Filming location is Whistler Log Cabin – DIRT

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Not a fan of competitive bird watching? Never heard of it before? There’s no need to appreciate the absolute joy that is 2011’s comedy “The Big Year,” either. Based on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mark Obmascik’s 2003 book, “The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession,” the film chronicles the adventures of three men – wealthy New York executive Stu Preissler (Steve Martin), professionally dissatisfied computer programmer Brad Harris (Jack Black), and shrewdly competitive housing entrepreneur Kenny Bostick (Owen Wilson) – as they cross North America in hopes of spotting the most bird species in a single year, winning the annual “big year” contest. The tale is inspired by the actual events of the 1998 contest, which, like the Aspen Daily News reported“turned out to be the biggest of the big years”, with the three birders at the center of the story “far outstripping the other competitors and seeing over 700 species each – the only such event ever recorded”.

Obmascik was forced to cover the unique competition and its even more unique contestants as a kind of “escape from the darker world he found himself in as a journalist”, according to the Daily News. Indeed, “The Big Year” is undeniably a feel-good story about the unlikely friendships that develop when random individuals come together over a deep love for a shared hobby.

Although it wasn’t a box office hit (it grossed a measly $7.7 million worldwide), the film, which is currently streaming on Disney+, is definitely worth the watch. Featuring an all-star cast of Hollywood heavyweights which, along with the aforementioned headliners, includes Rashida Jones, Jim Parsons, Anjelica Huston and Dianne Wiest (among many others), the production is endlessly fun. , heartwarming and uplifting – not to mention shockingly full of stunning scenery.

Filmed over a period of 55 days in 100 different locations, filming took the cast and crew from the Yukon Territory to Joshua Tree to the Florida Keys, with the distant landscapes serving to fully engage viewers in the adventures of the various contestants. great year. as they travel the Americas in search of different species of birds. As director David Frankel is quoted in the film production notes, “I think we captured the experience of being on the road for a year with these characters.” Jack Black further compared shooting to “like a decade of travel crammed into a month”.

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