By staff writer
The first truck arrives precisely at 7 a.m., just as the flyer left the day before in the mailbox attests it will. Within five minutes large white tents magically pop up on the street like mushrooms. A giant boom truck shows up next, and assorted smaller trucks with lighting, cables, wire, gadgets, props, food and actors. It’s just like the circus came to town. It’s Hollywood North in action.
The residents of the street are blasé. They’ve seen it all before many times. Several of their cute little cottages have appeared in many movies. With demolition rolling across North Vancouver like World War Three, it’s hard to find a cute little cottage with a picket fence and front porch any more to put on the big screen.
Actually, this is a TV series being shot. It’s called I, Zombie and scenes for some of its shows have been filmed here before. The assistant location director reports there are just over 50 staff members involved in the shoot, including two actors. They will be on location for two days and all told they will shoot just over one minute of action. Cabling has been threaded through bushes to the BC Hydro poles in the back, around the house being used for filming, to the street in front and down the block, where a police cruiser stands guard all day to deter all but local travel.
Of the several tents set up, one is there only to feed the crew. There is no time to go fetch coffee, no lunch hour where the crew get to sit down. It’s constant action, with only the two lead actors doing nothing but stand around. They work about 10 minutes the whole day, walking from a car to the front door, over and over again. The director is meticulous. He wants that walk done right. The house has been vacated and the residents paid well to go enjoy a hotel and a holiday. Their white picket fence has been destroyed, but the carpentry crew will install a new one before leaving.
There is a strict procedure to follow for film crews wanting to shoot in the City. Permits must be purchased, security deposits paid in advance, street closures arranged, electrical contractor authorization declarations secured, the works. The entire procedure is expensive and time consuming. Filming puts a lot of money into the City coffers, and the film crews love to shoot here because the crews are professional and well trained.
At the end of the day, the tents and cables and crews have disappeared, right on time, and except for a shiny new picket fence you would never know there was a movie made here. Or a zombie TV series, if you prefer. Who knew?