Kid Cannabis producer high on shooting in Victoria

Corey Large is still high on the success of Kid Cannabis since his colourful true-life drug smuggling drama was released six weeks ago.

The Victoria-born producer says he’s just as pleased that the film director John Stockwell shot here two summers ago is opening in his hometown.

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“It’s exciting,” said the Los Angeles-based filmmaker who, coincidentally, is back home as Kid Cannabis opens at the Vic tonight. Large flew in for a series of meetings with industry types, including Victoria film commissioner Kathleen Gilbert, about two more movies he hopes to shoot here.

“I’m trying to get back more into this Canada stuff,” said Large, recalling how he successfully persuaded his partners to shoot Kid Cannabis and Poker Night, the crime drama opening here Oct. 3.

“It’s definitely getting better here with the tax incentives and I’d rather do movies in Victoria because it’s where I’m from.

“The alternatives are Alabama and Georgia and other sh---y places I don’t want to go.”

Other projects his Wingman Productions is potentially partnering on include a reboot of Eli Roth’s 2002 cult horror hit Cabin Fever, and an A-list director’s major project “we’re not allowed to talk about.”

Alan Pao, Large’s partner in Wingman and their post-production company Tunnel Post, was involved in the franchise’s most recent entry, the prequel Cabin Fever: Patient Zero.

Large’s other recent partnerships include It Follows, David Robert Mitchell’s horror film and Cannes festival entry about a teenage girl who has disturbing visions after a sexual encounter and Zombeavers, a horror-comedy shown at Tribeca Film Festival about zombified beavers that ruin a weekend camping trip for a trio of sexy sorority sisters.

You’d think his experience on that cabin-in-the-woods entry would boost his chances of doing Cabin Fever here if he can strike a deal similar to the Kid Cannabis coup.

“It’s not 100 per cent yet, but we’re well into talks,” he said. “If we get involved, it has to be shot here. That’s a stipulation I make now.”

Meanwhile, the media attention Kid Cannabis has generated brought back memories of the shoot on and around Prospect Lake for Stockwell’s raucous flick about the exploits of Nate Norman, the 19-year-old Idaho high school dropout who hatched a multimillion dollar pot-smuggling empire.

While Large was pleased with critical reaction to the movie that Film Journal International called “a sybaritic orgy of delight for any and all sybarites who worship at the Church of Bong” and was described as a “Scarface for stoners” by The Hollywood Reporter, he was amused by one reviewer’s assertion it was too over-the-top and the weed looked fake.

He flashed back to the day Stockwell, whose research included visiting the nerdy drug kingpin in prison after optioning the rights to Mark Binelli’s 2005 Rolling Stone piece, took cast and crew — blindfolded in a vehicle with blacked-out windows — on a covert trip to shoot at a real grow-op at a secret location.

“That was like a scene out of a movie itself,” said Large.

The actor-producer’s hometown visit is a quickie. He has to be back in L.A. by Saturday night to see the L.A. Kings face the New York Rangers again at Staples Centre with his friend Bruce McNall, the former L.A. Kings owner who famously bought Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers. Large has optioned the rights to McNall’s life story for “a Wolf of Wall Street-type film.”

BEST FOOT FORWARD: We’re guessing Paul Becker won’t mind if Stages Performing Arts School founder Kim Breiland calls him “kid” when the director and choreographer comes home Sunday.

“They’ll always be my kids,” laughs Breiland, who will host Becker and director-choreographer Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) during an open call for dancers for an upcoming movie.

Her Victoria-born former student’s extensive credits include choreography for Mirror, Mirror; The Twilight Saga; and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Dancers aged 14 to their early 20s with any kind of experience can strut their stuff from 10 a.m. Sunday at 301-1551 Cedar Hill Cross Rd.

Bring along a photograph, resumé and comfortable clothes, Breiland says.

To win a double pass to see Kid Cannabis tonight or Saturday at the Vic, email by 2 p.m. today.

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