Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Mile Zero - Cast

Talked with Karen Davies yesterday and was told that things are going really well with the upcoming premiere at the Empress.

I also got a good look at who is in the cast of Mile Zero and I’m going to run down some of it here but I do sugest taking a look at the Mile Zero website. The series so far follows Victoria and her family and friends as she works in the offices of Eco-Action.

Victoria is played by Christine Karpiak an actress that started in Edmonton before moving to our fine city to raise her children. Her two decades of acting have brought her many accolades including an Aurora Award for best actress; this is not to be confused with the Canadian Prix Aurora Awards for Science Fiction.

Musician Peet Vuur plays Victoria’s husband in the series. The Dutch born, Victoria resident and father of two has taken well to acting as a husband and father in the series so far. I think his character Sam will be well received by Victoria audiences.

Claremont Grad Jessica Harnett plays daughter number one, Zoe. Jessica was a real performer at Claremont, having been involved in the school’s veriety of music and acting programs during and after school.

The whole cast will be in attendance at the Gala Empress Hotel Black-Tie event October 6th. You can purchase tickets for the increadbly low price of $25, by contacting You'll never have anouther chance to sample the works of the Empress chef's for such a low price.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Mile Zero - Moving Forward

So, as you can see, the Television Premire for Mile Zero is on Shaw cable 11 at 7pm on October 15. Before that is the World Premire Gala Black Tie event at The Fairmont Empress Hotel on October 6th. The red carpet will run from Government St. all the way into the Crystal Ballroom. The stars of Mile Zero will arrive in limos at 6:45 on October 6th

all ready to mingle with the media, fans and other celebrities like Miss Canada. Amazingly Gala tickets are selling for only $25.00.

There will be deserts and chocolate fountains as well as a no-host bar. Just remember that this is a creative Black Tie event and dress code is in effect. There will also be a Silent Auction with great prizes. Contact for information on getting your tickets.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Death of Neil Gaiman

Sci-Fi Wire reports that Young actor Shia La Beouf is working with writer Neil Gainman to bring his character Death to the big screen. If given the chance I'll be asking Neil about this project when he's here in Victoria next month at the Alix Goolden Hall.

"Me and Neil Gaiman are working on Death right now," LaBeouf said in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival. "We're trying to turn that into a film. Neil is the guy who wrote Sandman. And Death was one of his graphic novels that we're trying to make." LaBeouf and Gaiman have brought the project to New Line Cinema and are awaiting a green light.

LaBeouf said that he picks his movies carefully and enjoys SF movies, such as I, Robot, in which he co-starred with Will Smith.

My prediction is that this project will get what all projects receive, they get a lifetime.

Slews of X-Men 3 News

Some guy named Donald Law managed to post 14 images from the set of X-Men 3 on his flicker site.
A report from Hollywood North talks about pictures and characters on the set of X-Men 3, including Beast, played by Fraser's Kelsey Grammer.
(Note: The below post was taken from the Hollywood North site.)

Ya i saw Kelsey. He was cool looking, a very dark blue and the muscle suit looked huge even from 20 feet away, which is as close as I got to him in full makeup. It was funny though, he spoke on his cell for a while in his normal voice, and that looked very strange!! I also met Bill Duke who plays the secretary of defense, the actor who plays the lead general, and the president as well. There was a girl who is playing one of Magneto's bad mutant kids - it was her first X Men film and she plays a very small part. Got a couple of pics of her and the director though.
Sorry guys I cant post them, I wasn’t even supposed to take any in the first place and when I showed them to her she asked politely for me not to make them public until they start trailers for the movie. I would post them if she was in the other films but they want to keep her look a secret. I can say she has distinct similarities to the Jubalee character from the cartoon. i looked at her auto and I think her name ends Hyre if that helps. I could be wrong though it's not very legible. As for beast, well the hair was short both on his body and head. It’s hard to describe - he was wearing business pants and a white shirt with suspenders and thin frame glasses on his face. His hands were of normal size. I don’t think he has to wear gloves, and like I said he is more of a cookie monster blue than say sky blue I guess. I saw all of this at the UBC set. I forget the Bill Duke character’s name, I think it might be just the secretary of defense? So I hope this helps sorry about the photos guys!!
and X-Men Films website has an amazing spoiler. Dispite what they say it will spoil the movie or at least tell you where some of the confrontations and battles take place. It also reveales some new cast members. Because its spoilers I ask you to check the site.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Star Wars TV

George LucasLucas has talked before about creating a Star Wars Universe based television show and now some more details are available. Back in May when Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith was released Lucas and the team at Lucasfilms said that the series would be set between the two trilogies, in other words between the creation of Darth Vader and the story of Luke Skywalker.
IGN Filmforce is reporting that Lucasfilms is seaking screenwriters, the catch is that in order to work on the series you have to go to the Skywalker Ranch, where all work will take place, and of course, as is George's way, you’ll be signing a confidentiality agreement.

