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Elysium

WEEK: May 20-26, 2013

  • Sunday, May 26th – Vancouver-cop-from-the-future series  Continuum 2×05 Second Opinion airs on Showcase. Kiera (Rachel Nichols) has emotional breakdown on her son’s birthday which messes with her CMR. As if that wasn’t enough. Kiera is the target of a department mole hunt.
  • Friday, May 24th – Godzilla main unit films in Steveston’s Finn Slough dressed as Japanese fishing village in nuclear quarantine zone.
  • Friday, May 24th – Godzilla main unit films at USS Alameda set in Steveston’s Garry Point Park.
  • Friday, May 24th – Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium starring Matt Damon & Jodie Foster  makes Entertainment Weekly’s Summer Must List. In theatres on August 9th.
  • Friday, May 24th –  News that The CW will air final episodes of Cult in 2 hour blocks 8pm-10pm on June 28th, July 5th and July 12th. 
  • Thursday, May 23rd – Vancouver whydunnit Motive 1×02 Crimes of Passion airs on ABC network.
  • Thursday, May 23rd – News that hometown comedy couple Brent Butt and Nancy Robertson to host Leo Awards Gala Ceremony.
  • Thursday, May 23rd – Way of the Wicked starring Christian Slater and Peter Fanicelli films near Squamish in Minaty Bay on the Sea to Sky Highway.
  • Thursday, May 23rd – Vancouver whydunit Motive settles into regular time slot on American network ABC but pre-empted locally by collapse of I-5 bridge over Skagit River near Seattle.
  • Thursday, May 23rd – Continuum star Rachel Nichols tweets her thanks to episode director Amanda Tapping – Dear @amandatapping – being directed by you has been my favorite #Continuum experience. You are beautiful, brilliant & inspiring. Thank you. 
  • Thursday, May 23rd – Network Series Rankings: Once Upon a Time still a hit for ABC, ranking  #17 in advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. Despite an uneven season, OUAT successfuly added Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), the Jolly Roger and Neverland to its fictional worlds.
  • Thursday, May 23rd – Godzilla 2nd unit films on Steveston docks dressed as San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf for last time. Soldier stunt guys carry warhead.
  • Thursday, May 23rd – Godzilla main unit snakes into Steveston’s Finn Slough dressed as Japanese fishing village in nuclear quarantine zone.
  • Thursday, may 23rd – Godzilla main unit films on its USS Alameda set in Steveston’s Garry Point Park. A set which rocks & rolls like a Disney ride.
  • Thursday, May 23rd – King & Maxwell with Jon Tenney & Rebecca Romijn films big scenes inside Pacific Central Station dressed as Washington, D.C. station with dozens Read More »WEEK: May 20-26, 2013

