Posts tagged Vancouver


Remembering an Amazing Few Weeks.

On July 2, 2003 the International Olympic Committee announced that Vancouver, British Columbia would be hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics.  It was down to PyeongChang, South Korea and Vancouver; Salzburg Austria knocked out in the first round.  I was working at an internet cafe at the time, and had the TV tuned into a local channel filming inside GM Place (now Rogers Arena) waiting for the winning city to be named.  When the IOC pronounced Vancouver as the winner everyone in GM Place burst into cheers.  As did I, jumping up and down, fist pumping away much to the amusement of customers watching as well.  I had always liked watching the Olympics, admittedly the winter games more than the summer – probably the Canadian thing.

February 12th, 2011 marked the one-year anniversary (celebration) of the games and almost a year since my last day at work with the Olympic Broadcasting Services Vancouver (OBSV).  A job that became 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, but an experience I wouldn’t change for anything.  Well… maybe a trip in the T.A.R.D.I.S., but even that would be a tough decision.

That picture above sums up my job, Accreditation and Uniform coordinator.  Basically – made sure the 2500+ staff working for OBSV had the correct information to pass a security check, and the proper clearance for venues.  There were a lot of bad photos that wouldn’t pass strict Canadian security laws, and poorly filled out personal information sheets.  OH!  And the database wasn’t working properly so all the letters containing each individuals work period, hotel contacts, etc had to be done offline.

Still wouldn’t change a thing.

Luckily the hard work brought some pretty awesome perks.  The picture above was taken before they put a second fence around the cauldron to keep everyone away.  I guess folks were jealous that we (broadcast media working from the Vancouver Convention Centre VCC) got to get all cozy with it and they were stuck behind a huge throng of people.  See below…

Most of the OBSV staff were able to go to at least one of the opening ceremonies dress rehearsal, and offered a ticket for the actual ceremony.  But being the good sister that I am stuck to my promise to watch it with her on her BF’s big screen TV.  It was fun adding a colourful commentary, at least for me it was.  Sorry no pictures, we weren’t allowed to take any so if I posted some…

Walking up the steps to the ballroom of the convention centre every morning we were met with six screens each broadcasting a different feed.

There was always a “Beauty Cam” of Whistler, the IBC (International Broadcast Center at VCC) and the cauldron.  You know when the broadcasts cut to a quick shot in between breaks?  That’s what they are called, Beauty Cam.  We once had coworkers who were in Whistler Village find the camera and wave.  It may have made it on TV, you never know!

The live feeds were fun.  TV’s spread out all across the offices, conference rooms, and ballrooms.  A listing of what was scheduled on each channel was emailed out every morning, and since a TV was right by my desk at the end of a long row, I got to watch what I wanted.  Most of the time, and I still had to work of course.  Starting a 7am shift was definitely made easier with a morning show airing beside me.

Of course no broadcasting centre would be complete without something to broadcast.  CTV, NBC, European stations and others were set-up in the VCC, filming their interviews, coverage and what I believe is called lead-ins.  That I’ll explain soon.  I myself didn’t see too many athletes, of course being just a tad biased I would be looking  out for the Canadian ones.  Especially the Canadian men’s Curling team, I developed a major crush on one of them.  Apparently missed them by about 20 minutes… after already waiting an hour after my 12 hour shift before giving up and going home.

There was days off and fun times after work as well.  Using our accreditation (security passes) to get past the line-up into a LiveCity show, one in pouring rain and the other abruptly stopped four seconds into Alexisonfire when the stage was rushed.  Still… NO LINES.  The streets were filled with people singing, laughing, displaying flags and colours.  The impromptu renditions of “Oh Canada” were always a blast.  Going to curling, figure skating, women’s hockey and a medal ceremony with my mom and sister.

I could keep going with pictures and everything that happened, that would be an incredibly long post, so I shall leave you with some Best-Of moments and a Flickr page of pictures.

Some Best of Moments

Introducing a star struck fan to the Skeleton gold medal winner, John Montgomery.  I was walking out of our daily meeting and this kid was visibly shaking from excitement and nervousness at the sight of him.  I nonchalantly told him to wait and I would get him a picture.  Waiting until Mr. Montgomery was finished with his conversation and asked if he minded taking a picture with the fan.  He obliged, of course.  it was really cute.

Going to Curling, my sister seeing for the first time ever.  The fans were so loud and we got to see the Norwegian’s awesome pants.  And yep Canada “swept” it.

Getting a call at 5pm with the offer of four free tickets to the Russia vs Slovakia women’s hockey game at 7pm.  Fifth row behind the bench.  Thanks Boss man!

Watching Billy Bush from “Access Hollywood” trying to film his intros and the floatplanes kept taking off in the background, over and over and over again.  On more than once occasion, never ceased to crack me up.

Noticing that ‘tobaganning’ was displayed on screen and letting the guy in charge of the captions know – they’re room was right behind my desk.  “Tobogganing” wasn’t displayed again but they still needed the correction – and I caught it!

