Castiel returns this Friday night in the hilariously-titled episode, Born-Again Identity. It’s been a long wait for the much-missed Misha Collins to come back to… Read More »Misha Collins Returns to #Supernatural in “Born-Again Identity”
Published August 15, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
Gastown played host to Supernatural’s Winchester Brothers and their signature black Impala late last week for an epic two-day shoot which went past curfew hours on both Thursday and Friday nights. Since the show’s two stars, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padelecki, don’t film downtown that often, this ranked as a big event in the Supernatural world. Local fans mobilized on Twitter for the chance to see their boys filming scenes of season seven’s fourth episode, Defend Your Life, apparently set in Dearborn, Michigan.
Filming notices posted in the impacted areas of Gastown and the downtown Eastside said the City of Vancouver had given Supernatural permission to film late both nights based on the positive results of a poll conducted in the neighbourhood. Around 10 p.m. on Thursday night, I watched crew hoist a film light from a genie parked outside Incendio’s, a light that would illuminate a block of Alexander street to film a scene of a vehicle chasing a pedestrian west towards the Gassy Jack statue and up onto the sidewalk on the north side. Suddenly a man with waist-length grey hair stormed past me, shouting “What is that noise?” I watched him argue heatedly with police and crew long after the light was up and quiet. I can only imagine the ruckus that happened at 1 a.m. when filming was expected to wrap, the light lowered and equipment packed into trucks. I might feel more sympathetic if it was my neighbourhood, but I was there to photograph the spectacle of Gastown lit up.
On Friday night, Supernatural had permission to film until 2:30 a.m. This time the big light was parked in Chinatown and hoisted closer to 10:30 p.m. to what looked like ten stories above street level. From there, it shone like moonlight on Carrall Street two blocks north to film another scene of a pedestrian being chased by a vehicle, this time into an alley. As I walked towards the closed-off, wetted-down 300 block of Carrall Street, I spied Supernatural’s smoke machines filling it with fake smoke. As actor Jim Beaver once explained about the show’s beautiful lighting: “Its texture is due to expertly placed lights seen through fake smoke. Lovely to breathe day in, day out”. That’s a bit of sarcasm. I can attest to its acrid, foul stench and wouldn’t want to be the crew guy who sat next to one on a Carrall Street bench. By the time I got there, quite a large crowd had gathered at the north end of the block near the Rainier Hotel to gawk at the crime scene with yellow tape, a Dearborn police car and Wayne Country Coroner’s van. I left around 11 p.m. before filming started but I expect the location only got rowdier, situated as it was on the edge of the Gastown party zone, less than half a block away from the Blarney Stone pub.
Supernatural actually began its two-day shoot in Gastown in the Blarney Stonemid-afternoon Thursday with four to five dozen extras inside. When I walked by I saw blacked-out windows for all interior scenes so I didn’t linger. I did plan to return for an exterior scenes with Jared Padalecki at the Rainier Hotel and Jensen Ackles in a suit buying flowers at Greenstems Floral on Abbott Street. Read More »BIG READ: SUPERNATURAL in Gastown
Published July 21, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
How’s this for Comic-Con craziness? Twihards starting lining up outside the San Diego Convention Center three days early (on Monday) to be among the six thousand lucky enough to get into The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 1 panel in Hall H, which took place just before lunchtime today. Breaking Dawn 1 was the first panel in Hall H so that Twihards couldn’t ruin Comic-Con like they usually do. What’s even more crazy? That the vampires and werewolves of the mainly Vancouver-shot Breaking Dawn 1 aren’t the most popular panel of the hundreds at Comic-Con 2011. Not even close. That honour belongs to the zombies of AMC TV series The Walking Dead.
Breaking Dawn 1 isn’t even among the most popular of Vancouver-filmed movies and TV series at Comic-Con, which has become less about big movies and more about cult television series in recent years. Locally-shot TV series Pscyh cracked the Top 25 most popular panels and Fringe, Eureka, Supernatural and Alcatraz are all in the Top 50. Breaking Dawn 1 and Underworld Awakening (the fourth in the movie franchise but only the third to star Kate Beckinsale and her vampire cat suit) barely made the Top 50 cut.