WEEK: April 8-14, 2013

  • Sunday, April 14th – Once Upon a Time recap The Price of Magic airs, narrated by Alan Dale with help from showrunners Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz.
  • Sunday, Arpil 14th – Bravo pilot  Rita  with Anna Gunn (Breaking Brad) and Josh Hamilton films at West Vancouver Community Centre.
  • Saturday, Arpil 13th – First Weekend Club event at 7:50 p.m. showing of Vancouver feature Becoming Redwood at International Village.  Q&A with some cast and producers after film, followed by drinks at Gastown’s Portside Pub.
  • Saturday, April 13th – Simon Pegg’s Hector & the Search for Happiness films at Burrard Ironworks
  • Saturday, April 13th – Deadline: Hollywood’s Primetime Pilot Panic Early Buzz 2 with nods to ABC pilot Big Thunder, ABC short presentation Once Wonderland, The CW’s The 100, NBC’s I Am Victor and Bravo’s Rita but FOX pilot Human still listed by earlier title InHuman.
  • Saturday, April 13th – Canada becoming sci-fi leader led by Vancouver’s own cop-from-the-future series Continuum. Globe and Mail Arts article.
  • Friday, April 12th – Vancouver feature Becoming Redwood opens at Internatiional Village. Interview with Vancouver writer-director Jesse James Miller in  YVRShoots Series for Vancouver is Awesome.
  • Friday, April 12th – ABC short presentation Once  Wonderland (potential Once Upon a Time spinoff) with Sophie Lowe as Alice wraps filming in Vancouver.
  • Friday, April 12th – CBS pilot Backstrom with Rainn Wilson as House-like detective wraps filming in Vancouver.
  • Friday, April 12th – Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill on cover of Entertainment Weekly’s Summer Movies issue.
  • Friday, April 12th – 3rd season set, prop & costume sale for hit sitcom Mr. Young at Burnaby studio (5828 Byrne Rd).  April 12 (10am-4pm)
  • Friday, April 12th – Globe and Mail reports amalgamation of B.C. Film Commission and B.C. Film + Media into Creative BC in a bid to help Save BC Film.
  • Friday, April 12th – TVLine gets official confirmation that Curtis Armstrong is Metatron, the scribe of God,  in Supernatural. Saw Armstrong filming with Misha Collins in Deep Cove.
  • Thursday, April 11th –  Arrow films season finale overnight at Terminal City Ironworks complex in east Vancouver. Stephen Amell on set.
  • Thursday, April 11th – The Killing  films on trails past Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam.
  • Thursday, April 11th – Set, prop & costume sale for sitcom Mr. Young at Burnaby studio (5828 Byrne Rd). April 11 (12-4 pm) ending after three seasons.
  • Thursday, April 11th – Words and Pictures seeks bike rider extras for filming on Monday April 15.
  • Wednesday, April 10th – Amanda Tapping-directed Arctic Air 2×12 airs, with Dragons’ Den dragon David Chilton (The Wealthy Barber) guest-starring as himself in Burnaby as Calgary.
  • Wednesday, April 10th – Psych wedding on 7×07 directed by James Roday as Lassie (Timothy Omundson) marries his gal Marlowe (Kristy Swanson). But first the bachelor party.
  • Wednesday, April 10th – Rogue 1×03 Cathy’s Song with Grace (Thandie Newton) discovering link between one of Jimmy (Marton Csokas)’s associates and her son’s death on
    Read More »WEEK: April 8-14, 2013

BIG READ: Vancouver Productions Working the Comic-Con Craziness

Published July 9th, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome

How’s this for Comic-Con craziness? Comic-Con tweeted Twilight fans today asking them not to start lining up outside the San Diego Convention Center three days before the convention starts on Thursday like they did last year. The anual geekfest doesn’t want them to erect another Camp Twilight tent city either. Any Twihard or TwiMom who tries to line up earlier than tomorrow or brings more than a chair and a sleeping bag with them, risks not being among the six thousand-plus lucky enough to get into the final vampires & werewolves panel at lunchtime on Thursday. If asked to leave, they’ll miss seeing exclusive footage from the mainly Vancouver-shot The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2 and celebrity trio Kristin Stewart, Robert Pattison and Taylor Lautner in person. Organizers have scheduled the final Twilight movie as the first official panel in marquee Hall H so that Twilight teens and their Moms can’t ruin Comic-Con like they have in the past.

[Update: A Twilight fan who’d been camping outside the San Diego Convention Center since Sunday was struck and killed by an SUV on Tuesday morning while rushing to cross the street to get back to the lineup which Comic-Con organizers were moving. Fellow fans are trying to organize a moment of silence in her honour during the Breaking Dawn 2 panel.]

Once the Twihards have gone home, Comic-Con is free to fly its geek flag until Sunday night, epitomized by what could be 2012’s hottest panel — the 10th Anniversary reunion of the cast (and creator) of space western Firefly, featuring Canada’s own browncoat Nathan “Captain Tightpants” Fillion. Is cult TV once again dominating big budget movies at Comic-Con with Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory panels all in high demand too?

Maybe, maybe not. Iron Man 3 is a hot ticket, as are the Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures and Sony Pictures panels in Hall H. Who doesn’t want to see footage from The Hobbit, which just wrapped filming in New Zealand? Or get a first look at two other mainly Vancouver-shot movies: the upcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel starring Henry Cavill (seen below filming a shirtless green screen rescue scene in North Vancouver) as part of the Warner Bros. panel on Saturday afternoon and mysterious space station movie Elysium starring Matt Damon (link to first official photo) and Jody Foster as part of the Sony panel on Friday afternoon. Vancouver director Neill Blomkamp will be on hand with his stars to answer questions about the followup to his Oscar-nominated first feature District 9. It turns out Elysium is the name of a vast space station constructed by a company called Armadyne where the very rich live in the year 2159  (want-ads for Armadyne  popped up at last year’s Comic-Con, the start of a viral campaign for the movie). The rest of us –- the 99% if you will — live on the over-populated, ruined planet Earth below. A bald, buff  Damon is Max, who goes up against Foster as hard-line government official Minister Delacourt [corrected], who will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the grandious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium in space (the mansion set below on Kent Hangar field could be on the space station).