Producers Rick McCallum and George Lucas have yet to reveal a name for the series, but reports claim that the series will run 50 hours. How that will work is unknown, will it be two seasons of 25 hrs or three seasons of 16 hrs with two extra hours? I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Filming is set to begin in 2007 in Australia and unlike most series; Lucas has said in the past that a season will not air until it is completely lensed. The series is rumored to revolve around Bounty Hunters but there is supposed to be room for other stories within the series.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mile Zero-The Beginning

I met with producer Karen Davies yesterday, and we sat and talked about the Mile Zero TV series she and her husband Dai (Welsh form of David) are producing. They're both 22yr veterans of the BBC and moved to Vancouver Island just three years ago. Karen quickly noticed that there were no soap operas; in England there are about eleven soaps, each set in the shooting local. This is what they want to do with Mile Zero, a soap shot, set and about Victoria and its people.

Karen and David found 68 other people to share the dream with and managed to shoot two half-hour pilot episodes. The crew side of the lens includes people with little experience to a former wardrobe mistress of Twentieth Century Fox, in front of the camera is similar, but as a team they have a hope and passion for what they are doing.

I’ll have a list of who’s involved soon, but the few people that I met while interviewing Karen seemed to genuinely enjoy the project, and that’s a good sign.

Last minute editing is going on right now, with a completion date of October 1st set and Karen ready to take the finished tapes to KVOS for their consideration. Shaw though has committed to airing on the comunity channel 11, episode one on October 15th at 7pm and again on the 16th at 3pm. Episode two will air the next week Saturday October 22nd 7pm and repeat on the 23rd at 3pm and the audience will determine the continued fate of the series, so tell your family, friends and even enemies to watch so that Victoria can have a regular series shooting here, and hopefully that will bring more film production to the area.

Previous mentions of Mile Zero:
News bits.

What's Going On?
What's Shooting in Victoria?

Is Victoria worthy?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Neo-Opsis Issue 7

Victoria SF Zine: Issue 7 of Neo-Opsis has been published!

Letters to the Magazine
this issue are from: J. P. Polmateer, Vaughan Stanger (Author of Survival Strategies, issue 6), Yvonne Pronovost (Archeologist and author of All the Tea in China, issue 6), Roger Dunn, Frank C Gunderloy, Jr. (Author of The Silver Connection issue 6), Paul Carpentier.

This issue, Karl Johanson’s A Walk Through The Periodic Chart deals with
Argon. With the article is a related cartoon by Karen Lightbody (formerly Kazanowski).

The first story in issue six is The Mask and the Maze, by K. Bannerman. (13,330 words – Novelette) K. Bannerman has had fiction appear in Room Of One's Own, Parabola magazine, Lichen Literary Journal and Premonitions Magazine, and Double Dragon Publishing published K. Bannerman’s novel The Tattooed Wolf in 2004. (Illustration by Stephanie Ann Johanson.

The second story is Thirty-Three, by Tom Brennan. (3,969 words – Short Story) Tom is 39 and he lives in Liverpool, UK with wife Sylvia and many cats. A former winner in the Writers of the Future contest (XVIII), he has two novels out at the moment: The Debt and One True Prince. He enjoys a wide variety of fiction, including SF, Fantasy and Mystery/Thriller; he’s currently working on Doktor Glass, an alt.history Victorian Fantasy.

