Cory Carlick and the Undersigned

A shoot from The Undersigned. Photo courtesy of  SKYCRON.

Cory Carlick has been working in broadcasting since the age of 15.

He started his career at CJOH-TV, now CTV Ottawa. Carlick was experimenting with shorts and visual effects when broadcast legend Max Keeping and producer Scott Hannant discovered him. Soon, Carlick was invited to join CJOH to work on television commercials. Both mentors eventually helped Carlick create his own network, Ottawa-based SKYCRON.

Shoot by Julie Laurin.
Shoot by Julie Laurin.

After CJOH, Carlick went on to study Classical Animation at Sheridan College, ultimately working with Disney properties. After opening up an office in Toronto (and subsequently in Montreal in the late 2000s), Carlick decided in 2013 that it was time for him to come back home to Ottawa. The offices in Toronto and Montreal were amalgamated and SKYCRON’s current Ottawa location was born.

The Undersigned is a series created by Carlick and has most recently been picked up by ABC (Central New York). The story revolves around three street-smart and intelligent women in abusive relationships who find themselves homeless. They are given a second chance when the Syracuse Police need a special unit to catch white collar criminals. The women are hired to recover stolen funds from these criminals under investigation.

“I wanted to create a show like the kind I grew up watching in the late 1980s and early 1990s like MacGyver, Stargate SG-1 and Alias. These were fun shows that had a lot of spirit. They were serious, but not too serious… silly, but not too silly.”

As the story progresses, Carlick explains, the women have to learn how to control temptations of revenge from their newfound position of power.

Having three women as the leads for the series was a conscious decision made by Carlick. Each character has a unique personality, complimenting each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Carlick has worked with survivors of domestic violence and rehabilitation in the past. He notes that the content has encouraged people to reach out to him and share their stories.

“We’ve been amazed and very touched at how people have been pouring their hearts out to us and telling their stories. It also means that it’s our responsibility to make sure that our portrayals are respectful. We want to make sure that we are doing justice to people watching. In some ways, we are functioning as a voice and there are responsibilities [that come with doing that].”

FINAL_BlackAndWhiteundersigned-abc_v1Carlick believes that media’s portrayals of domestic violence are often simplified.

“It is a tricky topic to get right. Get the balance wrong and it can come off as insincere. We chose to concentrate on the work our main characters do behind the scenes and the effects of their decisions.”

Much of The Undersigned was filmed on location in Ottawa, and later in Syracuse, NY. Other locations include Aylmer and Smiths Falls.

Carlick’s goal for the series is that it will begin to bring some light to the issue of domestic violence by putting it into the mainstream. The series will also be donating $2 of all poster sales for the show to Vera House. Vera House is a non-profit organization based in Syracuse, NY, that aims to end domestic abuse and sexual violence. The group also aims to empower abused women and children, as well as promote equality and respect in relationships.

“We adomestic violence victims. We hope to do other screenings of the show that can helpre hoping to collaborate with other organizations for as a fundraiser to put money in their pockets. Any Canadian broadcaster that wishes to air the show will be provided with the master without a license fee.”

SKYCRON and Ottawa’s beloved theater The Mayfair are partnering for The Undersigned’s premiere screening. The screening will take place on October 25th and tickets can be purchased online (see link below) for $15.

You can learn more about SKYCRON by visiting their website. You can connect with Carlick and The Undersigned on Facebook and buy tickets for the Mayfair viewing here.