Read More »BIG READ: Vancouver Productions Working the Comic-Con Craziness

What Neill Blomkamp’s Upcoming Sci-Fi Film ELYSIUM is About

So we have some scoop on what director Neill Blomkamp’s latest sci-fi project Elysium is about, after Collider.com got its hands on an advance sceening ticket which had a detailed plot synopsis. I’d worked out some of the story last summer during the film’s three-month shoot in Vancouver, which I wrote about in my YVRShoots series, but there is still a lot we don’t know.

Elysium turns out to be the name of the vast, luxurious space station constructed by Armadyne where the very rich live in the year 2159  (want-ads for Armadyne popped up at last year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, the start of a viral campaign for the movie). The rest of us– the 99% if you will — live on the over-populated, ruined planet Earth below. A bald, buff Matt Damon is Max (link to first official photo), who takes on the mission to bring equality to these polarized classes. He’s going up against Jody Foster as Minister Delacourt [corrected], a hard-line govenment official, who will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the grandiose lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium in space (Foster returned for reshoots this spring but not Damon).

Since Matt Damon was seen filming scenes in blue workmen’s garb [corrected] last summer at Vancouver Technical School, Riverview Hospital and out in Delta, could this be how Max is forced to take on the mission? And could this be how Max will save his own life? The Grouse Grinder also spent weeks filming at a mansion facade and temporarily-planted tropical garden on the vast gravel field at Kent and Boundary in Vancouver. The blue rectangles are thought to be a spaceship, the fake palm trees have no fronds, the small piles of sand seem to represent a manmade beachs and huge blue screens ringed the set. Interior scenes were filmed at the other end of Vancouver in a real-life mansion at 51st and Macdonald behind Jurassic Park-sized hedges. I’m now wondering if this mansion is on the Elysium space station, not on Earth as I originally thought.

Read More »What Neill Blomkamp’s Upcoming Sci-Fi Film ELYSIUM is About

BIG READ: Matt Damon’s Spaceship Crashes on ELYSIUM – Updated

Published September 26, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome

Updated: April 12, 2013.

Little is known about Vancouver writer and director Neill Blomkamp’s latest sci-fi project Elysium, which has been filming here for the past three months, except that it makes good use of our city’s visual effects expertise and stars a bald, buff Matt Damon as some kind of future being.

It’s not surprising about the visual effects if you know that Neill Blomkamp dabbled in 3D animation and design as a teen in South Africa and then studied it at the Vancouver Film School when his family moved here. After graduation, he worked as a 3D artist for two local visual effects companies, while branching into directing live-action shorts. He returned to his birthplace of Johannesburg to film his Oscar-nominated first feature District 9 about extra-terrestials (“Prawns”) kept in an Apartheid-like government camp. Despite his international success, Blomkamp is still based here and a proud booster of the local film industry. For example, the post-production work on Elysium will be done in Vancouver next year instead of being farmed out overseas like it usually is.

So what is Elysium about? That remains a mystery but “We’re Building the Future and We Need You” signs for a spaceship construction company Armadyne popped up at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, part of a viral campaign similar to the one done for District 9 at an earlier Comic-Con. Armadyne dot net is looking for mega-construction engineers, zero g welders, quantum networkers and experts in zero g coupling and multi-generational planning to build a massive space station that can house an entire colony of people — “Taking Mankind into the Future.” Last month I watched Elysium film scenes of a much smaller spaceship, with Matt Damon inside, crash-landing on a mansion facade and lush garden set at a vast gravel field at Kent and Boundary in Vancouver, often used by film crews for green and blue-screen filming. [This turned out to be the Elysium space station where the 1 per-centers of 2054 live.]

The blue rectangles are the spaceship, the fake palm trees have no fronds, and the small piles of sand seem to represent [a beach on Elysium]. Some might complain I’m undoing movie magic with photographs like these, but the contrastRead More »BIG READ: Matt Damon’s Spaceship Crashes on ELYSIUM – Updated