Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blog Motive

The start of a new film year. They say it will be busier than last year, with more productions coming Vancouver's way. The lower Canadian dollar, lower fuel prices, and tax breaks all help to make the Vancouver area attractive.
My first shift of the year took me out to Spanish Banks in the west end of Vancouver, which provided this view of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore. The show? The Flash , based on a DC Comics superhero.

Part of the filming took place at Cecil Green Park House, over 100 years old, on the grounds of the University of British Columbia

Awesome view of downtown Vancouver from Spanish Banks

Looking West

Week two, week one of a new t.v. series called Proof , starring Jennifer Beals. It's about a surgeon who searches for proof of life after death. Today, we are downtown Vancouver at the Gotham Steak House on Seymour St.

The work tucks are lined up for an evenings work. Every department (Grips, Camera, Electrics, Special Fx, Props, Set Dec, etc., have their own trucks)

I was driving a 15 passenger shuttle bus tonight, busy driving cast and crew to and from crew parking and circus (base camp) to set. The time flew by.

Later on in the week, I ended back on Flash, this time to help move the work trucks from the Boundary Bay Airport (in Delta), to their next shooting location, Queen's Park in New Westminster. This shot is a crane truck, which has a bank of lights (finished for the evening) way up in the sky. (One person has to stay up there all night to keep an eye on things) (You would not catch me up there for any amount of money!)

Week three of the new year found me outside Rogers Arena, at the base camp of the t.v. show Motive , a police murder mystery.

Beside the arena, the Georgia Viaduct leads commuters downtown.

and beside that is the Sky Train

The pick-up and drop-off for shuttles was on Seymour.

Right by a medical marijuana dispensary. You are certainly seeing more and more of these popping up.

Our lunch room today, was at the Penthouse club, a notorious nightclub turned strip bar, this place has a lot of history.

My favourite late night hang-out, we spend a lot of time in the alleys of Vancouver.

After another long night, daytime took us to North Burnaby, another location, another vista of Vancouver

Part of the duties of the day. An emergency delivery of some jewellery for an actor from the wardrobe department at the studio, to the set location.

Back at the Bridge studio in Burnaby, home to many productions. Sometimes when it gets a little slow, it's like staring at a brick wall. (That kept my attention for a whopping 3 minutes!)

One of more interesting events is the daily travel of thousands of crows everyday at dusk and dawn to a site in Burnaby that they spend the night. They travel from all over Vancouver and Burnaby, it  is quite a sight, and "the Birds" Alfred Hitchcock movie certainly comes to mind.

On a building, Chinatown, Vancouver

Filming part of an episode of Motive in Chinatown. (Typically it takes 7 to 8 days to film one episode)

Getting really bored when the "selfies" start happening.

Part of Chinatown, Gore Ave and Pender Street.

And to finish off the week, a night shoot in the rain for Motive, at a house in North Burnaby. Always wonder what the neighbours must think of the blinding lights. (The locations department does get prior approval from the neighbours for permission to film)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Half a year "in pictures"

A very busy second half of 2014 in the film industry in Vancouver. Hence, the lack of blogging!
I found myself in many locations in 2014, including this rock quarry by Abbotsford, where they filmed part of a feature film, Monster Trucks

Which even had some helicopter camera coverage

Part of my duties was to take the film department heads to future filming locations. This one is at E-1 Moly Energy in Maple Ridge. A lot of productions use this building.

And of course, the closed down Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam, used by numerous productions over the years.

We filmed part of a WWE (world wrestling entertainment) movie, called Vendetta in one of the Riverview buildings.

The water truck, closely followed by the all important catering trucks for the cast and crew!

A night shot on the Riverview grounds.

The house they used, as seen in the daytime

My duties include driving some of the bigger rigs, I like this cabover, hauling the electrics department gear, for the T.V. show Once Upon a Time

On set in Steveston, some people are not so accommodating to the film industry.

In Steveston, they have transformed one of the main streets to look like the fictional Storybrooke of the show Once Upon a Time

A bank of lights ready for night action

Every time we shoot in Steveston, a large crowd of fans always show up

Back at the studio, they have re-created the main street inside one of the stages.

One of the cable trucks, which hauls all the electrical cable needed to power up when a show is on the road.

One of the sets for Once Upon a Time

Night shooting in Steveston

This is another set (of destruction) , this time for the show Falling Skies
Kind of apocalyptic

This poor fellow is about to get thrown off of the roof in WWE film Vendetta

Kind of looks like he's already been thrown off.

Riverview is creepy in the daytime

and even creepier in the evening! Another driver and I went up to the 4th floor one night to try and scare ourselves. We got our wish when a bat whizzed by our heads.

The circus is all set up for the day

Inside one of the vacant rooms, the vines are taking over

I had the pleasure of being Dean Cain's driver on this show. (He wasn't allowed in the car until he cleaned himself up)

One of the hospital sets at Riverview, ironic, considering it was a hospital

Making myself at home

One of the scenes was a prison yard

and there is the star of the show, WWE's "Big Show"

There was another production filming on the 2nd floor, "Witches of East End", it was dark.......

and super creepy!

Paul was a real gentleman, signing autographs for all of the crew on the film

Another day, another rig. This trailer hauls one of the camera cranes

One of the funner jobs is picking up picture cars, cars that are being used in the film. Every once in awhile you get to pick up something old school, like this old Plymouth. Reminds me of the olden days of my youth! This was for the t.v. show Wayward Pines, which has not aired  yet.

