Archive for the ‘Vancouver Shoots’ Category

Rainmaker is bringing back Reboot

If you’re like me and your first taste of computer animation was from the old Reboot catoon then you might be interested to know that local Vancouver studio Rainmaker Entertainment [rm] is gearing up to relaunch the series in the form of (a potential) three animated movies based on the characters and universe from the mid-90s’ YTV series [nar].

Which is cool, but their mistake might be in making the entire process a wiki type thing where the creative process is being thrown open online for fan input. It sounds noble when Rainmaker’s partner in the project Zeroes to Heroes founder Matt Toner says, “What we want to do is be a social network where creators and fans come together and look over new concepts. Inherently we’re trying to democratize the medium. We want to let the fans have their say.”

It’s also being used as way to find new creative talent, which is fine. I’d just worry that the process is going to get bogged down in online fighting over fas’ competing ideas of what a Reboot movie should be. As they say nothing great was ever created by a committee. I also think they might be overestimating the demand for Reboot, which generally looked good but lacked a bit on story end. It’s one of those things that maybe we all remember a bit more fondly than we should.

Filmed in Vancouver: X2: X-Men United


Over the next while I will be looking at a few of the good, not-so-good and great shows that have been filmed in Vancouver over the years. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

Title: X2: X-Men United
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, James Marsden, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin and others
Canadian Content: Wolverine might be pop culture’s most well known Canadian. Much of the film takes place exploring Wolverine’s past and this portion is set in Alberta.
Lasting Impact: The third X-Men film was also filmed in Vancouver, as have been other superhero movies following this including the two Fantastic Four films. Spin-off movies for both Magneto and Wolverine are in pre-production. It was the biggest production ever filmed in Canada until the sequel.
Good or bad: X2: X-Men United (called X2 from this point forward) is widely considered one of the best superhero movies of all time, ranked alongside the first Superman film and Batman Begins. Comic book fans are generally hard to please with movie adaptations, but this film was met with both fan approval and managed to be popular with non-comic readers.

The X-Men were always an unlikely movie success. With a large cast of characters, unlike Superman or Spider-Man where there’s only one hero, and a complicated mythos it seemed that there would never be a big screen adaptation and certainly nothing that could win fans of the comics over. Yet after the first X-Men film proved that by focusing on the character arcs of a few characters and by having the talented Bryan Singer at the helm movies were just another medium that the X-Men could conquer. With the first movie filmed in Toronto production moved to Vancouver and Kananaskis Alberta for X2.

From the opening scene with Nightcrawler in the White House bamfing through the Secret Service, it was clear that for the sequel things had been cranked up. Drawing primarily from Chris Claremont’s X-Men graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills the movie once again narrowed its focus to explore the backstory of Logan also known as Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman), whose history ties into a current threat for the X-Men.

Filmed in Vancouver: MacGyver

Over the next while I will be looking at a few of the good, not-so-good and great shows that have been filmed in Vancouver over the years. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

Title: MacGyver
Stars: Richard Dean Anderson
Canadian Content: MacGyver is a hero that uses engineering knowledge instead of guns, pretty much the sort of action hero you’d expect Canadians to develop, though the show’s creators were American (the Mountie hero of Due South was a broad parody of a MacGyver like hero). MacGyver, like the Minnesota born Anderson, is an avid hockey fan and plays the sport in several episodes.
Lasting Impact: More than maybe any other TV series filmed in Vancouver MacGyver has become a cultural meme. MacGyver also became a verb, meaning to rig up an engineering solution to a problem using household items. Helped first bring Anderson to Vancouver, he would return for Stargate, and was an early major network show filmed locally.
Good or bad: Anything with a mullet ages badly, and the pacing of the show is sort of slow compared to current action / adventure shows now. However there’s nothing terrible there for the most part, and the show is still enjoyable if somewhat cliché in parts.

Living on a houseboat in Coal Harbour and working for the United States Government, and later the Phoenix Foundation, MacGyver was a different type of action hero one that refused to carry a gun and never tried killing an enemy. Instead of brawn he used his mind, and the central gimick of the show was that at some point in every episode there would be a situation that MacGyver would need to address by engineering a solution using nothing more than his Swiss Army knife, duct tape and whatever random objects might be laying around. That the bad guys would never just shoot MacGyver and instead would lock him up and leave him unguarded was one of those things that you learn to accept in James Bond films, but week after week it became a bit clunky.


