It may not happen right away and, in fact, it can’t because of COVID, but the impact of having Hollywood productions shot on Vancouver island will have a definite payoff down the road.
Make no mistake about it, people pay close attention to the settings of these movies and TV shows. If the slightest thing in the background or a surrounding scene piques their interest, they want to go there.
Members of the Front Street Pictures crew there for the filming of the Hallmark movie The Baker’s Son even want to spend more time in Chemainus when they get the chance. The people and the place are the selling point.
“We found the residents here have been very accommodating and very excited and gracious with us,” said Dylan Staniforth, the unit manager for the production.
Similar reviews came for Ladysmith from the SYFY networks series Residents Alien, which slated to return to film season two, later this year.
Even though there wasn’t much time for any of the crew and cast to do any extracurricular activity, many of them made the most of what little time they had to explore further. Consider these snippets from the Baker’s Son team.
Staniforth picked up four handmade pottery mugs at Rainforest Arts and a beaded bracelet for his wife at Beyond The Usual. He liked what he saw from the community.
Despite being from Victoria and living so close, Staniforth wants to make it a priority to fully appreciate Chemainus.
“A lot of us will be back,” he said. “My wife is wanting to come here again.”
Actor Mark Brandon ventured to the Sawmill Taphouse and Grill and said he was most impressed.
Word will spread from these kinds of endorsements — both within the industry to attract more productions, and from fans of the industry who be exposed to what our community has to offer. That kind of publicity is indeed priceless.
Vancouver Island could certainly benefit from more projects, especially as restrictions from COVID are lifted and the tourists start to return. The Baker’s Son is providing a big shot in the arm, different from the vaccines we’re all waiting for to resume our normal lives.
“Companies like Hallmark understand what the Island and, particularly this week, Chemainus has to offer,” said Staniforth. “The background and scenery and sets is very specific and the scripts that we get.”
If others realize the potential and the appeal, it’s up to the community to keep it going.
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