Filming Abuses Land Woman In Burger King
Rather than lying in bed last night, a Powell St. resident was sitting in Burger King until almost 11 p.m. That was to avoid being poisoned during the filming of “Psych Season 2″ outside her apartment. Last month, she sat in Burger King until almost 11 p.m. on Mon. August 20th. That was to avoid being poisoned during the filming of “Circle” outside her home.
This woman got carbon monoxide poisoning during the filming of a Honda commercial in 2000. She claims that the Vancouver Film Office responded to the poisoning by continuing to create the conditions that caused it.
“The Vancouver Film Office was created in order to ensure that filming takes place in a way that is least disruptive to the citizens of Vancouver.” Vancouver Film Office website
During the filming of the Honda commercial, the resident alleges, the crew left a generator running just below her window, along with an idling truck, for most of the day.
After a year of struggling to have health and safety standards recognized on Powell St. during a period of mounting film fatigue in the over-filmed Downtown Eastside, the resident did get a letter from Muriel Honey, Manager of the Vancouver Film Office, dated Sept. 24, 2001. “The complaints you raised during the filming were valid — specifically the problems with generators spewing fumes right under the window of your home. . . .” It is now six years later and the same conditions continue to be re-created.
The resident did not get much satisfaction from Honda either. She told Honda in writing in 2000 that she had gotten sick. How did they respond? “They didn’t”, she says.
Mercedes Benz was responsive though, she says. In September 2001, Mercedes Benz canceled a commercial at that location at the last minute. “I bet that cost them something,” she says.
There is no mention of this background, of course, on the BC Film Commission website which promotes this strip of Powell St. as a prime filming location on their home page.
The public image promoted by the Vancouver Film Office and the BC Film Commission is that they value cooperation with residents, but this resident says it’s been her experience that residents who expect genuine cooperation are seen as “troublemakers”. The fact that she spoke up during the filming of “It’s a Girl Thing” starring Kate Capshaw (Capshaw is married to Steven Spielberg who appeared to be on the set as well) was used against her by a location manager during the Honda commercial. The location manager, “Brian”, wrote a memo ridiculing her.
To find out how she was ridiculed in the memo and why this Powell St. resident sees internet exposure as one solution to alleged unfair filming practices, or to read the full article and comments, go to the Downtown Eastside Enquirer