The third story is The Rain Queen, by Barbara Davies. (3,683 words – Short Story) Barbara lives in the English Cotswolds. Her fiction has appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, The Eternal Night, Fables, and Kimota (her story won their Best Story Award for 1999), and e-anthologies Ideomancer Unbound and Crossings, among others. She reviews fantasy fiction for Starburst. (Illustration by Stephanie Ann Johanson)

The forth story is Dead People’s Stuff, by Diane Arrelle. (3,434 words – Short Story) Diane has sold more than 60 short stories to magazines and anthologies including Barnes and Nobel Crafty Cat Crimes, Oui, Terminal Fright, Pirate Writings, Blue Murder and Be Mine. (Illustration by Stephanie Ann Johanson)

The fifth story is Like Minds, by Mike McHone. (805 words – Short Story) Mike is a writer/journalist living in southeastern Michigan. His work has appeared in small and mainstream presses such as Blood Moon Rising and American Zoetrope. He is currently a music reviewer for Clamor Magazine and a columnist for the Detroit music magazine The Record.

this issue includes: Author readings, the 2005 Nebula Award winners, the 2005 Aurora Award winners, the 2005 Hugo Award winners, the 2005 Sunburst Award nominees.

Reviews includes: Professor Robert Runté gives his review of the book Rocket Science by Jay Lake; John W. Herbert reviews The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie, Touchstone Pictures 2005; Stephanie Ann Johanson reviews the novels Dragon’s Kin by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey, Dragonsblood by Todd McCaffrey, and The Courtesan Prince by Lynda Williams; Paula Johanson reviews the novel Ice Tomb by Deborah Jackson.

In Science News there is New Moon Makes Waves, with accompanying Cartoon by Karen Lightbody (formerly Kazanowski)

Karl Johanson talks about Westercon 58 in The Last Two Pages, accompanied by photos taken during the convention.

Golden X-Men

golden gate bridge
A bloger over at the website, made an uncomfirmable cliam:

Just an update on the new X-Men movie now being produced. Sounds like quite an exciting climax. Lots of scenes on Alcatraz. The producers spent 1.8 million dollars (yes, million) to build a model of the Golden Gate Bridge. This is not your ordinary tabletop replica but a 2500-foot long, down to the last bolt, duplicate. The movie trailer and finale scenes have already been shot. I’d tell you more but don’t want to ruin the picture for anyone. I can only say, “Don’t miss it.”

Where do you put a half mile long relpica of a bridge, and keep it out of public view? and why on earth would you build a 1:3.5 scale modle? people wouldn't look right on it and neither would cars. You're far better off using green screen and a computer generation of the bridge. I don't know but this doesn't hold right for me.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Victoria Toy Show

Biggest Toy Show in Western Canada
Antiques, Collectibles, Dolls, Robots, Star Wars, Trains, Boats, Games, Books, Soldiers, Wind-ups, Comics, Disney, Western, Corgis, Barbies, Beanies and more! (how much more? Show up and find out).

When: Sunday, October 23rd, 2005 (10AM - 4PM)
Where: Mary Winspear Centre @ Sanscha Hall : 2243 Beacon Ave. Sidney BC
General Admission: $3.00 - children w/adult are free.
Early Admission: $20.00

More info:
Jack 727-2403 - Dave 385-4292

1st Annual Victoria Comic Memorabilia Show

Guest Artist: Ken Steacy
  • Door Prizes
  • Silent Auction
  • Free Admission
When: Sunday, September 25th, 2005 (11AM - 4PM)
Where: Norway House - 1110 Hillside Ave (between Quadra and Cook)
More info:
Al 652-0149 - Glen 361-6227

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Neil Gaiman to Visit Victoria

Neil Gaiman will appear at Alix Goolden Hall on Wednesday October 5, 7:30 pm

Literary superstar Neil Gaiman, creator of The Sandman, and New York Times bestselling author of American Gods and Coraline, returns to Victoria with a spectacular new novel. Anansi Boys is a delerious rush into fantasy and wild imagination as only Gaiman can provide, deftly balancing rich humour and tragic pathos.
Tickets $10 -- your ticket allows you $5 off the cover price of Anansi Boys, which will be released September 20.*

*** Please note - Bolen's expects this event to sell out quickly, so please purchase your ticket early to avoid disappointment. While Mr. Gaiman will sign any copies of Anansi Boys purchased at Bolen Books or at the event, we reserve the right to limit quantities of other titles to be autographed.

News bits

I'll start with Victoria related news first. I finaly found the site for Mile Zero, Victoria's very ownSoap Opera. I've gotten in contact with them and will be getting futher information to you soon.

Terminal City the Televisionmini-series shot in Victoria this time last year, begins airing on Movie Central October 17, 2005. The series then airs every monday night for a total of ten weeks. The series stars Maria del Mar, from 24 and Vancouver's Gil Bellows from Alley McBeal.

