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From the Vault: An Interview with Elysia

Haphead star Elysia White, talks about playing the tough-talking Maxine, fighting a pro-wrestler and her biggest on-set challenge.

Elysia White

Elysia White plays the bad-ass Maxine.

Sasha: What did you like about Maxine?

 Elysia: What didn’t I like about Maxine is probably going to be a shorter answer. She’s a strong independent woman at the age of 18. She doesn’t get caught up with  boys and tedious things with school. She knows what she wants. And she’s kind of like a lone wolf. She’s edgy.  She’s smart. She’s quippy.

I feel like I do have a lot in common with her. I taught myself how to throw knives and shoot a cross bow and she’s teaching herself how to fight. We’re doing things that we think are cool because they’re cool, not because someone else told us to.

Sasha: You taught yourself to throw knives?

Elysia: We actually used it in Just Ella [Elysia’s first film with Haphead creator Jim Munroe]. It wasn’t brilliant footage of me doing it because I had to do it really quickly and usually I have to stop and aim. But I went through a phase a couple years ago ordering throwing knives and ordering cool things off this American website that weren’t available in Canada and set up a little target in my house at the time. And I practiced throwing them and I got really good!

Sasha: So you’re lethal.

Elysia: Yeah! A little bit.

Sasha: What was it like doing the fight scenes?

Elysia: It was so super fun! I have a beginners certificate for stage combat… Basic rapier dagger, hand-to-hand, kind of stuff. But I needed to expand on that so I did a few drop-in classes and extra training.

Sasha: Where did you go for training?

Elysia: Rapier Wit with Dan Levinson. He was great. I was there for about 4 classes. And I was lucky enough to get basically a one-on-one coaching session with one of the trainers of Rapier Wit and we worked specifically on hand-to-hand and muay thai. And she showed me some kicks and rabbit punches that I could use.

Then obviously fighting Ben at the parkour place. Fighting him and Adrian, they both really, really know what they’re doing. Ben just does a triple black flip for fun over lunch! So they looked really cool and as a result made me look cool even though I was the weaker fighter in the real world.

Elysia fights actor Ben DeVries.

Elysia fights actor Ben DeVries.

Sasha: And you fought Devon Nicholson. How was that?

Elysia: It was really fun to fight him because he’s a WWE status wrestler. … It was so crazy. He is enormous. He is three times my size. His thigh is the size of your entire body. But he’s great -the nicest guy. Off camera he’s like, hugs, cuddles. But when he gets his wrestler face on, his professional wrestler face – his eyes pop out of his skull. He just roars like a lion.

Devon Nicholson as "Hannibal the Animal" turns up the terror on the factory floor.

“Hannibal the Animal” turns up the terror on the factory floor.

Elysia: And I’ve always said, from the beginning of my existence in the acting world that I will always do my own stunts.  Tom Cruise does his own stunts. Angelina [Jolie] does her own stunts. And she is my idol. Granted, I don’t want to adopt a thousand children from different countries.

Sasha: Not yet!

Elysia: Maybe in a couple years. Once Haphead really takes off and the millions start coming in. [laughs] And I always really liked that about her. And as a result I always wanted to do my own stunts because she showed that you can do it without a stunt double. You can still be hot. You can still be a movie star and you can still do all that girlie stuff and still be a bad ass.

Sasha: What was it like on set in general?

Elysia: I was busy all the time so I was having the time of my life. Any actor who complains about being busy and having to wake up at 4:00 in the morning is in the wrong career…I woke up every morning excited to do it. And reluctant to leave the set afterwards. It reaffirmed for me that I’m doing the right thing. And I really liked the crew. Our unsung heros.. our grips, our sound guys. They were all so sweet and so lovely.

Sasha: Were there any surprises that you found in working on this role?

Elysia: I don’t know if surprise would be the right word. But as far as discovering Maxine, I learned new things about her just from being in her skin for that time.

Like the scenes where Maxine is talking to Princess, I was holding onto this angsty, I’m Maxine. I’m always serious all the time. And Tate [Haphead’s director] was like, “Pretend you’re talking to an old friend, your best friend. You’re not going to talk like that.” Then all my conversations with Princess were like, “Oh my god and then this happened.” And that was kind of a surprise. It was kind of a kick in the face.

I put her [Maxine] into this box of bad-assery and was so focused on achieving that that I forgot about the simplicity of a teenaged girl having coffee with her bestie.

Maxine bonds with her bestie, Princess.

Maxine bonds with her bestie, Princess.

Sasha: What kind of roles would you write for yourself? 

Elysia: The female Indiana Jones. I grew up watching Indian Jones on repeat. Huge love affair with Harrison Ford. And if I could just translate that to be a lady. That’s exactly what I would write for myself.

Sasha: Do you watch sci-fi?

Elysia: Yes. Well my dad raised me to be a Trekkie. I grew up in the Voyager generation. Next Gen was right before me so I know Next Gen, I’ve seen them but Captain Kathryn Janeway was my homie. And hey first lady captain! She was awesome.

