Filming of Monsters Trucks, the live-action debut of Ice Age director Chris Wedge, got underway today. The $100-million-plus movie stars Danny Glover as a man with a… Read More »START: Big-Budget Live-Action Movie MONSTER TRUCKS Begins Filming
Vancouver Canadians fans who stayed after the game in Nat Bailey Stadium a year ago to play extras in a Psych series baseball episode can see themselves in the crowd tonight on Global TV.
Psych’s fifth epsiode — Dead Man’s Curve Ball — of the sixth season is about the mysterious death of the fictional minor league Santa Barbara Seabirds’ hitting coach, with Danny Glover (of Lethal Weapon fame), Michael Trucco (Fairly Legal/Battlestar Galactica) and Baseball Hall of Famer and 1996 World Series Champ Wade Boggs as guest stars. James Roday’s “psychic” detective Shawn Spencer infiltrates the team as a hitting coach and Dule Hill’s Burton “Gus” Buster as Sammy the Seagull, a big white bird mascot with giant yellow webbed feet (looking very much like Mascot Hall of Famer, the San Diego Chicken).
Trained tap dancer Dule Hill performs some tap dance moves in a routine that doesn’t please the fake fans but ends with him face down on a platform near the field doing the worm as his giant yellow feet flop up and down.
Michel Trucco plays the Santa Barbara Seabirds catcher and a childhood idol of Shawn Spencer’s.
Published September 29, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
It’s not often in this series that I get an opportunity to talk about movies where Vancouver plays itself but the Vancouver International Film Festival is showcasing 17 locally-filmed features in theatres over the next two weeks.
Four of the most-buzzed-about are Sisters & Brothers, the third in Carl Bessai’s trilogy about dysfunctional Vancouver families with real-life friends Cory Monteith and Dustin Milligan as brothers ; mockumentary Sunflower Hour about maladjusted puppeteers vying for a spot on a hit children’s show featuring real-life pals Patrick Gilmore and Ben Cotton; dramedy Everything & Everyone about a group of family and friends with Ryan Robbins’s naked torso in the teaser; and Donovan’s Echo with Danny Glover as a man who returns to his family home 30 years after a tragic accident in a movie produced by veteran Canadian actor Bruce Greenwood.
I met and chatted with some of the filmmakers and cast earlier this month at a VIFF media conference but didn’t get to see any of the filming here, mostly because the low budgets meant shooting is done mainly on weekends with a limited crew. The Sunflower Hour writer/producer/director Aaron Houston told me it took eight weekends, sixteen days of filming, seventeen locations and thirty-four actors to make his caustic and reportedly very funny mockumentary. Eveything & Everyone took only 12 days in Maple Ridge and Alouette Lake; and Donovan’s Echo filmed last November in Fort Langley. So I’ve made an exception in this series and used the VIFF handouts below to illustrate the films not my own photographs. From top to bottom: bearded Dustin Milligan and Cory Monteith as brothers in Sisters & Brothers; bad-ass Irish puppeteer Ben Cotton and his smoking puppet in Sunflower Hour; Gabrielle Rose and her newly-discovered grandson in Everything & Everyone; and Danny Glover in spooky blue on a bridge in Donovan’s Echo.
Low budgets don’t have to limit these films when it comes to promotion though. Vancouver filmmakers are as savvy about social media as anyone in this city. The Sunflower Hour and Donovan’s Echo boast websites, YouTube trailers, facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Everything & Everyone has a teaser on You Tube and a facebook page. Sisters & Brothers has a facebook page and currently rules Twitter thanks to Glee star Cory Monteith’s 800,000+ Gleek followers. Almost everyone involved in that film has a Twitter account including @SisBroFilm and director @CarlBessai.
Sisters & Brothers, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11th, Read More »BIG READ – Vancouver as Vancouver at Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF)
Published June 2, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
PSYCH-Os, fans of USA Network comedic-detective series Psych, have been asking when I would return to their show. Since I watched Psych filming its vampire-themed season-six episode in late March, the producers have hosted a parade of guest stars ranging from Clockwork Orange baddie Malcolm McDowell to New Kid on the Block Joey McIntyre to Brat Packer Molly Ringwald and done Darth Vader to Superman to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest themed episodes in locations as far away as Gibsons Landing. I promised PSYCH-O’s I would try to photograph a rumoured baseball episode if the cast and crew showed up at Vancouver’s baseball mecca — Nat Bailey Stadium.
Sure enough, a friend spotted dozens of white film trucks and trailers parked at the Nat, home to minor league Vancouver Canadians, on the Tuesday morning after the Victoria Day long weekend. Various entertainment sites soon reported that Psych’s sixth filmed episode of the sixth season would feature the mysterious death of fictional minor league Santa Barbara Seabirds’ hitting coach, with guest stars Danny Glover (of Lethal Weapon fame), Baseball Hall of Famer and 1996 World Series Champ Wade Boggs and Michael Trucco (Fairly Legal/Battlestar Galactica), who plays a childhood idol of James Roday’s “psychic” detective Shawn Spencer. I did wonder how Spencer’s best friend Burton “Gus” Buster, embodied by Dule Hill, would figure into the investigation, but didn’t have long to wait.
Through the trees from the grassy slope of Queen Elizabeth Park that morning I could hear the extras, who filled section 1 of the reserved grandstand overlooking first base, shouting at a big white bird mascot Read More »BIG READ: PSYCH Plays Ball in Nat Bailey Stadium