On average, typical Kitsilano residents have a number of things in common. Firstly, we care for our family, friends and environment. Many also share similar interests and past times. The stereotypical Kits resident is a coffee drinking yogis that spends their days on the beach and their nights trading real estate. Well…as true as this may be for some, there is clearly room for others that don’t fit the so-called “mould.”
There’s a new family in town and they’re shaking things up a little bit. Their added flair to our beloved community is bound to leave you in stitches. The hip-hop lovin’ couple and their baby girl are going against the grain to try and find their place in Kits. Like the Banks’ of Bel Air or Simpson’s of Springfield before them, the Leach family are undoubtedly the black sheep of our community. Just like their predecessors, the family of “Kits These Days” is loving, protective of each other and adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the neighbourhood. Kits These Days is a web series made in Kitsilano by Bandit Pictures, and had just wrapped up their first season on February 20th. Their second season is scheduled to launch in the fall.
Earlier this week I had the chance to sit down with the cast and get to learn a lil’ mo’ about the Leach family. My goal was to gain a behind the scenes look at how and why it all began. Kits These Days was co-created by two actors experienced in the film industry, Dave Leach and Carmen Lavigne. Dave and Carmen met at Café Zen (a Kits favourite) after they both migrated here from (small towns near) Edmonton. The two connected almost immediately and through a fun loving process planted a seed here in Kitsilano. Almost a year later is where their story starts to grow into something magical. Dave and Carmen gave birth to their beautiful baby girl Maxine, who would eventually become the star of Kits These Days. Parents these days are Instagraming, Facebooking and sharing countless photos of their children online. Dave and Carmen decided that they’d go their own way. Similar to FunnyOrDie’s Adam McKay, Dave and Carmen started working on a project to help better craft their writing and acting skills while raising a newborn. FunnyOrDie.com began in 2007 when Adam McKay had a baby girl that soon became co-creator Will Ferrell’s landlord. “The Landlord” viral video has sparked many web series since, and in this writer’s opinion, sparked the rising success of the popular NetFlix.
Kits These Days is the new kid on the block that some may not understand while others will relish in its charm. The witty writing and satirical comedy of their community will soon start to compete with the likes of Workoholics or Portlandia. Tongue-in-cheeck humour is what Dave reports as being a great way to show a community how to laugh with and at them selves. Despite the rumours that were buzzin’ around Kits relating to reality shows, this is not one of them. Dave and Carmen created this series for their friends and family, a genuine offering that always connects to so many more.
Dave and Carmen both reported that the show is pieced together by anecdotes of their own lives (exaggerated), tidbits of overheard conversations on their daily strolls and valued programs they love to watch together. Guerilla filmmaking in their backyard (literally), had it’s advantages as many were fooled by the realism and wanted to buy some of Carm’s “Hard” lemonade. “Sorry folks, it was just a prop.” The webisodes are gaining a stronger following with each passing day and are guaranteed to make you smile.
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