10 April, 2014

Paul Walker Stood Here

by Rick Unger & Matthew Veith
"Paul Walker stood here." This thought occurred to Rick as he stood by the workbench in Canadian Mennonite University's generator room.  He had just watched The Lazarus Project many of the interior scenes of which had been filmed at CMU back in the spring of 2007.  Throughout the movie he found himself excited to recognize areas of CMU in various scenes.

Rick - a Maintenance Technician at CMU - had a bit of an epiphany when the movie showed a prop telephone mounted to the wall by the workbench, and immediately he realized that phone was the reason for the mysterious screw in the wall in that location.  Not that random screws are all that mysterious, but he had noticed it before & wondered why it was there.  Later, while he was standing by that same workbench, Rick looked at the screw that the prop phone had been mounted to & noticed what had changed and what had remained the same since the movie was shot there. More significantly, Paul Walker, famous for his role as Brian O'Conner in the Fast & Furious movie series, had stood right there at the end of that same bench. The idea to photograph these same locations as they appeared in the movie, was born.

Sadly, at the end of November 2013, Paul Walker was killed in horrific car crash during a fundraising event for his charity, Reach Out Worldwide.  In the weeks that followed, stories of Paul's kindness & generousity came to light.  This made the idea of reproducing images of places where Paul had been at CMU, more poinent, and it was with the utmost respect to Paul & his family that Matt & Rick undertook this project.

The project began with Rick capturing dozens of still images of scenes from The Lazarus Project that feature areas of CMU.  He and Matt then selected a handful of these scenes to emulate.  The real challenge began as Matt & Rick had to pinpoint the locations the camera had been in, and the correct focal lengths it had been set at to shoot these scenes.  They then had to position Rick within those shots as close as possible to what Paul's positions had been.  These images are results of their efforts.

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