Tag Archives: Kent Hangar field
The year 2154. The privileged live on Elysium. No poverty. No war. No sickness. The rest of us live on Earth.
An over-populated, ruined planet Earth where two-thirds of the movie is set. Crew filmed some of ruined planet Earth in one of the world’s largest garbage dumps on the outskirts of Mexico City. I passed through it once years ago on a luxury bus to play field hockey against the Mexican national team at a posh country club. We could see countless families living in makeshift cardboard box homes but didn’t stop to breathe in the fecal matter like star Matt Damon did while shooting there. Vancouver director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) and crew had masks and respirators but Damon stood unprotected as the wind from helicopters above sprayed him with bits of garbage and dung.
No wonder his character Max DaCosta wants to leave the shanty towns of 22nd Century Los Angeles and break into the most heavily-guarded place in the universe — the vast, luxurious space station called Elysium orbiting above. Irradiated at his factory job, Max needs to cure himself with Elysium’s high-tech medicine, but Jodie Foster’s head of the Elysium Corporate Authority doesn’t take kindly to illegal immigrants, especially those who crash their spaceship into a one percenter’s garden. Here’s a look at that crash at Kent Hangar field in Vancouver before the VFX were added.
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).
So we have some scoop on what director Neill Blomkamp’s latest sci-fi project Elysium is about, after Collider.com got its hands on an advance sceening ticket which had a detailed plot synopsis. I’d worked out some of the story last summer during the film’s three-month shoot in Vancouver, which I wrote about in my YVRShoots series, but there is still a lot we don’t know.
Elysium turns out to be the name of the vast, luxurious space station constructed by Armadyne where the very rich live in the year 2159 (want-ads for Armadyne popped up at last year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, 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 Matt Damon is Max (link to first official photo), who takes on the mission to bring equality to these polarized classes. He’s going up against Jody Foster as Minister Delacourt [corrected], a hard-line govenment official, who will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the grandiose lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium in space (Foster returned for reshoots this spring but not Damon).
Since Matt Damon was seen filming scenes in blue workmen’s garb [corrected] last summer at Vancouver Technical School, Riverview Hospital and out in Delta, could this be how Max is forced to take on the mission? And could this be how Max will save his own life? The Grouse Grinder also spent weeks filming at a mansion facade and temporarily-planted tropical garden on the vast gravel field at Kent and Boundary in Vancouver. The blue rectangles are thought to be a spaceship, the fake palm trees have no fronds, the small piles of sand seem to represent a manmade beachs and huge blue screens ringed the set. Interior scenes were filmed at the other end of Vancouver in a real-life mansion at 51st and Macdonald behind Jurassic Park-sized hedges. I’m now wondering if this mansion is on the Elysium space station, not on Earth as I originally thought.
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.
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.
Fantasy-adventure movie The Seventh Son is building one gigantic medieval castle set on the gravel field at Boundary and Kent in Vancouver, known as the Kent Hangar field.
The Seventh Son, which began filming in Vancouver almost a month ago, 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. The movie is based on the first book in The Wardstone Chronicles, giving it franchise potential and perhaps explaining why The Seventh Son production signs TUSK are everywhere from the Watchmen set to Kent Hangar field to Britannia Mines near Squamish.
Published January 10, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome
The round-the-world spy thriller Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol has more Vancouver in it than the Mumbai running scene outside the Vancouver Convention Centre which I wrote about in my inaugural #YVRShoots series post and the Seattle post-mission team beer at a table on Granville Island which I covered in my second post about the Tom Cruise franchise filming here. Director Brad Bird filmed the last shot of Josh Holloway’s Budapest alley death scene in between the Dunsmuir and Georgia Viaducts; the Moscow scene where the team gets its Kremlin mission beneath the Burrard Bridge; the Kremlin explosion in a giant blue screen box at a gravel field near the Fraser River path; some of the Dubai sandstorm scene at an Arab market set at that same gravel field; the Sun Network station in Mumbai at a Richmond office park and the Mumbai automated car park scene inside a vast Vancouver Drydocks warehouse in North Vancouver.
Tom Cruise and his co-stars did go on location with Brad Bird and crew to Prague and Dubai before their final three months of shooting in Vancouver in late 2010 and early 2011, with the second unit filming scenes without cast in Moscow for a week and in Mumbai for the BMW coupe racing-through-the-streets sequence. Prague doubled for Budapest and Moscow, with some exceptions. And the Dubai showpiece of Cruise as IMF agent Ethan Hunt scaling and swinging from the tallest building in the world could not have be done anywhere but the actual Burj Khalifa.
Almost everything else happened here in studio at Canada Motion Picture Park or on location in the Vancouver area. It’s a credit to our crews and VFX expertise that the only things that give us away are glimpses of the Vancouver Convention Centre and a lit-up southwest False Creek between the Burrard and Granville Bridges.
So far, I’ve seen Mission Impossible -Ghost Protocol twice in theatres. Once to simply enjoy Brad Bird’s first big action movie with a non-animated cast and the second time to nail down as many of the Vancouver locations as possible. Despite my best efforts I’m sure I missed several.
