Archive for the ‘Vancouver Shoots’ Category

Do you still want to believe?

A coyote loose in Vancouver

With X-Files creator Chris Carter honoured in Vancouver last night [cbc], and the impending launch of a new film that was filmed in Vancouver, the world is just about ready for the return of agents Scully and Mulder.

Or is it?  We’ve moved on since The X-Files, people now watch shows like CSI and Boneswhich focus more on scientific forensics than the supernatural.  In Vancouver the show is mostly remembered for being one of the first really good American television shows filmed here.  Nearly every long time Vancouverite can drive past a location of the X-Files and point it out even if they’ve never watched a show, it’s just in the DNA.

But does the rest of the world remember the show, apart from a few fans who’ve survived through Mulder and Scully slash fiction, or is even here in the city that acted as the moody backdrop to the show’s best seasons beyond caring?


And I woke up in San Francisco: filming in Vancouver

Kogo Towers

I spotted this sign across the street from my apartment building this week and was trying to figure out what it was.  I’ve checked the always handy Hollywood North Insider blog [hni] for information but it’s come up with nothing for me.  So I’m turning it over to the internets, where is this sign from?  My guess is it’s probably Stargate related, but I could be wrong.

At least they didn’t spend an evening shinning giant flood lights in my bedroom window this time [mbv].

Reaper is filming, we’re all saved

IMG_0247, originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

Well okay the return of Reaper film crews to Vancouver is not exactly going to save anyone, but the fact that Hollywood is back filming after the WGA strike will help the local film industry.

Filmed in Vancouver: Juno


Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

Movies filmed in Vancouver tend to range from the sort of indie fare that nobdy ever sees, to the big budget science fiction comic book movies that nobody ever cares about. Sure I love the X-Men films, but that’s because I’m a big comics nerd, but let’s face it they’re not exactly great art. It’s very rare that one of the year’s best movies comes out of Vancouver, in fact the last one that comes to mind is The Sweet Hereafter which was filmed aroud Merritt. The difference is that The Sweet Hereafter was a Canadian movie that caught Hollywood’s attention, as opposed to a Hollywood movie just using Vancouver to film.

Juno though is that American movie filmed in Vancouver that really manages to be an incredible picture. Though billed as a teen comedy, which puts it in a catagory with the American Pie movies, but it’s really a film about teenagers. Ellen Page, who before this was probably most recognized as Kitty Pryde in the last X-Man movie, gives a performance that is worthy of an Oscar and has already earned a Golden Globe nomination.

I don’t want to get into too much detail about the film, because I think that the more you can be surprised by it the more you will appreciate it. It’s one of last year’s best movies, and since it’s still in Vancouver theatres I feel a responsibility to make you understand that you need to see this movie. Seriously go see it. It’s a great film, one of the best that Vancouver has ever produced.

Vancouver Blog Spotlight: Hollywood North Insider

Fake snow and filming on Cordova

Here at Metroblogging Vancouver we often touch on what’s shooting around town [mbv], but we’re haphazard at it at best. Basically if filming some how keeps us awake at night [mbv] or spreads fake snow all over the street [mbv] we don’t really have much to say about it.

Thankfully there is The Hollywood North Insider [hni] which is probably the most complete account of all that’s being filmed in this the great stunt double for America that we call Vancouver. From movie reviews of locally filmed flicks to their amazingly cool filming location map, the site is a first stop for anyone wondering whose craft services table is sitting outside their apartment.

Vancouver feels the affects of the Hollywood’s strike

Old skool cylon … too old

Originally uploaded by Erwin Boogert.

One of the least talked about aspects of the current writer’s strike in Hollywood is how that’s affecting the local film industry. Already hard hit by the rising Canadian dollar, which makes filming in Vancouver less appealing than it used to be, now productions are shutting down as they run out of scripts to film [cdc].

Thousands of Vancouverites either work on these shows or in a production capacity around the shows, so there’s a lot of people who are going to be out of work for the next few months. That could be even longer if the actors follow this strike up with one of their own, and if the networks just decide to skip this television series and we all spend the next year watching America’s Next Top Dancing Celebrity Fourth Grader.

Smallville is probably going to be the last to shutdown around the end of January with Bionic Woman, Battlestar Galactica and a good chunk of Vancouver’s other shows have already shut down. I guess this puts on hold my dream to be Edward James Olmos’ stunt double.

Note: Yes I know the photo is from Toronto, but it seemed to fit.

Fuck off Hollywood


Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

There’s nothing like trying to sleep with an epic level light source stationed right outside of your bedroom. It’s sort of like living in the north during those months where there’s no night.

