Arts & Culture

Production star lives quietly among us in Steveston

By Lorraine Graves

Published 11:56 PDT, Wed May 31, 2017

Canadian-born talent Gabriel Napora started his career over 20 years ago studying production at The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology before venturing out into the production world creating commercials and music videos with Global Edmonton’s predecessor, ITV.

Their production arm, Applebox, gave Napora the chance to hone his craft on national and international commercials.

“Then, I came out here to the coast and did commercials and music videos. As Triton Films, my then-partner and I became the biggest in Western Canada for doing music videos.”

He cites videos for Biff Naked, Matthew Good, Swollen Members, and well-known international artist and Broadway musical actor, Sara Bareilles, among his accomplishments.

“I was working as Trident Films, then we took over a public company, renamed it Imagination Park and then raised money.” He’s worked with Lionsgate, Sony, Paramount, and Studio Canal.

When asked if he minded losing control of a production, Napora says: “For me I don’t get too attached to projects. I like to do the business. It doesn’t hurt me.”

His main genres now are horror and science fiction. He picked those themes because nine of the 10 top-grossing films have been sci-fi. This has enabled Napora to start selling projects to Hollywood.

Napora spoke with The Sentinel not long before his annual trip to the Cannes Film Festival.

While living in Richmond, Napora has bases in Los Angeles and Toronto as well. That said, he loves to work here with local crews.

“The amazing thing here is that crews have absolutely no attitude. They have a “can do” mentality and I’ve filmed all over the planet. Vancouver is the best place on earth to film.”

Having shot in Richmond and Steveston, Napora calls our community his “favourite place.”

He adds: “What I love about this whole area, you can get 10 different looks in about 10 different drives. I love the Steveston area. I love Finn Slough; it’s like one of my favourite places on earth. Not a lot of people know it exists.”

It’s not just the general public Napora finds friendly.

“Richmond is a great city to work with for permits. They make it very, very easy. They are one of my favourite municipalities to work with.”

And why does this producer like to walk the dike along Terra Nova? “The radar reflectors look so sci-fi.”

With his love of sci-fi, what’s next?

“Hologram work. Right now we’re focused on perfecting some techniques.” Holograms are projected three-dimensional images that a viewer can walk around, seeing every side of the projected object.

He also talked about augmented reality.

“You put on pair of glasses and see surroundings but the graphics and holograms come around you. Eventually augmented reality will be a contact lens, and then finally no contact lens, just holograms all around you.”

Napora says exciting advances in filming are in the near future.

“Very shortly, we’ll have some interesting things come out. It’s ground-breaking work. If we create a short (film) with a robot in it, we can take that robot and create a 3D hologram with it.”

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