By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Fans of Kevin Zegers no doubt have been thrilled to see him on set today in Victoria, British Columbia as Gracepoint is being filmed. He starred in The Colony, a sci-fi thriller that was directed by Jeff Renfoe, who happens to be raised in Victoria. But his geek culture connections do not end there. I remember him in X-Files “Revelations” and Smallville “Magnetic.”
In this new crime drama series, he’s playing a roving reporter, whom that (I assume) breaks the story about the discovery of a child found dead at a beach. Foul play is eventually suspected and therein lies a vaguely Twin Peaks styled story (minus the David Lynch influence) that will be the thread of how each episode will tie together. This series is loosely based off the BBC production Broadchurch.
Interestingly enough, the two shows will have one special connection that will no doubt have David Tennant fans living in the Capital Region squealing with delight. Yes, this exceptional actor will be in Victoria. I loved how he played the character of Barty Crouch Jr. in the fourth Harry Potter film — his manic zest was perfect — and he was great as the young Casanova. Doctor Who only elevated his status as a beloved actor. If he is not here yet, he soon will be. My guess is that he will reprise his character of Detective Inspector Alec Hardy from the original series. In Gracepoint, he is known as Detective Emmett Carver. Other performers that are in town include Nick Nolte, Anna Gunn, Jacki Weaver, Michael Pena, Kevin Rankin and Virginia Kull.
Today marks the official start of the production and I had to stop by Oak Bay mid-morning to check out one of the primary locations that will be used during the four-month filming that will occur around the Lower Mainland / Saanich Peninsula. Additional locations include Brentwood Bay and Sidney. Apparently a bit of action will happen within the neighbourhood of James Bay too. When I go to a film set to observe what happens, I let patience be my virtue; I was fortunate enough to meet Hugh Jackman when Xmen-2 was filmed here and get his autograph on the back of my prescription.
Respecting how a set works is vital to maintaining a good relationship with the “Hollywood” work-force. It’s natural to be curious about the process since nearly everyone gets their entertainment from a film, television or live theatre show. I have done work in the latter two and it can be a lot of stress. But it’s also fun too. I feel that it is important to let the actors come to the fans when they are ready to interact with the them. It’s good public relations. I heard that Mr. Zegers did do that earlier in the morning to a handful of lucky fans. If only I woke up earlier … but congrats to them!
And much like what this series is about, I enjoy a good mystery too. I will be anxiously waiting to see the finished product. I think it is more fun to point at the TV and say, “I know that location!”
While I watched from a vantage point from across the street, the following images are what I was able to take a snapshot of while production was going on. It should serve as a good enough teaser of how this TV series will look for the curious around the world. Yes I will be tuning in to FOX’s broadcast of this show late this year and into the next.
I have to thank the management of the Oak Bay Bistro for allowing me to take snapshots of their establishment. This place will be another location that will be used in this municipality. Shooting is expected to happen Thurs / Friday of this week and I believe it will be closed to the public during those days. Eventually I like to review this place for a different blog, Two Hungry Blokes, with my buddy-in-crime, James Shaw, just to see what has changed since we last visited it back when it was known as The Blethering Place. At least the decor has not changed by much, but I suspect the menu has.