Lots of filming downtown Vancouver, this is Granville Street

We were downtown and I spied this sticker for the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, something I was so lucky to be a part of.

Wow! This is a scene from Wayward Pines, this was shot out in Agassiz. Guess which one is real. (It's the guy on the right. It was so hot out that day, he actually briefly fainted, but was o.k.)

On the streets of Agassiz for Wayward Pines, lots of machinery, the camera crane is in the foreground.

Kind of all over the place, now filming Wayward Pines back at the Bridge Studios in Burnaby.

Another one of the many sets at the Bridge Studios

Random flower shot!
Another day, another rig.
One of the last nice fall days, time to go for a hike with junior up the Chief in Squamish. What a view!

The view of Howe sound!

One of the studios in North Vancouver fronts as the Falling Skies set, but also has businesses, like this machine shop.

I won't be driving this one anytime soon.

These Sheriff vehicles were used for the show Wayward Pines

One of the trucks used for the hair and make-up departments.

This caddy picture car was a blast to drive from Burnaby to Steveston for Once Upon a Time

They don't have many interiors like this any more.

Mix-up, back to the chief.
Later in the year, I worked on a movie called Dead Rising, based on a very popular video game.

This can't be good.

A little Zombrex to make your zombie pains go away!

Part of the filming was outside of B.C. Place Stadium

hmnnnn, o.k.

The jumbotron outside of B.C. place advertising Zombrex behind the Terry Fox monument

This film set for Dead Rising was recently used for the T.V. show Fringe. It is called the Watchmen set, where the movie the Watchmen was filmed in 2008

the stores have been changed for Dead Rising

This poor flag person

Zombie madness

not only a zombie, a super creepy zombie

inside the bonzo van, he's up to no good

random spider shot

a little time off on the week-end meant a trip up to Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver

You had to climb a bit to get to those falls, but it was worth it.
back on the Dead Rising set, time to call out the military

A friend of mine, Edwin Rodrigues, played one of the scientists on Dead Rising. He has his own blog, following his adventures as a background performer. Here is the link.

The zombie situation is getting out of hand.

Another one of my duties was to take the film footage (on drives) for the day to the film processors

these background performers were getting a quick tutorial on how to be everything zombie

There is a very bad zombie Bonzo the clown

it's not real, but disturbing none the less

the shooting rolled on into the evening

part of the city quarantined due to a serious zombie infestation

another friend, Todd, looking convincing as one of the army soldiers
Talk about random, I had to pick up one of the actors at the Shangri-La hotel in downtown Vancouver, and as I was waiting, the Dalai Lama just happened to get out of a car. Go figure.

The Zombrex facility , an old warehouse in New Westminster we used for filming.

Even Virginia Madsen has succumbed to the zombies!

Hmnnnnn, could it be?

Back on the survey bus, which I drive once in awhile, this time for the t.v. show Arrow

One of the locations they scouted was the old Rogers Sugar factory down on the Vancouver waterfront, and is still going strong.

The fall had some interesting times. This monsoon was outside of Squamish on a feature called Revenant. I drove a tour bus for 3 weeks taking crew in and out of the set locations. The weather was very challenging, with floods, road wash-outs, and one emergency evacuation of the whole cast and crew. This shot is from my side mirror looking back at the bus behind me.

One of the locations was close to this beautiful waterfall. After the rain stopped, so did the waterfall.

There is a fungus among us , surrounded by lush greenery.

This was cool to see, a reminder of picnics of yesterday.

This stream was not there the day before. The road washed out above set, and this water continued for the next couple of days. It was a real mess. An excavator was brought in to repair the damage.
We were high enough in the hills to experience some very cool, frosty mornings.
The scenery in the Squamish Valley was breath-taking. This was right behind our catering and work trucks.


fall colors

Our circus (base camp) was at an old logging operation

Definitely coming back in the summer!

I drove this rig on a t.v. pilot called Evil Men, how fitting!

Sooner or later, always end up filming downtown Vancouver
Random first and only snow of the year in Burnaby

While working on a t.v. show called  the Flash, at an old warehouse complex in Vancouver, I came across these old machines, that were actually used on another film production.

Always nice when its cold outside to be able to park your trucks inside

Torpedoes! Also used on another production

The interesting thing about this job is not knowing what job or truck your going to get thrown into next. This is for the electrics department on Once Upon a Time

There was just a little dusting of snow up in Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver, but Once Upon a Time loved the look.

and filming went on into the night.
The next day the trailers were all ready for the hair, make-up, wardrobe, AD's (assistant directors), and the actors.

Then it was on the move again from North Vancouver to Stanley Park in Vancouver.

Even had a view of Mount Baker in Washington State

Even this graveyard is not real, it's for Once Upon a Time, set at Central Park in Burnaby

Xmas time brought me back to the Okanagan. This is an icy view looking north from Penticton

The old S.S. Sicamous, a landmark in Penticton that has been around since 1951

Looking north from Summerland

We do not get much snow in Vancouver, so when in Rome, or Summerland, make the 15 minute drive up in the hills until you find some!

The perfect day to take the kids for a campfire and a wiener roast.

A nice change from the big city.
Well, 2014, things were good in the film industry, and they are certainly heating up for 2015
Like Vancouver, 2015 is looking very bright indeed