Canadian Stark

by Chris Dias

Image by Grace Flack

Image by Grace Flack

At several points during this article, I’ll stop being frivolous with the comic-book comparisons and focus on the actual human being that is Brent Marshall. Admitting full disclosure, I was solicited for the interview (requiring zero additional enticement) by this magazine’s editor given Brent’s attachment as a producer for The Doctor’s Case, the film based on a Stephen King short story being shot locally.  I was instructed to focus on Brent’s role as producer, how it came about, as well as Brent’s history with philanthropy including children’s charities and his investing in local businesses.   Brent also races supercars. And he owns a jetpack. Guess what I’ll be focusing on?

Brent Marshall is a producer for The Doctor’s Case.  The film looks fantastic.  Water is also wet.

It’s not just the possession of a jetpack that invokes allusions of Marvel metaphors.  Brent’s background is in engineering, and after a string of successful business ventures—owning or managing eighteen companies by the time he was 40—he came into undeniable wealth.  (Side point, I’m 43 and still don’t own a home.)  How else would someone like Marshall implement such wealth than to immediately invest in aid organizations and children’s hospitals.  To name just a few, Brent worked with Northern Health, University Hospital, Kordyban Cancer Lodge, Spirit of the North, Festival of Trees, sat on no less than five charity boards, and in nine years was responsible for over $3 million dollars donated to local causes.

Brent also invested in a movie, an adaptation of a Stephen King short story set in the world of Sherlock Holmes.

He’s no pauper, and enough scratch remained for Brent to own a small collection of nicely painted, highly polished, very expensive examples of German, Italian, and American workmanship.

“I’ve owned seven Lamborghinis.  I currently have the Huracán, got a Ferrari 458 Spyder, McLaren 650 and 675 LT.  I’ve had  4 McLaren’s and waiting on the next one that’s coming.  I had the only Spyker Spyder  in Canada.  Waiting for my 840 horsepower Dodge Demon.  Teslas, I love Tesla, I own two of those.”  

Yes, another contrast.  Elon Musk.    This time a real person, also a genius and philanthropist.  

“He’s my hero, a brilliant man.”

Then we returned to talking about cars… “I have a couple of prowlers,” Brent continued, “including the last Plymouth, modified by Jesse James.”  

photo submitted

photo submitted

In total, Brent keeps his collection hovering between seven and nine cars.  The McLaren 650S is his daily driver, totally 45,000 kilometers on the odometer.  As for other hypercars, Brent has been courted to buy the Bugatti Veyron, a Koenigsegg Agera, and the upper echelon of all automobiles, the Pagani Huayra, which Brent declined to purchase based on its price (pfft, amateur). And he races, because of course he would.  Brent spends some spare time at the exclusive Area 27 racing circuit in Oliver (which allows friends, so the bootlicking will be following hastily).

“I’ve had a dozen cars that all could do over 200 miles per hour, I’ve had every one of them doing that (that’s over 345 km/hr!?).  I started racing in a Mustang GT Cobra.  That’s when it all started, at around eighteen.  I’ve been racing ever since.”  

That’s when Brent brought up the fact he owns a fly-board and a jetpack.  I’m honestly surprised he didn’t own an Iron Man suit. 

 

At this point, we needed to talk about the movie Brent was helping to produce for director/writer James Douglas, the Stephen above King adaptation.  But no, we went back to talking about cars, about the Hennessey Twin Turbo Viper that Brent owned that set the world record at The Texas Mile, or about the car I currently drive and race, a Lancer Evolution…which honestly seems a little anticlimactic by this point.  The fastest vehicle Brent probably owns returns the conversation to Tesla, battery-power delivers the whole of its energy instantly, generating acceleration that is faster than falling.

FINE, we’ll talk about the movie!

“I’ve known Norm (Coyne—producer/publisher, including this magazine) for years, and he’s done quite a bit of cool stuff like ScenePG (free plug).  We got to work on lots of different projects.  He got a hold of me, and it’s really funny, I’m a huge Stephen King fan, read all his books growing up.  Norm told me about this idea.  The whole premise, about Dollar Babies, a Stephen King short story based on Sherlock Holmes.  It’s stunning.  We’re taking it to Sundance, which is in Park City Utah, which I had been to earlier as part of a Lamborghini rally.”

A Lamborghini rally?

“I do about five charity rallies a year, including the Diamond rally, which is another fundraiser for children charities.”

photo submitted

photo submitted

 And then we talked about cars for another twenty minutes.  Hey, don’t judge me, I hit the high points about the movie.  It’s brilliant, but let’s be honest, the achievement and laurels inevitably earned by The Doctor’s Case will deservedly be claimed by many, though most importantly James Douglas, it’s writer and director.  Brent Marshall is a gifted businessman and an engineering enthusiast who obviously discovered a sensible investment. Listening to his achievements just from the financial perspective were intimidating enough, and I found myself desperately fighting the urge to not boast about my own sales achievements in a futile effort to turn this conversation into a job interview.  Brent is semi-retired despite being only halfway through his forties.  He still owns a helicopter business and participates in projects in the Okanagan involving supercars and wine. Wouldn’t you?

“Prince George is a great place to film when you think about it, with the resources we have here, the way the dollar has been.  I go to Vancouver a lot, and I see them shooting films there steady.  It would be nice to see some of that come north into Prince George.”

So, let’s conclude with the qualifying list:  Brent has an engineering background.  He’s altruistic.  He owns many cars, including an Audi R8.  He also owns jet packs.  And he spends money on projects that interest him.  He’s as close to a Canadian Tony Stark as we may ever see.  Brent admitted to loving those films, seeding my theory that Brent was not enjoying a fantasy; he was exploring options.  He could fly to japan tomorrow.  Powered armor technology intensifies weekly.  He could fill that gap with a phone call.  

All he’s missing is that characteristic goatee.

“I shaved that a few years ago.”

I knew it.
 

Norm Coyne