JOAN MILLER (Chairwoman of the CRFBC)
- What is exactly the task of the Campbell River Film Commission?
- The CRFC is responsible for scouting and liaisoning with [production]
companies, to provide information on the community.
- What were the other movies shot in the area before EATERS OF THE DEAD?
- Mostly, THE SCARLET LETTER.
- What do you think attracts the most moviemakers in Campbell River?
- The incredible natural locations!
- And what do you think attracted the filmmakers of EATERS OF THE DEAD?
- The availability of the location, which was situated on the edge of
the ocean, with the mountains in the background.
- When did you first hear about this project?
- The summer before filming took place. We worked on it for 11 months,
before they started principle photography. From start to finish!
- At the very beginning, EATERS OF THE DEAD was a Cinergi production,
before being taken over by Disney, after Cinergi's demise. Was there any
effect on your job?
- No, there was no effect on my job. I didn't even know that Cinergi had
demised - Executive Producer Andy Vajna is still working with companies
filming in Canada!
- Back in early 1997, wasn't Arnold Schwarzenegger attached to play a
small part in the film?
- That was just a rumour...
- Are location scouts the first people from the production you usually
- Most of the time, yes. But, in this case, John [McTiernan] did
his own scouting.
- What were your relationships with the director and producers? Did you
meet with John McTiernan?
- Yes, I worked with John, from the start. The producer Ned Dowd was great,
and so was Casey Grant.
- The EATERS OF THE DEAD set was a closed set. Was the press intrusive?
Was the secrecy hard to keep?
- Because the set was out of town, it was easier to keep secure. The community
was great. They were more interested in the economic benefits of the film
rather than being star struck. Our community is used to seeing celebrities,
as we are a famous tourist area. Many celebrities holiday here to enjoy
the fishing. The town has a practice of respecting their privacy. So they
will enjoy their stay and return again.
- Had the production to "rent" the site of Elk Bay to use it
for the shooting?
- Yes. The company leased the location off of a private Forest Company,
called Interfor. They had to adhere to the Ministry of Forests filming
- Tell me about the construction of the main set...
- The construction of the Village lasted months. It cost millions of dollars
and employed hundreds of locals!
- Do you know the total budget of the movie? There were persistent rumours
of it inflating a lot, in the trades...
- I have only heard the rumours. I cannot confirm them. The project did
leave approximately 35 million dollars in our area. The total payroll
for the show was 2200 people.
- Could you elaborate on the influence on the local economy?
- The production kept our community alive at a time when our largest employer,
the Pulp and Paper Mill, had been out on strike for over a year.
- What sort of local trades were employed on this film?
- Everything you could think of!
- Did they finally shoot scenes at the Bridge Studios, as considered?
- No, they rented another studio, called the "A Frame".
- I know that they envisaged, at one point, to shoot 2nd Unit photography
in... Northern Russia! Do you know if they finally did?
- No, they did not.
- Do you know why the release date of the film was postponed so many times?
- Again, only rumour. I understood they had a few problems with the editing
- Also, do you know why they finally changed the movie title, from EATERS
OF THE DEAD to THE 13TH WARRIOR?
- They did a poll and thought they should change the title.
- They allegedly considered other replacement titles... Have you ever
heard about some of them?
- There was some opening night organized for THE 13TH WARRIOR in Campbell
River. When exactly did that premiere event occur and was it really the
first showing of the film ever?
- We had a great premiere, here, in Campbell River. The producers and
many who worked on the show came. We held a great gala after we all watched
the movie. It was released on the same date everywhere.
- How did you feel (yourself) about the finished/released version of the
- I thought the locations looked great!
- A lot of scenes were not used in the final cut, and the Canadian theatrical
version was allegedly more longer than the others (international ones).
Did you notice differences between the theatrical version you saw (at
the premiere, for example) and the video version? or did you hear about
- Again, I was told they had editing problems. But we only saw one version!
- There are also rumours of a professional dispute between producer Michael
Crichton and director John McTiernan... Do you know what were the reasons
of the trouble?
- I was not privy to any problems between John and Michael. Again, only
- Anything to add?
- It was an incredible experience for the whole community and myself.
In fact, we have had a chance to work with some of the crew on other projects
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