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UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 11 | Sep. 5 , 2002

On Location at UBC

Campus popular with filmmakers

By Helen Lewis

On an average day, Cecil Green Park House is home to bright reception areas and busy university offices. But when the crew of The Dead Zone rolls in, it becomes the moody Maine mansion of psychic hero Johnny Smith.

Based on the characters of a popular Stephen King novel, The Dead Zone follows the story of Smith who, after a tragic car accident, awakens from a coma with paranormal powers.

The Dead Zone crew films the outside of Cecil Green Park House for "establishment shots" of Johnny Smith's home, and has special sets constructed for the interior scenes.

UBC is a regular location for the USA Network cable series, which broke rating records with its June debut to become the top basic cable original dramatic series ever.

Cecil Green Park is just one of many UBC locations used by film crews. With about 70 days of filming taking place on campus in an average year, makeup trailers, catering vans, film crews and directors' chairs are a common sight - particularly around Main Library, the Chan Centre and the Chemistry Building.

Big-budget feature films Anti-Trust, Josie and the Pussycats and Along Came A Spider and popular television shows Smallville, Dark Angel and Mysterious Ways have filmed here - bringing with them stars like Kristin Kreuk, Rachel Leigh Cook, Tom Welling, Ryan Phillippe, Tara Reid, and Claire Forlani.

In 2001, UBC saw the filming of eight television series, nine feature films, six movies of the week, three documentaries, four educational films, five commercials, one video, one pilot and one miniseries.

Commercials filmed on campus include those for Compaq, Nescafe, Nintendo, Chase Manhattan Bank, Mitsubishi, Sprite and Wal-Mart. Television series such as Seven Days, These Arms Of Mine, Higher Ground and Poltergeist: The Legacy have also filmed scenes at UBC. The Dead Zone location manager, Mary Jo Beirnes, said UBC was "an awesome place to film" because of its old stone buildings and beautiful gardens.

Strict guidelines are in place to ensure filming does not disrupt university activities, and to preserve UBC's reputation and public image.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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