All I can say is whatever they’re filming and keeping me up with had better be good and not something lame like Stargate SG1: The College Years or whatever other thing they’re generally filming. Whatever it is they’ve got a lot of American style police cars and an ambulance.

It doesn’t matter. I guess I’m not sleeping.

Fake snow looks, errr… fake

Fake snow and filming on Cordova

Walking to Waterfront station today I noticed that Thurlow was closed by Cordova and it had snowed. Or rather it looked like it had snowed. Or actually it looked like some had dumped out several hundred boxes of soggy laundry detergent flakes on the ground. It was a movie shoot, and the fake snow probably looks much better on screen than it does in real life.
I’ve done a bit of net popping around to see if I could figure out what film was being shot there, but I haven’t found anything. My guess it’s either Christmas Cottage or Snow Demon, given the winter effects [vdc].
And by the way, Watchmen filming in Vancouver? Nerdgasm.

Update: Really fake snow actually looks not bad in still photography.

Filmed in Vancouver: Dark Angel


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: Dark Angel
Stars: Jessica Alba
Canadian Content: The show is set in Seattle, which is sort of like Canada.
Lasting Impact: Jessica Alba’s career.
Good or bad: I’ll leave that up to the comments to say. I’ve never really gotten into the show, and so I have no opinion on it either way.

So far I’ve been focusing on shows that I have watched, and so can write about with some authority. Some, such as 21 Jump Street [mbv], might be a little clouded by time and memory but Dark Angel is the first show where I have only watched a few episodes, and though that’s as much screen time as a feature film it’s not the same. As such this feature will not be as extensive as some of my other ones, however if you have anything you want to add as a viewer (or even a cast/crew member) on Dark Angel feel free to either leave a note in our comments of email me [jks].

Dark Angel came at a time when everyone was still convinced that James Cameron was the next Steven Spielberg, and that everything he touched turned to gold. A few years after Titantic came the announcement that he was turning his attention to a new television series set in a post-apocalyptic future, kind of like The Terminator but the Terminator would be played by a hot chick. It was meant to be the ultimate geekgasm, science fiction nerdery married to an attractive chick and James Cameron’s directorial know-how (Cameron directed the second season’s finale which would turn out to be the show’s last episode).

Set in a post-Pulse (no I don’t know what that means either) the show never looked like the Terminator, nor any of Cameron’s screen work. Even with a fairly healthy tv budget it never even achieved the visual quality of the later Star Treks, or even other Fox shows like 24 and Firefly which would later replace Dark Angel. Star Jessica Alba seemed to spend most time on post-apocalyptic soundstages or in post-apocalypitc Stanley Park (which because it was filmed before the wind storm looks better than pre-apocalyptic Stanley Park) wearing clothing that was less from the future and more from Zellers.

Filmed in Vancouver: Smallville


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: Smallville
Stars: Tom Welling, Kristin Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack
Canadian Content: None unless I missed something.
Lasting Impact: The first show that I’ve profiled that is still being produced Smallville helped kickstart a second wave of shows that mixed teen drama with science fiction elements (after Buffy The Vampire Slayer invented the genre), some of which were also filmed in Vancouver. It also helped Warner Brothers finally decide to go forward with the Superman Returns movie.
Good or bad: Mixed. The show does suffer from being compared to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the movie version of Superman, the Bruce Timm / Paul Dini animated Superman/DC universe cartoon(s) and the comics all of which it is inferior to. Taken on its own however it’s an engaging mix of teen drama and superheroics.

The last time Canada stood in for Smallville USA, the childhood home of Superman, was in the 1978 Richard Donner film where Alberta filled the role of the Kent farm. After first scouting Australia it was decided that Vancouver and other lower mainland locations, would be the new home of Smallville Kansas in a teen action/drama series that explored the early years of Clark Kent as he grew into the role of Superman. Superman had been on the small screen a few times since the movies including in Superboy [wp] and Lois and Clark [wp] but it has been the newest series that has been the most enduring helping to define the Clark Kent character to a generation of non-comics readers and paving the way for the Man of Steel’s eventual return to the big screen in last year’s Superman Returns.

Initially my appraisal of Smallville was going to be much more positive, until I remembered Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Smallville follows the path that Buffy, and other shows, tread in mixing science fiction / fantasy into a teenage high school drama, but Smallville has always lacked the incredibly smart writing that Joss Whedon and his team brought to Buffy and while it remains one of the better shows of this kind on television today it just can’t compare. Like the episode of South Park where Butters discovers that everything he can think of doing The Simpsons already did and did it better, Smallville may forever be in the shadow of Buffy. Having said that from this point forward I will try not to mention that vampire show (which I’ll point out was not filmed in Vancouver).

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