A couple of big-name celebrities have been hanging out near Ile des Chenes, Manitoba over the past few days.
Liam Neeson and Laurence Fishburne and a large accompanying camera crew have been shooting a fictitious action film at Chroma Ranch, the green screen facility just north of Île des Chênes. Owner John Mysyk has been in the industry for 20 years and says working with Hollywood superstars, for him, is just another day on the job.
“This is kind of average,” he laughs. Still, Mysyk admits, he has not yet actually encountered either celebrity.
“Those guys have been so busy. There is no time for chitchat right now. When you are out here, you’re fighting the cold and everything needs to be done with military precision. It’s not really socializing time.”
Though the bitter weather has been a formidable opponent over the past two days, in many ways it fits the script. The movie that is being shot is called “Ice Road”. In it, protagonist Liam Neeson must rescue a group of trapped miners by travelling over a treacherous road of ice. Mysyk says his property is being used to help bring some of the action scenes to life.
He says a good action scene is always a blend of reality and computer-generated imagery or CGI.
“For example, we are doing scenes where trucks are going through the ice and so they’ve been pouring ice here and they’ve dug a huge hole where there is actual water with ice on top, that’s the practical side. So it’s real ice, but most of it is on stable ground.”
The green screen backdrop, of course, will be used to make a relevant background.
Mysyk says part of his role during this filming process is monitoring the many safety concerns that tend to pop up when hundreds of people are walking around on ice in the frigid cold.
Crews left Mysyk’s facility late last night to film elsewhere in rural Manitoba. They will be returning to the set for another nine days later this month.