“Today a crew is shooting at a “clothing optional” restaurant in New York City. For another episode we will be checking out the popular Toilet Restaurant in Taiwan.”
Whether it’s dishing up the “World’s Weirdest Restaurants” for Food Network Canada or reviewing a script for the docusoap “Dust Up” (about a maverick crop-dusting family in Saskatchewan), Cal Shumiatcher is passionate about what he does. Shumiatcher has more than 20 years experience working in both the fiction and non-fiction genres as a producer, a director and as a sound designer. As partner at Vancouver’s Paperny Films he combines his unique talents to help create and develop new projects, including drama and new media opportunities.
“We really embrace digital and social media at Paperny Films,” says Cal. “Our latest success is an Eat St. app—from the TV show of the same name-- all about street food. The GPS powered app locates popular street delicacies in trucks and carts across North America. We have had more that 150,000 downloads so far.”
Cal studied film at UBC and moved on to making Telefilm funded movies upon graduation. Over the years whenever there wasn’t much producing work, he would go back to a Foley studio to make some money. “I’m a filmmaker first,” says Cal. “But I have always maintained my craft so I can stay in the industry and have my ear to the ground.”
That “ear” paid off many times. In fact he won two Genies and was nominated for five more for Best Sound Editing under the pseudonym Irving Mulch.
As his alter-ego Cal, his dramatic television production credits include the series “Beggars and Choosers”, “The Chris Isaac Show”, and “Tracker”. He produced the feature films “North of Pittsburgh”, “Matinee”, “Boys Will Be Girls”, “Tomcat”, “My Kind of Town”, and co-produced “Cuba Libre” starring Harvey Keitel. He also produced the computer animation pilot “Weird-Ohs”.
Cal directed episodes of “Beggars and Choosers” and the computer animated series “Beast Wars: Transformers”. In addition, he acted as the line producer for the feature “Saved!” starring Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin and Jenna Malone.
As a documentary producer Cal’s credits over 200 hours of biography, history and docusoap productions for History Television, CBC, CTV, Global TV, Showcase and Food Network, HGTV, Slice and City TV. His latest documentary credits include CBC’s “Devil Plays Hardball” which pairs homeless people with volunteer mentors to help turn their lives around; the feature documentary “Confessions of an Innocent Man”, CTV/NFB, (Gemini winner, Best Documentary Biography, 2008) the story of William Sampson, the British/Canadian who survived three years of torture in a Saudi prison for a crime he did not commit; and “Love Shines”, HBO Canada, (SXSW Audience Choice winner, 2011) which follows Canadian singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith as he records his latest album with legendary producer Bob Rock. Cal’s long-running series successes include Glutton For Punishment (58x30) for Food Network and Crash Test Mommy (65 x 60) for Slice.
Cal was invited to join Paperny Films as a partner in 2007. The company was founded by Cal’s second cousin, David Paperny and his wife and business partner Audrey Mehler in 1994. From modest beginnings, Paperny Films has now produced more than 300 hours of programming and won more than 30 awards and employs 17 full-time staff.
“We have discovered the key to growth is to make our company a company where creative people want to come. Great ideas flourish,” says Cal.
Cal has also been active on the B.C. Council and is now a sitting Board member for the Canadian Media Production Association.
“The CMPA is first and foremost the place that Canadian producers can share ideas, pool resources, and find common objectives--- these are with people who would normally be our competitors. But here we work on common objectives together,” says Cal.