Operator Lends Classic Vehicles For Sci-Fi Flick Remake

Posted on September 6, 2011

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ontario — Most chauffeured transportation clients don’t expect to see their vehicles looking like they’ve just been hit by bombs. But most chauffeured transportation clients are not a movie studio filming a remake of a 1990 science-fiction blockbuster called Total Recall.

Niagara Classic Transportation, a 55-vehicle operation, is known for its fleet of classic luxury vehicles and London-style “hackney” cabs. It contributed three hackneys and a double-decker bus to the film’s production company, who tweaked the vehicles and coated them with special materials to make them look blasted and burned. About two days were spent on the vehicle cosmetics, said Niagara Classic president David Mole.

“They used a double-decker bus and few of our older London cabs that were already a little beaten up and made them look post-apocalyptic, like they’d been hit by bombs,” Mole told LCT.

The vehicles, managed by Toronto film-vehicle broker MK Picture Car Services, were repaired and cleaned of surface gunk after the shoot, which took place on Sunday, August 21.

Touching up the star's makeup between scenes.

Touching up the star's makeup between scenes.

The production is among the largest ever in Canada, estimated to cost anywhere from $160 to $200 million. The principal filming locations will include Toronto and areas around the Greater Toronto area.

Total Recall is the film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s story, “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” which revolves around the concept of memory implants and a man’s struggle to distinguish between true and synthetic reality. The original film was released in 1990 and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. The exact plot line of the new version, directed by Len Wiseman and starring Collin Farrell, isn't yet known, but the film’s website says it will be released in August 2012.

Niagara Classic’s first break in show biz came about five years ago when the company hosted a wine tour for some producers. “They saw our cars and one thing led to another,” Mole said. “They were shooting a scene in Toronto, trying to make it look more like London, and we got the call to have our London cabs go in to give context to the scene. After that, we got involved with probably three or four projects a year. The biggest one we’ve done thus far was the feature film Jumper.”

Niagara Classic Transportation was founded in 1999 by David Mole’s parents, Ian and Anne Mole, as Can/Am Classic Cars. He and his brother, Matthew, are the current owner/operators. The company started out with a sterling silver 1965 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud Series III for the busy Niagara wedding market and has since added London cabs, limousines, SUVs, sedans, and larger vehicles to grow its fleet to more than 50 vehicles. The diverse and unique fleet gives the company salability every day of the week instead of just on weekends, Mole said.

Filming on the set of Total Recall remake.

Filming on the set of Total Recall remake.

The company adapted to the receding economy by shifting its focus. “When the economy was trembling, my brothers and I sat down and looked at it as our opportunity to be innovative and go after industries that were recession proof, so we attacked the wedding market and pushed toward providing transportation for the TV and film industry,” Mole said.

Sources: Michael Campos, LCT assistant editor; Niagara Classic; The Standard (Ontario, Canada)


Related Topics: Canadian Operators, double-decker buses, movie shoots, vintage vehicles

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