Flashpoint: Behind-the-Scenes, Part Three

In Part Two, the Flashpoint crew was prepping to shoot a scene in SRU HQ.  Here in Part Three, we get filmy — that’s a technical term accepted by the Language Society of Angelo.  I’m not just the president…

– – – – –


No one said, “Quiet on set!”  I was vastly disappointed by this.  It’s the standard cue for filming a scene whenever it’s depicted on screen.  Apparently, the Flashpoint crew have opted to use these things called practice and professionalism.  On the other hand, they did have the ubiquitous red lights throughout the studio so that things like construction on the ‘back lot’ were quieted.  So, that was nice.

1235: TRINITY had advanced warning of the scene.  I think they call this a ‘schedule’ or something.  We don’t use such expensive technology on indie films.  Well, we do but … that’s another story.  Nonetheless, given the heads up, I was shifted to the hall which connects the men’s locker room and the women’s.  The monitor station was set up there.

A monitor station is, as it sounds, where they place the monitors for the director, the d.o.p., etc, to see what’s being filmed on screen.  They had set up four standard folding tall chairs for those key personnel to observe and Trinity placed us just behind them where we could see not only the monitors but also through the doorway and at the live action.  I thought that was the best vantage to have.  I would be proven wrong.

What was the scene?

It was actually the last part of Raf’s first scene with the full team.  If you’ve seen “A Day In The Life”, you know that’s the scene where he chooses his locker.  His first pick is gently ixnayed by Ed because it was Wordy’s locker and, practicality aside, that’s a no-go.

At some point around here, I think AURORA had to go attend to something which was likely far more important than babysitting an inquisitive yet somewhat shy (!) fan boy internally teetering on the brink of cognitive detonation.  It could have been anywhere before, during, or after the following events.  I’m a little foggy here because … well, you’ll find out.  I was foggy and, as you’ll read, full of egregious self-recriminations.


You may not have noticed but this is the first season Flashpoint is being filmed in high-definition.  Extensive testing was done and the decision was not made until everyone was sure the transition would do nothing but add to the quality of the visual presentation.  In the Flashpoint Team One group, I have seen comments regarding how the cinematography has once again improved this season.  Part of that is undoubtedly the growing experience of all involved but, in the very least, it is also confirmation that the decision to go high-def was the right one.

Anyway, back to the scene.

Once a few takes were down, a gentleman who had joined us for a while during the set tour came over to me holding something in his hand.  It was a wireless receiver/headset thingie (another technical term).  He offered me the rig and then urged me to sit in the only empty chair at the monitor station to listen live to the scene as it was being recorded.  The other people at the station included, director Jim Donovan, director of photography Stephen Reizes, and, um, Anne Marie La Traverse(!).  I think even David Frazee was there, too, but I’m not entirely sure about that one.  And also the thoughtful gentleman who had given up his seat and rig on my account, John Calvert, the series producer (to whom everyone in both the production office and the crew reports).  He didn’t say anything effusive to me all day, nor shake my hand profusely, nor seem especially extroverted but that spontaneous gesture belied a gracious man of generous nature.

(I do not think I properly thanked him for it so, in retrospect, should any of his colleagues read this, please pass on my very genuine gratitude.)

Now, I help out friends in indie film and the physicality was nothing new to me (except we don’t use wireless audio headset thingies) but ‘sitting with the adults’ on the set of Flashpoint while they were filming a very important episode is an entirely different thing.  As if I didn’t already feel like the boy who won the Golden Ticket!  I mean, I’ve watched monitors during filming a hundred times but this was … different.  Even Trinity raised her eyebrow in my direction as if to say, “Well, aren’t you a lucky devil?”

At various points during the takes, Jim Donovan and others offered comments about the day’s work and other tidbits regarding the show and this episode.  Then, someone turned to me — and I honestly can’t remember who — and asked, “So, what did you think [of that take]?”

I answered, “It was good. I liked it,” or something similarly generic.  What I was really thinking was, “How the hell should I know? I’m nuthin’ nobody nowhere. But this whole thing is [expletive deleted] awesome!”


After the takes for that scene were completed, some of the actors spilled out of the room.  David Paetkau and Enrico Colantoni were chatting (and sadly I did not get to meet them that day).  However, the man of the hour himself, Clé Bennett (Raf), came over.  I believe, if memory serves — I was a little shell-shocked in the tall chair to take any valuable notes — he had come to meet Anne Marie La Traverse.  Either way, the congenial actor was also introduced to me, as well.  And, once again, my mouth operated without appropriate forethought and, as I shook his hand, I said, “Welcome to the team.”

I mean really…!

