Filmmaker/Instructor, Sticks & Stones/MacEwan University
When the City of Edmonton first tapped Colin Waugh to create a PSA encouraging Edmontonians to “mow high” when trimming their lawns, he came back to them with “Basset Belly Metrics,” a fictional measurement system based on the length of overgrown grass and the hang of a basset hound’s belly.
“That sort of set us on the path,” Waugh says, “to be able to right off the bat establish that, Oh, you want a weird video? Go to these folks.”
A string of comedic ad campaigns soon followed, with Waugh and the team at Sticks & Stones Communications upping the ante with characters like a CGI grass clippings monster and Battery Newman, a piano-playing puppet singing about proper battery disposal.
And it wasn’t long before awards committees started noticing too, like the Webby Awards in 2018 and 2020 (Waugh lost out to Will Ferrell and Star Wars, respectively).
“The industry works on a lot of momentum,” Waugh says. “In those conversations that are the make or break moments, things are starting to come together a bit more.”
But despite a growing list of national and international honours — including credits like Ha Ling Peak (part of the CBC’s Absolutely Canadian series) and the award-winning docuseries, Renewable — Waugh is content with letting the industry come to him, rather than the other way around.
“Even though we’re this global digital community, there’s still something about someone [in Vancouver or Toronto] that people favour. There are many roads and no road is correct, but the one I’m trying to take is to stay in Edmonton.”