Thank You for SmokingCameron Bright




Cameron Bright
was in Toronto at the 30's Toronto International Film Festival recently for the premire of Thank You For Smoking. And Cameron will be on ETalk Daily on CTV tomorow (Friday - Sept 9, 2005) 7pm PST.

Comics Continuum talked with Ralph Winter, producer of the third X-Men movie. he said,

"We are in our sixth week now of photography, getting great footage with a script and story we feel is better than ever for the X-Men franchise."
check the link for more from the interview.

Other out of town news includes the revelation that Marvel Comics will be self financing upto ten films, with releases as eraly as 2008. Characters in these Paramount relesed films include Captain America, The Avengers, Nick Furry and Dr. Strange.

Thanks for info from Mike, Anne, Lynne and Chris

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


What is the purpose of this Blog?

To facilitate to union of SF/F fans in Victoria and Vancouver Island or even across Canada and the states, if you want to join in. Act as a place to meet, talk, and exchange ideas and love of all things science fiction and fantasy. This is your community, the only way to make it stronger is to build ties with others, The Star Wars Fan Force, and the Trekkers, the SCA and the Camarilla all need to know what each other is doing, for there to be a harmonious society.

As I make contact with clubs I'll give certain members posting access to the blog, everyone else has access to make comments. After awhile I shouldn’t need to do anything, the blog will simply run its self. That’s my plan anyways.

Who am I?
Don McCaskill, a member of Victoria’s science fiction community since 1979.

Why are you doing this?
I’ve started online communities like this in the past, but my press trip to Tillicum's Silver City for the premiere of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith reveled that the group was in pieces with four separate Star Wars clubs, that were not coordinated with each other.

Were will this all happen?
Right here, just bookmark the page and keep coming back.

When will it start?
As soon as you make your first comment

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Okay I'm back.
Not much seems to have developed on the X-men front. Other than Hollywood North obtaining a picture of Shawn Ashmore ariving at his hotel in Vancouver. The other films shooting in Victoria or on the Island haven't developed much news either.

I have been watching my web counter and taking notice of what searches people are making to get here. I've had a slew of recent searches for Erika Shaye Gair, so I will work on getting some more news about her. I do know she is working on The Wicker Man.
A few X-men and Royal Roads searches, Royal Roads is the site of Hatley Castle, that doubles as the X-Manson in X2 and X3. The other common X-men related search that has found its way to this site is X-Men Sex, how this site qualifies in that area I don't know.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Attractions September Article

Barry Cason, filmmakerBarry Casson’s The Power of Visual Selling, a guide for anyone who is looking at making a film or video for their business or organization. Barry is a long time producer in Victoria who has worked on every thing from in-house productions to feature films. The book is well organized and walks you through all of the steps in making a film or video, really any film or video as all the steps are explored.

What qualifies Barry to write such a book? His 25+ years as a filmmaker or his work on productions like Take Off!, with Phyllis Diller, do help. Casson started his career taking photos of the band he was in with David Foster, documenting their tour of Britain. He found that he enjoyed taking pictures enough to take some courses and ended up working as a photographer for the Victoria Colonist and The Victorian newspapers. After a few more courses in filmmaking he moved on to CHEK TV and started teaching night courses at Camosun College in film and video making. His classes got bigger and led to opening the Victoria Motion Picture School sixteen years ago.

Thinking ahead is paramount to a successful production and Barry’s book is a key to doing just that because every part of the making of a video is spelled out. In short, everything you need to know to make a video that will sell. While the book is aimed at people making commercials and convention sales tools for corporate video, there is a lot of good advice for those getting into the industry or those wanting to make films themselves.

Development and pre-production shows you everything involved in the planning process. Production tells you what to expect when you’re on set with the director and Post-production walks you through the editing tricks of the trade that will polish and perfect your show. Then distribution will help you find the right audience and make the money that is the point of the course in the first place. In the end a Glossary of terms that you’ll encounter during yourbarry cason's art of visual selling partnership with the producer and his cast and crew.

I’m sure that once you’ve read the book you’ll have a few ideas for productions yourself, if you didn’t already. If nothing else you’ll have a far better understanding of the world of film and video production and how the all the procedures involved fit together to generate the best end product.

So how do you get your hands on a copy of Barry’s great book? You can order it from form his website at, or from Casson himself at one of his many seminars.

