Feature Story                                                                                                              Thursday, May 22, 2014

 

A Movie in the Making

Hollywood takes over downtown Chilliwack

Staff/Voice photos

 

Residents and film crews watch as a pickup truck screeches around a corner at Young Rd. and Victoria Ave. last week.

 

  is for monster trucks, movie crews and the magic of Hollywood. It's also the name of a $100-million Paramount Pictures flick called "Formula M" starring Amy Ryan, Rob Lowe and Danny Glover, some of which is being filmed in Chilliwack.

Last week, Hollywood took over downtown Chilliwack. With the quick addition of some realistic façades and props, crews transformed Wellington Ave., Mill St. and Main St. into the city of Anderson, Sentinel County, North Dakota.

On Monday, over sixty Production Assistants were working on the set. Some raced around in carts loaded with strange looking equipment, others flagged traffic and kept crowds out of the camera's line of vision. A sea of iPhones record their every move.

A bright yellow street cleaner crawls up and down Young Rd. hosing the road down so set vehicles can slide more easily on the corners.

 

Steve from Los Angeles came up with the crews as a driver of one of the armoured trucks that will be wrecked while filming in Kamloops. He's friendly and easily engages in conversation.

"This is a pretty big deal," he told the Voice when asked about the production. His phone rings, he apologizes and walks away talking into it.

 

Then, everything is ready. Someone yells "Quiet, filming". A old green Dodge pick-up races south on Young Rd. and makes a hard left on Victoria Ave. The truck gets air. Two armoured pickups swing in behind and the chase is on. This scene was repeated on various streets throughout the week.

 

Central Elementary School teacher Brad Hagkull, who's also coach of the Cheetahs wheelchair basketball team in his time off, was enjoying a mini field trip with his grade 5-6 students who were out watching the action just a stone's throw away from their class.


Teacher Brad Hagkull took his students out for a mini field trip to watch filming take place.


"We're in search of cameras and a little bit of action," he said. "It's not too often we have a movie filmed in the neighbourhood, and because it's a nice day I wanted to take advantage of what's going on," said Hagkull.

Hagkull, who's been teaching for about 3 years, rides his bicycle to school some days. On this particular morning, he spoke briefly with some of the crew along the way and found out they were planning to film near the school, so he was able to put together an impromptu outing for his class.

"You know, even if we don't see any action, just for our kids to see the big boom cameras and the trucks and all the people involved in putting together a movie, I think it's a pretty amazing thing, and we're pretty interested in the whole experience right now," he noted.
 

Film crews will be back May 26-28 to wrap things up. The word is that this time they're bringing Glover with them.
 

See more photos below.



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