Updated March 25, 2013: Woodchuck Festival used for Norma (Vera Farmiga)’s clandestine date with Deputy Sheriff Shelby (Mike Vogel).
A&E’s contemporary Psycho prequel Bates Motel set up a White Pine Bay Woodchuck Festival at the Fort Langley Community Centre for an overnight shoot last Thursday night. Bates Motel focuses on a younger version of Psycho movie killer Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) in present-day Oregon and explores his relationship with his unhinged mother (Vera Farmiga) as he approaches his evil destiny.
The 10-episode series, scripted mainly by Lost’s Carlton Cuse, is described as a cross between Twin Peaks and Smallville. Certainly, the White Pine Bay Woodchuck Festival has a Twin Peaks vibe. All that’s needed is some cherry pie, a damn fine cup of coffee and a Log Lady to complete the homage.
So Greek gods are running rampant in modern America, waging war and fathering children, like young Percy Jackson who discovers in the first film adaption, The Lightning Thief. that the father he never knew is the Greek god Poseidon. In the second of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians franchise, Percy and pals set out to retrieve the golden fleece in the Sea of Monsters to save their beloved Camp Half-Blood, the summer camp where children of the gods are trained and protected.
It’s been fun to watch some of the filming of the sequel these past two months, especially on the Camp Half-Blood sets in Robert Burnaby Park in Burnaby, built on the tennis courts and in the adjoining woods. Teen fans of Logan Lerman, who stars as Percy Jackson, tracked him all over the city on Twitter and flooded Tumblr with hundreds of photos-with, taken mainly in that park in May.
Joining Logan Lerman in this series of adventures based on Greek mythology are Brandon T. Jackson as his best pal and protector Grover Underwood, a satyr who hides his goat horns under toques and his goat legs with crutches; Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth Chase, daughter of the Greek god Athena; and Douglas Smith as his newly-discovered half-brother Tyson, a very tall, one-eyed cyclops.
As in the first film, the fun for adults is the casting of the Greek god parents. Geek God Nathan Fillion plays Greek god Hermes, the god of thieves, travellers and messengers, dressed as a UPS courier in shorts. Here he is peeking out of the prop The UPS Store set they built in late April at the corner of Pender and Abbott in downtown Vancouver. Percy Jackson and pals cross Pender (dressed as Monroe St NW in the District of Columbia), enter The UPS store and line up at the counter to pick up a package which apparently gives them what they need to head into the Sea of Monsters to find the golden fleece.
For once, the fans gathered near set weren’t clamouring for Logan Lerman. They wanted “Captain Tightpants”, as one Fillion fan yelled out. Another got her Firefly DVD signed as Fillion graciously took time to meet and sign for fans three times during that downtown shoot.
Tuesday in Vancouver started out sunny but by the time I reached the Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters set in Robert Burnaby Park, a huge black cloud had covered the suburb of Burnaby and unleashed a torrential downpour. And I mean torrential — as in rain-bouncing-a-foot-high-off-the-pavement-of-Edmonds-Street torrential.
That didn’t deter a dozen fans sheltering under a tree next to the Camp Half-Blood set. Nor did the smoke machines which filled the air with their acrid smell and obscured the actors they came to see. When I stripped out most of the smoke from my photographs taken from about a soccer field away, I spotted Brandon T. Jackson and the dreadlocks of Douglas Smith at the back of the communal table in the mess hall. Alexandra Daddario must have been on set too and Logan Lerman could be the blue-shirted guy at the front of the communal table, judging from the stamina of the fans. They sure do love their Percy Jackson, as I’ve discovered from so many asking me for sightings of the actor Logan Lerman on set and downtown.
Percy Jackson and his friends head into the Sea of Monsters to find the mythical Golden Fleece and save Camp Half-Blood from attack by monsters in the second in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians franchise, a series of adventures based on Greek mythology.
After months of construction, dark fantasy movie Seventh Son started filming this week on its gigantic castle set on the gravel field at Boundary and Kent in Vancouver, known as the Kent Hangar field. A set so big that @tessacpliu tweeted on a drive-by: “Holy! HUGE production #SeventhSon bus drove by to see the whole sizzle! Wow! Blue screen too! #yvrshoots.”
In addition to the vast wooden set, I counted eight generators, several giant blue screens attached to a wall of forty-two stacked shipping containers on the north side (crew had turned one of the bottom containers into a makeshift props department) and several more giant blue screens attached to a smaller wall of stacked shipping containers on the south side. Crew park, tents, craft services for background performers both human and equine, trailers, trucks and a large steel tank took up most of the remaining space.
Unfortunately, I could only a see a sliver of the filming on Monday afternoon through a gap in the blue screens, revealing an interior market with background performers dressed in medieval garb and real horses tethered to wood railings. Main cast must have been on set, judging by the waiting “star cars”, but the actors were being driven to and from their trailers in the southeast corner of Kent Hangar field to the north entrance to the castle set unseen.