Tag Archives: Squamish
ABC ordered the Once Upon a Time spinoff Wonderland to series today based on a short presentation of five scenes filmed in Vancouver last month. The [Victorian England] story of Alice (Sophie Lowe) is of a girl who’s had a hard life but maintained a generous heart. A genie Cyrus (Peter Gadiot) is her love interest and the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha) sounds like the Wonderland-equivalent of Hook, described as a sardonic adventurer, man of action and loner. The White Rabbit (now voiced by John Lithgow not Paul Reubens) and the Queen of Hearts (Emma Rigby) are also part of the 13-episode limited series. And while we can expect to see cameos from the likes of Cora (Barbara Hershey) and her daughter Regina (Lana Parrilla), Wonderland will be a separate world from Once Upon a Time.
Fan fave Jane Espenson, who knows how to write kickass female characters after stints on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica and Once Upon a Time, is a consulting producer. And Zach Estrin (Prison Break) and Steve Perlman will run the show with Once Upon a Time showrunners Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.
Update: ABC passed on pilot Big Thunder, a 19th century western based on a popular Disney ride, filmed mainly in Maple Ridge and Squamish.
- Sunday, March 3rd – Red Widow 2-hour premiere. No Time to Mourn. Widow must work with her husband’s killers in order to repay $1.5 million debt and protect her family. Radha Mitchell & Goran Visnjic. Red Widow mob posters.
- Sunday, March 3rd – Once Upon a Time 2×15 The Queen is Dead. One death in present day. One death in the Fairy Tale Land past. Guest-starring Bailee Madison (Ginnifer Goodwin mini-me) as young Snow White; Rena Sofer as Snow White’s mother and Downton Abbey’s Lesley Nichol as servant; TVLine has my favourite sneak peek clip of the Rumple family — grandfather Rumple, father Bae, mother Emma and son Henry — walking and talking. The same Rumple family scene I photographed in Gastown as Manhattan.
- Sunday, March 1st – Motive 1×04 Against All Odds. Victim is lawyer whose wife gets $1 million insurance payment. Guest stars Liane Balaban.
- Sunday, March 1st – Vancouver’s Continuum and Arctic Air nominated at Canadian Screen Awards airing on CBC. Arrow‘s Stephen Amell presents.
- Sunday, March 3rd- Once Upon a Time panel at PaleyFest with creators & cast Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle, Emilie de Ravin & Colin O’Donoghue. Livestreamed at 1:30 p.m. PT.
- Sunday, March 3rd – Vancouver cop-from-the-future series Continuum-athon on Syfy in the U.S. First seven episodes of season one.
- Friday, March 1st – Once Upon a Time films in Steveston. Day shoot: Jennifer Morrison & Jared Gilmore cross street & talk in Emma’s yellow VW bug. Fraturday night shoot on the docks with Lana Parrilla.
- Friday, March 1st – Showcase announces Continuum‘s season two premiere date is Sunday, April 21st. Meantime, crew films scenes in the rain in Victory Square park w/ Rachel Nichols & Ian Tracey. And a night shoot in Shanty Town set on top of Gastown parkade.
- Friday, March 1st – Kokanee’s The Movie Out Here gets a blue carpet premiere at International Village with Glacier Girls and star Robin Nielsen but no Sasquatch. a
- Friday, March 1st – Casting call for military extras for two-day Godzilla shoot in Nanaimo.
- Friday, March 1st – Casting call for wild west extras for ABC pilot Big Thunder in Maple Ridge and Squamish.
- Friday, March 1st – Gary Oldman joins cast of Apes sequel Dawn of Planet of the Apes filming here in April.
- Friday, March 1st – Feature film Godzilla starring Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen and
If TV pilot The Selection is The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor, as described by TV Guide, does that mean that The Selection bachelorettes will fight each other to the death? Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights) stars as a poor girl chosen by lottery to enter a fierce competition to marry the Prince and become the next Queen of a war-torn nation far in the future. I didn’t see Amy Teegarden as America Singer, William Mosely as servant Aspen or Ethan Peck as Prince Maxim on set, but did visit all of their shooting locations. And eventually managed to photograh Pieta Sergeant below as rebel leader Gaia.
