Vernon filmmaker brings Spider-man fan movie to the big screen | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon filmmaker brings Spider-man fan movie to the big screen

A shot from Spider-Island.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED: Mitchell Vanlerberg
November 05, 2020 - 6:00 AM

Vernon filmmaker Mitchell Vanlerberg describes himself as a huge Spider-man fan.

And Vanlerberg's appreciation for the Marvel comic book star has led to him making his own Spider-man fan movie, Spider-Island, which will hit the big screen in Vernon at the end of the month.

Vanlerberg began penning the script to Spider-Island in 2018, influenced in part by the passing of both Spider-man creators, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

"That year we lost both the creators of Spiderman... so I wanted to make a love letter to the Spider-man franchise," Vanlerberg said.

The story centres around Peter Parker, played by Vanlerberg, four years after he became Spider-man.

"It's taking a little bit of a toll on his life, he's a student at college but his responsibility to the city is really making it difficult for him to pass his classes and hold his job... and he really doesn't want to be Spider-man anymore," Vanlerberg said. "However, the rest of the city somehow gained spider powers just like him, so now he has this opportunity to no longer be Spider-man."

With the help of 18 volunteer actors and a crew that consisted mainly of him and his dad, Vanlerberg filmed the movie in and around Vernon over four months during 2019.

The streets of Vernon stand-in for New York City, with the Okanagan hills replaced with skyscrapers.

"A lot of visual effects were involved making the Okanagan pass for New York City," he said.

Vanlerberg is unsure of the cost of the movie but said the majority of the meagre budget was spent on props and costumes. He then spent months editing the footage in the hope of the first screening being held in the spring.

The pandemic put an end to that, but Spider-Island will now be shown at the Vernon Towne Cinema Nov. 26. With limited seating due to social distancing, there will be three screenings throughout the evening starting at 5:30 p.m.

All proceeds from the film will go to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

To purchase tickets go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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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