Twelve-year-old Sicamous native, Sacha Munro gets a taste of playing hockey on a movie set. (Photo contributed)

Shuswap boy gets Hollywood hockey experience as movie extra

Sicamous youth finds making movies not as glamorous as they might appear to be

By Leah Blain

In December, 2017, Sacha Munro got up early in the morning to spend the day on the ice. That wasn’t unusual because Sacha, 12, has been playing hockey since he was in kindergarten. He and his dad, Bruce, drove to Revelstoke with a packed lunch.

But this day would be very different because instead of playing a regular game, Sacha was going to be playing hockey on a movie set.

One year ago, film crews were in Revelstoke filming the Hallmark movie, Frozen in Love.

“I heard of Hallmark,” says Sacha, but he had no idea they made movies. “I know they make birthday cards.”

The movie portrays bad boy hockey player Adam Clayborn (played by Niall Matter) who has to rehabilitate his image. He does this in part by volunteering to coach a minor hockey team. Sacha, along with other 10 to 12 year olds from Sicamous and Revelstoke were invited to be the players.

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The day started off with a lengthy sign-in procedure.

In addition to the regular process, there was more paperwork for parents to allow children to work more than eight hours. (It ended up being a 10-hour day).

“They had jerseys made specially – they called them costumes and they had to go to the wardrobe department,” says Bruce. “They spent a huge amount of time making sure there were no ads on the hockey pants and no brand names on the sticks.”

Once they had their costumes (jerseys) on, it was game time…well, not really.

“It didn’t feel like hockey. I was sitting on the bench the whole time,” says Sacha.

In the movie Adam gets mad at the ref for a bad call. The few seconds of hockey took about 30 ‘takes.’

Bruce says the film crew worked very hard to make sure it looked authentic but the problem was they didn’t have any hockey expertise.

“When they were setting up the game they didn’t know what they were doing – they put the goalies on the wrong sides and they did it for about 20 minutes before someone said, ‘Excuse me…’” says Bruce.

While the boys were on the bench they weren’t allowed to make any noise.

“It got boring after the first 20 minutes, we weren’t allowed to talk. We could talk a little when they weren’t filming.”

Bruce was also an ‘extra’ in the crowd. He said it was interesting because they were told be expressive but not to make any noise.

“We were supposed to be silent but demonstrative in cheering.”

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In one shot Sacha’s team gets a pep talk from Adam, the coach, and team sponsor/love interest Mary Campbell (Rachael Leigh Cook). As the talk is finished they turn and skate as if to go back onto the ice.

“All I did was skate about three metres 30 times.”

There was lots of food for breaks and lunch but there were also a lot of people so Bruce and Sacha were glad they had brought a lunch. Bruce was paid $80 to be an extra but Sacha made $120 for his extra work.

The movie was released in January 2018. Sacha didn’t want to watch the whole movie but he did watch the couple of scenes where he was playing. If he’s going to watch a Christmas movie, it’s The Grinch Who Stole Christmas or his favourite, The Muppet Christmas Carol.

One thing he did learn is that working in the movie industry isn’t all that glamorous.

“It was not fun. I do not want to be a movie star. I would like to be a mechanical engineer – engineering is cool.”


@SalmonArm
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