It’s not every day a South Cariboo family gets the chance to be extras in a Bollywood-style movie.
But that opportunity arose last month for Lac La Hache’s Glen Tanner and his children Lachlan and Arlene after they caught wind of a shoot in Barkerville. For four days, the Tanners dressed up in western wear and served as extras for an upcoming untitled movie.
“We’re a pretty outgoing family, we do lots of stuff,” Tanner said. “When the opportunity was presented to us I jumped on it because I’ve had a lot of fun with acting in the past and I wanted to introduce my kids to it, too.”
Tanner found out about the production through a post on Facebook seeking extras. He and Arlene answered the call in early May for a day of shooting at Cottonwood House, just outside Barkerville. After getting into costume, he said the director looked at them and said ‘hey you two would make a great father and daughter.’ “She didn’t even know we were related,” Tanner said.
After spending the day playing themselves as townsfolk, Tanner said they returned home. Not long after, the director called him back and asked him to return. He brought both Lachlan, 14, and Arlene, 13, and they spent the weekend immersed in the film-making process.
Due to confidentiality agreements, the Tanners can’t reveal much about the movie. However, Tanner said the best way he can describe the film is a romantic comedy “Bollywood meets the Old West” style film that touches upon pertinent issues.
“In the end, Arlene ended up in loads of scenes and Lachlan and myself ended up playing a couple of recognizable bad guys. We didn’t really have any lines but we appeared in several scenes as bad guys,” Tanner said. “We had a lot of fun with it. It was a pretty awesome experience.”
Tanner has had some film acting experience in the past, working as a blacksmith on the movie Thirteenth Warrior. However, Arlene and Lachlan have only ever acted on stage, appearing in the 100 Mile House Performing Arts Society’s rendition of The Little Mermaid in 2020.
“I know the kids were doing awesome because they kept getting called for lots of scenes,” he said.
Lachlan said the days were long but it was interesting to see what happens behind the scenes while making a movie.
“It was all pretty mind-blowing,” Lachlan said. “It was pretty fun to play a bad guy.”
Arlene said the costumes were great and she also found the behind-the-scenes work fascinating. It was fun to act with her dad and brother, she added.
“I like the experience of getting to act and it’s really entertaining to help out with film and theatre stuff,” she said.
Tanner said this was probably one of the greatest experiences he’d had with his children.
“They would film one scene and it’d take hours to do it because they kept changing camera angles yet it would all meld together into only two minutes,” Tanner said. “This was a top-notch production company and they have a really cool story going on and the fact they filmed it in the Cariboo is just amazing.”