Ghost Impala, Jared Padalecki, & the EMF Meter
(with a supporting cast of many Supernatural crew and production people)
Minor spoilers for 10.05 Fan Fiction (IF you’ve been living under a rock)
- We were at this location the week after VanCon. I didn’t take many photos this time, I’ve adopted the idea that it’s important to experience some things first hand, rather than through a camera lens.
- Some of this may not be in the order it happened – my journal keeping was pretty haphazard over those few days. I’ve also forgotten a lot more than I remember – old age is a bitch.
- While it’s always WONDERFUL/EXCITING/SQUEE-MAKING when Jared and/or Jensen come out to meet the fans, that’s not the main reason our group was there. Post-VanCon is the one time in the year we get the opportunity to talk to crew and production people face to face, and tell THEM that what THEY do matters. This year was extra special, because we got to be there while the 200th episode was being filmed. All the crew we spoke to were very excited about the episode, and I think they were genuinely touched that we stuck around, even after Jared and Jensen had left each day.
Tuesday morning our motel (Westward Inn & Suites in Langley – the motel in Hunted) nearly burned down. Liz & Kristen are real life heroes. They woke everyone and alerted the motel manager, who called the Fire Dept & was able to put the fire out with an extinguisher. If it had been earlier in the morning while everyone was still sleeping, the outcome could have been horrific. As it was, the damage was minimal. Fandom owes Liz and Kristen massive thanks for saving a Supernatural location (which would be nice, since they never even got a thank you from the motel owner).
That incident lead to a very late start to the day, and, after a restorative brunch at IHOP:
we set about tracking down the location for the 200th episode.
We found them in the early afternoon, at a school in Port Coquitlam (I can publish that info now, since it seems to be generally known). There were a few other fans there by then, and we found out that we’d missed seeing the Impala there the day before. We selected our spot and made ourselves comfortable – luckily there was a McD’s a few blocks away to provide food, drinks, and “other” comforts. (Things that weren’t readily available at the Bad Boys location on Avenue 0 last year).
Kevin Parks came by and apologized that there wasn’t much to see. We told him we were just happy to be there, knowing the 200th episode was being filmed inside. He came out to talk to us several times over the week, just to check out how we were doing. He didn’t have to do that.
One of the PAs came out with a pile of paper and a roll of tape. We thought we were going to be told to leave, but instead, she taped this to the fence:
I didn’t see any evidence of them filming, but I believe they came by once while I was away on a food/bathroom run.
Late in the afternoon, Clif came out driving a gorgeous blue car, both boys crammed into the rumble seat in the back.
A few minutes later it came back past but Jared was gone – he’d obviously wrapped for the day.
The next day we rocked up with a blanket, lawn chairs, and heaps of food, much to the amusement of many crew as they walked past.
Our “campsite” was situated right opposite the entrance to the catering tent, which was a little awkward at meal times, so, (much to our relief) instead of asking us to move (which they easily could have) they “vanned” us – i.e. they parked one of the shuttle vans across the opening while people were eating. We also had a rule that we would not take photos of people in the tent – they deserve a little privacy while they’re eating.
The guys from Green Machine would come out for a smoke break and sit and laugh at us:
until the time they came over, shook our hands, asked our names, and introduced themselves. We told Chris and Tim why we were there and that our support extended to them too, as they are the ones who feed the people making our show, and are just as vital as anyone else. They also thought Sam & Dean were pretty cool, and took photos of them. Awesome guys!
Clif had tweeted that this was the boys’ ride for the day:
and that Jensen was driving:
So we were waiting when they arrived. Jensen waved and honked as he drove past.
Russ Hamilton came by several times to cause trouble – er – I mean chat.
He was surprised that Sam & Dean were sitting on the ground, and commented: “she never puts those dolls down”. Then he said he was going to flush them down the toilet. I pretended to be upset and he added, “in the nicest possible way.” I said I’d told Ian (my husband) that Russ had been talking about him (at the Con – which I forgot to put in my con post – damn it!) – and that Ian’s response was “Nothing good I bet!” I told him Ian was coming back with me next year, and Russ said he can’t wait to see what tshirt Ian comes up with next. ICYMI, the shirt Ian wore last year caused quite a stir:
Next time Russ came by, he was talking to a group of young girls sitting near us, then he gestured to the dolls and said, “The three of us go way back”. Then he said he was going to steal the dolls and we had a small disagreement about that!
We recounted the story of our motel almost burning down to everyone, including Russ (who lives in the area). He wondered why we were still staying there?? (Good point, Russ – I’m still working that one out) He recommended a nearby restaurant – Brown’s – and told us to try the cabbage & goat’s cheese from their Sides menu. “Ask for extra goat’s cheese”. We never did get around to doing that, but the glee on Russ‘ face when he asked us the next day if we’d tried it, leads us to wonder if he was setting us up. HIGHLY. LIKELY.
We saw Jared leave and he slowed right down and waved and blew kisses at us.
We had several conversations at different times with the “Extras Wrangler” (there were a large number of “students” the first couple of days). She works other shows (Supernatural doesn’t often use enough extras to require a wrangler) She really didn’t understand at first why we would want to spend all those hours hanging around, and she admitted she’d only watched a couple of episodes, but she came over several times to talk to us. On her last night she came over and said, “I don’t have anything Supernatural to give you, but would you like these?” And she gave us each a button from the “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever” movie, which she was also working on at the time. It made us realize that our support was noticed and appreciated.
