The latest instalment in the Resident Evil video game and movie franchise comes out today, and a large portion of the movie was filmed in Greater Sudbury.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, is a reboot of the movies, and follows the storyline of the first two video games in the series, which were first released in the 1990s.
Scott Thom is a Sudbury-based construction coordinator and film technician, and worked on the movie’s sets.
With a budget in the “tens of millions” he said the movie is the largest production to date filmed in northern Ontario.
He said the movie will be a “resume piece” for the region, and the people who worked on it.
“There’s always a feeling of pride and a few butterflies in your stomach thinking about the adventure of being part of something like that,” he said.
While Thom already has a few larger productions to his name, he said a tent pole film is a special experience for people new to the industry.
What made the project special for many is that it continues a well-known franchise with millions of fans around the world.
While Thom was familiar with Resident Evil in name only, he said many of his colleagues grew up on the horror video games, and were thrilled to be a part of that legacy.
“And I’m talking about people with a little grey in their beards, and they were still super excited about the idea that they were now a part of the franchise,” he said. “The idea of a reboot was another push of excitement.”
A production of that size means a lot of the key people involved are not from northern Ontario. The film stars Tom Hopper, most well-known for the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, Kaya Scodelario, who was in the Maze Runner movies, and Robbie Amell, known for roles in The Flash and Upload television series.
The movie’s director Johannes Roberts, is from England, and has made a number of horror movies.
Thom said key cast and crew members often arrive in northern Ontario a bit skeptical about the local film industry. But he said the calibre of the local crew members usually sets them at ease.
“By the time they leave there, they’re very happy for the experience that they’ve had, and they express that they’d love to come back,” he said. “And then quite often we get calls to go and work elsewhere.”
Thom said he hasn’t seen the movie yet, but plans to watch it at least twice.
He said the first time he watches a project he worked on, he can’t help but notice his work and the different filming locations. The second time he can focus on the story and let himself get carried into a different world.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City opens in theatres across Canada today.