Semi Pro – A Hockumentary is a broadcast/webcast project that documents the evolution of a Tier 1 Peewee hockey team through their 2014/15 season. The Semiahmoo A1 Ravens, Semi A1 as they are commonly known, represent the best eleven and twelve year old players in South Surrey and White Rock, BC. Semi Pro takes you inside their dressing room, onto the ice and into the hearts and lives of the coaches, players and parents, to experience what top level minor hockey is all about. Over their six month season, Semi Pro gives you an intimate and revealing look at the culture of youth hockey in a nation obsessed with the game. The stakes are high and emotions sometimes intense, for both players and parents, as Semi Pro culminates with the team hosting and competing in the BC Provincial championships. With minor hockey in Canada at a crossroads, Semi Pro shares an uplifting story of a group of boys learning to become men through the values of our national game.
Semi Pro – A Hockumentary is a broadcast/webcast documentary that follows the real life journey of the Semiahmoo Peewee boys A1 hockey team over the course of their 2014/2015 season. Our story begins just after the fifteen boys are selected from over two hundred aspiring players in White Rock and Surrey, British Columbia. At their homes, school and on the ice, we follow the team and their families through a gruelling six-month regular season, tournaments, injury, adversity and real life ups and downs. Our story arc culminates with the BC Provincials championships that Semi (Semiahmoo Minor Hockey) will host and compete in, March 15 -20, 2015. While Semi Pro’s story follows the evolution of the team, players, coaches and parent group, the documentary ultimately examines the culture of high-level youth hockey to understand why Canadians are so enamoured with the game.
At the ripe age of 11 and 12, for the majority of the players and families that comprise the Semi A1 Peewee team, their selection to the squad already represents six plus years of hard work and dedication to the sport that fuels our Canadian identity. The expectations placed on the boys by their coaches, parents and as we see, most intimately by themselves, reveals unique perspective and insight on the values of minor hockey. For some of the parents and players, the pressure to perform, the dream of making it to the NHL and the will to compete are all too real. I know, I am the parent of one of the Semi A1 Ravens and a documentary filmmaker. My real life experience, relationships with the parents and exclusive access to the team creates a first of a kind opportunity to document the reality of high level minor hockey in Canada.
AAA (A1) Peewee hockey across Canada represents the highest level of skill and competition for boys ages eleven and twelve. Here we begin to see in arenas across Canada the next generation of NHL players. As the second largest minor hockey association in B.C., the Semi A1 team is made up of the best 11 and 12-year-old hockey players in South Surrey and White Rock area. Most of the boys and families have grown up together driving to and playing in hockey rinks across Vancouver and B.C.
The fraternity of AAA Peewee hockey demands a significant level of parental and financial support. Semi Pro shows how some of the players undertake supplemental skating, fitness and skills development with personal trainers throughout the Vancouver area. Focusing on a core group of players and families, our documentary cameras take you inside their homes and lives to experience the real life passion and commitment this level of hockey demands. We take an honest, no holds barred look at how the team, relationships and families evolve over their six-month season. With coaches and parents so passionate about the team, competition is inherent, on and off the ice.
Flight 1 represents the top tier of competition in the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association’s Vancouver Lower Mainland Division. Across B.C., the top peewee players and teams compete in this flight, playing games through February when playoffs begin. The playoffs will decide the top two teams from each region who travel to South Surrey and compete in the peewee provincial championship, March 15-20, 2015. Since the Semiahmoo Minor Hockey Association is hosting the BC provincial peewee championships the Semi A1 team gets a guaranteed buy into the provincials. But for Head Coach Phil Grief, a buy into the provincials is not the goal. Winning the provincials is his ultimate objective. As we see in Semi Pro, that’s going to be a tall order but win, lose or draw, the documentary reveals that the real story is about their ability to buy into a team concept and accept the values that minor hockey teaches.
With over 500,000 players currently playing minor hockey in Canada, Semi Pro is an intimate, youth oriented examination of our national past time - just at a time when minor hockey needs it most. Registration in minor hockey nationally is on the decline as rising costs, fears of injury, and shifting demographics have changed the fabric of the game. In response, Semi Pro uniquely reveals the underlying values and sense of community that drives one of our most revered cultural icons.
Semi Pro is produced by Vancouver based documentary production company RealWorld Media Inc., and directed by company principals Denis Paquette and Carmen Henriquez. Self-funded at the outset, the project is a labour of love since Denis’ son Dylan is a member of the Semi A1 team. Initial production of Semi Pro is being underwritten by RealWorld Media in order to capture establishing footage through the beginning of the 2014/15 season. The Producers are currently pursuing broadcast pre-sale licenses with relevant Canadian broadcasters. A national corporate sponsorship program and a private crowd funding campaign supplement the financing of the production budget. Semi Pro is envisioned as both a one-hour broadcast documentary and a YouTube series. Given the youth demographic appeal of the project and the potentially huge national audience, a YouTube channel has been established where trailers, teasers and supplemental footage will be posted as the foundation for an aggressive pre-launch social media campaign.
A separate digital media budget will fund the development of www.SemiPro.tv, a rich and substantial website with more in depth information on the team, players, supplemental stories and related minor hockey issues in BC, across Canada, and ideally internationally. The Producers are seeking collaboration and cross promotion with BC Hockey and Hockey Canada to help stimulate awareness and traffic to the eventual site. An interim WordPress site is being used to promote and market Semi Pro to potential broadcasters, corporate sponsors and to sustain a crowd funding campaign. The full execution of www.SemiPro.tv, scheduled for September 2015, will feature an array of supplemental footage, instructional videos, player stories and related themes that share Semi Pro’s content in more interactive and meaningful ways. Fully realized, Semi Pro has the ability to grow into a multi-season franchise that celebrates the values of minor hockey, in Canada and internationally.
Semi Pro is structured on a corporate sponsorship-financing model where private and public organizations can demonstrate their support for minor hockey by sponsoring the project. Participating sponsors can attach their brand to the program and derive long term benefits through the multi-platform distribution of Semi Pro.
To access the full Semi Pro project proposal and the sponsorship financing plan click here.
Photos of the Semiahmoo Minor Hockey Team - 2014/15 season.
Semi Pro – The Hockumentary is produced by the filmmaking team of Denis Paquette and Carmen Henriquez through their Vancouver based production company RealWorld Media Inc. Over the last decade, RealWorld has built its brand by creating and capturing international, character driven and dramatic TV and Web documentary series. Their most recent project, www.nativeplanet.tv, is a six part documentary series that travels the world exploring the unique relationship indigenous peoples have with the environment. Other recent credits include three seasons of the acclaimed documentary series “Closer To Home” (2009-11), the feature length documentary “Cry of the Andes” shot in Chile and Argentina (2010), and the one hour documentary “Wood, Steel and Ice” – building the Richmond Speed Skating Oval” (2010). RealWorld is currently in production on the six part series “Face the Music” premiering Fall 2015.
Semi A1 Ravens win prestigious Regina Pats tournament beating the best teams from Saskatchewan and Alberta: peacearchnews.com/sports/289983171.html