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Hastings Overpass

SHOOT: The Hood is Back on ARROW S2. Stephen Amell Below the Hastings Overpass

The Hood is back for Arrow season two. Stephen Amell showed us why he’s the star of Arrow, even with his shirt on last Friday night. Not every actor is capable of the kind of  integrated stuntwork that Arrow does routinely. Amell is almost always part of a stunt so that it looks seamless on screen. And sometimes he does all of it, especially if the scene calls for running fast. Here are Amell and stunt double Simon Burnett talking through the night’s stunts with the Arrow Stunt Department on set below the Downtown Eastside’s Hasting Overpass.

Read More »SHOOT: The Hood is Back on ARROW S2. Stephen Amell Below the Hastings Overpass

SET: Downtown Eastside as ARROW’s Post-Earthquake The Glades

Team Arrow thwarted part of Malcolm Merlyn (The Dark Archer)’s plan to level The Glades with an earthquake device in the season one finale last May.  But not all of it. A good section was flattened causing the death of hundreds. The Glades is Starling City’s Downtown Eastside-equivalent: impoverished and riddled with hookers, pimps and drug dealers but also a community of people who aspire to something better. So it’s fitting that Raymur Street plays the post-Earthquake The Glades in the Arrow season 2 premiere.

 

Read More »SET: Downtown Eastside as ARROW’s Post-Earthquake The Glades

STUNT: ARROW S2 The Hood Stunt with Simon Burnett

The Arrow Stunt Department spent most of last Friday rehearsing  in the sunshine for an integrated stunt to be filmed later that night of star Stephen Amell and Hood stunt double Simon Burnett shooting a rope ascender arrow up in the air and then rising on the zipline several stories off the ground. I didn’t hear about the shoot until quite late because I expected Arrow to be filming on private Port Metro Vancouver land, not in the Downtown Eastside with a grandstand public view from the Hastings Overpass. It turned out to be a relatively private location though, because people don’t loiter in that part of east Hastings at night unless they’re  hookers, pimps, dealers or locals. I was mistaken for one of these by a guy in a BMW and later had a lengthy, circular conversation with one of the locals about gentrification of the neighbourhood.

From the overpass, you could look down on the crane, wires, stunt mats and dozens of people who make up the Arrow Stunt Department. Two of the men behind the best stunts on TV were present: stunt coordinator J.J.Makaro, who picked up a Leo Award for stunt coordination of the Arrow pilot last month, and fight designer James “Bam Bam” Bamford, who won his own Leo for stunt co-ordination of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. Arrow’s stunt department is doing double duty this season, designing stunts for Arrow and new series The Tomorrow People starring Robbie Amell, for what is being called Amell Wednesdays on The CW.

Read More »STUNT: ARROW S2 The Hood Stunt with Simon Burnett

WEEK: July 8-14, 2013

SHOOT: Stephen Amell & ARROW Crew Wish Colton Haynes a Happy 25th Birthday

Stephen Amell and Arrow crew took a break on Friday night from rehearsing scenes for their season two premiere to wish Colton Haynes (in his Roy Harper red hoodie) a happy 25th birthday, surprising him with a big birthday cake with candles.

Arrow star Stephen Amell laughs as everyone sings Happy Birthday.

Read More »SHOOT: Stephen Amell & ARROW Crew Wish Colton Haynes a Happy 25th Birthday

WEEK: April 29 – May 5, 2013

WEEK: April 1-7, 2013

SHOOT: CULT’s Matt Davis & Jessica Lucas Film Near Hastings Overpass for 1×04

Upcoming midseason CW series Cult has been filming inside the old Terminal City Ironworks complex for a couple of days, but unexpectedly emerged yesterday afternoon for a big scene with Matt Davis and Jessica Lucas near the Hastings Overpass and BC Sugar in east Vancouver. All I could tell from a distance is that it involved people running, simulated gunfire, a culprit being nabbed and some yelling.

