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VanCon 2013: Thursday Location Tour

At the very last minute, I managed to get a ticket for the Thursday Location Tour - mainly because someone was selling, no one was buying, and so they took my slightly low offer.

Anyway, it means that after only getting about 3 hours sleep Wednesday night, I got up early to head downtown again. I didn't take that many notes, but I did take pictures. There are some location spoilers for S9 (not behind spoiler cuts) and there are some plot spoilers for S9 (behind spoiler cuts) - so proceed as you will...

The first thing we did was meet up with the Tech survey for 9x05, which begins shooting next week (I think Tuesday? It's Kevin Park's second episode in the director's chair.) The Tech surveying was at the Tomahawk Cafe in North Vancouver. For those who don't know, the Tomahawk is an awesome breakfast spot with unique and abundant decor.

ThursLocTour 005

Kevin talked about what shots he wanted out front, and then they moved into the back parking lot, where it sounded like they would be setting up another shot ([I don't actually consider this a spoiler]of an open grave and a coffin) that you probably won't be able to tell is filmed in the parking lot of the Tomahawk, but if they film two things at one location, they can save on time.

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Jill was also there with Kuma, so here's a picture of Kuma and I, because Kuma is a very pretty dog.
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Kuma is going to be in an upcoming episode of Supernatural... on Wednesday night, we were joking around that he'd be a "heaven hound"... but seriously, I think he fits the part!

Next up was the Men of Letter's exterior.
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This is underneath the Second Narrows/Ironworkers Memorial Bridge. They green screen the building in, and have an insert for the door. The Ironworkers bridge is Highway 1, which is a VERY busy highway and generates a lot of noise. That peaceful tranquility you hear in the episodes as though they were in the middle of nowhere in Kansas? Fictional! It's hard to hear under that bridge. They mic the boys up a lot for any scenes shot there, loop sound, or use ADR in order to get the quality sound they need.
ThursLocTour 018
When they were filming 8x20, they discovered that the road leading to MoL entrance was actually unfit for cars and so that's why when they say goodbye to Charlie they are weirdly down the road from the place. Russ had to tell the director THAT day that his shots weren't going to work out and they had to come up with a solution quickly.

Next up was a location for 9x03:
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This is underneath the south side of the Burrard bridge. In the episode,[Spoilers]there is a homeless camp set up under the bridge. There is an old school bus where the blue crane is parked in my shot. Castiel has fallen and his homeless. He gets on the school bus, he gets off the school bus... something important happens.That is all Russ told us.

We had lunch at this location from the Guanaco food truck. It was good food (hunger is the best sauce) and I thought the water they served us was appropriate:
[Spoiler?]ThursLocTour 038


Next up was MOONDOOR!
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Moondoor is the Disc Golf Course in Mundy Park in Coquitlam, for those interested. The above picture is all of us standing where the Queen's tent would have been. As part of the tour, we actually got a map of Moondoor. It's amazing. They spent 4 days filming there, but in total - including prep and greenery-restoration afterward, they spent about 3 weeks at this location.
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We also saw the field where the battle took place (we re-enacted it a little), and the woods where the bulk of the confrontations took place.

Back on the bus, Russ talked about what he likes about the film industry - the fact that if you go to set, you'll see 100 guys seemingly sitting around not doing anything, but as soon as something needs doing, they're up and doing it so efficiently that it's amazing. He says that if they shoot at a house, they can have a hundred people in the house and within an hour of wrap, it's as though no one was ever there at all.

He also talked about how they don't film in real cemeteries out of respect for the dead. If they are in a real cemetery, than they're in unused sections with their own headstones.

We also drove NEAR to the studio, and Russ talked about how when they first started there was absolutely nothing around the studio, and now it's all built up. Indeed, we passed what had been a field the last time I was on the location tour, and it is now a nearly completed office building. Supernatural is still the only major studio in their neck of the woods though - they're surrounded by office buildings otherwise.

Next up was Richard Roman Enterprises from 7x20 The Girl with the D&D Tattoo:
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The building is actually Ritche Bros Auctioneers. It's a really neat building. It has nearly 0% waste (the onsite daycare's diapers prevents them from having 0%...obviously they haven't hired a diaper service.) The building isn't actually that tall, but they filmed it in a way to make it look taller. (The glass elevator goes up 3 floors.)
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They also changed the look of the lobby a little, of course. They took out the doors and replaced them with doors made of candy glass for the Bobby to crack and then the stunt guys to bust through.

It's also the only time they've filmed on Sunday, because it was the only way the location could fit into the schedule. They filmed on Sunday all night long.

Just down the road from Richard Roman Enterprises is a Nokia office building, and that's where they did the sign crash and drive-up seen for the S7 finale.

And thus concluded the tour!

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Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
galwithglasses
Aug. 23rd, 2013 10:03 am (UTC)
Charlie's great glass elevator.....

Thanks for the report and the pics. It's a lot of fun to see how much they do with sites to make them work for the show.
hells_half_acre
Aug. 23rd, 2013 04:18 pm (UTC)
I agree! They really manage to make them look like completely different places with (seemingly) very little additions, and the rest with lenses and camera angles.

:)
quickreaver
Aug. 23rd, 2013 11:42 am (UTC)
Looks like the weather took pity on the tour and you had a beautiful day! Kuma is the happiest dog ever.

THE WORK it takes to film, man. Looks so effortless when we watch it. Fascinating!

Thanks for the report. :D
hells_half_acre
Aug. 23rd, 2013 04:17 pm (UTC)
Kuma had 50+ fangirls giving him pets and cooing over him - so yes, he was a very happy dog!

And VERY nice weather, a little TOO nice, I was melting a little.

Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed the report!
borgmama1of5
Aug. 23rd, 2013 01:14 pm (UTC)
Reading this, I can't help but think how awesome it would be to watch one whole day of filming, just to see what Russ talked about!
hells_half_acre
Aug. 23rd, 2013 04:16 pm (UTC)
I've watched filming as an extra before, and while it can be very boring, it can also be fascinating. Especially, I find, as an extra who moves from set to set... you get to see the different sets and how they function and feel.

I've only watched SPN film for an hour or so in the evening - and it was ridiculously entertaining solely because of Jared having fun. But I also did see what Russ was talking about, when everyone just grabbed a piece of equipment and walked the whole show 100 meters up the road and had everything set back up again and ready to film in 10 minutes.
sandymg
Aug. 23rd, 2013 01:27 pm (UTC)
Fascinating. I'm living vicariously through you these days! Your reports are so detailed and laid out wonderfully. A pleasure. Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us in such a delightful manner.
hells_half_acre
Aug. 23rd, 2013 04:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks! The rest of the Con reports will probably be slower in coming. I'm hoping to get Friday up on Saturday, and Saturday up on Sunday, etc... but we'll see. It might very well be Tuesday before weekend gets posted.

But my con-report philosophy is always "if I weren't at this con, what kind of a report would I like to read?" so I'm glad you are enjoying them! :)
daisychain1957
Aug. 23rd, 2013 04:42 pm (UTC)
Such a great time, thanks for sharing your experiences :D
cosmicviolet
Aug. 25th, 2013 07:49 am (UTC)
Here via missyjack - thanks for sharing, it's cool to know where these places are in real life. And that is a beautiful dog. :) I had samoyeds growing up, they're great dogs.
Hope you don't mind if I friend you? I need more BC fans on my list. :)
hells_half_acre
Aug. 25th, 2013 02:59 pm (UTC)
I don't mind if you friend me at all. :)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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