Tag Archives: film
How spooky is this? One week after this throwback to The Exorcist wrapped in 2011 all of the props, including the prop antique wooden box which contained the malevolent spirit that possesses a young girl, were burned in a fire that the Vancouver police still don’t know the cause of. I had no idea even the props were haunted when I photographed Vancouver actress Natasha Calis as young Emily, buying the box at a fake yard sale filmed at a corner ranch house near Langara College.
Lesson learned. Don’t mock the box.
This horror movie presented by Sam Raimi is “based on a true story” of terrible things that happened to real people who purchased a European antique box on eBay, as reported in the Los Angeles Times article, A Jinx In A Box. The box in the movie is haunted by a dispossessed spirit called a Dibbuk, which is bent on taking over and then devouring Emily — hence the movie’s working title Dibbuk Box.
Of course Emily refuses to give it up, forcing her divorced parents – Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgewick – to work past their hostility to save their youngest daughter. I caught one scene of them bickering at a house in Kerrisdale with Sedgewick chasing after Dean Morgan to bark a list of instructions on how to care for their girls, such as no pizza and vegan diets. If I’d returned for the third day of filming there I’d have seen some special effects scenes of wind machines blasting Natasha Calis as the Dibbuk possesses Emily.
Since Dibbuks have featured in Yiddish folk stories for centuries, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Clyde Brennick must turn to rabbis for help to exorcise the spirit from his daughter. Crew transformed an empty downtown building into a Jewish temple with extras dressed as Hassidic Jews hanging out on West Hastings between scenes and then dressed Front Street in New Westminster as a New York street below.
And the former high school and university basketball star — who’d expected to make a career in the sport until a knee injury shattered that dream — got to play some hoops in Simon Fraser University’s central gym in between setups of scenes of him as a college basketball coach.
I met Jeffrey Dean Morgan (now starring in Starz’s Magic City) at the ranch house near Langara College on the first day of filming, as he was making plans to catch up with his former TV sons, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki from Supernatural. I had no idea then that this easy-going star was a magnet for the kind of female fans who would steal his discarded cigarette butts on location here (funny and true).
The Possession is in theatres this Friday, August 31st.
Published July 9th, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome
How’s this for Comic-Con craziness? Comic-Con tweeted Twilight fans today asking them not to start lining up outside the San Diego Convention Center three days before the convention starts on Thursday like they did last year. The anual geekfest doesn’t want them to erect another Camp Twilight tent city either. Any Twihard or TwiMom who tries to line up earlier than tomorrow or brings more than a chair and a sleeping bag with them, risks not being among the six thousand-plus lucky enough to get into the final vampires & werewolves panel at lunchtime on Thursday. If asked to leave, they’ll miss seeing exclusive footage from the mainly Vancouver-shot The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2 and celebrity trio Kristin Stewart, Robert Pattison and Taylor Lautner in person. Organizers have scheduled the final Twilight movie as the first official panel in marquee Hall H so that Twilight teens and their Moms can’t ruin Comic-Con like they have in the past.
[Update: A Twilight fan who'd been camping outside the San Diego Convention Center since Sunday was struck and killed by an SUV on Tuesday morning while rushing to cross the street to get back to the lineup which Comic-Con organizers were moving. Fellow fans are trying to organize a moment of silence in her honour during the Breaking Dawn 2 panel.]
Once the Twihards have gone home, Comic-Con is free to fly its geek flag until Sunday night, epitomized by what could be 2012′s hottest panel — the 10th Anniversary reunion of the cast (and creator) of space western Firefly, featuring Canada’s own browncoat Nathan “Captain Tightpants” Fillion. Is cult TV once again dominating big budget movies at Comic-Con with Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory panels all in high demand too?
Maybe, maybe not. Iron Man 3 is a hot ticket, as are the Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures and Sony Pictures panels in Hall H. Who doesn’t want to see footage from The Hobbit, which just wrapped filming in New Zealand? Or get a first look at two other mainly Vancouver-shot movies: the upcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel starring Henry Cavill (seen below filming a shirtless green screen rescue scene in North Vancouver) as part of the Warner Bros. panel on Saturday afternoon and mysterious space station movie Elysium starring Matt Damon (link to first official photo) and Jody Foster as part of the Sony panel on Friday afternoon. Vancouver director Neill Blomkamp will be on hand with his stars to answer questions about the followup to his Oscar-nominated first feature District 9. It turns out Elysium is the name of a vast space station constructed by a company called Armadyne where the very rich live in the year 2159 (want-ads for Armadyne popped up at last year’s Comic-Con, the start of a viral campaign for the movie). The rest of us –- the 99% if you will — live on the over-populated, ruined planet Earth below. A bald, buff Damon is Max, who goes up against Foster as hard-line government official Minister Delacourt [corrected], who will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the grandious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium in space (the mansion set below on Kent Hangar field could be on the space station).