Filmed in Vancouver: 21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street

Originally uploaded by Photocat62.

Over the next while I will be looking at a few of the good, not-so-good and great shows that have been filmed in Vancouver over the years. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

Title: 21 Jump Street
Stars: Johnny Depp, Richard Grieco, others
Canadian Content: Very little, the show takes place exclusively in the United States
Lasting Impact: Johnny Depp became an actual star. Producers James Wong and Glen Morgan would later return to Vancouver with a number of other shows including The Commish and The X-Files [mbv].
Good or bad: It seemed good at the time, however because it was rentlessly aimed at youth culture it ages very badly. Also so painfully earnest that it’ll make your ears bleed sadness. It was never as good as Degrassi, despite it’s attempt to be that show with guns. Also cured AIDS, ended the drug war and prevented all teen suicide.

Like The Mod Squad but with the sort of hard hitting social issues that teens in the early 90s’ had to address 21 Jump Street was one of the first hits on the Fox Network. It was edgy because it addressed things like AIDS, drugs and all the other stuff that Degrassi had already addressed but hadn’t counted because it was a Canadian show. 21 Jump Street was all American, took place in a major American city and featured American actors who graced the cover of teen magazines. Don’t let that fool you though, it was filmed in Vancouver and quite obvious about it.

From the Skytrain in the credits, complete with the provincial logo, to a bus with East Hastings destination on it, the show was easy to identify as being filmed in Vancouver to locals. New Westminster Secondary School, David Thompson Secondary School and others were key filming locations, and local teens were cast as extras or one-shot guest stars. The effect of being shot in Vancouver on the show itself is less obvious with 21 Jump Street than with shows like The X-Files where the location becomes a character, but instead it’s being filmed in Vancouver keeps the show from being pegged to a specific location, it’s Anycity USA a mix of Seattle, LA, Chicago, New York and other big cities allowing the social problems addressed to be universal in a way that being set in a specific city wouldn’t.

Filmed in Vancouver: X-Files

Day 136 – May 16, 2007

Originally uploaded by gregs365days.

Over the next while I will be looking at a few of the good, not-so-good and great shows that have been filmed in Vancouver over the years. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

The X-Files was filmed in Vancuover during its first five seasons, running from 1993 – 1998. Following the non-Vancouver filming of the movie the series moved down to California for filming. The fifth season was the ratings peak for the show.

Title: The X-Files
Stars: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson
Canadian Content: Very little, the show takes place exclusively in the United States
Lasting Impact: Produced a new wave of shows combining detectives and the supernatural, none of which lasted as long. Made David Duchovny think he could have a film career. Helped lead to an increase in sci-fi genre filming in Vancouver.
Good or bad: Generally good. For the first few seasons it was one of the best shows on television with sharp writing and generally good acting.

Hollywood television shows filmed in Vancouver generally make apologies for their location, using tricks to hide the local and pass it off as Somewheresville USA or an alien planet. Though I have yet to hear it one can almost hear a character on Stargate shouting, “This must be an alien planet, it’s been raining for twenty days straight.” Not The X-Files though, it didn’t hide it’s location it embraced it. Sure the show never actually took place in Vancouver, Canada being outside the FBI’s juristiction, but the overcast skies of the lower mainland and the moody woodlands around Vancouver were as much a character on the show as Mulder and Scully. The location of most of The X-Files episodes during those five seasons always seemed a little bit foreign to most Americans, saving those from Washington State, a bit odd and that worked well for the show.

For Vancouverites it was one of the first times that a show filmed locally could be enjoyed without apologizing. It was amoung the best of television at the time and those first few seasons standup to viewing even more than a decade later despite advances in special effects and a dozen copy-cats shows. Special Agent Fox William Mulder and Special Agent Dana Katherine Scully M.D. were interesting characters, played by actors that seemed breed for the roles. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were the characters, and that might explain why neither has been able to get a really good career going after the show. We were used to shows being filmed locally that ended up on the USA Network not on one of the major networks (there are a few exceptions which we’ll touch on in later posts).