The fourth in the Mission Impossible movie franchise opens with Josh Holloway as IMF agent Trevor Hanaway in Prague-as-Budapest trying to intercept a courier of a threat codenamed COBALT at a train station. Then we’re treated to Tom Cruise’s Moscow prison escape to the tune of Dean Martin’s Ain’t That a Kick in the Head, likely filmed here given the numerous Vancouver paparrazi shots of Cruise in his dirty white muscle shirt from prison. Post-escape Cruise meets his new team: Simon Pegg as newly promoted field agent Benji Dunn and Paula Patton as Hanaway’s team leader Jane Carter while they drive around in a Russian van.
Published September 26, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
Updated: April 12, 2013.
Little is known about Vancouver writer and director Neill Blomkamp’s latest sci-fi project Elysium, which has been filming here for the past three months, except that it makes good use of our city’s visual effects expertise and stars a bald, buff Matt Damon as some kind of future being.
It’s not surprising about the visual effects if you know that Neill Blomkamp dabbled in 3D animation and design as a teen in South Africa and then studied it at the Vancouver Film School when his family moved here. After graduation, he worked as a 3D artist for two local visual effects companies, while branching into directing live-action shorts. He returned to his birthplace of Johannesburg to film his Oscar-nominated first feature District 9 about extra-terrestials (“Prawns”) kept in an Apartheid-like government camp. Despite his international success, Blomkamp is still based here and a proud booster of the local film industry. For example, the post-production work on Elysium will be done in Vancouver next year instead of being farmed out overseas like it usually is.
So what is Elysium about? That remains a mystery but “We’re Building the Future and We Need You” signs for a spaceship construction company Armadyne popped up at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, part of a viral campaign similar to the one done for District 9 at an earlier Comic-Con. Armadyne dot net is looking for mega-construction engineers, zero g welders, quantum networkers and experts in zero g coupling and multi-generational planning to build a massive space station that can house an entire colony of people — “Taking Mankind into the Future.” Last month I watched Elysium film scenes of a much smaller spaceship, with Matt Damon inside, crash-landing on a mansion facade and lush garden set at a vast gravel field at Kent and Boundary in Vancouver, often used by film crews for green and blue-screen filming. [This turned out to be the Elysium space station where the 1 per-centers of 2054 live.]
The blue rectangles are the spaceship, the fake palm trees have no fronds, and the small piles of sand seem to represent [a beach on Elysium]. Some might complain I’m undoing movie magic with photographs like these, but the contrast
Published August 11, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
Hail Caesar! Andy Serkis’s motion-capture performance as the chimpanzee Caesar in the mostly Vancouver-filmed Rise of the Planet of the Apes is nothing short of astonishing. I am now kicking myself for not stumbling on to any of the Apes location shoots last summer, especially the one on Hornby Street of digital apes scrambling down the marble facade of the YWCA Health & Fitness Centre, which happens to be my gym. That’ll teach me not to skip a workout.
Filming of Rise of the Apes began here in July last year before moving onto to San Francisco and Hawaii. When you catch this reboot of the Planet of the Apes franchise in theatres you’ll see it does make for a decent game of spot the location. I didn’t do well, getting caught up in the story and forgetting to look for Vancouver area locations. A friend recognized the home of scientist Will Rodman (James Franco) and his Alzheimer-addled father Charles (John Lithgow) as a heritage house up behind the Mountain Equipment Co-op Store on Broadway. Crew filmed on that street for two weeks and recreated the interior of the house for more scenes in studio. This is the house where young Caesar grows up and Andy Serkis honoured the home owners by introducing himself to them.
I did spot the BCIT Aerospace and Technology Campus in Richmond in some of the exterior scenes of GEN-SYS, the lab where Will Rodman is using apes as test subjects to develop a cure for his father’s Alzheimers. And the Hornby Street location of apes rampaging through San Francisco after their escape from their “Ape Alcatraz” animal shelter, proved instantly recognizable, although I missed the anomoly of Canada Place in one of the camera shots looking north down to Burrard Inlet.
As for the climatic showdown of apes and men on the Golden Gate Bridge, most of it was filmed here with greenscreens on the huge gravel field at Kent and Boundary near the Fraser River path. Background performer Thomas C. Andrews tweeted to tell me of the five days he spent last summer running scared on that gravel, playing one of the many pedestrians/motorists trapped on the bridge. I don’t know how many days in total it took to film all the sequences in that showdown but here’s where I got lucky. Rise of the Planet of the Apes returned to Vancouver this spring to do some reshoots ahead of the movie’s opening this month. I photographed the greenscreens, Highway Patrol cars, the extras playing Highway Patrol officers and three of the stop-motion apes (see below). None of them look like Andy Serkis, but these three performers could have played some of the other lead apes, such as the chimp Koba and gorilla Buck.
Unlike the other Planet of the Apes movies, the apes in this one are not actors in makeup. Peter Jackson’s Weta Digtial created them digitally using time motion capture, which is what the orange square markings are for. From a distance I watched one of the men playing an ape bend over simian-style and scamper along the ground with his crutches.