Creative BC News

Walt Disney Studios salutes BC in “Tomorrowland”

May 15, 2015 | Interactive + Digital Media, News, Uncategorized

A non-stop thrill ride filmed in eight BC cities

Imagine a world where nothing is impossible.  

That’s the premise for the new Walt Disney feature, “Tomorrowland,” which opens in theatres on May 22nd,  and was acknowledged by the movie studio in a series of ads as “Proudly Filmed in Beautiful B.C.”

This riveting mystery adventure is directed by two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird (“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” The Incredibles”) and stars Academy Award® winner George Clooney.  Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank Walker (George Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space only known only as “Tomorrowland.”  What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.

British Columbia’s dynamic motion picture industry played an important role in making this quintessential Disney movie.  Filming took place in BC in eight different BC cities, including Enderby (a city in the North Okanagan region of BC), Armstrong, Richmond, Surrey, Burnaby, Delta, Langley and Vancouver, boosting local economies and creating jobs throughout the province.

One of the most amazing sets built in Vancouver was The Bridgeway Plaza Set which included the fully functional monorail, the huge energy sphere and the massive monitor, which took six months to construct and was about half the size of a football field.  The set was so enormous that no soundstage existed that could house it, and considerable height was also required for the intended aerial work above the set and for the cranes big enough to hold the lights required to illuminate everything.

Small miracles aside, perhaps the most impressive part of the Bridgeway Plaza set was the fully functional monorail. ““Once it was completely built and the lights and glass were put in it,” says special effects coordinator Mike Vezina, “it came out at about 35,000 pounds. So then we had the challenge of how to motivate 35,000 pounds of set down a track that was elevated 16 feet in the air, carrying all our principal cast, and needing to stop at exactly the same position time and again.”

The film started principal photography on a farm in Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada, and then the crew moved to a farm in Enderby, in British Columbia’s Okanagan, to shoot the Walker farm and its cornfields, also grown specifically for the production.  Additional BC locations include UBC, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, the Museum of Vancouver and the Vancouver Academy of Music, to name a few.

In all, the film had over 90 different combinations of sets and locations, and moved 10 times, almost unheard of in the industry .

Source: “Tomorrowland” Production Notes