Burnaby props expert got to vote for Sunday’s Academy Awards

Jimmy Chow rose to the top after humble beginnings at CBC

Jimmy Chow rose to the top after humble beginnings at CBC, and is now a judge for the Academy Awards. Francis Georgian / PNG

The cute little Burnaby house, 70-some years old, beer-bottle stucco on the exterior walls commonly found in the bungalows that popped up in the years after the Second World War, is a charming but modest home for a man who gets to vote on the most ostentatious contest on Earth.

Jimmy Chow, a 45-year veteran of the film industry, is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, and thus got to vote in each category that will be announced at Sunday’s Oscars gala, one of more than 7,000 members worldwide.

He’s not supposed to say who he voted for, but he likes Green Book and he thinks Christian Bale and his makeup artists did a great job in Vice.

“I’ve worked with Christian Bale, I like Christian Bale,” Chow said sitting in the rumpus room of his home of 42 years near Metrotown. “Bradley (Cooper, in A Star Is Born) was so good, I was amazed how he did the rock ‘n’ roll persona, I could tell he really worked hard at that role.

“Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), I’m not a big fan, but I’m sure tickled by her talent.”

Chow is a property master by title, but a jack-of-all-trades by necessity.

Props from Jimmy Chow’s collection. Francis Georgian / PNG

A fit and young-looking 70, he’s not exactly retired but has had the luxury of turning down work for four years now. Badminton, his warehouse (Avatar Prop & Design Inc.) and teaching film at Langara College occupy his days.

It’s quite a ways from his “show biz” beginnings in 1973 after he’d kicked around all sorts of odd jobs in theatre and music.

“CBC called and asked me to show up at 4 o’clock. My job was to clean (CBC weatherman) Bob Fortune’s blackboard,” Chow said. “I did such a great job, they called me back and asked if I would work New Year’s Eve, I said ‘yes sir.’”

That led to three years in Gibsons on the set of The Beachcombers and the launch of his career.

“The Beachcombers was my school,” Chow said.

And that led to Who’ll Save Our Children, directed by George Schaefer (still his favourite director) and then The Changeling, where he got to know George C. Scott.

Shipping News, Man of Steel, TRON: Legacy, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the list goes on and on.

Chow, who arrived with his mother in Canada as a two-year-old “with the shirts on our backs” escaping Mao’s China, would go on to work on 55 movies in total, the last one Warcraft: The Beginning.

Jimmy Chow in the rumpus room of his Burnaby home. Francis Georgian / PNG

Life-size cut-outs of Chow and Halle Berry, Chow and Juno star Ellen Page, Chow and Sharon Stone lean against a wall in his rumpus room.

The Stone one, taken during the filming of 1992’s Basic Instinct, shows the actress smiling with her arm around Chow’s shoulders. He’s smiling and holding a handgun, a real one, not a rubber prop.

Stone hadn’t been paying full attention to the safety instructions she’d been given for handling the handgun and Chow wanted it back during a break in filming.

“It was actually a tense moment,” Chow said. “Sharon wanted to hold the gun, I said I needed it back from her, I grabbed it from her hand, it was me trying to be safe.”

She put her arm around him and someone snapped a photo.

Membership in the Academy is by invitation. There are 162 Canadian members of the Academy. Today when Chow watches a film, he tries not to be analytical, although inconsistencies really bug him.

“I want to be swept away,” he said. “If I’m looking at the technical stuff, it’s too much like work.”

[email protected]



Источник: Vancouversun.com

Источник: Corruptioner.life


You may also like...