Catching up on ‘Northbound’
Braumart Theatre to screen first two seasons of digital series
IRON MOUNTAIN — Those who haven’t seen the Upper Peninsula-made survivalist digital series “Northbound” will get the opportunity Friday at the Braumart Theatre in Iron Mountain.
A special screening has been set to re-connect regional residents with seasons one and two and introduce supporters to a special season three sneak preview.
“It is another moment to participate. We will have merchandise for sale from the history of the project, some giveaways, photo opportunities, and the cast and crew will be on hand to sign things,” said Seth Anderson, co-creator of the series.
The “Northstar” saga was created by Anderson and his brother, Nathan, both Iron Mountain natives now living in Los Angeles, along with their production company partner, Jason Hagen. The “Northbound” series began in 2014 as a prequel series to the planned full-length movie “Northstar,” which is about a group of survivalists who eke out their daily existence after a mysterious cataclysm kills most of North America’s human population in a single day, according to the movie synopsis.
“It’s the first keystone we are laying for a longer story,” Anderson said. “To prove to the outside world that ‘Northstar’ was viable, we needed to have a proof of concept to show that we had a good filming location, viable people, and the community to support it.”
The digital streaming service Seeka TV renewed the series for a third season after the wide release of seasons one and two on the platform in October. Since its release, “Northbound” has ranked within the top five series on Seeka TV.
“We’ve done two seasons and seen growth each season. The first season started with a handful of people, and we were kind of testing out whether or not we could make films out here with this group; that worked really well. Season two, we raised funds and had a successful effort there and only added to our production level with that. Now with ‘Northbound’ three, we have 40 to 50 people, both behind the scenes and in front,” Anderson said.
Friday will be an opportunity for area residents and past supporters to catch up on the series, preview exclusive season three footage and sign up to participate in the third season. Production on the new season is expected to resume in November or early next spring.
“The third season is meant as the final season. So this is the full story. When you watch one, two and three together, it will be a full movie-like experience. And that is going to lead right into the feature film, ‘Northstar,'” Anderson said.
The world premiere of the third and final season is expected next summer.
Based in the Upper Peninsula, the bulk of the filming has been done in Dickinson County. Scenes have been set at sites such as Piers Gorge Natural Area, Monette’s IGA in Kingsford, Norway Schools, Strawberry Lake and Norway Mountain in Norway, Grace Presbyterian Church in Sagola, KI Sawyer Air Force Base grounds near Gwinn and the Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Technological University.
“We are proving you can do it. Now, with gear, it’s very possible to shoot something with more of a distinctive flavor,” Anderson said.
Fay Mannon Rahoi, coordinating producer, said the local talent is developing and production is expanding.
“They just keep growing each season they are with us, in their strength and their deliveries and within themselves. They feel better about themselves and the character they are portraying. They put in their own little slant,” she said, adding, “We want to explore and expand across the U.P.”
Anderson said with “a lot of the theater groups and different cultural places and arts congregating” at The Braumart, it has been a good place to show the new episodes in Iron Mountain.
“In our home here, we tend to premiere new material at the Braumart. The last two premiers for seasons one and two were here, and I think we fully intend to show season three’s premiere and then ‘Northstar’ eventually,” he said.
The theatre at 106 E. B St. in Iron Mountain will open at 6 p.m. Central time, with the viewing set to start at 7 p.m. Cost is $10. Refreshments will be served and the screening will have the filmmakers and cast, costume and prop displays, regional and national sponsors and raffle giveaways.
Positions still are available for residents interested in participating in the film. “We have a lot of extras that we are going to be needing,” Mannon Rahoi said.
For more information, go to www.northstarsaga.com.