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TAKING LIVES

Filming Locations
In addition to the invaluable help the film crew received from the Surete, they enjoyed a general warm reception from Montreal and Quebec City , which provided the perfect settings for their story, which is set in Montreal .  Working from an early script that placed the action in Vancouver, D.J. Caruso decided while location scouting to move the focus to the predominantly French-speaking cities in favor of their "European feel.”  

As a bonus, this allowed the production to incorporate shots of the renowned Montreal International Jazz Festival, complete with fireworks, into a vital pursuit sequence, giving the action a more urgent, surreal tone.  Caruso, who compares the festival atmosphere to Mardi Gras, recalls how the camera crew made the most of the opportunity, "running and gunning, with extras mixed into the crowd.  It was fantastic, the energy of the real event was beyond anything we could have manufactured; you could almost point your camera in any direction, the scope and scale of it was overwhelming.”

Quebec 's blend of the familiar with the foreign, especially for American audiences, serves as an unsettling reminder, notes Canton , "that this story could be taking place anywhere in the world.  It could be your hometown.”

The setting also amplifies Agent Scott's isolation.  "By placing the American FBI agent into a predominantly French-speaking city with a distinctive European look, it illustrates her separateness,” Caruso explains.  "She's an outsider and a loner here; excluded from the camaraderie of the local police department and the tight partnership of the lead detectives, living in a hotel, unsure of her way around and unable to carry a gun until the proper international permits are issued,” an element that helps in some way to explain the choices she makes later. 

Finally, the beauty of these Canadian locales, captured by cinematographer Amir Mokri, provides stark contrast to the ugliness of the crimes being committed:  a meandering bike path alongside a lush forest is marred by the discovery of a makeshift grave, an elegant art gallery reception is marred by gunfire and destruction.

"By choosing to showcase Montreal ,” Canton concludes, "we were lucky to get locations that are unique and have a real sense of style.”

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