The quest for truth continues 

Exploring the newest X-Files movie’s strong ties to Pemberton

click to enlarge Look Familiar? A scene from the new X-Files movie, shot in Pemberton. Photo courtesy of 20th CEntury Fox
  • Look Familiar? A scene from the new X-Files movie, shot in Pemberton. Photo courtesy of 20th CEntury Fox

Trailers for the newest X-Files movie, “The X-Files: I Want to Believe,” have been airing in heavy rotation lately, in preparation for the movie’s release this Friday. If you watch the scenes carefully, you may find that the scenery looks eerily familiar.

That’s because parts of the latest big screen version of the cult classic series were shot in Pemberton over the winter.

Neal Talbot, a computer programmer and long-time local resident, was one of many people from the Sea to Sky corridor who got involved with the production of the film, appearing as an extra – more specifically, one of the ubiquitous FBI agents that appear so frequently in the series.

“It was hard to turn down the chance to throw on the old iconic FBI parka,” Talbot said with a laugh.

A huge X-Files fan, Talbot had heard from a friend that his favourite series would be coming to town to film their latest flick, and jumped at the chance to play a role, even if it was a small one.

“After years of watching and wondering what it was like on a movie set, I think it was a dream come true to not only be on set, but to be in a movie and still only be minutes from home.”

The popular series stopped filming in Vancouver during the last few years of the show. But Chris Carter, the director of the film, was apparently very adamant that they return to B.C. to shoot the latest movie.

“I can remember Chris Carter said it was the best place for natural landscape,” Talbot said.

Talbot, and many others, were also excited by the prospect of getting to rub elbows with some of the big stars appearing in the film – Xzibit, Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, and Amanda Peet. During the three weeks the extras were needed for production, they definitely had ample opportunity to meet the actors.

“Normally for an extra you do one day and you’re out,” Talbot explained. “Because we were there for three weeks… most of the time you’re just waiting for shooting to begin, and Duchovny will be beside you, so you start chatting to him… You quickly realize that they’re no different than you — it sort of kills a lot of the awe people had about Hollywood, because you get to meet these people and they’re just like you.”

Being an extra was also a great learning experience.

“I think a lot of people were surprised at how slow the movie-making process was,” said Talbot. “We would do a scene, and then it’s redone from so many different angles and we’d have to sit around, and you realize how complex making a movie is. I think most people came away with a whole new perspective on not only movie stars, but how movies are made.”

The process definitely wasn’t always exciting and glamorous — they ended up working in some pretty rough conditions, with temperatures dipping below -20 degrees.

“The second week was really nasty,” Talbot recalled. “The weather turned on us… and it was a night shoot, so we would shoot starting at around 10 o’clock and go until two or three in the morning in blizzard conditions.”

But the cast and crew were amazed at how well locals handled the extreme conditions.

“The extras complained far less than the actual crew,” Talbot said.

Now, Talbot and many other local extras are hoping to catch a special midnight screening of the new flick at Village 8 Cinemas tonight. You can be sure they’ll be watching very closely, trying to spy familiar faces and scenery.

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