Summer has been hectic for Nanaimo’s Spotlight Academy as the instructors themselves have been busy. Adrian Hough obtained a role on Revolution Studios’ remake of John Carpenter’s The Fog, which was partially shot in Cowichan Bay. Hough played the priest, Father Bobby Malone, played by Hal Holbrook in the 1980 version, which starred Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh. Hough has also secured a recurring role in the Winnipeg shot Falcon Beach for ABC and Global.

Jacqui Kaese spent a couple of months on the mainland working on the set of Whisper by Gold Circle Films, makers of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and more recently, Slither, a sci-fi feature in which Bart Anderson had a major role. Kaese’s role on set was to coach two child actors, Arizona’s Blake Woodruff and Vancouver’s Erika Shaye Gair for their roles in the film. Woodruff plays the kidnapped child who may be less innocent than he seems. During production Scott Bernstein, Universal’s Vice President of Production, complimented Kaese on her work.

Just recently Kaese has been booked again to coach Colin Ford on Brightlight Pictures’ computer-game based Dungeon Siege. Work starts next Monday (August 15th) at the medieval village Dungeon Siege has built a in Beecher Bay between Sooke and Metchosin, and it is a $60 Million Production starring Matthew Lillard (Hackers, Scooby-Doo) and John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones).

With Kaese and the rest of the instructors busy, Maria Darling, a top agent from London England, is using her wealth of experience to do an excellent job of running the office.

emma campbell
Many of Spotlight Talent have been busy this summer, mostly with commercials. Sharron Bertchilde played a grandmother in a Mattel spot, and Stephanie Watkins got a principal role in a Burger King commercial. Amy Mc Cartie just wrapped "Project Sun" for Sun Microsystems, while Don Dunbar was called back for another Sizzler ad. Little Emma Campbell got work on a Fisher Price commercial, and Jackson Warris shot a spot for Ore Ida French Fries, a company known for its Tater Tots and owned by Heinz. Don Willson enjoys being a senior in the Vancouver Island lifestyle as his credits demonstrate; he has been cast for Centrum Silver again, due to his ever-fit look.

For the first time Spotlight Talent has booked an advertising campaign that covers television, print and Internet. The promotion is for Ivanhoe Cambridge’s Woodgrove Centre at Nanaimo’s north end. Suburbia Advertising hired Don Willson, Taylor Brown, The Wood Family, Stephanie Watkins, Bianca Jade, Emma Campbell, Kia Vosper, Levi Alexandre, Megan Champoux, Donna Hawthornthwaite and the members of her five to seven year old tee-ball team.

Spotlight also got Kristina Ruddick on the cover of an upcoming book, and Sharron Bertchilde booked a print job with Oceanside Village Resort in Parksville.

With personal congratulations Jacqui Kaese recognizes some of Spotlight Academy’s previous students who have gone far beyond their Vancouver Island roots. Justin Chatwin played a lead in Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise’s War of the Worlds. Twenty-Two year old Chatwin played Datkota Fanning’s older brother Robbie. Other former students include Sophie Hough and Erika Shaye Gair, in The Wicker Man, Blake Woodruff in Cheaper by the Dozen 2 and Quinn Lord in The L Word. Hough also landed a large principal role in the TV series Intelligence. Twelve-year-old Cameron Bright of Nanaimo, just finished filming a guest starring role on two episodes of Stargate SG-1 and is cast in the role of Leech in X-Men 3, shooting in Vancouver and Victoria. Shaun Sipos just wrapped production of The Comeback Season in Alberta with Ray Liotta, who is now appearing in Dungeon Siege.

If you are interested in learning about Spotlight Academy and how you can begin your journey as an actor, contact Jacqui Kaese at

Jacqui kaese, cameron bright
Speaking of X-Men 3, there’s been a lot of development since last month. Filming in Victoria is wrapped and shooting at the Vancouver Film Studio continues. Conner Widows, Luke Pohl and Shauna Kain have joined the cast all reprising their roles of Jones, X-Kid and Siryn from X2. Also back is Bryce Hodgson as Artie; in the comics he’s a best friend with Leech, who is being played by Cameron Bright. Shohreh Aghdashloo joins the cast as Dr. Kavita Rao. The Oscar Nominated Actress, for House of Sand and Fog was most recently seen in Kiefer Sutherland’s 24 TV series. The latest information can always be found here at

Don McCaskill has been an entertainment writer for over six years, having written for Attractions, Extreme FM, The New VI and Dimension Magazine.