Call it the chaos on the mountain.
Well, it was probably more of a controlled chaos. After all, multimillion-dollar action films starring one of the world’s biggest movie stars tend to operate with high levels of prudent oversight. Still, there was a definite sense of urgency when the cast, crew and A-list stars of Jumanji: The Next Level descended on Kananaskis Country for three days in April for a unit shoot.
As assistant locations manager in Alberta, Mike Johansen helped organize the tricky logistics of getting more than a hundred people onto the blustery mountain, which was made even trickier since many of the principals involved in the latest instalment of the Jumanji franchise were incommunicado in the days before they were to arrive.
“They travelled from Hawaii to Calgary and then came straight out and wanted to start shooting,” he says. “But we couldn’t get any answers. They didn’t have any cell reception on set (in Hawaii). They were in a jungle somewhere. We had a lot of questions. We had folks from the art department who were trying to help figure out exactly where we should shoot.”