Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tricia Helfer Whips Up Excitement and The Green Chain Storms the Weather Network

Tricia Helfer's (other) new movie Walk All Over Me hits (and whips) Vancouver theatres next week and it's the cover story of this week's Georgia Straight.
The Green Chain is also creating a storm on Canada's Weather Network in a new story about the west coast enviro scene featuring Mark Leiren-Young and The 11th Hour's Canadian eco-idol, Tzeporah Berman.
Also... be sure to pick up the latest issue of The Vancouver Review for a fascinating, in-depth review of The Green Chain (which we'll be posting here soon).
And now here's a bit about Tricia and The Green Chain from this week's Straight story by Mike Usinger...
With major roles in two feature films this year, Helfer has given every indication that she isn't going to be another Cindy Crawford when it comes to leaving the catwalk for the screen. Georgia Straight contributor and Vancouver native Mark Leiren-Young directed Helfer in his 2007 movie, The Green Chain, which looks at the issue of logging old-growth forests from various sides. Helfer, who plays a celebrity jumping on the green bandwagon, blew his mind when she showed up for filming and proceeded to rattle off a 13-minute monologue in one perfect take.
"I kept asking her, 'So, no theatre experience at all?' 'No,'" Leiren-Young tells the Straight by phone. "I had trouble believing she wasn't a theatre-trained actor. She was just astonishing."

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Green Chain Meets Garbage Warrior!

Here's the scoop on the latest Green Chain podcast on The Tyee.

Building Treeless Houses

Doc director OIiver Hodge

A Trees and Us podcast with 'Garbage Warriors' director Oliver Hodge.

By Mark Leiren-Young
Published: November 2, 2007
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Imagine building your house out of garbage.

American architect Michael Reynolds turns old tires, beer cans and plastic bottles into "earthships."

Oliver Hodge was a movie props maker who helped design and create the stuff you find on spaceships -- including the light sabers for The Phantom Menace. But Hodge left the Oompa Loompas at Charlie's Chocolate Factory and suspended his license to create killer weapons for James Bond to chronicle Reynold's adventures for his first feature film, Garbage Warrior.

Hodge spent three years following Reynolds as he fought to change the laws in New Mexico to create a self-sustaining community and flew into disaster areas to build -- and teach locals to build -- homes that require no heating, no outside sewage or water systems and redefine the meaning and possibilities of "living off the grid."

Garbage Warrior just finished a run at the 2007 Vancouver International Film Festival where it won the inaugural People's Choice Award for the Most Popular International Nonfiction Film. Last week Hodge won the award for Best Debut Director at the British Independent Film Awards. And Dorothy Woodend at The Tyee wrote, "This is perhaps my favorite film in the entire festival, simply because it says, "You want to do something? Okay, do this!""

In the latest "Trees and Us" podcast, Mark Leiren-Young talks trash with Hodge as he explains how to build houses without trees.

Click Mark Leiren-Young talks with Oliver Hodge to hear Oliver Hodge talk about recycled houses, the stories the movie doesn't tell about visiting the Andaman Islands after a tsunami and making the ultimate light sabre.

Or listen and subscribe to Tyee podcasts on iTunes.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Green Chain featured at Citizenshift

The Green Chain now has a featured blog at -- The National Film Board of Canada's social networking site, Citizenshift. And we're the only fictional film that's part of the NFB site.

Other featured Rebels With a Cause include Nettie Wilde -- whose movie Blockade was helped inspire me in making this film. Both our cinematographer Kirk Tougas (seen above) and our sound designer, Gael MacLean, worked with Nettie to bring Blockade to life and were able to share their knowledge of that experience to create the world of The Green Chain.
Another featured filmmaker is Velcrow Ripper who offered to loan us footage when we were searching for transition images. We didn't end up needing the footage, but the offer was most appreciated and I'll be interviewing Velcrow for one of my upcoming podcasts. Velcrow took his own non-fiction look at trees with his film, Bones of the Forest.
The Citizenshift site also features filmmakers Mark Achbar, Avi Lewis and Alanis Obomsawin and the leader of Canada's Green Party, Elizabeth May.