The Truth is Out There. [Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are confirmed for TV Guide’s Celebration of the 20th Anniversary reunion of The X-Files — the daddy of Vancouver-shot sci-fi series — at San Diego Comic-Con with show creator Chris Carter and several writer-producers on the panel. Thursday, July 18th, at 3:30 pm in Ballroom 20.]
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
Published May 20, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
I did not expect to be able to feature all-Canadian sci-fi success story Sanctuary in this series because it almost never goes on location, filming everything on greenscreen at its Burnaby soundstage, with virtually no physical sets whatsoever. And then a friend of a friend’s husband watched Sanctuary bring its greenscreens outside a week ago to film a bloodied and beat-up Amanda Tapping at a nearby office complex, masquerading as an airport on the Indian Ocean islands of Comoros.
When I arrived, I joked with Sanctuary crew about the number of green travelling mattes (used for special effects) they’d brought to a real location, including a stack of smaller sizes on a cart at the back of their studio, an immense street-width screen by the Departs door and one regular-sized screen at the Arrive door. This is where I photographed guest star Sandrine Holt and Sanctuary star Amanda Tapping already in character and about to turn around to the camera to meet guest stars Carlo Rota ( 24 and Little Mosque on the Prairie) and Martin Cummins (V and Shattered) on the steps above. Sanctuary had filmed explosions the day before at Mammoth studios and Tapping did not go unscathed: wardrobe had dressed her in an artfully ripped sweater and bandaged arm and makeup painted blood on her knees.
Who is Amanda Tapping? She is our Queen of Sci-fi after ten seasons in combat boots on Stargate SG-1 as scientist-soldier Samantha Carter, followed by more seasons as Carter on Stargate spinoffs and then coming-up-on-four seasons in stilettos on Sanctuary as immortal 160-something Dr. Helen Magnus from Victorian England, who rescues genetic mutants called Abnormals and harbours them in her stately gothic mansion overlooking the fictional Old City in the modern world.
What makes Sanctuary so unique is that this castle-like facility doesn’t exist, except as an empty set with some minimal props Read More »BIG READ: SANCTUARY Takes Amanda Tapping and its Green Screens Outside