Psych presented today to standing-room-only, people-turned-away capacity, with Psych-os either dressed as pineapples or carrying them. Apparently series star James Roday (seen above directing a vampire-themed episode) improvised with a pineapple in the show’s premiere and there’s been one hidden in every episode since. Nominally a detective series, Psych knows how to play to a Comic-Con crowd, with several episodes in its sixth season (now filming in Vancouver) crossing over into genre stuff like vampires, super heroes and Star Trek. In a real casting coup, the original Captain Kirk — William Shatner — plays the father of one of the main cast in an episode filmed Read More »BIG READ – Working the Comic Con Craziness in 2011 – Updated
Published July 15, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
Horror series Supernatural has an amazing international fan base: loyal, opinionated and insatiable for news of their beloved boys, the Winchester Brothers. So when word came that series star Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) would be directing season seven’s first episode filmed, everyone demanded that locations be found and photos taken. Filming of The CW series began last Wednesday but it took fans a few days to find their show at a Travel Lodge in North Vancouver last Friday night.
It was almost dusk by the time I arrived to catch a relaxed and happy director, Jensen Ackles, taking a break between motel room scenes to joke with one of the producers, various crew and his bodyguard/driver Clif out in the parking lot. He later looked down at his smart phone, chuckled and shared something funny: maybe some tweets from his series co-star Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester), who joined Twitter during the hiatus and has proved to be a crazy-fun tweeter, posting a photo of himself eating a steak and teasing veteran Supernatural tweeters Misha Collins (@MishaCollins) and Jim Beaver (@JumbleJim) with tweets. There’s only one problem: Padalecki can’t get verified despite an instant base of 100,000+ followers.
Jensen Ackles clearly enjoys directing after trying it out last season — flying in a week or so early to prep for directing episode four of season six. This time he’s directing a Sam-centric episode three of season seven. If you don’t want to spoiled about it, even a little, stop reading now.
I expect to see many OMC (Oh My Cas instead of Oh My God) tweets from Supernatural fans over the summer hiatus now that gravelly-voiced angel Castiel has promoted himself to God: “I’m your new God. A better one. So you will bow down and profess your love unto me your Lord or I shall destroy you.” The sixth season finale of the Vancouver-filmed horror series (which aired last Friday night in the U.S. and last night in Canada) ended with a slow pan in on the new God’s fanatical eyes.
A friend found a filming notice in late March for some season-finale scenes set to shoot downtown in a T-shaped alley between Seymour and Richards and around the Victorian Hotel on Homer. I put up the notice on #YVRshoots, which brought Supernatural fans out in droves to see their beloved Winchester brothers (Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki), the brothers’ father figure Bobby (Jim Beaver) and the brothers’ former angel ally Castiel (Misha Collins) in action.
Published February 10, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
Supernatural`s vociferous fan base is both a blessing and a curse. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki share a bodyguard named Clif who helps keep the fans at bay and block photographers` shots of the actors (recently Clif took to wearing a panda toque which is now featuring in many photos). And when filming at urban locales, producers often structure scenes so that only one lead is visible at a time (in very short exterior scenes) and even then, is often standing with his back to the fans and their cameras.
So I was surprised this week to be tipped that “Jensen and Jared” would be filming many outdoor scenes for episode 6.18 near lower Lonsdale in North Vancouver. And it turned out to be true. Some fans standing near the pair`s parked “star car” on West 1st Street even snagged photos of themselves with Jensen Ackles. Both actors remained on the open street during takes and seemed remarkably loose on location: entertaining the crew with stories, perhaps of their much talked-about Superbowl party with their TV father Jeffrey Dean Morgan at the Red Card Sports Bar last Sunday.
If you’ve watched any of the series’ six seasons then you`ll know that most Supernatural scenes take place at night with a spooky fog swirling about. The first night shoot I photographed last September proved to be classic Supernatural: from half a block away through dense smoke on Hamilton Street I captured Padalecki’s Sam pretending to chop off a vampire’s head with a huge knife in several extremely grainy photos. Crew had transformed an old bank building nearby into a Vampire Nest Read More »BIG READ: SUPERNATURAL’s Jared and Jensen Let Loose on Lonsdale