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Scott Pilgrim vs. Our Cameras


Photos by Bill Taylor/Torontoist.

On a Queen West location shoot for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World yesterday, this is Dave vs. Bill Taylor. Dave (no last name) doesn’t think “blocker” is his official title but it’s his job description. He’s there, with a large black umbrella, to stop anyone taking photographs of the movie shoot that has traffic crawling along Queen Street between Spadina Avenue and Portland Street and is blocking a lane of Richmond Street with its trucks.
Dave admits that photographers are free to shoot what they like on a public street, but he’s also free to get in their way. Mainly, he says, the producers don’t want paparazzi shots of their stars, including (and these are hardly A-list celebs) Brampton-born Michael Cera (whose name, IMDb tells us, means “wax” in Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian); Mary Elizabeth Winstead; and Macaulay Culkin’s younger brother Kieran. “But they’re all indoors right now, anyway,” says Dave. So why are we going through this absurd umbrella dance? Answer comes there none.
The Queen West shoot for the film—directed by Edgar Wright and based on Brian Lee O’Malley‘s graphic novel series—involves melting snow, which has been spread liberally along the sidewalks and even on top of a strikebound, overflowing garbage can. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Torontoist's Miles Storey did manage to elude the heightened security to get shots of the scene on Tuesday; his photos are after the fold.] The snow is made from rolls of cotton overlaid with shaved ice brought in, Dave vouchsafes, from Montreal. What? Toronto’s shaved ice isn’t good enough?


Photos by Miles Storey/Torontoist.


  • http://undefined friend68

    The answer is easy… to make the annoying paparazzi go away.
    Are you dissing the actors and this movie (a really cool Canadian success story) just because they weren’t nice to you?

  • http://undefined Yonge And Bloor

    Er, you guys want shots of this shoot? I have a bunch from Bloor and Bathurst a month or so back. Fake snow on the street, and schoolgirls skipping in front of the Pizza Pizza – ON CAMERA. Riveting stuff!

  • Bill Taylor

    Dissing the actors and movie? Not at all. I wish the movie nothing but well. It’s simply a fact that the actors are not A-list celebs and not obvious paparazzi fodder. I had no interest in taking photos of them. And Dave was actually quite amiable through this whole thing, though not great as a blocker.
    My first thought when I saw this was, “Hey, fake snow. That’ll make a cute picture.”
    But when Dave started pushing (figuratively, not literally), I pushed back. A movie company may buy the use of space on the street, but they don’t control the street. At risk of sounding pompous, I think it’s important to make that point.

  • http://undefined Michael Chrisman

    This is becoming standard practice.

  • http://undefined rek

    Ah, Dave. I remember walking by the Pizza Pizza while the case was sitting inside waiting for the cameras to start rolling. Even though I didn’t have a camera in my hands (filled, as they were, with bags) Dave was there with his odd two-pronged umbrella to block the view for me.

  • http://undefined rek

    case = cast

  • Wade Vroom

    I walked by the shoot on Wednesday evening and saw Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew hanging out front.

  • http://undefined Paul D

    Friend of mine took some pictures from when they were shooting at Bloor and Bathurst and posted them here: