Nippi – Director’s Notes from Rob King – Season 1 – Episode 13
From: rob king
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 10:25 PM
To: Wally Start
Cc: Bob Crowe; Jennifer Podemski; Katie Chipperfield; Jackie Dzuba; Ell McEachern
Subject: Nippi Day One
Tansai. (Cree for hello). At long last we came to episode #13. Everyone was glad to see each other. The weather was gorgeous. We started on the riverbank where we shot Tom discussing his childhood experience that set him on the path (a missing aunt) and his process.
We shot Jeff, Priscilla and Tom on the riverbank. Priscilla filled the guys in on the Nippi story in general.
We shot Bill and Jeff setting up and pre-investigating the house. Jeff, in the course of his usual process, picked up on a possible protective spirit that gave out what he assumed were some Cree words. The guys found unusually high EMF readings throughout a lot of the basement and weren’t sure what is beneath the floor–something seemed to be setting everything off. They tried to make contact but that didn’t go so well. Then they picked up a few Cree words from Daniel (hello and thank-you). This got immediate results so they decided they’d have to end there, talk with Tom and get his help in the next session.
We ended with a clip where I had Daniel standing with his sound gear, introduce himself and say that he is Ojibwa and knows a few Cree words. This was so the audience could meet the off-camera voice that was coaching the guys.
So we have the beginnings of an interesting story.
From: rob king
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2012 12:08 AM
To: Wally Start
Cc: Bob Crowe; Ell McEachern; Jennifer Podemski; Katie Chipperfield; jackie Dzuba
Subject: Oh wow
Twenty-two minutes an episode, huh? So today we start out at a nice little coffee shop. Jeff shows Tom the words he got from his process that seem to be Cree. Tom concurs and can make out the words, which in English ranged from I’m dead. I’m a spirit. I am the devil.
Tom and Priscilla interview the homeowner and they don’t get much information of any kind except that she is actually Saulteaux and her father’s name was Bill. Another word Jeff had got was Bill—which we thought meant our Bill.
It became bring your kid day, so we had Bill’s son and 1st AD Jason’s daughter–press–the stills guy, social media and the homeowner, her mother, two daughters and grandson. 30 plus people jammed in a house. Finally we got rid of many and got down to work.
Tom, Bill and Jeff go into IR. Tom starts participating in Cree and it works. Boy does it ever. They get these amazing lights going on the K2. It’s a female who describes herself as a bird. Tom is translating and speaking and suddenly he starts crying, goes into a sort of trance (later he said she wrapped her arms around him). Then one of Jeff’s little jars flies off the table (probably not caught on camera). Tom kind of gets himself out of it, but gets a scratch on his hand–the K2 is flashing in a berserk fashion and then soundman Daniel sees blue lights everywhere and gets totally messed up. Bill takes Daniel outside. Bill is praying (not on camera) Meanwhile Tom’s legs freeze up. Jeff’s trying to help him, Bill is feeling sick and I realize none of us are in control. We stop.
A few of us start putting some notes together. When I first met the homeowner Maureen she said we could shoot anything but two protective items above the front and back door. She asked that we take them down. I asked Daniel as I thought he would do it respectively. In retrospect, he should have smudged himself first. One of the items was a woman’s knife with an eagle feather. The other was some coloured ribbons. Also, we saw an eagle on our first day, which struck us as strange. So we had an angry, protective spirit who seemed as fierce as an eagle and we reckoned she was pissed at us for removing these items from the doorways. Tom remembered he had the women’s blanket in his truck that came from our initial pipe ceremony. It hung on my office wall until I asked Tom to take it down and carry it with us on the road. He got that blanket and wrapped it around his ceremonial stick. We went back in. The K2 started going crazy again. Everyone apologized to the spirit and Tom calmed it in Cree. Then we shut down, smudged the house and got the hell out for the night. This entire affair took about 90 minutes and there was never a dull minute.
I am still up, still wearing my coat and drinking an Irish whiskey in my room. It’s like this whole journey came full circle to our first pipe ceremony. We definitely need a ceremony on Friday for cast and crew.