I watched the X-Men and Spiderman cartoons and all of the new Marvel movies. I absolutely love anything Stan Lee ever touches. The new Star Trek movies were awesome. What else? I haven’t gotten into Doctor Who yet, but I’ve heard lots of good things and I feel like I’ll probably get to that eventually. I own every season of Quantum Leap on DVD.

Sasha: No way!

Elysia: I watched it as a kid and it was cancelled and then I bought all the DVDs when I was a teenager and proceeded to watch them frequently. And it was very unfortunate when Scott Bakula did the new Enterprise and it was cancelled after 2 seasons or something ridiculous. It was not for very long.

Sasha: Where do you think web series are going?

Elysia: Hopefully it’ll keep going up and out. …I think Netflix should have a web series category. We should be like “Yo Netflix just make a new category, it’s no skin off your back and you’ll have all this new content.” I assume that will happen eventually. I think it’d be silly not to.

Sasha: Were there any challenges working on the Haphead production?

Elysia: Yes! My biggest thing is that I’m not a very emotional person in my life. I’ll well up at the end of a Pixar movie, you know. But in my personal life I’m not a crier. But I had so many crying scenes. And that’s not something that’s easy for me.

But it was one of those things, I was like, alright, I’m under pressure. I need to do this. And if I don’t, we’re not going to get the shot. So I needed to find ways to get myself to cry… I had to take, sometimes half an hour, 45 minutes before even shooting… just to focus on breathing and really get in tune with that part of me that knows how to cry that I don’t use a lot.

Maxine mourns her loss.

Maxine mourns her loss.

Sasha: Did you ever go to a sad thought that you’d try to remember?

Elysia: Well sort of, it’s more of a feeling that I have to remember. 3 years ago a very, very dear friend of mine passed away very tragically. He drowned late one night. He slipped and fell and just… it was devastating. So the feeling that that caused,  the way my body felt when that happened it’s accessible. That feeling was really accessible so that was something I could fall back into. I even feel shitty talking about it right now.

Sasha: Crying on demand is its own skill.

Elysia: And selling it. It’s one thing to make your eyes well up. It’s another thing to have a close up and have the camera believe that you’re sad. It’s hard. Super hard. Some people are really good at it. I have a friend who can just cry all day and it’s no big deal. And she, as a result, gets those roles where she cries. But I was never that.

Sasha: Were there any lessons that you learned? About the film process or yourself in the course of this project?

Elysia: I didn’t learn it the hard way… it was something that I always believed. Just always be nice to people. Because you have no idea who you’re talking to. And in this industry it is entirely networking. And if you act out or if you go diva on someone… that’s going to get out there and one day you’re going to be on the wrong side of the casting table and you’re going to get screwed over because you’re not likable.

Be nice. Everyone is helping everyone. If the guy who brings you your water drops something – pick it up for him. It’s not hard. Just be a nice human being.




5 easy Halloween costumes based on a webseries

Going to a Halloween party? Then you have to dress up. So if you’re looking for an easy costume, we’ve got 5 webseries-inspired ones that you can pull together in a flash. And hey, if someone knows who you are – you’ll have made a friend for life!

Raven from Clutch

One trip to the local Stag Shop and you can put a version of Raven’s sexy dom look. A pair of leather leggings. A sexy red and black bustier and of course, a riding crop!

Raven from Clutch


B.J. Fletcher from B.J. Fletcher Private Eye

Dig through Dad’s closet and grap his wide lapelled leather jacket. Add a black T, and penetrating stare and hello Halloween!

BJ Fletcher

Inmates from Prison Dancer

Pour yourself a big cup of orange: Whether you throw on short shorts or long pants, a crop-top or tee-shirt you can be almost anyone from this great series. That’s the beauty of prison fashion! Be ready to bust out your loud-and-proud singing voice and killer dance moves at a moment’s notice.

Inmates from Prison Dancer

Gayl Pile from The Amazing Gayl Pile

Take a quick trip to your local thrift shop and pick up a pair of too large wire-frame glasses and the wackiest vest you can find. Put on your best home shopping voice and voila! You are instantly transformed from a run-of-the-mill loser into a home-shopping king-of-the-world nerd!

Gayl Pile

Maxine from Haphead

This list isn’t complete without our heroine, Maxine. She’s all black, all the time. Black leggings, black tank top and a black hoodie. Add a smack of stubbornness and mix with a fuck you attitude.

Elysia from Haphead


Happy Halloween everybody!

Teaser pleaser in a Kickstarter vid!

Exciting news! We’ve just released a new Haphead teaser trailer! It’s intriguing, suspenseful and looks amazing. Take a peek below!

Boot tread with "Haphead" embedded into it.

Check out the trailer. Or risk a stomping.

(Kick) start me up!

This new trailer is part of an overall fundraising effort. So if you like the trailer, then help make sure the whole series looks just as amazing.  Check out our campaign, peruse the rewards and make a donation. Whether it’s $5 or $500 – every dollar makes a difference. Plus, you’ll be helping to create an original webseries that’s worth watching.

