Sunday’s bank heist in downtown Duncan was witnessed by dozens of locals and caught on film by director Michael Greenspan.
The dramatic mock robbery was among the final shots in his feature film Wrecked shot in the city’s core and Mound, as well as Mount Prevost and Little Mountain.
Oscar-winning star Adrien Brody — doubled by stuntman Jason Corbett — echoed his crew’s happy feelings about their Warm Land welcome.
"People here have been wonderful,” Brody told the News Leader Pictorial between takes.
"It’s a remarkable story and a remarkable journey for my character,” he said, revealing little else about Greenspan’s psychological thriller.
Brody and production designer Michael Norman Wong signaled they would return to Cowichan to make movies. In fact, Wong said he searched for a town with the right "aspecific” look offered by core Duncan.
"It’s great, colourful in its variety and it feels well-established here,” he said.
Few set changes were made to Craig and Station streets for Greenspan’s picture headed for editing.
Mount Prevost, Wong noted, offered Brody’s hero a site symbolic of "an opening to the world.”
"We found that at Mount Prevost and it was the only place we could find it,” he said.
Wong was also impressed by the gnarly, spooky look of trees at the Cowichan Garry Oak Reserve.
Shawnigan Lake School grad (1977) Adrian Hughes — one of three Adrians in Wrecked beside Brody and actor Adrian Holmes — felt chances for making more movies in B.C. were hurt by the province’s failure to provide filmmaking tax breaks, and by cuts to arts funding.
"How can the province pat itself on the back for that?” Vancouver actor Hughes asked.
Still, producer Mann called Cowichan "a wonderful place to shoot.” He said help from Film Cowichan’s Louise McMurray and the Island North Film Commission’s Joan Miller was "amazing.” Wrecked scouts started sniffing out valley sites in November.
"Mount Prevost definitely had a Jurassic Park feel; very primal and that makes the viewer feel like the actor feels.”
It was tough, he noted, finding desired old-growth forests amid clear-cut areas, and trash sadly dumped off Little Mountain.
"People don’t know what a unique part of the world they have here.”
Low-budget Wrecked will be marketed internationally, likely by year’s end.
"We hope to get a U.S. distributor for a theatrical release,” he said of the intense film. We want people to ask themselves ‘Wow, what did I just watch? It’s a thoughtful thrill ride.”
Curious Cowichanians who kept their distance helped that ride.
"They were friendly and respectful, and you’ll see more movies shot here,” said Mann.