On the first day of filming, The Selection set up a village market inside the Terminal City Ironworks complex in east Vancouver with Aimee Teegarden on set as young America Singer. I dropped by too early to see the market scene, catching a glimpse through an open gate of prop wagons and stalls still covered in plastic.
Scenes of America saying goodbye to her village were shot over three days at the Britannia Heritage Shipyards in Steveston, captured beautifully by commercial photographer Clayton Perry in his The Selection photoset on Flickr. In Perry’s photos you can see villager extras holding up hand-lettered signs on cardboard reading: Queen America, We Love You America, Make us Proud, America Our Next Queen. William Mosley’s Aspen was also on set but when I dropped by the filming was behind one of the xxx.
To depict the war-torn country, The Selection went north on the Sea to Sky highway to the Squamish Municipal Airport for scenes of fighting with Royal forces on an airport runway. I zoomed in but couldn’t pick out Peta Sergeant on set as the rebel leader fighting the Head of the Military.
Scenes from the royal palace must have been filmed at Hycroft, the University Women’s Club in Shaughnessy,
In mid-May, the five American broadcast networks start to unveil their fall plans in New York and we will know if Arrow, Midnight Sun and six other TV pilots we saw filming in the Vancouver area before the Easter weekend will make it to series for next season. Add one more pilot to film later this year for a total of nine and Vancouver ranks second in production of drama pilots, behind New York’s eleven and ahead of Los Angeles’s eight. Why is our city so popular for American dramas? (SEE UPDATE BELOW)
Well, Vancouver is beautiful, can look like anywhere-U.S.A., has great crews who are cheaper than U.S. ones and shares the same time zone as L.A., where the showrunners and their bosses live. Not to mention that one of the five pilots shot here last year became a surprise big hit — modern fairy tale series Once Upon a Time. Still, nothing is guaranteed with 41 drama series pilots vying for a limited number of primetime slots.
Of the five The CW drama pilots in town last month, two are considered hot prospects: pilot Arrow (based on DC Comics The Green Arrow) and The-Hunger Games-Meets-The-Bachelor pilot The Selection. By all accounts, Stephen Amell is the Green Arrow in this more Jason Bourne-like and less Smallville-ish production based on the old Smallville lot near the Skytrain. Like The Dark Knight’s re-imagined Batman, Arrow’s vigilante superhero fights crime with martial arts and technology plus the special skill of archery.
I saw Stephen Amell in Gastown in late March in character as his secret identity Oliver Queen with Katie Cassidy as his former love Dinah “Laurel” Lance. And in mid-March, I spied Amell in the downtown eastside during a west coast windstorm with Colin Donnell as his best friend and trustafarian Tommy Merlyn, who drives one-heck-of-a-ride, the Mercedes 2012 SLS AMG (two wings and a cockpit).
It’s not the first time Squamish has played Alaska for American TV. NBC pilot Midnight Sun, which Deadline.com says is getting some solid early buzz, spent much of last month filming in Squamish as Alaska.
This thriller about an FBI cult specialist investigating the mysterious disappearance of a group living on a commune in Squamish as Dugan, Alaska, stars Julia Stiles (the Bourne trilogy) as the cult specialist Leah Kafka, whose investigation uncovers a larger conspiracy, and Titus Welliver (Lost’s Man in Black) as cult leader Bennett Maxwell, the charistmatic and manipulative head of Midnight Sun.
I came close to seeing some of the filming of the Midnight Sun pilot, but arrived a day or two after they’d wrapped at the Squamish dock and then found them a couple more times at inaccessible locations. Luckily Michael Raymond-James, who co-stars as an Alaskan lawyer and second-in-command of the Dugan Police, is a tweeter and kept a sort-of running set diary with photos attached.
