When it was determined that the movie The Grey would be shot in Vancouver, Smithers was the first choice for its “on location” Alaskan scenes.
“Smithers was the first choice because of the way the mountain was positioned, the 360º views, as well as the assurance we would have the weather,” producer Jules Daly said.
It may have been tricky, Daly said, filming in such cold conditions, but in the end, “the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.”
The Grey is a movie about a group of oil-rig roughnecks who are thrust into the remote Alaskan wildness following their plane experiences a mechanical failure. Starring Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, James Badge Dale, Joe Anderson, Dallas Roberts and many more, it’s a production sure to wow action-movie lovers as the survivors battle mortal injuries, the biting cold and ravenous hunger, not to mention the pack of rogue wolves following their every move as they search for salvation.
Crews for The Grey had been on-site, working with Hudson Bay Mountain and with the Smithers Regional Airport, for quite some time, and shooting the on-location sites was wrapping up last week with the final shots: one that was actually the beginning of the movie, as the oil-rig workers depart for their remote camp via a small jet.
“The local guys were unusually good I have to say, for being newcomers to what we do,” Daly said.
Approximately 140 cast and crew members flooded into the small northern B.C. town for the shoot, some as soon as mid-summer to begin preparing for what was to come.
While they were only using the mountain and the airport for their shots, it’s been amazing, Daly said, how well they’ve been taken care of around town in other ways: the restaurants, the accommodations,
“It’s been great, everyone’s been very kind, everyone’s been really supportive of us and welcomed us here,” Daly said. “I’d definitely come back. I’ll recommend it to anyone who wants to come here.”
The film, said to be released in 2012, could even be released as soon as the end of this year, Daly said. It’s still too soon to say whether or not they’ll be hosting the world premiere of the movie in Smithers, Daly said. That would depend on a number of things, such as where the film is finished and their what their partners in distribution have to say, but there is the possibility of running a screening in Smithers, she said.
A number of those from the Bulkley Valley had signed up to be extras in the movie.