Share the campaign and create some good karma

Tell your quirky auntie, your best friend and your brother-in-law with that weird mole. Share it with your faithful followers, Facebook friends and Google+ googlers. You’ll put lots of good karma in the bank. Which hopefully, one day may be used as legal tender.


Photoshoot fun. Photoshop magic

Every movie has a main visual and the “Elysia Stomp” is ours. We’re going to use it on everything: Handouts, posters and the cover of the Haphead novella – and of course our Kickstarter campaign! A big thanks to Elysia our stomping superstar, Derek our photographer, Terry our Creative Director, Teresa our Make-Up Artist and Mathew our Visual Effects Artist who created the authentic-looking Haphead shoe tread.

Elysia balances with help of crew

Behind the boot action


Check back soon for more Haphead news!

Picture Wrap!

The weekend wrap up

Last weekend was insanely busy. The schedule was packed. We shoot everything from factory workers and fight scenes, to night walks and train commuters.

Waiting for the train

Waiting for the train


Guard stares at punk father

Punk dad gets the death glare.


Woman and man sitting on train

On the way to dystopian factory exploitation



Hey…How you doin’?


Joanne and Kwame standing

Staring down the mall cop


Adrian watches factory workers

Keeping a watchful eye on those hotheaded hapheads.

Elysia stares

Time to get serious.

Devon and Elysia - Post fight posing


Bonus content

While the story footage was being shot, Ian and Mike were capturing great behind-the-scenes footage. They’ll shape it into into a documentary, mockumentary mash-up of totally captivating must-watch, supplementary content!

Tate sitting at a table on the train

Tate tells all. Well, some.


Elysia dishes about the production

Elysia dishes about being a hophead


Tony holds the camera

Getting some behind-the-camera action


Shout out to everyone who helped

A big, huge, massive enormous thanks to everyone who helped on this production. Actors, Make Up Artists, Production Assistants, Grips, Director of Photography, Sound Recordists, Wardrobe, Prop makers and donators, Art Director, Still Photographer, Writer, Medic, Fight Choreographer, Performers and Background Actors, Director and Producers.

Plus, special thanks to Peter at The Printing Ink Factory, Dan at The Monkey Vault, and all the generous people who allowed us to shoot in their homes.

Post-production story construction

Now we’re shifting into post. Editing, sound design, music, special effects and colour correction. There’s tons to be done before we’re ready to release it in January 2015!

We’re halfway there!

This production is rocking and rolling. This past week we shot everything from outcast tattoos, punching Dad in the face, clandestine druggings and getaway shaggin’ wagons. The future’s a damn good place to be illicit and complicit.

Life In The Haphead Lair

Our most ambitious shoot was at The Monkey Vault.  The owner Dan, along with one of our producers Anthony, lined up a kaleidoscope of talented performers with a variety of physical skills. Parkour. Break dancing. Capoeira. Acrobatics. Skateboarding. We even had an authentic blacksmith on board!

Add in some punk glam costumes, inventive light set-ups, hazy smoke machine and the marvellous effort of all cast and crew and you get a Haphead lair that really came to life.

Performer does a flipping

Just casually flipping out.

Elysia prepares to punch

It’s like Friday Night Fight Club

Tony looks through camera viewfinder

Director of Photography, Tony shoots a smoke-filled room.


Woman hang on bars

Just hanging around

Blacksmith creates weapons

Pretty much the coolest blacksmith ever.

Elysia brandishes her new weapon

Elysia brandishes her new weapon

Guy wearing oversized bunny head.

You know Turner, the Ninja Rabbit in Overgrowth? I’m his brother, Doug.

Group photos of performers, cast and crew

Performers, cast, crew at The Monkey Vault


Your 7-day shooting forecast: Sunny with a chance of trains.

This week we’ll be in Toronto, Vaughan and Uxbridge where our fearless heroine Maxine will be fighting, stealing and riding the rails to economic exploitation. Now that sounds like a party!

It’s Action Time!

We’re less than two days away from going into production. The plan is to shoot for 10 days over the course of two weeks. Which means the whole cast and crew will get at least a couple of days off each week.

Lights. Camera. Action!

It all starts bright and early (but not crazy early!) on Monday, August 18. It’s a nice indoor one –which is a great way to ease into the production madness.  Actors, Mandy and Jeff, will channel their ruthless, inner insurance agents as the characters Katherine and Dan. Elysia and David will strut their stuff as the close knit Maxine and Dad.

Fight Club

This week, rehearsals took centre stage. Lines were learned. Emotions were emoted. And Elysia “Fists of Fury” White honed her ass-kicking moves the old-timey way.

Elysia can teach Beyonce a thing or two about being fierce!

Elysia can teach Beyonce a thing or two about being fierce!


At Pervasive Insurance, logos watch you!

In addition to creating the wardrobe and planning the set deck, Art Director Marc Ngui, also been tweaking the Pervasive Insurance logo. Now with the addition of the camera, this whole logo is officially 42.5% creepier.  

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 3.15.18 PM

We’re super excited about our first day. Can’t wait to get rolling!