A new production is hoping to take filmmaking in Edmonton to another dimension.
In late January, media were invited to a non-descript building in an industrial area near the old City Centre Airport to witness a little bit of history, as the first-ever romantic comedy to be shot in 3D was being filmed in Edmonton.
Dubbed 40 Below and Falling, the movie tells the tale of a school teacher from northern Canada whose trip back to the big city to get married is derailed when a blizzard cancels her flight and she meets a handsome but gruff stranger who agrees to help her get to her destination. It is directed by Edmontonian Dylan Pearce and stars Canadian actors Jewel Staite — best known as Kaylee from the TV series Firefly and the movie Serenity — and Shawn Roberts, who had roles in movies in the Resident Evil franchise.
“It’s the first romantic comedy in 3D, and being the first in anything is pretty cool, I would say,” Staite said during a break in production on a Friday evening. “It’s totally new for me; I’ve never done anything in 3D. So it’s going to be fun to see it all put together.”
The fact that the movie is being shot in 3D, though, doesn’t really change much about how the actors go about their scenes in front of the camera.
“I get a little hair attention once in a while, because I have stray hairs going all over the place, and apparently that looks weird in 3D,” Roberts laughed. “Every once in a while, you get to go behind the monitor and see the world pop out.”
“The only difference I’ve noticed is that certain shots have to be lined up in a different way,” Staite added, “because whatever is in the foreground is what’s going to be popping out at you from the screen. Fortunately, that’s not [the actors’] problem. It’s kind of the same-old: Memorize your lines, be on time, stand on your mark, do the best you can.”
For Pearce, 3D technology is another tool he can use to tell a story the way he wants to.
“People forget that, when sound and colour first came (into films), people thought they were just gimmicks; same with CG (computer graphics) and digital filming,” he said. “It’s just another element that helps enhance the world for your audience.”
Alongside reporters on the set tour were city councillor Scott McKeen — an unabashed fan of Staite’s work in Firefly — and Alberta Minister of Culture and Tourism Maureen Kubinec.
“As a government, we see these kinds of things are a way to inspire people and not be so dependent on energy and oil,” said Kubinec.
While Pearce was born and raised in Windsor, Ont., he moved to Edmonton a few years ago to be with his wife. So far, he has found Edmonton to be a great place to make movies.
“There’s a really beautiful art community here, and everyone is supportive of storytelling and exploring things, whether that’s theatre or that’s film,” he said. “Everyone unites together. It’s not about everyone trying to get out or trying to make their own thing."
Pearce said he hopes to wrap filming on 40 Below and Fallingby the end of May, and the film should be released sometimethis fall.
As originally seen on:
Written by: Glenn Cook