Film company turns Ottawa's wind tunnel into a space ship
You see it every time you use Ottawa’s MacDonald-Cartier International Airport, a huge, white, tube-shaped building set back off the road.
The National Research Council’s wind tunnel testing facility is a notable landmark, but one most people only ever see from a distance.
But now a local movie crew has seen it like it’s never been seen before.
“We’re using it as a space ship,” says Michael Dobbin of Ottawa-based Quiet Revoluton Pictures.
It turns out the massive interior of the state-of-the-art scientific laboratory can also be used as a science fiction movie set.
The movie in question is called His Master’s Voice, a Canadian-Hungarian co-production written and directed by award-winning Hungarian filmmaker Gyorgy Palfi. His first English language film, it’s the story of a Hungarian man who goes in search of his estranged father, a scientist. “The sci-fi aspect is really the backdrop to it and is really important,” says Dobbin.
Dobbin says he considered the wind tunnel after visiting it during Doors Open Ottawa earlier this summer. Its huge, round, dark interior is the kind of futuristic-looking set a small, independent production couldn’t hope to build on its own.
“We could be on some other planet as we speak,” enthuses Eric Peterson. The veteran actor (Street Legal, Corner Gas, Billy Bishop Goes to War) is one of the Canadian stars of the movie. He’s thrilled to finally see the unique building up close. “All the times I’ve ever landed here in Ottawa I’ve looked at this and gone, wow, isn’t that fantastic? And from the road from the airport I had no idea it was as large as it is.”
The film is shooting at various locations around Ottawa, and also in Hungary. His Master’s Voice is scheduled to open next year.