Welcome to the team?  It’s not my team.  I’m not even on it.  Who am I to welcome him to the team?  Nonetheless, he politely thanked me and expressed how happy he was to be there.  Also, I should tell you, I mentioned to him what a very dedicated fan base we have — I’m thinking of you, members of Flashpoint Team One (or ‘Team Five’ if you liked that idea) — and how I was sure he’d eventually find out for himself.  I wished him luck and, seeing they had called for lunch and Trinity said we should head back, I removed myself from the chair and divested myself of the wireless thingie (which I had convinced myself I would soon drop out of excitement or simply forgetting I had hands at all).

Feeling that everything was winding down, I developed a bit of tunnel vision which likely robbed me of any chance to meet Misters Paetkau or Colantoni.  I needed to reconstitute my wits and return to some internal sense of normalcy.  I had events and information to commit to memory so that I may recall them later when writing this article.  As you can see from the above, I failed.  Or rather, someone hacked through my personal firewall and played havoc with my plans.  And who, of course, would do that hacking?

Sergio “Spike” Di Zio, of course.


Sergio Di Zio walked by on his way elsewhere.  In passing, he clapped me on the back and asked, “Everything okay? You having a good time?”

He totally interrupted my attempt to become cerebral and calm my emotions by … asking me how I was feeling.  I’m trying to quiet the hyperactive kid inside me who is screaming with glee and just as I got Inner Child Angelo to put down the noisemaker, Sergio asks him how he’s feeling?  Had I said anything immediate, it probably would have been the famous comment of Oedipus Rex who, upon discovering his previously unbeknownst tragedy, said: “Buh…?”  In the moment, since Sergio was passing through, I instinctively swallowed my voice and — in a last ditch effort — merely offered a nod and a smile.  Phew!  Emotional footing preserved, right?

Yeah, um, no.

…because Sergio then slowed down and continued looking at me.  He was waiting for an answer.  Now, I’m sure from his point-of-view he was just being polite and giving me the time to answer before he turned the corner.  From my perspective he was completely sabotaging my attempt at composure by forcing me to formulate an answer.  I could have just said, “Great!” or even “Awesome!” or something normal (or perhaps even a complete sentence) but since, y’know, I’m a writer, I can’t just flip out some standard response.  After all, I need to write about how clever I was walking among those we admire, right?  So, I told my brain to come up with something clever and it spat, “Tremendous!” out of my mouth.

He smiled, offered something encouraging, and said something else like, “Alright, see you around!”  Again, the memory … not so sharp in that moment.  Or, perhaps, Memory was too busy looking at the rest of my brain and shaking its head.  Also, Sarcasm was holding two thumbs up at everyone and saying, “Good job, genius!”

Tremendous.  That was my clever alternative to great.  A synonym … for great.  I am such a superstar.

[Shut up, Sarcasm!]

Furthermore, that examination of my emotional state and the feeling that I had just slapped a giant “Stupid” sticker on my not-as-clever-as-all-that head left me still firmly internally scrambled.  Where was the guy they hired to head up security for big celebrity events, or who managed to navigate his way through a slightly calamitous press junket with the eclectic Juliette Lewis and still get a round of applause from her?  Why didn’t he show up today?  Who was this buffoon in Angelo’s clothes?


In any event, those around the monitor station offered farewells as Trinity told me we’d be heading back to the production offices.  Well, you know, I guess I had my awkward moment.  It was bound to happen.  At least, at this point, I could laugh it off and get on with what remained without further incident.

And, as we headed for the passage to the production office, I realized how utterly wrong I was.  I realized how one should never assume anything and always be at the top of your game.  Sounds like something a commander would say.  Or a coach.

Or a team leader.

Because it’s right around here that Hugh Dillon reappeared and, in effect, chased me off the set.  And I know I said that this story would be in Part Three but, as it turns out, I’m approaching the 2000-word mark again and there is going to be a Part Four.


(…cuz I’m still a jerk.)

However, that’s it, folks.  What was originally conceived as a single article, drafted as a two-parter, and then offered to you as a three-parter, will now be four-parts.  Sorry for making you wait but, as evidenced by all of the above (and more which I cannot divulge), I have a propensity to grossly underestimate everything associated with Flashpoint.  It is a lesson I am slow to learn but I think I’m getting better.

This time, however, I give you my word that Part Four will be the final in this series; self-imposed 2000-word cap be damned!

(To make up for my teasing and cliff-hangars, I will admit I also did not have the pleasure of meeting Amy Jo Johnson.  So, if you’re only reading this because you’re a Jules aficionado, here’s your exit.  For the rest of you, I bid you good night.  There’s a friend in town I have to see but, dear readers, we shall meet again tomorrow.  And then the madness will end.)

– – – – –

Author’s Note: I admit to being a jerk but, I assure you, even I will only go so far for attention.  Also, I’m missing my deadline here, so this is a first edit and probably rife with errors.  For that, I apologize.  They will be corrected overnight.  Update:  Final polish done.  There were a dozen errors found, including the word [sic] ‘aplogize’ in this very paragraph.  The comedy was unintentional.

