Vancouver Screen Scene: Sandra Oh, Bates Motel, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, and UnReal

Sandra Oh returns to the city where her career began to take off: Vancouver.

Best wishes for Year of the Rooster to all!

In the wake of Lunar New Year celebrations in Vancouver, a new feature film is on the horizon that brings together talent from both Canada and China.

There’s also a dramedy series finishing up one season and going straight into shooting the net one, a psychological horror TV series wrapping up its latest season, and a TV series about a fictitious reality TV series that is getting into shooting its third season.

Got all that? Good. Let’s get into the full details, shall we?

First up, here’s some intriguing news: Vancouver filmmaker Mina Shum is scheduled to shoot Meditation Park in town from February 27 to March 23

The film stars Sandra Oh, perhaps best known for playing Dr. Cristina Yang on the TV series Grey’s Anatomy.

Sandra Oh

The Korean Canadian talent is returning to the shooting location and filmmaker that marked her ascent into stardom.

When Oh starred in Shum’s feature film debut Double Happiness in 1994, about a Chinese Canadian girl struggling to balance her parents’ wishes with her own aspirations of becoming an actor, Oh garnered critical acclaim.

She went on to later star in Shum’s 2002 film Long Life, Happiness, and Prosperity.

Don McKellar

After a lengthy career on both sides of the 49th parallel, Oh returns to Canada to join a cast that will include Don McKellar (fun fact: Oh starred in McKellar’s 1998 apocalyptic drama Last Night), Jessica Paré (Mad Men), Tzi Ma (Arrival), and Pei-Pei Cheng (Come Drink With Me).

Interestingly enough, Oh’s career has found much good fortune in Vancouver. One of her first roles that made audiences take note of her was when she portrayed Vancouver writer Evelyn Lau in the 1994 TV movie The Diary of Evelyn Lau.

Most recently, she also did the voicework in local filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming’s 2016 animated feature Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming.

In working again in Vancouver with Shum, it seems Oh’s career is coming full circle, and judging by the trajectory of her work, she’ll be using it to springboard into further adventures to dazzle us all with.

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce

Elsewhere in the city, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce concluded shooting Season 4 on January 23 and, without missing a beat, got right into shooting Season 5 on January 24.

Season 5, which is to be the concluding season for the series, will continue production in Vancouver until March 23.

Lisa Edelstein stars on Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce

The dramedy series, stars Lisa Edelstein, Beau Garrett, Necar Zadegan, Paul Adelstein, Allana Ubach, and Retta, in following the adventures (and misadventures) of a woman going through a divorce with the social support network of her gal pals.

Bates Motel

Meanwhile, a series that’s finishing shooting its latest season this week is Bates Motel.

The psychological horror TV series wraps up shooting Season 5 on Tuesday (January 31), after having started on September 16.

Bates Motel

The series, about Norman and his mother Norma Bates (in their lives prior the events depicted in the film Psycho) stars Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, and more.

Season 5 is scheduled to hit the air on February 20 and is to be set two years after the death of Norma (Farmiga).

Someone to keep an eye for this season is pop superstar Rihanna, who was in town portraying Marion Crane.


Just as that series is finishing up its most recent season, UnReal launches into filming its next season on Wednesday (February 1). It’s scheduled to shoot its third season until May 11.

Shiri Appleby stars in the series as a young TV producer heavily pressured into resorting to whatever measures required in order to get ratings up for their dating show.

Shiri Appleby

Also among the cast are Constance Zimmer, Craig Bierko, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, and more.

Here’s a fun fact: Both UnReal and developed Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce share the same creative force behind them—screenwriter Marti Noxon.

Marti Noxon

And that’s a wrap for this week.

Check back in next time for more of what’s shooting (or wrapping up) on the streets of Hollywood North.

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