Local Filmmaker Profile: Janice Blackie-Goodine

This time we had the pleasure of talking with Janice Blackie-Goodine, a legend in the Set Decorating world for both Television and Film. It was such a treat to get to know her, so without further ado, here’s our interview with Janice.
QUESTION: For those who aren’t familiar, what is a Set Decorator?
JANICE: A set decorator provides all the furnishings, the artwork, the lamps, light fixtures for each set. We choose wallpaper, carpets, drapes, etc. We create the characters through the details of the dressing in each set.
We do historic town exterior dressing, modern city exterior dressing, battlefields, first nations villages, space-ships, the list is endless.
I even decorated a Vampire wedding for Twilight.
QUESTION: Oh Amazing! For Twilight fans, which Vampire wedding did you set dec?
I worked on The Twilight Saga “Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2.” The wedding was in one of the parts of the film.

QUESTION: How long have you been in the film industry?
JANICE: I worked in the international film and television industry for forty years.
QUESTION: What was the first film you worked on?
JANICE: The first film I worked on was “Superman III.” I also worked on Christopher Reeve’s last project “Black Fox” a western filmed in Alberta in 1993 before his tragic accident. He was a wonderful man to work with.
QUESTION: I’ve heard wonderful things about him. What’s one of your favourite memories of Christopher Reeve?
Christopher was an avid horseman, so when ever he wasn’t on set he would kindly ask the horse wranglers if he could use one of their horses to go for a ride. I have memories of him galloping away from the set with a big smile on his face. He was very kind and courteous to all of us on the set.
QUESTION: What inspired you to get into film?
JANICE: As an artist, I feel Set Decoration is a form of art. I use all of my knowledge about composition, colour, texture, and lighting to help create a character’s environment.

QUESTION: Do you express yourself creatively with any other art forms?
Yes I love to paint and my western paintings have been featured in the Calgary Stampede Western Showcase Art Auction, with one of my paintings being chosen at the cover for the art auction catalogue. I also love painting Okanagan landscapes.
QUESTION: What is a highlight from your career?
JANICE: Working on Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven” for which I was Nominated for an Oscar. Also being invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I have been voting on the Oscars for 30 years.
Also Winning a Genie Award (now called Canadian Screen Award) for the film “Passchendaele”
QUESTION: That’s wild! So…speaking as a fan of the Academy Awards, what’s it like getting to vote on who gets an Oscar?
I have an Academy app that is like Netflix for Academy members of every film that qualifies for Oscar consideration every year. This year it was 171 films. I try to watch as many as I can as I take voting very serious. I vote twice. My first ballot is for Best Picture and my category Best Production Design. Once the Nominations are announced in each category, I vote again on every thing. I try to do my due diligence to honour the hard work of the film makers.

QUESTION: How long do they typically give you to watch and vote on all the films?
The process usually takes three months.
QUESTION: It must have been amazing to win a Genie? What was that like?
It was wonderful to go to Ottawa and celebrate with the other nominees from “Passchendaele.” Paul Gross was amazing to work with, he wrote the script, starred in the film, and he produced and directed it. He was a joy to be with every day on the film. It was an inspiration to recreate history, and honour the men and women of WW1.

QUESTION: What project were you working on when you decided this was what you wanted to do with your life?
JANICE: The television series “Airwolf” in Vancouver in 1986.
QUESTION: How would someone get a career like yours?
JANICE: It is a different path for everyone, but a knowledge of history, research, design, light and composition are things to learn on your journey. You have to have a good work ethic, be on time, and be able to work with large teams of people in a collaborative fashion. Also be kind.

QUESTION: What piece of advice would you give someone looking to get into film in the Okanagan?
JANICE: Contact the film commission to find out who are the department heads working in your field of interest. See if you can arrange a meeting to ask questions about what they are looking for in crew to train.
QUESTION: What are the benefits of working/living in the Okanagan? What do you like about it?
JANICE: It’s beauty. Diverse landscapes and big city or small town feel to the look. Enthusiastic young crews.
QUESTION: What are you currently working on?
JANICE: I’m now retired and painting Okanagan Landscapes.

QUESTION: Can you share one of your most memorable (funny? tragic?) moments on set?
JANICE: One morning I arrived at 6 am on a movie set to redress a cave that was filmed the night before full of snakes. As construction were in the set changing the walls for the next night of filming, they ran out screaming as there was still a python inside that the snake handler forgot. I said for heaven’s sake get me a pail and a towel and I will go catch it. As I got close to the snake I reached down to pick it up and it lunged at me and grabbed onto my hand. The carpenters were running screaming Jan got bit by a snake, Jan got bit by a snake! I did not want to hurt the snake so I spent about a minute gently pulling it off my hand and put it in the bucket and placed the towel over it to calm it down. The production made me go to a medical clinic for a tetanus shot. The clinic was full of mothers and babies, and when the receptionist asked me why I was there I said I got bit by a python. The mothers all looked at me in shock. The tetanus shot hurt worse than the snake bite.
QUESTION: So is it fair to say that was the last time you worked with snakes? (I hope!)
No I also worked with snakes on the series Zoo, but I am actually very good with all animals and I was even a Maggot wrangler once on a horror cult film “The Reflecting Skin”
QUESTION: Any final thoughts/stories that you would like to add?
JANICE: I have been very fortunate to have had an extraordinary life in this industry.

Similar Posts