(which aren’t really spoilers at all now the promos are dropping)
The first day or two, there were a lot of extras on set. Most were girls, wearing school uniforms, but others obviously had larger parts in the episode. Whenever they appeared they would be hiding behind enormous blue and gold umbrellas, which were so bright they drew the eye right away. So much for inconspicuous! And every single one failed spectacularly at hiding themselves. We easily identified Sam, Cas, Crowley, Mary, and others, but the prize for most appalling umbrella skills goes to the “Dean” character. I give her a score of 3 out of 10. (It was going to be negative 3, but then I got to thinking they probably don’t teach Umbrella Skills 101 at drama school. And also, these girls are probably too young to have attended drama school anyway).
We got to see both boys in FBI suits (which was very nice), and we know that Baby is in the episode, which is very fitting for the 200th episode, considering how important she is to the boys (and to us).
On Friday morning (actually it was afternoon but the “crew hours” we were keeping meant it felt like TOO early in the morning) – Sam & Dean didn’t want to wake up. Thank god for coffee.
We were so tired, that I thought I was hallucinating when a car came past driven by a guy that looked a lot like Rob Benedict. Turns out it was a crew member who looked (through the glare of the car window) vaguely like a younger, darker haired Rob, if you squinted. But that prompted a discussion about how awesome it would be if Chuck popped up in the 200th episode (since he wrote the Supernatural books that the “musical” is based on).
Ryan Curtis came over to say hi, and while we were talking, we noticed a black SUV coming through the parking lot. It stopped, and it took us a few seconds to realize Jared was driving, and he was waving his hands around as if to say “Hey! I’m right here! Look at me!” We all waved and called out “hi!” then turned back to Ryan. I think Jared thought we’d ignored him, (poor baby).
Dean: “I’m sitting in a lawn chair reading about myself sitting in a lawn chair, reading about myself. My head hurts.”
This was the photo book I created from location pics and photo ops from last year.
Sometimes you just have to take a break:
Or entertain the fans. Or whatever. We very much enjoyed watching Clif having fun.
Later, we were sitting around chatting, when we looked over toward the building and saw this driving through the parking lot:
It stopped in the exact spot where Jared had stopped and waved to us that morning. The two young women had driven her from Tennessee, and stopped off at the location on their way home to Alaska. Needless to say, Dean was overcome with the awesomeness, and couldn’t keep his hands off her.
Someone commented that she looked like a Ghost Impala, and the owner said she was already calling her “Ghost”. Of course when I tweeted pics from the location with the tag #GhostImpala, a few people thought it was for real. I even saw some tweets that threatened dire consequences for painting Baby white. We never intended to start a rumor, but if people are so easily fooled, who are we to burst their outrage bubble?
The boys got to sit in her (which would not happen if it really was Baby). Also, Baby’s seats are black leather and her interior is beige, not this turquoise-y blue-green (as any true fan would know).
Anyway, now you know: #GhostImpala is NOT Baby!!!
Not long after Ghost arrived, we turned around to see Jared (all FBI’d up) emerge from the building, almost at a run, (looking decidedly furtive) and making “camera” motions with his hands. When he got to us he pulled something from his pocket. It turned out to be the EMF Meter, which unfortunately proved to have no batteries – he was so disappointed! Clif arrived a little behind Jared – I honestly think Jared had given him the slip.
I was so excited nearly all the photos I took were too blurry to publish, but luckily I thought to switch to video. It’s not perfect, but you get the idea of what happened next:
After this he posed for a few photos with other fans, then autographed the inside of the trunk lid. Right after that, someone told Jared they were ready for him inside, and he left. We were so excited! The EMF Meter is so cool, even without batteries – and the fact that Jared obviously stole it so he could show us was so special! He hadn’t noticed the Impala till it was pointed out to him, but I was so happy for the owners that he came out when he did.
Jose Manzano (camera assistant and Guanaco owner) came over to say hi, and we were able to tell him that we were there to support everyone as they filmed the 200th episode. He seemd really touched, which was a nice feeling for us.
The PA who was on gate duty was a great guy who came over to chat with us regularly over the time we were there. He was new to Supernatural and took a while to understand why we were hanging out there. When we first asked his name (so we didn’t have to keep referring to him as “Gate Guy”) he told us “Pancho”, but then gave us his real name. He was so much fun, and on our last day had a photo op with us:
Late on Friday night (our last night), Ryan Curtis and Mark Meloche came over and spent quite a while chatting with us. They were extremely excited about the 200th episode and couldn’t wait for us to see it. They told us we’d LOVE it! Mark said he had put the Sam & Dean dolls I’d given him in his “Man-cave”, at which Ryan laughed and said “More likely his guest room”. I’m SO PROUD that he has some of my dolls!! (I may have already mentioned that, but I am SO PROUD!!!)
We had a fabulous time, watching what was going on, talking to crew and production people, and also, just hanging out together. Apart from Liz & Kristen, we only see each other face to face once a year. Oh, of course Sam & Dean live with me, but you know what I mean. Hopefully we’ll be able to do the same thing next year. We also threatened to bring an RV next time so we wouldn’t have to leave for bathroom breaks, or to get coffee, etc. Surprisingly, everyone seemed to think that was a good idea! Very much looking forward to spending more time in beautiful Vancouver again.
In case you missed it, here are the links for the previous posts in this series. There are also posts from previous years. If you look, you will find them.