I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Just finished with the first four days of shooting our doomsday movie. I can't tell you the name of it and post photos and I want to post photos so the name will have to remain a secret.

We spent the first day out in Abbotsford at Fraser Valley University, mostly indoors which was nice as it is unseasonably cold out. The second day we were at the Hilltop Cafe just between Langley and Aldergrove. I haven't been in this cafe before but have seen it in several movies, most prominently in The Butterfly Effect. Walking in is like walking onto a specially built set. It's right out of Hollywood. We had several scenes to film outside before we did the interior diner scenes. It was cold and drizzly all morning, then the wind picked up and started to blow the tents about. They were quickly weighted down with sandbags, but not before the one at crafty blew right over.

We were setting up for our third scene outside when all of a sudden it began to pour rain like I've rarely seen it come down here. It was sideways and heavy, almost tropical in it's force. A decision was made to move inside and start the interior work. I gathered up my things and tried to wait for it to abate some but it just wasn't happening so I made a dash for the door and got completely soaked. Thank goodness for my big down coat! We just got a blocking done and suddenly the rain stopped and the sun came out. So back outside we went. We had just nicely got everything set up for the outdoor scene when it clouded over and began to hail. It was some of the heaviest hail I can remember seeing. There was talk of going back inside but hail doesn't usually last too long. Someone told a story of shooting out in Aldergrove last year when it hailed for 45 minutes and we all hoped that wasn't going to happen today. We gathered under the tents to wait it out and it lasted about 10 minutes. Everything was covered in hail and the vehicles we were shooting had to be wiped down. Later, when we were done with the outside scenes, we were packing up when the wind started blowing again and the tent I was in, sandbags and all, lifted and then blew away - right over my head. Everyone ran over to see if I was okay, and I was. Just really windblown. Kim, the DP, mentioned that I might want to pat down my hair as it was standing on end. The next day I was wearing a hat and he drolly asked me if it was due to the 'hair trauma' I suffered the day before!

The last two days, we worked at a place called Jamestown. It's a huge acreage that was purchased by a family of stuntmen and turned into a movie backlot. There's an old western town that was originally used in a Scary Movie that was a knock off of The Village. It was later moved and added onto to make a western street for a TV show. There's also a huge field and this is where we filmed for an entire day. It was a very soggy field and by the time we were done with it, full of muddy ruts. It was an exciting day full of the SPFX (special effects) department blowing stuff up. There was also a great stunt where a car drove off the road and down a ravine.

Yesterday we shot in the forested area of the property, up a big hill in the trees. We had a late call because the last scenes of the day were at night. We were deep into those scenes when we lost all power and were plunged into inky blackness. Not a light anywhere, not even the moon. It would have been terrifying except that there were 75 of us there. Soon little mag lights and head LCD lamps were piercing the dense wall of nothingness with tiny circles of illumination; one in our tent, thanks to a locations PA. I fumbled in my bag for my work light and soon was back at making my notes. It took about 10 minutes for the electrics to find the problem and get us back up and running. An hour later it happened again, and resolved much quicker. It seems it was so damp on the ground that the safety kicked in and shut 'er down.

All part of a day on set.

1)'B' camera awaits the crash. 2)Jeep goes over ravine. 3)Working in the mud. 4)Volcanic ash (shredded newspaper) is liberally sprayed about

all photos displayed with producer's permission
All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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