Published June 14, 2002 on Vancouver is Awesome
So Greek gods are running rampant in modern America, waging war and fathering children, like young Percy Jackson who discovers in the first film adaption, The Lightning Thief. that the father he never knew is the Greek god Poseidon. In the second of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians franchise, Percy and pals set out to retrieve the golden fleece in the Sea of Monsters to save their beloved Camp Half-Blood, the summer camp where children of the gods are trained and protected.
It’s been fun to watch some of the filming of the sequel these past two months, especially on the Camp Half-Blood sets in Robert Burnaby Park in Burnaby, built on the tennis courts and in the adjoining woods. Teen fans of Logan Lerman, who stars as Percy Jackson, tracked him all over the city on Twitter and flooded Tumblr with hundreds of photos-with, taken mainly in that park in May.
Joining Logan Lerman in this series of adventures based on Greek mythology are Brandon T. Jackson as his best pal and protector Grover Underwood, a satyr who hides his goat horns under toques and his goat legs with crutches; Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth Chase, daughter of the Greek god Athena; and Douglas Smith as his newly-discovered half-brother Tyson, a very tall, one-eyed cyclops.
As in the first film, the fun for adults is the casting of the Greek god parents. Geek God Nathan Fillion plays Greek god Hermes, the god of thieves, travellers and messengers, dressed as a UPS courier in shorts. Here he is peeking out of the prop The UPS Store set they built in late April at the corner of Pender and Abbott in downtown Vancouver. Percy Jackson and pals cross Pender (dressed as Monroe St NW in the District of Columbia), enter The UPS store and line up at the counter to pick up a package which apparently gives them what they need to head into the Sea of Monsters to find the golden fleece.
For once, the fans gathered near set weren’t clamouring for Logan Lerman. They wanted “Captain Tightpants”, as one Fillion fan yelled out. Another got her Firefly DVD signed as Fillion graciously took time to meet and sign for fans three times during that downtown shoot.
Also new to the sequel is Leven Rambin, last seen on the big screen as Glimmer in box office smash The Hunger Games. She plays Clarisse La Rue, the daughter of Ares, the god of war, who is given the quest to retrieve the golden fleece.
Published May 31, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome
Live-tweets turned out to be the best thing about last weekend’s Leo Awards celebrating the best of B.C.-made film and television. Tweets from @LeoAwards gave an award-by-award account plus details of all the hijinks in between at both the Celebration and Gala Awards: hijinks that ranged from Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott mock-fighting over their award to Gala co-hosts Amanda Tapping and Robin Dunne calling each other evil twin and English MILF to Nancy Robertson and Ryan Robbins pitching a new comedy series to Emilie Ullerup re-enacting Angelina Jolie’s notorious one-leg Oscars pose to acting legend Gabrille Rose swearing on stage while presenting the final award to Sisters & Brothers for Best Feature Film.
It was a great way to let the public share in this celebration of artistic talent after a tough week, which had started with the official cancellation of homegrown sci-fi series Sanctuary, the most-recognized B.C. production by far with 18 Leo nominations going in. Sanctuary ended up winning four Leos for its fourth and final season, but only one on the night of the gala for a guest performance by Arctic Air’s Pascale Hutton, who sang beautifully and turned her head right around in the Glee-meets-The-Exorcist episode Fuge.
I’d hoped for a repeat of last year’s wild times on the red carpet outside the Hotel Vancouver on West Georgia Street, but organizers moved the red carpet inside the hotel this year to the conference floor and restricted access. Most of the nominees kept the party going after the red carpet to take a turn at the new Media Wall by the bar where I had a spot, but it was so dimly-lit I had to jack some light from the pro-photographers’ flashes. Here’s The Express’s Johanna Ward interviewing nominee and eventual winner Johannah Newmarch on the red carpet about her supporting performance in mockumentary Sunflower Hour. Ward later dropped by the Media Wall to wrangle nominees Ali Liebert from Bomb Girls and Emilie Ullerup from Arctic Air as a backdrop to her standup.
You can see the start of Emilie Ullerup’s one-leg Angelina homage and how the popular Cassini brothers photo-bombed the arrangement. That’s Frank on the left and John on the right. Frank Cassini later won a roar from the crowd and a Leo for his supporting performance on
Tuesday in Vancouver started out sunny but by the time I reached the Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters set in Robert Burnaby Park, a huge black cloud had covered the suburb of Burnaby and unleashed a torrential downpour. And I mean torrential — as in rain-bouncing-a-foot-high-off-the-pavement-of-Edmonds-Street torrential.
That didn’t deter a dozen fans sheltering under a tree next to the Camp Half-Blood set. Nor did the smoke machines which filled the air with their acrid smell and obscured the actors they came to see. When I stripped out most of the smoke from my photographs taken from about a soccer field away, I spotted Brandon T. Jackson and the dreadlocks of Douglas Smith at the back of the communal table in the mess hall. Alexandra Daddario must have been on set too and Logan Lerman could be the blue-shirted guy at the front of the communal table, judging from the stamina of the fans. They sure do love their Percy Jackson, as I’ve discovered from so many asking me for sightings of the actor Logan Lerman on set and downtown.
