Behind the scenes of pandemic comedy thriller 'Outrunners' filming in Kamloops | Kamloops News | iNFOnews

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Behind the scenes of pandemic comedy thriller 'Outrunners' filming in Kamloops

An actor playing a dead body in the film Outrunners in downtown Kamloops.
September 20, 2020 - 7:00 AM

A Kamloops-born director and screenwriter was fleeing the big city at the beginning of the global pandemic when he got an idea for a film. 

In early March, Ken Hegan had a car full of tinned goods, gin and personal possessions when he left Vancouver for Kamloops.

"It occurred to me on the drive up," Ken Hegan said. "I thought, I should really write about this, it’s such an exceptional year."

Inspired by the dozens of bizarre and unprecedented news stories that surfaced daily, Hegan wrote the script for a pandemic comedy thriller.

Outrunners tells the story of a reality TV actress whose show gets cancelled due to the pandemic, similarly to how Big Brother Canada was cancelled March 24. 

Crew for the film Outrunners in downtown Kamloops.
Crew for the film Outrunners in downtown Kamloops.

Because the cast had been locked down during production, they didn't know about the pandemic until it was revealed to them on the show. 

"I thought, that’s interesting. I wanted to know what happened next to those people," Hegan said. "So that’s what I wrote into my script."

Director of Outrunners Ken Began on set in downtown Kamloops.
Director of Outrunners Ken Began on set in downtown Kamloops.

The protagonist, accompanied by one of her former co-stars, has only three hours to make it across town to save her mother's life, all the while being chased by by snipers and reality show camera crews.

Outrunners began filming in Kamloops Sept. 14, and will wrap Sept. 29. Hegan said although he had doubts about the wildfire smoke initially, the hazy skies from U.S. wildfires actually works perfectly for the film.

“The apocalypse has arrived just in time to film it," he said. “That’s how it takes place, there’s distant fires, it couldn’t be better for filming."

He said it worked out well for filming that he ended up in Kamloops as well.

"Kamloops has a much richer range of looks, we’ve got forest here, we’ve got desert, we’ve got cliffs and beautiful lakes, fishing resorts," he said. "It’s much greater opportunity for a wider range of genres and stories to be told."

Director Ken Hegan on the set of Outrunners in downtown Kamloops.
Director Ken Hegan on the set of Outrunners in downtown Kamloops.

The crew will be moving on from Kamloops to film some parts of the movie in other locations, and Hegan plans to have it wrapped by Halloween.  

He'll be looking for some celebrities for cameos, and if all goes well, premiering Outrunners at film festivals this spring. 

He is also preparing a pitch to Netflix.

Actors in Outrunners, filming in downtown Kamloops.
Actors in Outrunners, filming in downtown Kamloops.

For anyone local who wants to be involved with the project, Hegan has two opportunities.

"If anyone would like to come out and be a production assistant and help us out for a day or two, we'd love to have you join us," he said.

Standard safety protocols include a temperature check and COVID-19 exposure questionnaire before entering set, and wearing a mask at all times. Actors are the only ones who remove their masks, and strictly for filming a scene. 

Hegan also extended an offer to local businesses for product placements in the film.

Anyone interesting in being a production assistant or featuring their business in Outrunners can email Hegan here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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