Hell's Half Acre (hells_half_acre) wrote,
Hell's Half Acre

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VanCon 2013: Unofficial Location Tours

As I mentioned in my Friday Report, I had the privilege of going on an unofficial location walking-tour with John Marcynuk (Production Designer). He took us a LOT of places and told us a lot of things. It was all very interesting, though I wasn't taking notes, so now it's hard to remember. I took pictures of SOME of the places though - so I will share those.

Also, on Monday I went around the greater Vancouver area with raloria and metallidean_grl on our own little locations tour. So, I'm including those pictures in this post as well.

John's tour covered Chinatown and Gastown from the train station to close to Granville St. I'm not going to record where each and every building/location is, but if you want to know, just drop me a note and I'll find it on google maps and tell you.

First up, we have the hotel from S8's Freaks and Geeks. Down the block and next door to each other are also the places they used to fill in for the hospital and the police station.

Next we have Lucifer's apartment in S5's Swan Song. Originally, they wanted to use a taller building two blocks over, but it's on Hastings and Hastings is too busy a street. During the tour, John talked a lot about SPN's need for run down buildings, and how the gentrification of Vancouver is constantly changing the landscape on them... I mean, the problem with run down buildings is that they are eventually torn down and replaced with nicer things.

Into Gastown now - I took a picture of this building because it housed Dean Smith in S5's It's a Terrible Life. I always wondered where his apartment was, because he had a nice view of the Vancouver harbour. Well, apparently it's one of the penthouses on this place... you can't even really see them in this picture, because there the things build on the roof.

I'm not actually sure which episode they used the Rainer Hotel in - but they've used it. They like hotels with neon signs (as I'm sure you've noticed.) Many years ago, there was a trend in Vancouver to get rid of the hotel neon signs, but thankfully a few businesses ended up keeping there's as kind of heritage-y things.

The Blarney Stone bar in Gastown is a nice place. It was used in S7's Defending Your Life, as the place where Dean is drinking right before he's kidnapped by Osiris. I thought it was used in 6x01, but apparently that was another bar a few blocks over (I didn't get a picture of it, unfortunately, and now I forget the name.) Anyway, Gastown bars, man, they all look the same.

Blood Alley is a popular filming spot because it's all cobble stone and wrought iron and brick. It fills in for New Orleans, apparently. You may remember it from that scene in S7 where Bobby is possessing the maid and reaches into a pick-up truck to try to pick up a tire-iron.

The group heading down the alley that housed the door to the Men of Letters meeting hall in the 1950s, and then a comic book shop in 2013 (or 2015 whichever you prefer). John told us that if you look closely, all the comics in the comic shop are DC, because WB doesn't own the rights to Marvel stuff.

This is the alley that the boys said goodbye to John in way back in S1's Shadow.

As the sun sets, we find Meg's apartment from Shadow.

This parking lot and building were in two S6 episodes (at least). This is where Sam and Dean had their conversation at the end of Live Free of Twi-Hard (wherein Dean asks Sam if he's got Dean's back, and Sam, unconvincingly, assures him he does.) And then in 6x22 when Sam is trapped in his own head, he imagines staying in this hotel. Right next to it, it the entrance to the Vampires lair from Live Free or Twi-Hard too, but I didn't get a picture of that.

I wouldn't want to jump off this building - but that's what the dude did in S8's Hunteri Heroici. They actually built a green screen platform for him to step out onto... so yeah, the actor was actually up there, stepping off a roof onto a platform. I don't think I'd want to do that either.
ETA: I also forgot that the bottom floor was the exterior that they used for the bank in the same episode - with the alley there being the one where Dean found the hole in the wall. The interior of the bank was another location that we walked by (the same one as the vampire lair in Live Free or Twi-Hard). Trivia facts: The railings in the vampire lair are not used in the Men of Letter's bunker set. The owners of that interior location are no longer on good terms with SPN and they probably won't be filming there again.

And those are the best pictures I got from John's little tour.

Next up is Monday, when raloria and metallidean_grl and I did out own tour of locations...

First up, I took them back to the Men of Letters' bunker entrance, because they hadn't seen it yet. When I had been there on Thursday, it had completely escaped my notice that this was also the location where Henry Winchester had thrown up at the side of the road and told Sam and Dean that Abaddon was a demon from hell. :P

Once again, the bunker under the bridge.

Yours truly... with my eyes closed, because I'm a werewolf (oh wait, wrong show.)

Next up, we went down to the Department of Defense lands. Colloquially in the Supernatural world, this place is known as the "back 40", but I know it as the DoD lands, but it's actually called "North 40 Park Reserve". Anyway, back in the day it used to be a wireless station for the signal corps.

Now, of course, all the houses are gone and nature is slowly taking back the roads and foundations... so it ends up being both a cool place to walk your dogs and also a cool place to film.

This is the road Dean walked down in 8x01 when he got back from Purgatory and was making his way to Benny's grave.

Through here is where the Roadhouse used to be.

Here's us, taking pictures of buildings that aren't there - just another day in the life of a SPN fangirl. :P

Along here somewhere is where Sam and Dean were walking in S2's Everybody Loves a Clown.

I think it was at this point that they stopped and had their argument about Dean's feelings.

This is where the gas station was that Dean found in S4's Lazarus Rising after he returned from hell. His grave is also not far away, but it's hard to pin down it's location since they digitally removed all the trees from the show when he climbs out of the ground.

Speaking of S4's Lazarus Rising - this is the road Dean walks down to get to the gas station.

Here's metallidean_grl playing the part of Dean in Lazarus Rising.

This spot was most recently used for the gumbo shack that Benny worked in S8's Citizen Fang.

Kim Manner's tree and the spot that they built Rufus' cabin.

Me and Kim Manner's tree. I think it's a testament to how tired I was after the weekend that I can't seem to keep my eyes open for photographs.

Back to the gumbo shack - right in front of it is the crossroads that they use for the crossroads. If you look closely, you can still see the devil's trap from the end of S8 and (perhaps more famously) the Harlem Shake video. (If you are having trouble seeing it - its center is the patch of grass, and I'm standing at the base of the pentagram.)

Somewhere around here was Benny's camp from Citizen Fang, but we couldn't pinpoint it exactly. It was in a little oak grove like this one though.

Next up, we went not far from the studio (where we confirmed that they were filming indoors that day) to the Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Park...

A jogger met his end here back in S3. I think it was Time is On My Side.

Our big find here though was the graveyard from S2's What Is And What Should Never Be. This is where Dean gives his emotional speech over John's grave in the Djinn'verse. We pinpointed the exact location using the tree shapes and positions in a screen cap and then compensating for 6 years of tree growth in a temperate rainforest (that's a lot of growth!)

Just a little way down the path is this picnic bench, where Soulless!Sam broke Dean's little heart in S6's All Dogs Go To Heaven, when he told Dean that he didn't care about him.

I joked that I should do an album of all the places where Sam has broken Dean's little heart. We agreed that it would only make the Sam!girls mad at me and I'd have to do an album of all the places Dean has broken Sam's heart too. And that's when it occurred to me that Sam tends to break Dean's heart when they're on location, but Dean mostly breaks Sam's heart when they're filming in studio... odd that.

After that, we checked out the picnic bench where the heart-dude met his end in 8x08 Hunteri Heroici, and then we called it a day.

As I said before, if you're desperate to know where EXACTLY any of this stuff is, just let me know, and in my spare time I'll track down the coordinates for you.

Still to come: VFX(non)Con write-up.

Tags: spn locations, vancon2013

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