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Once Upon a Time

BIG READ: ONCE UPON A TIME in Steveston Village

Published August 5, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome

New American TV series Once Upon a Time is about two worlds: one set in fairy tales and another set in a New England town, with the more-than-100-years-old Steveston village standing in for Storybrooke, Maine. On Monday night last week, crew transformed Moncton Street in Steveston for filming the next day: boarding up and plastering newspapers on the windows of Nikka Fishing & Marine to make it look like a derelict Storybrooke Free Public Library; putting their own weathered signage like Storybrooke Hardware and Paint over Steveston Marine & Hardware on the side of a building; and erecting several other dirtied-up signs like Purbeck Shoe Store on the Steveston Drugs brick heritage building. This was all done to film scenes of Once Upon a Time lead Jennifer Morrsion (Cameron of House) walking on the boardwalks and crossing back and forth across Moncton Street for the second episode of the series.

The magical story of Once Upon a Time apparently begins in the pilot with the grand wedding of Prince Charming, played by Josh Dallas (Thor), and Snow White, played by Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love), in a distant fairy tale world — filmed this spring in Vancouver with greenscreens and 200-plus fairy tale costumed extras. Meantime, in the world of present-day reality their daughter Emma Swan, played by Jennifer Morrison, has grown up without knowing her fairy tale parents, which goes a long way to explaining her profession as a kick-ass bail bonds collector in Boston. Things change when Henry, the son Emma gave up for adoption a decade earlier, finds her and begs her to come back with him to Storybrooke where he says fairy tale characters have been cursed to spend their lives in the real world without getting happy endings or even knowing their true identities. She drives there with Henry, played by Jared Gilmore (Bobby on Mad Men), in her yellow VW bug, where she meets some strangely familiar people and decides to stay awhile.

No one outside of production caught a glimpse of Once Upon a Time filming the fairy tale world scenes of the pilot, but a small crowd of people did watch Jennifer Morrison do a yellow-VW-bug-driving-scene on Seymour Street downtown in late March and then in early April, a smaller crowd watched her yellow-VW-bug arrival in Steveston as Storybrooke.

Created by Lost writers Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, Once Upon a Time should know how to mix reality and fantasy and cross between the two. The pilot cuts back and forth between the present world of Storybrooke and the past world of the Enchanted Forest Read More »BIG READ: ONCE UPON A TIME in Steveston Village

BIG READ – Working the Comic Con Craziness in 2011 – Updated

Published July 21, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome

How’s this for Comic-Con craziness? Twihards starting lining up outside the San Diego Convention Center three days early (on Monday) to be among the six thousand lucky enough to get into The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 1 panel in Hall H, which took place just before lunchtime today. Breaking Dawn 1 was the first panel in Hall H so that Twihards couldn’t ruin Comic-Con like they usually do. What’s even more crazy? That the vampires and werewolves of the mainly Vancouver-shot Breaking Dawn 1 aren’t the most popular panel of the hundreds at Comic-Con 2011. Not even close. That honour belongs to the zombies of AMC TV series The Walking Dead.

Breaking Dawn 1 isn’t even among the most popular of Vancouver-filmed movies and TV series at Comic-Con, which has become less about big movies and more about cult television series in recent years. Locally-shot TV series Pscyh cracked the Top 25 most popular panels and Fringe, Eureka, Supernatural and Alcatraz are all in the Top 50. Breaking Dawn 1 and Underworld Awakening (the fourth in the movie franchise but only the third to star Kate Beckinsale and her vampire cat suit) barely made the Top 50 cut.

Psych presented today to standing-room-only, people-turned-away capacity, with Psych-os either dressed as pineapples or carrying them. Apparently series star James Roday (seen above directing a vampire-themed episode) improvised with a pineapple in the show’s premiere and there’s been one hidden in every episode since. Nominally a detective series, Psych knows how to play to a Comic-Con crowd, with several episodes in its sixth season (now filming in Vancouver) crossing over into genre stuff like vampires, super heroes and Star Trek. In a real casting coup, the original Captain Kirk — William Shatner — plays the father of one of the main cast in an episode filmed Read More »BIG READ – Working the Comic Con Craziness in 2011 – Updated