Of wolves and krampus’
Emersen Ziffle and the magic of cinema
WolfCop is a fun and exciting movie that a lot of people around the world have seen and enjoyed.
But the film admittedly meant a whole lot more for Emersen Ziffle, a 31-year-old Regina product who worked extensively as a special effects makeup artist on the movie, than most others.
“It had a huge impact on my life,” Ziffle says. “Absolutely.”
WolfCop was a big turning point in the career of Ziffle, who previously spent a year-and-a-half as a film major at the University of Regina before going his own way to start his career.
After WolfCop debuted, Ziffle joined the Comic Con tour across Canada in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary, where he crossed paths with Richard Taylor, the creative director of Weta Workshop – the well-known company that created sets, costumes, armour, weapons, creatures and miniatures for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Ziffle later linked up with Taylor in New Zealand, where he ultimately worked for six months on the film, Krampus.
“That was a dream come true and it was a life-changing experience,” Ziffle says about his work with WolfCop, “and I owe a lot of that to the success of WolfCop.”
Ziffle knew WolfCop would be a fun and exciting project. But, plagued by a nagging back injury, working on the movie wasn’t exactly a day at the beach.
“I love the challenge of film, but when we did that movie, I was dealing with a back injury, so I was on some painkillers and I was just barely able to make it to the end of the day because I had a herniated disc,” Ziffle says.
“At the time, it wasn’t miserable, but it was very, very challenging.”
It wasn’t until several months after that that the buzz had started for the movie – across the city, province, country and even internationally – and the pain became more than worthwhile.
Now he’s back in Regina, putting the finishing touches on WolfCop 2, the highly anticipated sequel to his breakout project.
“It’s looking amazing,” Ziffle says of his new film.
“Just from what we’ve seen on set, it’s going to be way better than the first film. It travels at a much faster pace, and it looks like it’s going to be a lot more exciting.
“We’re really excited about it.”
Ziffle is excited to continue his career and grow in the industry. It seems like there’s nothing else he’d rather be doing for a living.
“First of all, I’m just so grateful to be doing this for a living,” Ziffle says, adding, “I’m so grateful for that and so grateful for the support that I’ve gotten from my family, friends and colleagues.
“It’s a dream job,” he continues, “and I’m just so fortunate that I get to do it here.”