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Behind the scenes on Bloodsuckers

Hunting vampires and searching for natural resources in Squamish

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So there I was at Vancouver film studios. Already extremely pleased about making snacks for a cast read through when, out of the blue, I fall into the greatest job ever. They needed someone to handle the camera side of the electronic press kit for their new film they were shooting, Bloodsuckers. I know how to use a camera. It worked out perfectly and I remember thinking on the SkyTrain home, man, you better read that script.

When I began to read Bloodsuckers , the newest release from Vancouver producer Gilles Laplante ( Snakehead Terror 2004) (mental note to watch that one), I was pleased to find out that director Matthew Hastings ( Outer Limits, Higher Ground ) was also the writer and creator of the project. Perfect. In all senses of the word, the project was going to be passionate. I could only hope to properly describe the boundless enthusiasm of this shoot and the people that were brought together to make the story come to life.

Mainly shot in Squamish, it was the perfect setting for the intergalactic vampire film to begin. The film is being shot for Universal Television’s the Sci-Fi Channel, as a movie of the week. I hadn’t even finished the second page of the script and blood and gore was already the main focus. I was in heaven.

Basically humans in the year 2205 have exhausted all of the planet’s natural resources. (Yeah, 2205. Not that far away. Maybe you should recycle more.) And because we are all out of these vital essences, we steal them from other planets across the cosmos. The only problem is that the cosmos is infested with vampires. And not your typical cloaked, floating-down-stairwells vampires, but leather jacket-wearing, ass kicking, SOBs (also known as Vorhees) that stalk the universe for blood in humans that are left to roam the decrepit earth.

You think we’d be doomed, but thank gosh for the VSAN crew. It was only a matter of time before the world was completely ruled by corporations and in the year 2205, we are lucky enough to be owned by Americorp, who just so happens to provide us with the lovely services of The Vampire Sanitation Unit (VSAN Crew). Such a team would consist of Captain Churchill, (Joe Lando from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and Higher Ground), Damian Underwood (Dominic Zamprogna from Battlestar Galactica and Star Gate Atlantis) Rosa Wong (Leanne Adachi of DaVinci’s Inquest) and Roman Kuchinsky (Aaron Pearl from Wrongfully Accused).

The crew was perfectly cast: just the right type of rugged individuals who enjoy the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants lifestyle that is vampire hunting.

Quintana Lachna (Natassia Malthe who was in Elektra and A Guy Thing) a half human, half vampire has allied herself with the VSAN crew in hopes of avenging her parents’ murder and her own vampirizatiion (yes, it is a word). She guides the crew while keeping them out of vampire harm.

AJ Cook (The Virgin Suicides, Higher Ground, Out Cold) plays Fiona, a young scientist who struggles with the meaning of right and wrong between humans and vampires. Fiona also finds herself along for the ride with the crew.

The mixture of character type and species leaves promise for a lot of great conflict, humour and even a little romance, because as cheesy as it sounds, everybody needs somebody sometime. Another nice bonus is the appearances of Michael Ironside (The Perfect Storm, The Machinist), who plays the vindictive leader of the Vorhees, and Michael DeLuise. DeLuise works alongside Fiona to help in the battle of good verses evil in a world full of confused humans and hungry vampires. Plus the guy is Dom Deluise’s son. Hilarious.

I can’t wait for this film to come out. I love horror, and now have had the opportunity to fully experience sci-fi. Even a couple of times during the shoot, this young horror fan could be heard saying out loud, "now, that’s just gross."

The camera work and composition was beautifully led by director of photography Eric Goldstein, who was second unit director of photography on The Usual Suspects .

And the second unit for this show had Dave Pelletier as director of photography, who taught me two things: stay away from craft services and, composition wise, "to centre is to die."

Look for Bloodsuckes to air on Universal Television Network, Sci Fi Channel in March 2005.

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