‘Vampire Academy’ Begins Filming: 5 Things To Know

Hear that? It’s the sound of school bells ringing at St. Vladimir’s Academy, where classes are officially in session for all the pretty, young Moroi and their dhampir guardians-in-training. Which is to say, the cast and crew of “Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters” have assembled in London, where filming began today on the big-screen adaptation of Richelle Mead’s best-selling vampire novel!

“First day of filming!!” actress Zoey Deutch, who plays Rose Hathaway, tweeted early this morning, along with an image of her trailer and a weathered brick building in the background, which we can only assume is the facade of the boarding school for bloodsuckers.

With filming finally underway, it seemed as good a time as any to fill in any lingering holes you may have regarding the long-awaited production. So, without further ado, here are five things you need to know about “Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters.”

1. The plot
If you’re reading this post, it’s likely you already know all about the young-adult series upon which the film is based, but just in case, here’s a primer:

The “Vampire Academy” novels are set in a world in which three types of vampires (essentially) co-exist (albeit, not peacefully). There are the benevolent Moroi; the half-human, half-vampire dhampir, who serve as the Moroi’s bodyguards; and the Strigoi, who are baddie bloodsuckers through and through. The series revolves around dhampir Rose Hathaway and her best friend, Moroi Lissa Dragomir. Through an uncanny series of events, the two have become “shadow-kissed,” meaning they share a mental bond (i.e. Rose can read Lissa’s thoughts and feelings). The first installment (subtitled “Blood Sisters” for the purpose of the movie), begins with the friends on the run—but not for long, as they’re found and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s to face the consequences.

2. Familiar faces
“Vampire Academy” is populated with some of the industry’s hottest up-and-comers. You probably recognize star Zoey from her turn as snotty schoolgirl Emily Asher in another YA adaptation, “Beautiful Creatures.” Fun fact about her: Hollywood runs in her veins. Zoey’s mom is “Switched at Birth” actress Lea Thompson. Playing Rose’s good friend (and potential love interest) Mason Ashford is 19-year-old Cameron Monaghan, whom “Shameless” fans will know as Ian Gallagher. And, if you follow the antics of ABC’s “Modern Family,” Dunphy daughter Sarah Hyland is playing troublemaker Natalie Dashkov.

3. A few not-so-familiar faces
Of course, any would-be blockbuster is likely to launch a handful of no-names to fame and fortune, and that could very well be the case for “Vampire Academy.” Filling out the roster of starring roles are little-known (at least stateside) actors Lucy Fry as Lissa and Danila Kozlovskiy as Dimitri Belikov. This could be their big chance to take a bite out of the American box-office.

4. It’s a family affair
If you’re not intimately familiar with the Waters brothers’ work, you will be. Daniel Waters (who most famously penned “Heathers”) wrote the screenplay for “Vampire Academy,” while brother Mark (director of “Mean Girls”) will helm the production. (And just for the record, Zoey says the script is “so interesting.”)

5. There’s more where this came from
Richelle Mead’s wildly popular series is composed of six novels (not to mention a spin-off series, “Bloodlines”), so if the first movie is a success, we could have a “Harry Potter”-style franchise on our hands. Magical, indeed.

BONUS: “Vampire Academy” is definitely not a “Twilight” copycat
In case this is needed, our friends over at MoviePilot.com have handily delineated the two vampire-friendly series.

“Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters” is slated for a February 14, 2014 release.

Are you so excited “Vampire Academy” has begun filming?