Monthly Archives: March 2012
Published March 30, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome
The investigation returns this Sunday night with The Killing‘s two-hour second season premiere on AMC and a new marketed tagline — Be Careful What You Uncover — on the show’s poster. Following a Twitter riot over last season’s finale, showrunner Veena Sud has promised that the central mystery and last season’s marketed tagline — Who Killed Rosie Larsen? — will be solved in this season’s finale.
In addition to not solving the murder in last June’s finale, The Killing turned Joel Kinnaman’s detective Stephen Holder, one of the few likable characters, into a seeming villain, who betrayed Mireille Enos’s lead detective Sarah Linden and set up Seattle mayoral candidate Darren Richmond for arrest. So it’s not surprising that in early filming of season two in Vancouver (which began in late November and is scheduled to wrap in late April), I never found Enos and Kinnaman at the same location shoot.
The set-in-Seattle cop drama debuted last spring with what is considered to be one of the smartest, most stylish and rainiest pilots in years but lost its lustre along the way with too many red herrings and erratic writing. I balked in the third episode when writers clumsily explained gallons of blood smeared on the walls around The Cage in the high school basement as the product of a nose bleed and the rape video as a young girl (Vancouver’s own Kacey Rohl)’s desire for attention. But I stuck with the series to the end and will be back on Sunday night because I developed an attachment to these characters. And that’s the dichotomy: the performances are sublime even when the plotting goes array.
DJ Qualls returns to Supernatural tonight as quirky hunter Garth in a drunken episode called Party On, Garth. Whoever pitched this storyline of hunter Garth calling on the Winchester brothers for help with a creature who can only be seen and fought when a hunter is drunk, deserves a raise. It’s just about perfect. While Dean is no stranger to getting drunk on this show, it’ll be fun to see Sam and Garth join in with the boozing to try to see this monster, a Japanese creature called a Shojo.
And it explains the Valentine’s Day night shoot I saw in North Vancouver of Sam and Dean, aka Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, with flashlights breaking into the Red Truck Brewery dressed as the Midwestern Brewing Company. In between takes Padalecki and Ackles kept play punching each other and generally horsing around. They really are like real-life brothers.
DJ Qualls was on set too in North Vancouver for the shoot at the Red Truck brewery which moved to next-door Taylors Crossing Pub and Restaurant the following day.
I first saw DJ Qualls back on location with Supernatural for Party On, Garth, out in New Westminster at Burger Heaven the week before.
Garth became a fan favourite from his last appearance on Supernatural as the maladroit hunter who became Dean’s sidekick in Sam’s absence, finally managing to endear himself to the gruff Dean with an awkward hug, filmed in an alley near the Alibi Room in Gastown. DJ Qualls is also a personal favourite of mine for his Twitter exchanges with Jared Padalecki. I even heard about the birth of a son to Jared and his wife Genevieve from @TheOnlyDJQualls before seeing @jarpad’s tweet.
One of the best exchanges took place on Jensen Ackles (who is not on Twitter)’s birthday:
@Jarpad: Mr. Jensen Ackles says Thanks for all of the birthday wishes! And he wants to know what “trending” means.
@TheOnlyDJQualls to @Jarpad: Tell Ackles to get a Twitter account. I’ve been his secretary for a good chunk of my day.
@Jarpad quote-tweeted @TheOnlyDJQualls & added:– he says ur doing a GREAT job!
I also enjoyed this quip:
@TheOnlyDJQualls to @jarpad: I’ve decided if Supernatural goes an 8th season I’m gonna get abs. Where did you buy yours?
These three have such fun off and on set that I can’t wait to see them drunk on screen tonight and to see DJ Qualls’s new abs in season eight.
The investigation returns this Sunday night with The Killing‘s second season premiere on AMC and a new marketed tagline — Be Careful What You Uncover – on the show’s poster. Following a Twitter riot over last season’s finale, showrunner Veena Sud has promised that the central mystery and last season’s marketed tagline — Who Killed Rosie Larsen? – will be solved in this season’s finale.
Last June’s finale also turned Joel Kinnaman’s detective Stephen Holder, one of the few likable characters, into a seeming villain, who betrayed Mireille Enos’s lead detective Sarah Linden and set up Seattle mayoral candidate Darren Richmond for arrest. So it is a spoiler right now to see Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman on set together and that’s why I’ll withhold my photos of the scene they were filming today in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Meantime, I’m working on a longer piece about The Killing‘s return for my #YVRShoots series on Vancouver is Awesome.
Last night’s Psych on the USA Network featured ’90s star French Stewart from 3rd Rock From the Sun as Sherlock Holmes-esque character Whip Chatterley who helps our heroes — James Roday’s Shawn Spencer and Dule Hill’s Burton “Gus” Guster – piece together clues about a recent murder and help clear medical examiner Woody’s name after a mistake is found in his autopsy. Is Psych finally running out of ’80s stars to cast? Hardly.
I photographed one scene of episode fourteen, called Autopsy Turvy, at Main St. & West 8th Ave. in Vancouver last September outside the Scout Boutique turned Miss Ivana’s. Our trio is retracing the victim’s last steps which leads them here where fake psychic Shawn Spenser comes face to face with “real” psychic Miss Ivana. Of course Miss Ivana turns out to be a fake too, but not without psychic abilities.