Matt Davis (The Vampire Diaries) stars as Jeff an investigative journalist searching for his brother whose disappearance may be linked to the fans of a horror TV series called Cult recreating what they’ve seen on the show. Jeff enlists the help of Jessica Lucas’s production assistant from the show-within-a-show. “When the line between the imagined and reality is broken” is the meta tagline.

Read More »SHOOT: CULT’s Matt Davis & Jessica Lucas Film Near Hastings Overpass for 1×04

BIG READ: Making of UNDERWORLD AWAKENING

Published February 7, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome

The return of Kate Beckinsale and her cat suit powered supernatural thriller Underworld Awakening to a weekend North American box office win of $25 million+ for its late January opening but critics blasted the fourth installment of the franchise for its weak storyline. U4 box office halved for its second weekend and then halved again last weekend. I saw the film last week in 3D and enjoyed watching Beckinsale and her stunt double playing kickass-cool vampire Selene and Simon Fraser University as its unmistakable self playing nefarious bio-tech company Antigen.

Vengeance Returns is the Underworld Awakening tagline. Here is a plot synopsis with spoilers: Not long after the events of Underworld Evolution, vampire Selene and her hybrid vampire/Lycan lover Michael Corvin are captured during The Purge, a crusade by humans to rid the world of vampires and Lycans (evolved werewolfs who can shift between wolf and human form). Twelve years later, Selene is freed from cryogenic suspension in Antigen headquarters by her and Corvin’s vampire/Lycan hybrid daughter Eve — a daughter Selene never knew she had with a lover who appears to be dead. Antigen claims to be developing an antidote for the virus that creates vampires and Lycans, but is really run by Lycans who are injecting Eve’s hybrid blood into themselves to create a race of super Lycans, impervious to silver and with enhanced abilities and size.

Unfortunately Scott Speedman declined to return as Selene’s lover Michael Corvin in the fourth film so we only see him in flashbacks or as a blurred figure in Underworld Awakening. New to this Vancouver-shot movie franchise about vampires and werewolves that predates the Twilight craze is human Detective Sebastian played by Michael Ealy of The Good Wife (see photo below).

After a brief recap of the Underworld saga so far, the new film opens with scenes of a genocide of not one but two species — vampires and Lycans — that was filmed mainly downtown. For example, crew set up a security checkpoint with police/SWAT extras on Hamilton Street outside Pappas Furs for filming on May 1st last year. Read More »BIG READ: Making of UNDERWORLD AWAKENING

BIG READ: Tribute to Axed Series as New TV Season Begins

Published July 7, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome

Filming of the American network Fall TV season got underway this week around North America. Here in Vancouver, Supernatural star Jensen Ackles began directing a season seven episode of the Friday night show. And crew of the other locally-filmed Friday-night-hit Fringe prepped for the start of filming season four next Thursday: scouting locations and rebuilding sets in studio. So this seems an appropriate time to pay tribute to the Vancouver-shot network series not returning to our TV screens in 2011-12.

Sci-fi series V, cancelled in June after two seasons on ABC, couldn’t have been a better series to watch filming here. I will miss it most of all the axed series for its many downtown shoots and couldn’t-be-nicer-to-the-public cast led by its lead actor Elizabeth Mitchell. On the same day last summer that I photographed Mitchell (below) as FBI agent Erica Evans filming at the Vancouver Art Gallery, a photo from an office tower above of dozens of V dead-body extras lying on the grass at Portal Park made the cover of one of our local commuter papers. It took me a couple of months to find her evil counterpart V Queen Anna, played by Morena Baccarin, outside of her studio spaceship and back on location. Last September, V series took over the atrium of the Vancouver Public Library for two full nights to film scenes of Baccarin, Mitchell and other cast members at a black-tie function (below) with a greenscreen wooden spaceship platform erected outside on the south plaza.

CBC Vancouver might miss V even more than me, since the series regularly rented a CBC studio for filming, put one of its V Ambassador Centres in a CBC outdoor corridor and filmed part of its series finale in the entrance lobby. Read More »BIG READ: Tribute to Axed Series as New TV Season Begins