Hollywood North at the College
Hollywood North was back in production again at St. Joseph’s College this summer, flooding the streets with huge trailers and blocking neighbourhood traffic. Along with our residence programme, we hosted two movies. The first was a film entitled Four Minutes — centering on the running of the first four-minute mile.
The second company was here for a month filming a horror movie called Silence featuring Donnie Wahlberg. At one point, the whole of the Christie Mansion was shrouded in black to keep out all light so they could create thunderstorms in absolute darkness. This film used exotic artifacts, furnishings and paintings, each valued in the millions. Although the company was here for a month, the shots taken will represent only four minutes in the final feature film.
Over the years we have had some significant names visiting our house. Christopher Plummer was here for a week this year. In other years we have seen Burt Reynolds, Brook Shields, Sidney Poitier and his daughter, and Arnold Schwartzenager, to name a few.
The Christie Mansion is a great drawing card. Last year scenes from the Disney’s Ice Princess and Samantha – An American Girl were filmed here. We have also had still photo shoots in the mansion. One was an artist in architectural photography (Cross-Canada Architecture Photography, Vancouver) and one for a style magazine, Style and Home, with a former resident.
Each movie leaves something behind to enhance the College. The drapes used in Samantha were left for us. Several rooms were painted in true “Victorian mansion style.” The cordage on the circular staircase was renewed. And of course, the reason for it all — the revenue — has helped us keep our fees at a reasonable level so as many students as possible will have had an opportunity to live in residence.
By Conrad Lauber CSJ