April 10, 2014 - 2:44 PM
KAMLOOPS — The current movie being filmed in Kamloops, Monster Trucks, is just one of several large productions expected to be in the city this year.
Thompson-Nicola Film Commission Executive Director Vicci Weller says while she cannot talk about the movie that is filming around town she is excited to have some big stars walking among us.
“Frank Whaley is here, I'm a big fan,” Weller confirms of fan sightings, adding she is excited to have director Chris Wedge in town as well.
Several people have reported seeing Whaley at the downtown Coopers earlier this week with some flocking to the airport to try and get a peak at the action.
At least one local was chosen to stand in as casting companies put out several calls for background extras and stand-ins for some of the stars, including Whaley and Amy Ryan.
The bread and butter for the local industry has been TV series as big U.S. Feature films continue to decline and a slow 2013 was proof of that. Weller says the area goes through ups and downs regularly though and 2014 is shaping up to be one of the big ups.
“We average a location request every three days... where we're considered for a film,” Weller says. “there's a couple big ones coming up, and a couple smaller (projects) as well.”
She notes there is another big production set to begin filming soon and another that is 'still up in the air.' There is also location scouting taking place later this month for yet another film.
“We lure them and then try to keep them here,” she says, adding they are always asking themselves, “How can we build on that?”
She notes every production that comes to town brings benefits, from the airport and hotels to crews and equipment rentals, but the big benefit is the money spent by the actors and crews in town and the sense of pride people in the community develop when a big production brings big stars to Kamloops.
“Someone thought you were beautiful enough to put up there,” Weller says, “There's pride in that.”
Monster Trucks is a Paramount Animation film combining live action with animation, with an estimated production budget of $125 million. The movie is expected to be released in May 2015. Chris Wedge, of Ice Age and Epic fame, is directing while cast includes Whaley, Ryan, Jane Levy, Lucas Till and Danny Glover. Little is known of the plot at this point but crews are currently filming a scene that takes place in North Dakota.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014