Kiwis add flavour to Yogi Bear’s pic-a-nic
Dozens of South Waikato residents will be on the big screen when Yogi Bear opens at cinemas tomorrow. Editor Mathew Grocott caught up with one family who were extras in the film to learn about life on the set of a bigbudget Hollywood production
When Yogi Bear opens in cinemas tomorrow the Hancock family will not be looking at the film’s stars.
Instead the family of seven will be looking out for several scenes they appeared in as extras.
The Tokoroa family were among some 400 extras used during a week of filming at Whakamaru in late 2009.
Many of the extras were from Tokoroa or Mangakino. In addition several South Waikato businesses and individuals were employed to work on the set as contractors, caterers, security and drivers.
Mum Deirdre Hancock said the family, husband Kelvin and children Anthony, Liam, Rosalee, Sophie and Erike, were looking forward to seeing the film.
The Hancocks took part in filming after they heard the film’s makers were looking for extras, in particular families.
After sending their photos and details to the film’s casting director they were all asked to be extras.
‘‘We were basically part of the crowd,’’ Mr Hancock said.
The family were involved in several scenes including a picnic, skiing on a lake and they had to react to fireworks which would be added by computer effects.
In another scene they reacted to Yogi Bear, who would be added later by computer.
‘‘You had to pretend quite a bit,’’ Mr Hancock said. The family all enjoyed being part of the moviemaking experience while Anthony had gone on to take part in other productions.
He was approached about being part of The Hobbit but would not be available when filming was scheduled.
The Yogi Bear film tells the story of a documentary maker who travels to Jellystone Park and crosses paths with Yogi, his sidekick Boo-Boo and the park’s rangers.
The film features actors Tom Cavanagh and Anna Faris with Yogi and Boo-Boo voiced by Dan Akroyd and Justin Timberlake.
The film is a spin-off from a cartoon series made by Hanna Barbera which debuted in 1961.
Tokoroa Cinema 3 is showing a special screening of Yogi Bear at midnight tonight.
There are multiple screenings scheduled tomorrow as well as activities for children.
Mrs Hancock said the family learnt a lot about movies during the week’s filming.
For several weeks after filming Mrs Hancock said they had trouble watching films as they were paying more attention to the extras on screen than the main characters.
The family said during Yogi Bear shots could be ruined if one extra looked in the wrong direction and they all had to make sure they dressed the same and had the same appearance each day.
During the week scenes got more complex and different extras, including members of the Hancock family were asked to take on bigger roles.
Liam had to run quite close to the camera for one scene. He said because the film was being shot in 3D he was told to be careful not to get too close to the cameras or have his arm extended too far towards the cameras.
Mrs Hancock said the family were well looked after by production staff and they were amazed how much work went on behind the scenes.
CASTING CALL: The Hancock family (clockwise from top left) Erike, 8, Liam, 18, Rosalee, 15, Sophie 12, Deirdre and Kelvin, along with eldest son Anthony, make their cinematic debut tomorrow as extras in
HEY BOO-BOO: Yogi Bear uses a mix of computer animation and live action, including a week of filming at Whakamaru.