Percy Jackson and his friends head into the Sea of Monsters to find the mythical Golden Fleece and save Camp Half-Blood from attack by monsters in the second in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians franchise, a series of adventures based on Greek mythology.
Published May 11, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome
After months of construction, dark fantasy movie The Seventh Son started filming this week on its gigantic castle set on the gravel field at Boundary and Kent in Vancouver, known as the Kent Hangar field. A set so big that @tessacpliu tweeted on a drive-by: “Holy! HUGE production #SeventhSon bus drove by to see the whole sizzle! Wow! Blue screen too! #yvrshoots.”
In addition to the vast wooden set, I counted eight generators, several giant blue screens attached to a wall of forty-two stacked shipping containers on the north side (crew had turned one of the bottom containers into a makeshift props department) and several more giant blue screens attached to a smaller wall of stacked shipping containers on the south side. Crew park, tents, craft services for background performers both human and equine, trailers, trucks and a large steel tank took up most of the remaining space.
Unfortunately, I could only a see a sliver of the filming on Monday afternoon through a gap in the blue screens, revealing an interior market with background performers dressed in medieval garb and real horses tethered to wood railings. Main cast must have been on set, judging by the waiting “star cars”, but the actors were being driven to and from their trailers in the southeast corner of Kent Hangar field to the north entrance to the castle set unseen.
The Seventh Son, which began filming in Vancouver on March 19th, is about an apprentice Tom (Ben Barnes) — the seventh son of a seventh son — to the County Spook (Jeff Bridges) who has imprisoned an evil witch Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore). A young girl tricks Tom into helping the witch escape.
West of the amazing Greek ampitheatre set (built on tennis courts) are some charming Camp Half-Blood cabins and ancient Greek signposts in the woods of Robert Burnaby Park. Once filming of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters moves to these sets it won’t be possible to see much, so I did a quick photo walk while I still could.
Logan Lerman’s Percy Jackson and his friends head into the Sea of Monsters to find the mythical golden fleece and save Camp Half-Blood from attack by monsters in the second of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians franchise, a series of adventures based on Greek mythology.
Percy Jackson 2 is filming on its Camp Half-Blood sets in Robert Burnaby Park from May 8th to 28th.
Ater months of construction, dark fantasy movie The Seventh Son started filming today on its gigantic medieval castle set at Kent Hangar field in Vancouver. In addition to the huge wooden set, I counted eight generators and several giant blue screens attached to a wall of forty-two stacked shipping containers (crew had turned one of the bottom containers into a makeshift props department).
The Seventh Son is about an apprentice Tom (Ben Barnes) — the seventh son of a seventh son — to the County Spook (Jeff Bridges) who has imprisoned an evil witch Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore). A young girl tricks Tom into helping the witch escape. I don’t know who was on set today because I could only see a sliver of the filming through a gap in the blue screens, revealing an interior market and real horses tethered to wooden rails.
For the first time in a long time, I have seen four of the feature films nominated for Leo Awards on the big screen, thanks to a Vancouver International Film Festival pass from Vancouver is Awesome dot com.
As expected, Carl Bessai’s Sisters & Brothers, the third in his trilogy about dysfunctional Vancouver families, leads the feature film nominations with twelve in total. How could it not with 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 on a road trip to L.A. with a sleezy hustler played by Tom Scholte; 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? All eight of these B.C. actors are nominated either for lead or supporting performances in the film.
Sisters & Brothers also picked up a nomination for Carl Bessai’s directing,
Hamlet, a film I don’t know much about, garnered eight nominations as did Marilyn, which premiered at the Whistler Film Festival and picked up a leading performance nomination for Ryan Robbins (whose castmates from the upcoming second season of Falling Skies travelled up to see the screening with him).
Next in the nominations ranking is the wicked puppet and porn mockumentary Sunflower Hour, which got seven nominations but not one for best feature. I don’t understand that but there has always been a preference for serious drama when it comes to awards. Hopefully all the funny won’t hurt the chances of Patrick Gilmore, nominated for his lead performance as Leslie Handover, a performance which made me laugh from the poster below to the end credits.
Peter New picked up a supporting performance nomination for Sunflower Hour and director Aaron Houston one for writing such a filthy-funny script.
Why was there a cab with ancient greek lettering at the Vancouver Art Gallery? It could only be for the Percy Jackson sequel Sea of Monsters, the second in the film franchise about Percy Jackson and friends, who embark on a series of adventures based on Greek mythology.
It drew a crowd of spectators to the north-west corner of the plaza to watch the scene being filmed with a tracking camera of cast (from left to right) Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith and Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson watching as the cab, with strange white-faced creatures inside, speeds away in a cloud of smoke. Earlier, downtown workers got a kick out of watching crew on ladders clipping leaves to bare trees and rolling out their own grass turf for the shoot.