WORKING FOR HOLLYWOOD

Last year we were approached by Manitoba Film Productions to collaborate on a special effects scene for a Hollywood movie that was being filmed in our province.  The challenge was to build a temporary 40’x40’x8’ pool out of sea containers within a two week time limit.  Although the task was not impossible, it would require a heavy time commitment, and the clock was already ticking.  With no time to waste, we immediately started drawing out the plumbing schematics whilst seeking out same-day purchase orders from suppliers.  That’s right… same-day purchase orders!   Day 2 hadn’t even come to an end when we received word that the underwater plumbing had to be completed within the next 12 hours.  We scrambled to ensure all of the appropriate supplies were on site and that our schematics had been submitted.  By 8PM we had our night lights and safety gear set up so that we could work through the twilight shift.  It wasn’t easy, but with a little bit of coffee and some positive attitude, we made sure the job was done right.   Just as expected, the water haulers arrived on set at 8AM to begin the Great Fill.  I say the “Great Fill” because there was approximately 360,000L required for the scene.  That’s the equivalent of three large residential swimming pools!  Heating, pump power, water filtration rates… these are all aspects to consider when choosing the appropriate pool equipment.  Regardless, the Great Fill lasted a day, but we had already started construction around the equipment pads.   Over the next two weeks we spent long hours on set, both day and night, to ensure that the scene would be ready to pass inspection before the trial shoot.  Working alongside the crew of Ed Preston Production Services and Dynamic Effects Canada was a privilege, and, at the worst of times, a lot of fun.  The set was constructed in front of ADM storage on McGillivray Boulevard.   The day of the shoot finally arrived.  We were asked to stay on set for the duration of the day to ensure that everything was working smoothly.  The temperature was kept at 78F to ensure that the actors and animals were both comfortable in the water.  It was imperative that the chemical levels were within the Manitoba health code standards and that all safety equipment was on site at all times.  Straightforward stuff for us.   The shooting lasted all day.  There was a buzz around the whole set as hundreds of people worked in unison to transform this apparition into a living canvass.  Sound engineers collaborating with directors, script supervisors teaming up with actors, and the special effects crew doing what they do best.  Who knew the movie business could be so industrious!   “That’s it!  We got it!  That’s a wrap!” cried out the Director with pleased look stretching across his face.  Everyone cheered and hugged and shook hands.  The atmosphere was alive with laughter.  After weeks of hard work and days of intense shooting, there was enough footage for the post-production staff to play with.  It was time to call it a day.  We finished off the season with a tale to tell.  Well actually, we’ll let those with the ‘tails’ tell the story.  Be sure to check out the film “A Dog’s Purpose” in theatres on January 27th, 2017!   CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE OFFICIAL TRAILER   CLICK HERE FOR SOME BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTOS

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