Cast and crew of the movie ’Come to Daddy’, a Comedy-Horror-Thriller filmed in Tofino, prepare to shoot a crash scene on First Street. Starring Elijah Wood, the feature length production is about a man who travels to a remote cabin to reconnect with his estranged father. (Photo - Nora O’Malley)

Tofino-filmed ‘Come to Daddy’ debuts at Tribeca Film Festival

Out walks Elijah Wood, dragging his way towards a derelict car.

ERIN LINN MCMULLAN

Special to the Westerly

Anticipation builds as an artificial moon shines down on mist-cloaked First Street. On this otherwise typical mid-summer’s night in Tofino in 2018, the street has been blocked off as Come to Daddy’s film crew prepares for their night shoot.

The small local crowd gathered in front of SoBo titters as the fog machine is cued, without irony, to magnify West Coast ambience. Tendrils of fog swirl like tentacles.

Out walks Elijah Wood, dragging his way towards a derelict car.

An operator swoops in close with the camera, moving crane and jib balletically after several rehearsals. Director, Ant Timpson, whose passion project this is, watches the monitor in video village, under a porta-tent curbside.

While secrecy surrounds this father-son reunion story with horror overtones, Wood, producer Mette-Marie Kongsved and crew quickly settled into our “thickly woven community almost overnight,” according to Oak Hygaard, owner of Pai, one of the “local film junkies huddled together in silence admiring the fabricated moonlit car crash scene” that night, Hygaard says stories traded amongst locals helped: “from a bizarre run-in involving rainy-day Margarita mix at LA Grocery, and surf culture rumours of Elijah spending three-hour sessions without a wetsuit shooting ocean scenes, to dining in on the regular for cult classic Tofino dishes amongst other resident foodies.”

As estranged son Norval, Wood builds his canon of fish-out-of-water characters from Frodo in Lord of the Rings to quirky turns in I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, TV adaptation of Douglas Adams’ series.

When Come to Daddy debuted April 25th this year during Tribeca’s Midnight program, the filmmakers credited Tofino for helping achieve the aesthetic and celluloid look to illustrate Norval’s isolation.

Come to Daddy was filmed in a stunning, stilted house overlooking the sea and backdropped by forest and beach in the tiny town of Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. ‘It was perfect,’ Timpson says. ‘I can’t imagine the film working elsewhere now.’”

Vancouver Island Film Commissioner Joan Miller emphasizes that the production team—a Canada-Ireland-New Zealand co-production—were “very determined” to film in Tofino, despite the challenges of tourist season and creatively problem-solved issues like accommodation, office space and accessing film locations.

“I doubt that any of us will ever forget spending the better part of two months in Tofino,” says Kongsved, who discovered the location during a mini-vacation.

“Waking up everyday and going to work with people you love on a project you love in place that is so beautiful and in a community that is so small and intimate just made for a very memorable experience. We all felt like locals by the end and I know that I definitely miss it a lot.”

“The immersion in the surrounding stunning nature, mixed with the lovely community and ever-growing culinary scene made Tofino a special and unforgettable spot to me,” says Wood.

“In Tofino, we pride ourselves on hosting guests well, and that includes filmmakers,” says Mayor Josie Osborne. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the film myself and I wish them well as it rolls out across North America.”

READ MORE: Hollywood Northwest? More film productions popping up on Vancouver Island

READ MORE: Ucluelet thrilled to watch locally filmed ABC series ‘The Crossing’

READ MORE: Tofino council debates film permitting fees

Just Posted

Ladysmith A&W sends employees on all-inclusive vacations for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all expenses paid vacations

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5 million for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Victoria police ask victims of human trafficking to come forward in light of recent arrests

Four people from Vancouver Island were arrested in Saskatchewan on Jan. 28

Victims tell of abuse at hands of Victoria substitute teacher

Harry Charles Sadd pleaded guilty to eight charges that took place between 1970 to 1982

EDITORIAL: Safe water should be a basic right

Not all water users are equal under Capital region policy

Ten poisoned eagles rushed to Nanaimo for treatment

Eagles stricken after eating flesh of euthanized animal at Nanaimo Regional Landfill

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

VIDEO: Knife-wielding man arrested after barricading himself in Lower Mainland Walmart

A man had barricaded himself in the freezer section of the fish area at a Walmart in Richmond

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

Gordon Lightfoot still on the road at 81

Tickets for Island shows in Victoria and Nanaimo, selling well already

Author and VIU professor Susan Juby previewing pair of unpublished books

‘At Your Service’ is an adult crime comedy and ‘Me 3’ is a child’s eye view of MeToo

Pressure builds for buses from Cowichan to ferry terminals

North Cowichan’s council now requesting bus connections be considered

Half of Victoria city councillors live outside of the municipality

Four councillors live in Esquimalt, Saanich rather than Victoria

B.C. widow ‘crushed’ over stolen T-shirts meant for memorial blanket

Lori Roberts lost her fiancé one month ago Tuesday now she’s lost almost all she had left of him

Most Read