This short film by Vancouver Film School student Ryan Johnston is pretty funny, and worth a watch on the YouTube. Warning there are a few foul words used, and the depiction of Americans is not very flattering but it made me laugh. What can I say, I’m a sucker for Americans not being able to say Saskatchewan comedy.

A Vancouver facebook photo event

My friend, Cynthia, invited me to The Gastown Photowalk tomorrow at 5:30. It’s been organized on facebook and as of right now, the profile states “33 people might attend”. Sounds promising, doesn’t it? This is the first facebook event I’ve ever attended. I’ll bring my new camera out for this affair and start snapping.

There’s still time to join in if you’re interested.

Photos to follow.

“I’m Corey Haim from The Lost Boys!”

The Coreys

Originally uploaded by Mirka23.

Most Vancouverites like having the film industry here. It provides jobs, gives us something to do during terrible movies as we play spot the local location [imdb] and it’s kind of cool to think that one day you might be out at a resturant and see someone like Sir Ian McKellen who thanks to the X-Men films has been a Vancouver regular. However as Canadians I don’t think we’re quite prepared for the uber-Hollywood arrogance that sometimes comes with the talent, especially the washed up talent.

Take Corey Haim. Please. He’s in town to film a reality show based on the fact that he and Corey Feldman both have the same first name. He’s also apparently on a tour to show us Canucks just how out of touch with the people the real Hollywooders can be. And he’s being backed up by a PR firm doing his dirty work.

My girlfriend’s roommate blogged about the Coreys who filmed a bit of their show at her workplace. Apparently blogging about the existance of the Coreys is now a capital offense, because she was almost immediatly jumped on by the show’s media relations firm strong arming her to take it down. They even called her bosses to ensure that no blogging about the Coreys happened. My girlfriend then put up the photo of the Coreys on her own blog, relating the tale [iatl].

Is there more to Corey Haim’s awesome time in Vancouver? Yes, below the jump.

Denise Richards is going to fuck you up (if you’re elderly or carrying a camera)

Originally uploaded by 2cauldrons.

Some days it’s really hard to figure out what to blog about, and then other days Denise Richards throws a laptop at an old lady at River Rock Casino [cbc] and it’s like blog mana from heaven.  That’s right while trying to fight off the paparazzi who are apparently stalking the C-level actress, otherwise known as Charlie Sheen’s Sloppy Seconds, she threw a laptop off a balcony and it hit an elderly woman who was gambling on the floor below.

The RCMP say it was their understanding the computer was thrown by Denise Richards, who is in the Vancouver suburb shooting the film Blonde and Blonder with B.C.-born Pamela Anderson.

Richards has been the subject of gossip magazines over the last several months over her high-profile split with actor Charlie Sheen, and her new relationship with Bon Jovi musician Richie Sambora.

At some point we’re really going to have to get together and rise up and kill our celebrities.  They’re like the French monarchy except more inbreed and less in touch with reality.  However I guess you could probably see this as a public service since while she was recieving medical attention the old woman was not able to have River Rock drain her retirement savings, at least for that amount of time.

Raging Boll–Uwe Boll vs film critics

Plaza of Nations. One night only–Saturday 23 September. It’s the Uwe Boll battle royale.

The story: Uwe Boll is a German film producer and director with the dubious distinction of having all three of his three most recent films–BloodRayne, Alone in the Dark, and House of the Dead, all video-game adaptations–being on the Internet Movie Database’s bottom 100. Fed up with the ubiquitous bad reviews, in June of this year, Mr Boll issued a challenge to film critics to PUT UP OR SHUT UP! The terms of the challenge were that five of the most outspoken critics would be given the opportunity to fight Mr Boll in a 10-round boxing match. All travel and accommodation would be paid for, and they would also be given a chance to be an extra in an upcoming film of Mr Boll’s, Postal.

One of the fights has already taken place. Earlier this month, Uwe Boll fought Carlos Palencia, webmaster of Cinecutre. (Available on YouTube: video of the Boll-Palencia match.) But the other four fights are taking place in Vancouver, where Mr Boll is filming Seed.

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