So I’m walking briskly through the usual office corridors on my way to drop off samples – I always walk briskly, because I am hopeful that if I move fast enough my body language will communicate ‘successful career woman’ instead of ‘woman who forgot to make the hair appointment this week’.

Anyhoo, so the walk is brisk and relatively automatic…hello sample rooms, hi random lunch remnants glued to the kitchen microwave, howdy lingerie buyer’s office with the nursing-bra-shaped flyer on the door…until I get to the receiving area, which is a hallway that connects the loading docks to the mailroom, and realise I can’t go any further as the way is being blocked by several paramedics (!) plus a bunch of concerned and excited-looking passers-by, none of whom I have ever seen in my life. And fresh off the set of Total Non-Sequitur Theatre, here is also an elderly guy in a Hawaiian shirt and straw boater.

Actually, as you may have guessed by now – took me about five seconds to stride briskly the hell out of there and find out – all of these people were on-set for some ruddy Canadian TV show or another, I’ve long since shirked the duty of keeping track of which is which. It’s the one that features Jimmy Buffett wannabes solving crimes next to random special-order appliances, is the best I can tell you. You might wanna keep an eye on the listings.

What gets me about this entire sequence of events enough to record it isn’t so much the novelty – those fellow Torontonians reading this are already laughing, shaking their heads and sharing their ‘stumbled on-set’ stories, possibly their collections. You cannot stride anywhere in Hollywood North without somebody’s recording the local colour for posterity. Which, I might add, does not exactly do wonders for preserving the Magic of Filmmaking. I understand that 99.99% of anything is grunt work, and TV is no exception; but there is still something deeply bemusing about watching people make elaborate efforts to document completely mundane walls, alleys, gas stations, that kind of thing.

There are far too many cables and trailers and featureless side streets and not enough Brad Pitt in the Canadian filmmaking mileu, is what I am delicately trying to hint here. Not that any self-respecting Torontonian would ever admit this. Next time we’re at a party, remind me to tell you about the time a bunch of apparently frightened squawking kids ricocheted off Shoemom and I – thus, I fondly envision, earning us immortality as Startled Adults Nos. 3 & 4 in That One Kid’s Show (Probably Based Off a Popular Scholastic Book Series) Where They Panic Outside the Museum a Lot.

Even under these circs, however, I reserve the right to be genuinely tickled over the cop show filming in our receiving area. I could not for the life of me figure out how it had been selected for the honour. I envision Canadian production execs standing around at cocktail parties, going “Damn, Harvey, if I could only get the right atmosphere for the big murder scene! I want something different, something…shiny. Yeah, reflective surfaces, that’s the way to go! The cold, cold Big City reflected in the paramedic’s eyes…”

And Harvey goes “Look, Don, I still got the number of that guy who lent us the blanket for the latest Native doc, lemme make some calls.”


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. shing_
    Aug 23, 2008 @ 22:54:46

    Hmmm, cop show? Probably “Flashpoint” — which is a pretty good show btw — as they film in Toronto (as Toronto!) and I’ve just recently spotted them over at City Hall. Also saw them shooting at Osgoode a while back.

    So funny that you walked on set. I’ve seen lots of filming but never accidently walked onto the set.

  2. shoebox2
    Aug 23, 2008 @ 22:57:19

    Flashpoint! That’s it! Thanks much.

    Yeah, the Hawaiian shirt thing was kinda traumatic. I will say, though, they do a nice line in realistic paramedic unis.

  3. solo_1
    Aug 24, 2008 @ 14:33:54

    Hee…funny how a “normal” day at the office can turn out.

    I am actually enjoying Flashpoint so far – it’s sort of low key exciting if you know what I mean.

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