Pierre Even, co-producer of Oscar-nominated Brooklyn, talks shooting film in Montreal
Film was partly shot in Ukrainian Federation Church in Mile End, St-Jacques St., Notre-Dame Ave.
The film Brooklyn may be based in a New York City borough, but the Oscar-nominated-movie has many ties to Montreal.
Pierre Even, Brooklyn's co-producer and co-founder of the independent Montreal film production company Item 7, says the film's success shows the level of talent in Montreal's film industry.
The film received 3 Oscar nods, including best picture.
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Most of the scenes in the film, were shot in Montreal — the city was chosen for its talent, its setting and because the production company told producers "we could find some money in Montreal," Even said.
The film stars best actress Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan, and tells the story of a young Irish woman named Eilis Lacey who leaves her home in Ireland to start a life in 1950s New York City.
CBC Montreal's Daybreak spoke to Even about what it was like to work with the team, to shoot a high-profile film in Montreal and to receive international recognition.
Here are some key excerpts from the interview:
What does the movie's success mean for Montreal's film industry?
I think it shows the level of talent that we have in Montreal, because of course there were 180 crew members in Montreal, there were 20 Montreal actors and Canadian actors in the film. So it shows that we can provide the quality of work that can become an international success.
A part of the movie Brooklyn was shot in Montreal omg how come I didn't know that—@flungoutofspxce
How did you manage to sell the filmmakers on Montreal as Brooklyn?
The lead producer, Finola Dwyer, is from London and she came to Canada. She went to Toronto, Vancouver, to Montreal, and she wanted to find the best place to shoot Brooklyn.
We had the Bureau du Cinéma in Montreal to get us some pictures of areas in Montreal that could look like 1950 Brooklyn. So we showed her these pictures and we convinced her that we have great talent in Montreal as well, because that's important.
What scenes were filmed where in Montreal?
We shot in the basement of [the Ukrainian Federation Church in Mile End] for some dance scenes. St-Jacques Street [in the old Port] is a great place we got some shots in. If you look at the film, you'll find some corners that you might recognize.
There was also a place on Notre-Dame Street where we shot the arrival, when she arrives to America.
Did Saoirse Ronan's reported nervousness in filming Brooklyn show on the set?
She was so professional, she was 19 at the time, she was prepared, she was really great. She was amazing to work with, the entire team loved her. So I think her nervousness, she kept that for her mother.
On the set she was right on time, she knew her lines, she was great in front of the camera. She's so young and professional that it didn't show.
This interview has been edited for clarity.