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Spotlight on Black Cop

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ronnie Rowe (Black Cop), Jeff Wheaton (DOP), Cory Bowles (Writer/Director) watching playback - photo by Riley Smith

Black Cop is a Nova Scotia micro-budget feature film, shot at various locations around Halifax and Dartmouth. We caught up with producer Aaron Horton to learn more about the production and the making of the film in Nova Scotia.

Tell us about this production

Black Cop was selected back in June of 2016 as one of 18 productions to be funded by the Telefilm Micro Budget program. The process started back in February of 2016 when Cory Bowles (writer/director) and I decided to apply to the program via our local designated partner the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative (AFCOOP).

Black Cop is based on a short film of the same name that Cory wrote and directed last year. The story stems from a simple question; what if a black cop, frustrated about systematic violence to black people by law enforcement, is driven to take action by doing what he believes is the same thing to non-minorities? This is a story that, beneath the satire, is a person struggling with the duality of community and duty.  Black Cop as a character is faced with a complex dilemma - he’s feared by those he identifies with when the badge is on, and fearing those he professionally identifies with when the badge is off.  When he finally hits his breaking point, the consequences are not as expected - and ultimately, he has to decide who or what he is fighting for.

What goes into filming a production like this?

Cory had been working on the feature script for a while, but once our funding was confirmed with Telefilm, we had to quickly shift into pre-production mode and we began filming on November 10th. Cory and I had to balance our day jobs with everything else that needed to happen before going to camera. Script revisions, casting, crewing, scheduling and a whole lot of paperwork. Many late nights and weekends were required to make sure we were prepared. Being on time and on budget is always important and this project was especially challenging as we were working with a small budget and a 12 day shooting schedule.

Ronnie Rowe (Black Cop) behind the scenes - photo by Riley Smith

Tell us about the crew you work with on this production

We had an amazing and talented Nova Scotia crew! I tried to keep the crew small and streamlined so we’d be able to move quickly and efficiently from location to location. Our Director of Photography is Jeff Wheaton, a frequent collaborator of Cory’s on his other projects. I could go on and on about each and every one of our crew members, but I don’t want to focus on only a few when they were all top notch. I can’t thank them enough.

Our fantastic cast was led by the talented Ronnie Rowe who came to us from Toronto.  Ronnie is in essentially every scene of the movie, and he knocked it out of the park.  I can’t imagine another actor in the role.  Sophia Walker joined us from Toronto for a few days as well, otherwise the cast was made up of Nova Scotians.

So what’s the best thing, from your viewpoint, about doing what you do from Nova Scotia?

Being able to work and make movies in Nova Scotia is a dream come true for me.  I had spent 11 years working in the industry in Toronto before relocating back to Halifax with my family.  The crews are fantastic, the city (and province) have so much to offer on both a personal and visual level.  Nova Scotia is my home (although I was born in New Brunswick) and I’m proud to be able to continue my career here.

Ronnie Rowe (Black Cop), Cory Bowles (Writer/Director) - photo by Riley Smith

When will Black Cop be released?

Black Cop should be ready to go Spring 2017, at which point we’ll start submitting to film festivals.We expect to start making the rounds late summer/early fall, and (hopefully) we’ll be screening at the Atlantic Film Festival that September.

Where can we learn more?

You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @blackcopmovie.


Black Cop is qualified to receive funding through the Nova Scotia Film & Television Production Incentive Fund. Learn more about filming in Nova Scotia and accessing the Nova Scotia Film & Television Production Incentive Fund.

Use our Film Fund Estimator tool to estimate funding available for your Nova Scotia production.