Leave your thoughts, be they good or not-so-much in the comments section below. You only need to go through the registration/approval process once.


About Angelo Barovier

I was born. I'll be around for a while. Then I won't.


10 thoughts on “Flashpoint: Behind-the-Scenes, Part Three

  1. i like your article, even though you are still mean. and now i have a blog. because i liked your article. is that not dangerous? I also found no spelling or grammatical errors, so stop messing around with part 3 and get on with writing part 4, please. oh and thanks for sharing and all that nice stuff.

    Posted by kchnwtch | August 13, 2011, 10:23 pm
    • Well, you know you didn’t have to sign up for a blog to comment! But thank you. Now that you’ve got a blog, what are you going to do with it?

      Posted by Angelo Barovier | August 14, 2011, 7:10 am
  2. You are too funny and probably the best representative of Team 5. You have such a way with words that I laugh out loud and drool with delightful jealousy at the same time. I love that you are taking us through this rich and exciting day so that we can see how truly wonderful the production staff, cast and crew are to their dedicated and most deserving of fans.

    Posted by Joy | August 13, 2011, 10:49 pm
    • Thanks, Joy! I’m just I got the opportunity to experience their generosity and general awesomeness. And that I was allowed to share it with y’all. As for being the “best representative” we’ll just have to agree to disagree. As the saying goes, “There’s always a faster gun.”

      Posted by Angelo Barovier | August 14, 2011, 7:16 am
  3. Thank you Angelo, for taking us through your tremendous journey with you. Even if you may be a little jerky (yes, I can use that as a word) I find myself enjoying this, and actually, smiling. Your brain works…hmmmm…not sure how to explain that one, but you offer an insightful read. Boy, I wish Sergio would ask me how I’m feeling. Ha!
    Oh, yes, I agree with the above comment–don’t worry about the edit..just get on to the final chapter. Please!

    Posted by Karma Heckard | August 13, 2011, 11:46 pm

    Yup, that’s right I love it.

    I know that scary “OMG, *thunk*” moment.

    I live in a part of London often used for filming (at the moment we have a film crew filming a comedy show for the next 6 weeks for one of the 5 main channels). Well one morning, on the way to the jobcentre (unemployed) I walk out notice filming in the main street of my town “great,” i think “I’m already running late!” Then I noticed police cars and I did a mental run down on drama’s using police cars in the UK – then I noticed one half of the law duo on Law and Order UK – and SPAZZED, seriously my brain grew legs and walked. you see the other half is one Jamie Bamber and If you watched the reimagined Battlestar Galactica – he was Lee “apollo” Adama! I however had time to plan and strategize, I had to get to the Jobcentre – I went, got home, grabbed companion to BSG and dashed out. I asked a passing crew member if it was ok to approach and was greenlit – I went up and said “Excuse me sir, Please may I have your autograph.” The reaction was massive grin, i handed him the book and stated (my Oh gods did I really says that moment) “OMG my hands are shakking” To which I got and “Aww don’t shake” 10 months later, I have to say the experience still has me excited!

    So, in short form – I completely understood where you were and saw myself in those meetings. Can not wait for your second installment!

    Posted by Angela Filewood | August 14, 2011, 1:28 am
    • Ah, yes. The shaky-hands effect from the walky-brain syndrome. It happens! :) I loved the new BSG, even though I despised the original. Doesn’t hurt that I have a thing for “bad ass chicks” so, y’know, Kara Thrace … le sigh. Thanks for letting me know there was a L&O:UK. I had no idea. And, thank you for your compliment.

      The original Prime Suspect, btw, still ranks as my favourite television crime drama.

      Posted by Angelo Barovier | August 14, 2011, 7:28 am
  5. Can someone explain why all the good guys wear those earpieces/microphones? Man they look dorky. SOOOOO dorky. I don’t see those in other representations of SWAT teams; I’ve never seen a police officer or FBI person or crisis specialist wearing such things, yet ALL the team members on this show wear them, even when they are walking in the locker room or “off duty.” What the heck ARE they (obviously product placement of some kind)? They aren’t like standard Bluetooth devices; they look like what call center agents wear (and in fact, the call people on Flashpoint wear them too, those headsets). I have never seen those things on any other cop/detective/SWAT or CIT person, in real life or on television. (and why don’t they fall out of the ear, COME ON, when people are leaping and diving and running and falling and wrestling, jeez….are they glued to the middle ear????

    Posted by lola | March 19, 2014, 9:19 pm
  6. Where is that building located from that wallpaper? the exterior of the SRU HQ? its looks very unique and i am unable to find it

    Posted by Jon A | November 2, 2014, 2:12 am

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