Weber Brothers Celebrate Holidays with Release of Christmas Movie
After eleven albums, dozens of tours throughout Canada, the US and Europe, stage and studio performances with a veritable who’s who of music legends, and even having their back-story immortalized via documentary film, one begins to wonder… for rock musicians The Weber Brothers… what’s next? Well, the answer will be revealed in December with the release of “When Christmas Falls On Peterborough”, a full-length holiday feature film directed by Rob Viscardis.
“It began about a year and a half ago when we finally finished recording our Christmas album,” says guitarist/songwriter Sam Weber. “It was a five year project. That’s long, but it turned out really good, and it’s some of my favorite stuff we’ve done together. So when it came time to release it we wanted to do something special.” So the brothers, along with band members Ryan and Marcus Browne, Emily Burgess and PrufRock Shadowrunner, decided to use the Christmas album to create a musical. One they composed, produced and ultimately performed as a live play in Peterborough last year.
“It was a great night. A nerve wracking night, having never really acted on stage like that before, but people laughed and the story really came across, we played the songs well and the audience really enjoyed it,” says Sam. “The amount of work was crazy. From front to back it took every bit of six months. Learning lines, script changes, recording narrations, rehearsing the scenes and the songs, creating sets and costumes, promoting the show, stage managing. We each had seven or eight jobs. So much work, but also really fun! We started trying to think of another way we could get it out there for more people to see.” Enter filmmaker Rob Viscardis. Fresh off completing his debut feature, the Weber Brothers biopic “Before We Arrive” (selected by the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival), Rob got the call.
“He’s a talented film guy. He knows how to get things done and do them well. Plus we’ve worked together a lot in the past and get along good,” adds Sam. “We asked him if he might be interested in shooting the Christmas musical. He said sure, but we’d probably have to tweak the script a little to make the story translate to film. So work began and next thing you know we were filming.”
The movie is about, takes place, and was filmed entirely in Peterborough. “We filmed it pretty much right after Christmas so we could get the outdoor scenes we needed. -30 temperatures on Charlotte Street in mid-February for hours on end doing take after take. Holding cameras and mikes in the blowing snow. We had to persevere and really work hard to get it all done, but it was worth it,” says Sam. “Rob did a fantastic job as usual. I’m excited to finally see it.”
The release show on December 17th will be a multi-media event, with the movie scenes played on screen and the musical numbers being performed live by the Weber Brothers band. The DVD package will be available for purchase that night as well.
“I really hope it helps spread some holiday cheer. It’s supposed to be fun, funny and for everyone. You know, making people happy, making people laugh, telling a good story about family, friends and community coming together…that’s what I want for Christmas,” Sam laughs.
The Weber Brothers multi-media presentation of the Rob Viscardis film “When Christmas Falls On Peterborough” takes place at The Market Hall in Peterborough on December 17th. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door plus applicable fees. The show begins at 8PM.