Synopsis: It’s 1897, Northern British Columbia. Outlaws, Billy and Clara, gun down vigilantes about to hang Mary-Jo, their older sister. Mary Jo, who hasn’t been feeling well of late seems to be getting worse. Her younger sisters realize Mary Jo has “the strange rabies”. Clara fights to save her. Maybe she’ll get better and when they get to Dawson City they can start to live a life of peace? Billy wants to end Mary Jo’s hurting, hit the road and continue living the life of an outlaw. There’s nothing they can do for her why can’t Clara see the hard truth? But one thing is for certain, there’s no way to solve their problem without one sister dying and we realize that in this story, ‘good’ is relative.
Amanda Herdman (Clara)
Jocelyn Panton (Mary-Jo /Zombie)
Murphy’s Law is the story of three strong women who are deeply committed to each other and that are in search for a better life. Ultimately when things go wrong they have to choose to let go and break this bond.
The idea for the film came from a personal place for me when I found myself asking the same question that the sisters are faced with; When and how do you let go of someone you love who is beyond helping? A close family member was suffering from mental health issues, refused treatment and continued to use drugs. After years of heartbreak, trips to the hospital, manipulation and mental abuse from this individual, it was time to let go. It was the most difficult thing I had to do. I have not, nor will not ever stop loving this person, but I was being drowned in my own depression because of their actions. At some point, the caretaker must take care of themselves. I am fully aware that this is a unique and uncommon way of expression of such a heartbreaking situation. It is not a dramatic Auteur film, but it IS my artistic expression and my way of being able to tell a personal experience.
The film asks the viewer to not have preconceived ideas about what makes a person good or bad. It challenges the viewer to think about what makes a person loyal, and touches on the idea that sometimes we lie to the people we love because we think it’s what they need to hear in order to move forward. All of these ideas become extremely complicated when placed in the middle of the relationship between three sisters.
One of the things I love about classic Western films is the wide-open shots and how the landscape was often used as one of the characters. Comedy lends itself to these wide shots and I plan to give a nod to these classics in the choice of my framing. I love Westerns and I love dark comedies. Murphy’s Law is a perfect blend of these genres and a unique area to explore the themes. I hope you will enjoy the viewing as much as I enjoyed making it.
Kate is an award-winning director, writer and producer. Kate is the creator, director and producer of NarcoLeap a sci-fi web series currently airing on TELUS Optik, CBC GEM, and Air Canada and has sold internationally as well. NarcoLeap garnered a Canadian Screen Award nomination, Writers’ Guild of Canada, and three Leo Award nominations and won Best sci-fi at Miami web fest, Baltimore and Asia web festival. NarcoLeap is currently in pre-production for season 2 and development as a television series. Kate’s latest short film, a zombie, western dark comedy, Murphy’s Law is set to be released on CBC this Spring.
Kate has worked on numerous programs in lifestyle and factual television as a producer or director as well. Her work has aired on various networks such as HGTV, W Network, CBC, History, Fuel TV, and Slice. Kate’s first documentary, Not A Stranger, won the Audience Choice Award at the Vancouver Short Film Festival and was nominated for Best ‘Made in Canada’ Short at the Northwestfest. Kate’s second documentary, Melting Stars, won Best Short at the International Wildlife Film Festival.
Kate is a proud Alumna of Women in the Director’s Chair Story & Leadership Program, the National Screen Institute of Canada, Reykjavík International Film Festival Talent Lab, Vancouver Island University, and the University of British Columbia.