The cast did a network table read on March 8th. Then three days later, Raymond-James tweeted, “Prep is over. The hands have been shook, the drinks have been drunk. Tomorrow, we start shooting. Boom”. It looks like Midnight Sun started filming the pilot on the Squamish dock, judging from a photo which Raymond-James captioned “Look at where I go to work”. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get up to Squamish until Friday, March 16th, just missing the shoot there.
As you can see from the fresh snow above, the weather wasn’t co-operating much with the production. Glacier Air at the Squamish Municipal airport tweeted on March 14th about Midnight Sun not getting the sun they wanted to film a scene with a Beech 18 plane. The attached video showed a serious snow squall in progress. On March 16th, the day I was looking for Midnight Sun at the Squamish dock, someone from the crew tweeted a photo of a green screen Beech 18 scene, announcing “Today we get to fly!”
I returned to Squamish the following Monday, March 19th, spotting Midnight Sun’s GEP Pro production signs on the drive up the Sea to Sky highway, just past Lions Bay. Midnight Sun was filming in a private gravel pit, with nothing to see except a beautiful view of Anvil Island and a couple of prop Dugan Police suburbans parked nearby.
Michael Raymond-James had settled into on-location routine by then, tweeting “In my life me Tweeties, I’ve drank with rogues [sic] and revolutionaries. And now I can also say that I’ve done laundry in Squamish, BC.”
Published April 28, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
Popular romantic-vampire movie franchise The Twilight Saga is famous for a certain kind of hysterical fandom known as Twi-hards. During the ten weeks that Breaking Dawn, Parts 1 and 2, have been filming in the Vancouver area, I did encounter some unbalanced Twi-hards on Twitter but never heard of them disrupting production here. It would be too difficult.
Director Bill Conroy, producers and crew know how to foil fans and paparazzi from photographing and spoiling any scenes of the long-awaited union of teenage vampire Edward Cullen and his human beloved Bella Swan, played by real-life couple Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart (Robsten). Earlier this month, huge white tarpaulins covered the backyard of the Cullen house set near Squamish, where the wedding scenes were filmed for consistent lighting but also to prevent aerial spoilers And roadblocks and armed police (including RCMP) surrounded the set to prevent spoilers from the ground. Some joked that security for this fictional wedding rivalled that of the Royal Wedding in London tomorrow.
I steered clear of Breaking Dawn location shoots until a week ago Monday when the second unit set up in Stanley Park on the interior road between the Vancouver Aquarium and Brockton Oval to film Kristen Stewart as newly-made vampire Bella doing fast vampire-running stunts on a greenscreen treadmill towed by a camera truck for Breaking Dawn 2. When I arrived near the aquarium, set containment crew had already erected a huge black screen at that end of the closed road but I did manage to take a few photos from Brockton Oval of the treadmill before set containment crew started putting up several 12×12 black screens at that end. As I was walking away across a football field, a containment worker with a big black umbrella came out to discourage me from taking any more photos, even of set containment units.
So you can imagine how security tightened close to Kristen Stewart’s afternoon call time. A dozen containment workers started patrolling the woods on either side of the closed road to prevent papparazzi and fans from photographing Stewart as Bella. One speedy pap — Justin King — did manage to evade them long enough to photograph Stewart from behind running on the treadmill (plus Bella’s never-seen-before wedding ring) before being chased out. And back at Brockton Oval, crew allowed some fans, including Christine Kilpatrick (@OLTV who offers On Location tours of Twilight sights) to watch Stewart running in her blue vampire dress on the treadmill shielded by a containment unit worker with an umbrella, as long as they kept their cameras in their pockets. I cannot stress how unprecedented this was to get to see cast at work.
Before any of the cast arrived in Vancouver in late February (Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart flew in by private jet and would have gone unpapped if they hadn’t had to go through customs where several photographers waited), it seemed there would be opportunities to see some filming in public places in downtown Vancouver.