The wrap party after the men’s Gold Medal hockey game filled with food, booze and dancing after an intense two weeks… for a couple thousand people.  There were folks crashed out on the VCC’s furniture and having to work in a few hours, talking to members of the Russian media about their upcoming turn at things and dancing.  Did I mention that already?  Everyone was feeling a little rough the next day, and most came in closer to noon…

Knowing how badly my mom wanted to see a Canadian flag at the gold medal during the Victory Ceremony we went to, and not telling her when I figured out we would be seeing it.  I initially said they would award the medal in Whistler and we could see the live feed, but I was mistaken – and decided to let her believe it for the surprise.  It totally worked, she was so happy.

So there’s a bit about my life during the games.  As I said before, an amazing experience.  Please check out my Flickr page if you want to see more of what those crazy few weeks were like. *forgive the camera quality, just a little point and shoot*

A Geek Girl’s Mecca

X Files
Battlestar Galactica

Stargates series
Outer Limits
What do all of those shows have in common?
I’m sure you can think of a few, but wait there’s more, perhaps something similar to…
X-Men series
Fantastic Four series
I Robot
The Neverending Story
Blade series
Twilight series (well most of it)
Night at the Museum
Rocky IV
Aliens vs Predator
Ok ok… I know you all get it by now. All of these films and TV shows have been filmed in beautiful British Columbia. As a fan girl I get an immense amount of pride spotting BC and especially Vancouver landmarks in the movies so many people love.
Quite recently I watched the last bit of “Neverending Story” and for the first time fully realized that the shot was coming in from North Vancouver
My heart was very very happy indeed.
It goes beyond the little things of noticing a specific location in a movie or TV show that you watch. It’s the personal interactions you have with the filming. One of my favourite memories is watching a protest scene with a fireball at the end. The office I was sitting in was about a block away (on the 11th floor of the building below on the left side) but all day I could hear.
Photo by me – the monument is important
“Rah rah rah”
Looking out the window I see people shaking signs
and fists in the air in a very organized manner
“Rah rah rah”
Wooooooooosh – Big fireball shooting up into the sky
Exciting to see the first time, and as the day went on the fireball got bigger and bigger and bigger. I could quite literally feel the heat from it if I faced the windows. I was so excited. I knew it was for the most recent X-Men after a quick Google search and could not wait to see it on film. I have to admit I was a bit let down once I realized how little of that fireball we actually got to see, but I can’t help but smile. I saw that being filmed! I was there (sorta); I got to see what was happening!
Another favourite moment was when I was watching X-Files: I Want to Believe. That pivotal scene with Mulder and Scully in bed together, I literally sat up and went “Woah!” My curtains were the same material as their blanket, yeah that’s right those are my curtains in the middle image! Guess the set designers went shopping at the Army & Navy like I did.

I know – cool right?

I will admit I have been lazy with filming locations. If I had really wanted to (and with a vehicle rather than a bus pass) I could stake out many locations of films and television series alike. In fact quite recently I was taking our local rapid transit, Skytrain, over what I’m sure is a Smallville lot twice a day. And there are always notices in the local paper about what is filming around town. My friend just told me other day that he saw “Zane” from Eureka by his work. I saw a bunch of “Hellcats” by Canada Place while having appys with my mom and sister.
Sometimes it’s really obvious that what I’m watching was filmed locally. Especially when you see the same faces over and over again. Some sort of Canadian content law like we have on the radio? It’s fun though! And I doubt that I would feel the same way if I were living in NYC or LA where it’s commonplace as well. I think the difference is that Vancouver is made up to appear like all these other cities. To be able to pick out that the Golden Gate Bridge most think they are seeing, is actually the Lions Gate Bridge creates a feeling of pride to live in this beautiful city.
photo by me – Lions Gate Bridge
A few more of my fan-girl moments in brief:
An episode of Smallville where they didn’t bother to change the street sign for Burrard St. downtown.
The local buses I have spotted more than once on Fringe, particularly when they are meeting in front of this monument and the camera is spinning around the actors. That monument is actually right in front of the office building I was watching the X-Men scene from, you can see it in the photo.
Seeing the house from one of my favourite Outer Limits episodes, The SpiderKings, when leaving Horseshoe Bay on BC Ferries
An old friend from high school worked on the special effects make-up for Freddy vs Jason – he said “doing Freddy Krueger’s make-up was one of the best moments in my life”
Kevin Durand who was in X-Men Origins used to frequent the internet café I worked at, he’s such a sweetheart
Seeing the “NYC” subway stop that was recently in a Fringe episode. When I saw it wandering around downtown I didn’t know it would be on one of my favourite shows, then again it’s probably been used a lot.
And last but most definitely not least, watching the Winchester brothers’ race in a soapbox derby. The screen the camera is aiming at in the beginning of the video was where I was sitting, on the opposite side from the cameraman, so while I didn’t get to see them coming down the road I got a close up view of them on the screen! I was too excited to take pics of my own wanting to see those gorgeous demon hunters!

The list that I mentioned at the beginning is an incredibly small portion of all the movies and TV shows, which have been filmed in and around Vancouver. No matter what genre you’re interested in there’s sure to be some ‘local’ connection for a Vancouverite. Only one aspect of Vancouver being a “Geek Girl’s Mecca” – more to come!
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