This scene looked like a lot of fun to film even though I couldn’t understand the context so far ahead of the episode. In the last part of the scene, French Stewart’s character Whip Chatterley calls shotgun on the Blueberry.
From Vancouver to San Francisco to New Westminster. Alcatraz’s reenactment of the famous car chase from the 1968 movie Bullitt started in downtown Vancouver in an alley near Belkin House where the star of the chase, a Deep Blue Impact 2013 Mustang GT, sat ready for Sarah Jones’s Detective Madsen. Then onto to San Francisco for Det. Madsen in her borrowed ’13 Mustang GT to chase her Alcatraz convict grandfather Tommy Madsen on many of the same streets and with many of the same camera angles originally used in Bullitt. And back to New Westminster where Tommy Madsen’s car overturns and explodes in flames.
I’m kicking myself for missing the start of the chase at Belkin House on a Sunday in late February. I was focused on the action in front on Homer Street and not in the alley where the ’13 Mustang GT sat waiting for Sarah Jones. And while I heard about Alcatraz filming explosions in New Westminster the following weekend, I didn’t know they would be part of an epic car chase.
I didn’t get an inkling that Alcatraz was doing this Bullitt-style chase until a few days after the New Westminster shoot when I heard of filming in San Francisco and tweeted back and forth with some locals like Terrance Dunnigan (@tjdunnigan) about what they were seeing. Photographer Christiano Valli (@Cristi4novlli) uploaded some great shots on his *[C]*’s Flickr Photostream of the camera car and of the ’13 Mustang GT coming down a San Francisco hill. Sarah Jones did fly down to do some scenes but a blonde stunt double was the one driving the chase car for the sequence which took only three days to film instead of the ten needed to film the original Bullitt chase scene.
I wished they’d used the Highland Green 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback that Sarah Jones’s character has been driving in Vancouver — the exact colour, make and model of the Mustang that Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt — but its days of stunt driving are in the past where the ’63 Alcatraz convicts should be.
Here is a photo reenactment I put together using FOX’s Behind-the-Scenes Alcatraz photos (none of these photos are mine).
To New Westminster
Madsen vs Madsen in New Westminster
What are you doing Hump Day? Why not catch a screening of the Vancouver-as-Vancouver film Sisters & Brothers at International Village Theatres in Vancouver or at AMC Yonge & Dundas 24 in Toronto. This time, the third in indie director Carl Bessai’s trilogy about dysfunctional Vancouver families “taps the power of Glee“ with our own Cory Monteith, aka Glee heartthrob Finn Hudson, and his real-life pal Dustin Milligan starring as one of the movie’s four sibling pairs. Monteith plays a famous movie star and Milligan, his-not-so-famous brother.
Sisters & Brothers must owe a big thanks to Gleeks (over one million follow @CoryMonteith on Twitter) for helping to get this theatrical release in Canada. I saw Sisters & Brothers at a gala screening in the Vogue Theatre during the Vancouver International Film Festival and it was a treat to recognize so much local talent like Corner Gas’s Gabrielle Miller and Benjaman Ratner as sister and brother; Intelligence’s Camille Sullivan and Amanda Crew as half-sisters; and The Killing’s Kacey Rohl and Leena Manro as another pair of half-sisters, whose mother is none other than local acting legend Gabrielle Rose. Treat yourself to a screening of this hand-held collaboratively-filmed feature, some of it filmed at the Vancouver airport and on the Sea to Sky highway to Squamish.
Published March 26, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome
In 1963 the prisoners on Alcatraz disappeared. Now they’re coming back. You won’t believe what happens next on Alcatraz. – teases FOX’s Alcatraz Highlight Reel for the two-hour season finale tonight, almost all of it filmed in rain-drenched Vancouver, except for two-and-a-half minutes of a Bullitt-inspired car chase filmed on the sun-drenched streets of San Francisco.
The 13-episode first season of Alcatraz tells the saga of a secret agency dedicated to finding and catching inmates from the infamous San Francisco prison gone missing 50 years ago and reappearing today. It stars petite blonde-bobbed Sarah Jones as police detective Rebecca Madsen; Jorge Garcia from Lost as her partner, Alcatraz expert Dr. Diego “Doc” Soto; and Sam Neill as Emerson Hauser, her mysterious boss with a past life on Alcatraz. The fourth person of interest in this secret squad is Hauser’s equally mysterious partner Lucy Banerjee, played by Parminder Nagra of ER, who was shot by the sniper convict Ernest Cobb during the second episode and then revealed to have her own past life on Alcatraz as hasn’t-aged-a-day psychiatrist-to-the-inmates Dr. Lucille Sengupta.
Showrunners teased several big moments ahead of tonight’s finale during the Alcatraz panel at WonderCon over the March break, including Lucy’s reintegration back into present day after finally waking up from her coma. Below is Parminder Nagra filming scenes with Jorge Garcia and Sam Neill in late February outside Belkin House downtown dressed as the MacAlister Institute. In the second photo there is little to suggest the romantic attachment which formed between Nagra and Neill’s characters in their past lives on Alcatraz, when Hauser was a young policeman. But I only caught part of their reunion.
