Junior hockey players’ Hollywood hobby gets attention
For a pair of South Surrey junior hockey players, boredom has bred creativity.
And that creative spark – which caused Ben Vikich and Dean Allison to recreate some of their favourite movie posters, starring themselves – has gone viral online.
In the past week, the two friends have been featured online everywhere, from Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard blog, a CBS Sports’ blog and popular sports site, Bleacher Report.
It all started because Vikich – who played hockey last year in Maine and this season will suit up for the Surrey Eagles – and Allison, who plays for the Flin Flon Bombers in Manitoba, wanted to entertain a few of their friends.
“It was the start of the summer. We both came home from our hockey seasons and were sitting around one day – it was Dean’s idea, actually – and we just thought it would be a good way to get a couple laughs from our friends,” Vikich, who played junior ‘B’ in North Delta before moving to the Maine-based Portland Jr. Pirates last season.
They posted their first photo – a re-creation of the poster from the Will Ferrell movie Step Brothers – on photo-sharing site Instagram with the hashtag #MovieStarMondays.
“I wish I had a better answer for you about why we started, but we just thought it would be funny,” said Allison. “When we were doing the Step Brothers one, my mom came home from work and we were standing there with tuxedos and running shoes on, with all the furniture moved.
“She thought it was funny, and took the picture for us. And it carried on from there.”
The response they got was so great that they began doing more, and posting them each Monday online.
“What’s happened (lately) is just crazy. It’s been very cool to get all this attention,” Vikich said. “I’ve gained a ton of followers on Instagram and I get messages from people all the time telling me how much they like it.”
Since their Step Brothers photo, they’ve tackled – quite hilariously – such movies as The Notebook, Nacho Libre, Brokeback Mountain, Wayne’s World and Wedding Crashers, among others.
The pair – both alums of Semiahmoo Minor Hockey – also adhere to a few rules when creating their masterpieces. For starters, they don’t use Photoshop to doctor any of the images; secondly, props and costumes can cost no more than $10 per poster.
“We’re junior hockey players, so we’re not making a lot of money,” Vikich said. “So we just use whatever we have in our closets, or if we have to, we’ll go to Value Village to get something.”
For all its popularity, Movie Star Mondays may run it’s course in the not-too-distant future, as Allison is set to return soon to Flin Flon for the upcoming hockey season.
“We’d like to keep doing maybe one a month until I come home for Christmas,” said Allison, who played for the BC Hockey League’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs prior to joining the Bombers last October.
Vikich, who will be staying at home to play for the Eagles, said they have a few photoshoots banked already.
And for all the fun he’s had making the posters during the off-season, Vikich is looking forward to getting back on the ice with his hometown team.
He was briefly on the Eagles’ roster early last season, before moving on to Portland, and he was also an affiliate player who travelled with the team during their RBC Cup run two seasons ago.
“I’m really looking forward to playing my final season (of junior hockey) at home, in front of my family and friends,” he said. “I’m really excited to play for (new coach Blaine Neufeld). I think we’re going to have a good team.”
And what does Neufeld – about to embark on his rookie season behind a BC Hockey League bench – think of how his new forward has spent his downtime this summer?
“I think they’re funny,” Neufeld said. They’ve definitely had some (spare) time.”