What’s the mood like on the set of a movie that has a scant sixteen days to shoot?

Surprisingly light, actually. On a recent visit by CityNews.ca to the Toronto studio where buddy comedy Shark City is being filmed, both cast and crew managed to have a few laughs in between takes.

Actors Jefferson Brown (pictured, left) and David Phillips (pictured, right) play Kenny and Dagen, two thirty-something friends living in New York. Dagen falls in love with the daughter of a mobster (Carlo Rota), the same mobster Kenny has just swindled out of $1 million.

On a break from shooting the tense climax, which takes place over a high-stakes game of poker, Brown and Phillips related their experiences making Shark City, which also features Corey Haim and Vivica A. Fox.

“It’s always exciting to work with so many different actors and (their) styles of reaching the characters they’re playing. Everyone from Corey to Vivica to Carlo, they’re professional and do what they have to do to be the character that’s asked of them,” Brown noted.

“Which is a complete juxtaposition of having to work with Jefferson all the time because he’s the epitome of non-professional. Not very giving, kind of terrible to work with, but we’re making the most of it,” Phillips deadpanned.

It’s the first feature film for director Dan Eisen, who reminisced about his days working for Citytv as a producer. After working in TV for more than a decade he says getting the chance to helm a film was “a dream come true.”

“It’s been a phenomenal experience, mostly because of all the great people I have working with me,” he explained. “This is the number one team I’ve ever worked with.”

Brown, who’s previously appeared in the TV shows Sophie and Slings and Arrows, admitted the quick shoot meant long hours, but observed everyone seemed up for the challenge.

“Dan Eisen, the director, has been nothing but giving as far as allowing us the ability to make suggestions where we feel we might be able to improve, and he’s allowed us to play, and make it a project we can all add to and take away from,” the homegrown actor explained. “The long hours can be difficult but at the same time you’re on set, and everyone’s walking away at the end of the day happy with what they’ve got in the can.”

Phillips, who’s also starred in the films Winter and Three Shades of Black, agreed, saying having a cast free of egos helped make the process that much easier.

“You go to bed really late, and then the next morning you’re up, and some of these scenes require your full attention (because) there’s a lot going on,” he mused. “It’s a lot of work, and it’s tiring. Having fun and keeping it light between the heavier scenes has been beneficial for everyone.”

Shark City is due to be released on December 31.

Shark City photo blog

Shark City on IMDB