Downtown Chilliwack looked like a disaster zone after a volcanic eruption last week.
Streets were closed to traffic for the shooting of World on Fire, a television mini series, set in small-town Oregon.
“What we’re doing today is a scene where the volcano has erupted and a wall of ash comes flying down the street,” said David Tamkin, assistant location manager.
A massive crane and pulleys were used to lift a group of stunt actors right off their feet. It will look impressive on-screen, thanks to the magic of TV and computers, as if the volcanic force has literally blown them away.
They used a huge wind machine to help simulate the “wall of ash” that blew all the debris, bits of newspaper and grey “bio ash,” down the street when the volcano finally erupted.
Chilliwack was scouted as an appealing film shoot location, and beat out several other charming Fraser Valley communities like Mission and Agassiz.
Luckily the cast and crew brought the sun with them when they arrived.
“We were really worried about shooting the big scene because it had been so rainy up until then. But as soon as we got to Chilliwack, the sun came out,” said producer Shan Tam.
World on Fire is being produced by Reunion Pictures in a two-episode package.
Cast and crew were shooting scenes on Nowell and Mill Streets, as well some footage in Central Community Park.
Tam said the visuals were exceptional in Chilliwack with mountain scenes visible everywhere they turned.
“I have to say we were happy with how it all went,” said the producer.
“We got what we needed and local officials helped out a lot.”