"Vancouver's locations are like weirdly familiar character actors," says Vancouver native Tony Zhou in the short film essay Vancouver Never Plays Itself. The Canadian city is the third most popular film location, but unlike New York, it usually ends up playing other cities — everywhere from San Francisco to the Bronx to Seattle. For instance, if you're watching Fear the Walking Dead, which takes place in East L.A., everything after the pilot was shot in Vancouver. Of course, as Zhou demonstrates, a lot of this movie magic happens during post-production: Landmarks are inserted, as are USA Today vending machines, and well, title cards. That said, a lot of other Canadian cities may be challenging Vancouver's role as an empty vessel: Suicide Squad wrapped in Toronto and Stonewall shot in Montreal. Hopefully, sometime soon, Hollywood will make a riveting film about the struggle between poutine and universal health care.
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