Michel is a husband at home with 5 children, all of which participate in their own unique sport. He’s a loving father that wants the best for his children – which for him means winning. Whether its golf, hockey or even psychomotor skills; Michel sees a young Olympian in all his children, even if they don’t.

Created by Olivier Gilbert, the 5 part series touches on everything from competitive intensity to love and loyalty – all within a comedic narrative.

Gilbert says the series draws on his experiences as a child coming across “intense” parents.

Michel is a very specific and interesting character, what inspired you to create a protagonist like that?
When I was young I played many different sports including several baseball seasons. So I had the opportunity to meet different kinds of fathers, some of whom were very intense. When I had the idea for this series I figured it would be interesting to do a kind of condensed type of intense father that I saw during those years.

But, Michel is not just a cliché character; he has a human side that is reflected in his love for his children and that is an aspect of the character that I also wanted to put up front.

Children and babies are an integral part of the series, what was it like working with young actors to film the series?
This was actually one of the big challenges of the shoot. We knew it would not be easy to shoot with children and especially with a baby who is in almost all the episodes. Anticipating those troubles, we decided to cast two beautiful twins to play the role of the smallest daughter of Michel, “Félixe”. Nevertheless, often, when one was hard to work with, her sister was not more collaborative…

We also arranged the schedule accordingly, condensing the scenes with the babies. Often, we also kept close-ups without children for the end, like a day where we had 7 children on set. This was definitely the most stressful day of the series and also the toughest challenge to edit in terms of continuity between the shots.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome making this series?
Except shooting with kids, I would say that we had to be creative budget wise. We had to find a lot of shooting locations and almost nothing to pay them.

For example, for the golf course, I offered the owner to go back another day to do some beauty shots of his golf course in exchange for a day of shooting. Also, what helped us is that in the concept of the series, I wanted to only see the countershot of the sports. So we always direct the camera toward the stands and never saw the action of sports. Anyway, we would never have had the budget to pay a hockey team to feature in the series!

How do you reach your audience?
First, we were very active in social media like Facebook and Twitter. We also worked with an association that encourages young people to play sports.

Besides the sponsorship of the series, Wixx spoke about us in their various publications. We also found some public figures in sports within Quebec to play a small role in each episode. Through them, we had the opportunity to attract a wider audience. One person, Georges Laraque (a former NHL player) is followed by more than 35,000 people on twitter.

How did you finance your series?
We finance the series in large part with the support of the Fonds TV5, who loved the project and decide to finance it. We also did an Indiegogo campaign to complete the financing.

It was a lot of work but it helped us also to publicize the series in advance. Another TV broadcaster Canal Vie also bought Papa d’estrade the series for the web.

Why should people watch Stage Daddy?
People should watch Stage Daddy because it’s a fun series with a lot of relatable moments. We all know a character like Michel in our family!

How many people worked on this project?
We’re a small team, maybe between 10-15 persons technically. We also had at least 20 actors + extras here and there. In post-production, it was also a small team, maybe 5 people who worked on it.

Have you achieved the goals you set for Stage Daddy?
Yes, we we’re really happy about the series and we are happy that the series is screening in many festivals.

Can you please tell us a quirky and/or interesting fact about yourself or team that’s unrelated to your web series?
I myself have two wonderful kids who don’t like sports that much… so, I will not become a stage daddy like Michel!

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