Canadians have more fun making movies
by Glen Schaefer, Movie Reporter
As an actor playing a priest intones a benediction over an open grave,
a man and a woman giggle and fidget off to the side.
A headset-wearing technician warns the two actors -- stars Adrian Paul
and Cyndy Preston -- to be quiet and director Gavin Wilding laughs.
"The Americans never have this much fun making a movie," Wilding says
over his shoulder.
They're playing with real money on the set of his new film Convergence
-- but at under $2 million, it's a micro-budget by U.S. standards -- and
the movie's subject matter is intense, about paranormal doings and death.
But there was a relaxed, kids-at-play aspect at work nonetheless as
the director marshalled his crew in an east Vancouver park. The four-week
shoot wrapped this week.
On one side of the park was a huge mock-up of an airplane's wrecked
tail-section, which was to be lit up that night with special- effects flames
to simulate an urban plane crash.
On the other side, where the cameras and lights are this moment, the
park was done up to look like a cemetery.
"We're burying my best friend today," Preston says. "I'm suspecting
that it's all my fault but I'm not sure yet."
Preston plays a 20-something newspaper reporter whose life starts getting
weird as friends start dying amid paranormal circumstances. She moves in
with a stranger, Paul's character, a coroner.
"He deals with dead bodies, he's a bit of a recluse," Paul says of his
American actor Christopher Lloyd plays a grizzled supermarket tabloid
journalist with a connection to the plane crash that Preston's character
survived as a girl.
Preston and Paul keep the mood light with off-camera jokes.
"Adrian's been like a brother -- he teases me constantly," Preston says,
slugging her co-star in the arm.
This day's shooting focusses on their two characters. Co-star Lloyd
emerges from his trailer to shoot a brief scene with them, paces the sidewalk
a bit and then goes back to the trailer, his work done for the day.
"He's a bit shy -- it was a week before he talked to any of us," a crew
Preston and Paul fill in the plot details, which have to do with a person
who cheated fate or destiny.
"I maybe should have died when I was 14, so bad things happen to people
around me," says Preston, who's sporting a fake bandage on her cheek for
"I get knocked around and Adrian stitches me up."
The Convergence cast was assembled on the fly -- Preston had the script
for less than a week before shooting and she's in 19 of the 20 shooting
"I hope we get all the pieces together, because this could be really
interesting," she says.
The actors had some script input during shooting, says Paul.
"Gavin's very open to ideas -- the script is a work in progress and
we've added things."