The bigger reveal about tonight’s finale is that Sarah Jones’s Detective Madsen will chase after and confront her Alcatraz inmate grandfather Tommy Madsen in a Bullitt-inspired car chase filmed for three days in San Francisco (it took the crew of Bullitt nine days to film the original chase for the 1968 movie). I’d hoped that they’d use the Highland Green 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback that Jones’s character Rebecca Madsen has been driving in Vancouver — the exact colour, make and model of the Mustang that Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt — but I guess there wasn’t time to ship it down to San Francisco for the shoot or to rebuild it so that it could do the stunt driving.
FOX promo photos show a Deep Impact Blue 2013 Mustang GT speeding down a San Franciso hill. Sarah Jones did fly down to film scenes there but a stunt double did the driving. Jones hadn’t filmed in San Francisco since the pilot, which I wrote about in my first #YVRShoots series post on Alcatraz.
Showrunners teased several big moments from tonight’s two-hour finale during the Alcatraz panel at WonderCon over the March break, including Lucy’s reintegration back into present day after finally waking up from her long coma. Lucy Banerjee, played by Parminder Nagra, was shot by the sniper convict Ernest Cobb during the second episode and then revealed to have her own past life on Alcatraz as hasn’t-aged-a-day psychiatrist-to-the-inmates Dr. Lucille Sengupta.
After a long wait, fans who created hashtag #WakeupLucy finally got some relief a week ago when Lucy opened her eyes in the last scene of episode eleven. Tonight we will see the scenes I photographed below, filmed in late February, of Parminder Nagra on location with Jorge Garcia and Sam Neill outside Belkin House dressed as the MacAlister Institute in downtown Vancouver. Unfortunately, there was little to suggest the romantic attachment that formed between Nagra and Sam Neill’s characters in their past lives on Alcatraz, when his Emerson Hauser was a young policeman. But I only caught a glimpse of their reunion. UPDATE: Turns out Hauser is pointing and saying, “You shouldn’t be here,” out of concern for Lucy’s safety.
Wake up Emma. Sebastian Stan’s Mad Hatter makes sense about the conflicting realities in his head, even if he is a “crazy son of a bitch”.
And by the end of last night’s episode — Hat Trick — it looked like Jennifer Morrison’s Emma had come to realize it. Here is the exterior of the Mad Hatter house on Angus Drive in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood of Vancouver where the Mad Hatter imprisoned Emma and Mary Margaret. I so regret not returning for a night shoot there to see the scene of Emma and the Mad Hatter driving up the circular driveway in her yellow VW bug and then the Hatter stunt double falling out of an upper window onto the ground — leaving nothing behind but his hat.
“He really is Prince Charming” — that’s what a group of parents said in Steveston last Thursday night when Josh Dallas kept posing for photos with pint-sized fans, as his minder kept repeating that it was time to get the actor back to circus. Dallas posed with at least a dozen kids, who kept scampering under the fan barricades to meet Charming before he left for the night.
Once Upon a Time had put up fan barricades and hired security people on set for the first time ever at their last shoot of the season in Steveston last Thursday. Nice, big, smiley security people who joked with fans and photographers, but still security with a job to do.
It had to happen. With Once Upon a Time such a big hit, the number of fans visiting on location has been growing in leaps and bounds. About 30 fans had turned up to watch a night shoot in Steveston the week before, which made the filming of a big spoiler scene much more difficult. That night, crew arranged a meet and greet with Josh Dallas and some of the other cast on set to thank the fans for supporting the show, and then politely asked them to leave so that they could get back to filming.
This past Thursday, fans at the morning shoot were herded into a small area near where Josh Dallas was shooting a scene of walking to his truck and driving away. After wrapping that scene, the charming Dallas signed autographs and posed for photos with fans, who’d been asked to line up for it. Later that day, similar meet and greets took place with other cast like Eion Bailey, who unfortunately was monopolized by two young women, preventing the kids in line from getting a chance to meet August.
Josh Dallas made sure that didn’t happen at the night shoot. Only kids got their photos taken with him opposite Granny’s Diner after he wrapped for the night. Once his minder finally managed to pull Charming away, crew asked watching fans if anyone wanted to see the next scene close up. If they did, would they mind bringing the barricades with them? So parents and their kids carried the barricades west down Moncton Street to the intersection for the next scene of Lana Parrilla and Jennifer Morrison at the shuttered Storybrooke library.
I’ve never seen so many families at a Vancouver area location shoot. After wrapping the library scene, Lana Parilla did a meet-and-greet with everyone who wanted to meet the Evil Queen – a definite fan favourite among the young set. And then the diminishing crowd moved west again down Moncton Street to Mr. Gold’s pawn shop for the final scenes of the night with Robert Carlyle joining Jennifer Morrison and Lana Parrilla inside. Sometime before midnight, Once Upon a Time called a wrap on its last location shoot for season one in Steveston as Storybrooke.