
work in film?
I've always been drawn to anything artistic, creative, that type of thing. Growing up my parents thought I always spent to much time dreaming “in the dream world”. But for me, being imaginative was something in me I couldn’t turn off. I drew, painted pictures from as far back as I can remember and once I hit school, things like creative writing and music took my attention.
For a while I pursued a music career out of high school, which garnered some mediocre
success but that’s also when I first dabbled in film and television. The first time I stepped foot on a film set I knew I stepped into a different world! It was then I realized that film was for me, I just didn’t know exactly what, as it all interested me.
In an age that feels like everything is moving faster and faster, the preservation and transmission of History and its stories is more precious than ever. From this perspective,
what do you hope to achieve with the series?
My hopes for the Secret History series is to give Indigenous history a true voice. It’s not about throwing a proverbial rock through history’s window, but instead “opening the door” to let some fresh air in. This series brings an Indigenous perspective mainstream history has left out.
I’ve always believed if humanity took the time to learn about one another’s cultures and belief systems, they would quickly realize that our similarities far outweigh our differences. Maybe this series can help bridge that cultural gap, if only by a small margin and at the very least offer a different, new point of view that might bring people, cultures closer together built on a better understanding of past events.
As the Writer, Director and Producer of "SECRET HISTORY: The Wild West", what has
been, or is if still ongoing, your process in choosing your Editor, and how do you work
Editors!, gotta love them and they so often get no recognition for their talents. There are stages to film-making: The film you write, the film you shoot and the film you end up with, and at all times they should be evolving. So if you have a better film at the end of the process than what you started out with, you can thank your Editor for that!
What I look for in an Editor is someone who understands story, and most of all has respect for the content which in this case is the culture, and they also have to love what they do. Glenn Sakatch is the man I work with most. He’s incredibly skilled at what he does and always goes that extra mile to put his own artistic flair into things. I couldn’t imagine doing this series without him.
When will the series starts being broadcast, would you like to reach an international
audience and if so, why and how?
The series has already aired in Canada and is starting to win awards nationwide, so the stage is open for international sales! I feel the international audience would resonate with the themes presented and how we explore them. I know when I worked in Ireland I found the politics and history of the country to be so similar in nature to the plight of Indigenous people.
Anyone who likes Indigenous cultures, and history, this show is for them, not to mention showcasing the amazing province of Alberta in all its glory. To inquire about sales go to: www.herdof1.com to submit your inquiry