Cast and crew of Once Upon a Prince filming on Taylor Road in Metchosin. (Photo contributed)

Cast and crew of Once Upon a Prince filming on Taylor Road in Metchosin. (Photo contributed)

Slow year for film productions on the West Shore

Local film commission says there’s still been lots of interest

Despite a slight decline in the number of productions filming on the West Shore compared to previous years, the local film commission says there’s still lots of interest.

“It’s been a bit slow. Last year was definitely a great year for the West Shore,” said Kathleen Gilbert, film commissioner of the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission. “We’ll see what happens in the fall. We don’t have anything to announce yet, but we have a lot of people looking.”

In 2017, a number of productions brought some high profile celebrities to the western communities. Last summer, Vancouver-born actor Ryan Reynolds was spotted filming Deadpool 2 at Hatley Castle at Royal Roads University in Colwood, and in August Johnny Depp was spotted filming scenes for his movie Richards Says Goodbye at the Italian Gardens also at the university.

While there haven’t been any major celebrity sightings yet this year, there are productions in the works.

RELATED: Hallmark movie Once Upon A Prince filming in Metchosin

In February, Taylor Road in Metchosin was one of many sites transformed into scenes for the Hallmark movie, Once Upon A Prince starring Megan Park and Jonathan Keltz.

Hatley Castle continues to be a popular spot for productions as well. Gilbert said a movie called The Big Sleep was filmed there, as well as the kick off of the Amazing Race Canada’s Heroes Edition.

Most recently, cast and crew were at the lighthouse at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site in June filming scenes for the Netflix show Van Helsing, starring Kelly Overton and Jonathan Scrafe, in which a woman wakes up after three years in a coma to a world ravaged by vampires.

Areas close to the West Shore are gaining traction for movie productions as well. Gilbert says there has been a lot of interest in the East Sooke and Beecher Bay area for productions shooting next year with a “post-apocalyptic” feeling.

“We’ve had a lot of people that are looking for wilderness, post-apocalyptic types of shows and it seems to be a trend right now,” Gilbert said. “Twice now we’ve shown the old Hydro building in Jordan River because they’re looking for areas that don’t show a lot of population or signs of life. That coast is just beautiful in terms of looking so remote.”

Having a strong film industry bodes well for the economy, said Gilbert, noting there were roughly 952 residents of the Capital Regional District that made $20 million working in the film industry last year.

“That’s $20 million that people are bringing home and spending in our community. That’s a huge benefit,” she said, noting that doesn’t necessarily mean all those productions were filmed on Vancouver Island as crews often go to Vancouver to work as well.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on film production on central and north Vancouver Island, says Vancouver Island North Film Commission. Pictured here, production of TV series Resident Alien in Ladysmith earlier this year. (Black Press file)
Film commissioner says COVID-19 cost central Island $6 million in economic activity

Jurassic World: Dominion, Chesapeake Shores among productions halted due to pandemic, says INFilm

Chelsey Moore’s character Chloe in the upcoming virtual reality game Altdeus: Beyond Chronos. Screengrab
Vancouver Island actress finds success in a virtual world

Black Creek’s Chelsey Moore lends her voice to a new video game set for release in December

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

Artist Daniel Cline discusses his sculpture, Harmony Humpbacks, during the June 20 walking tour of Oak Bay’s 2019 ArtsAlive sculptures. Harmony Humpbacks was purchased by Oak Bay as the 2019 people’s choice winner and is permanently installed at the Beach Drive entrance to Willows Park. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Influx of donated art a ‘fantastic problem to have,’ says Oak Bay mayor

Oak Bay goes from zero to 10 permanent art pieces since 2015

Stephen Laidlaw, prepator with Nanaimo Art Gallery, hangs a photograph of Anna Wong, a B.C. print maker whose works are on display at the gallery. The exhibit opens Friday, Dec. 4, and runs until Feb. 7. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibit explores life work of overlooked B.C. printmaker

‘Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads’ features more than 70 art works and personal belongings

Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus released their first joint album, <em>The Invasion</em>. (Photo courtesy Raymond Knight)
Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus release first joint album

Duo plan elaborate live-streamed CD release for ‘The Invasion’

Next month Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases his solo debut album, ‘Wildlife.’ (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases solo debut album

New record ‘Wildlife’ about taking chances and going through changes

Dover Bay Secondary School student Victoria Hathfield’s poem <em>Dear Santa</em> appears in<em> Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air</em>. (Photo courtesy Darren Lee)
Nanaimo high schooler has first poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Victoria Hathfield’s ‘Dear Santa’ appears in new Christmas-themed edition of anthology series

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

The Vancouver Island Symphony’s Back Row Brass Quintet – including trumpeter Mark D’Angelo, tuba player Nick Atkinson and French horn player Karen Hough (from left) – were scheduled to tour the Nanaimo area with Christmas Under the Big Tent, but the concert series has now been cancelled. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Symphony brass quintet’s Christmas concert series cancelled

Performances were to happen at venues in Parksville and Lantzville next month

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse, near Shirley. (Contributed - Lee-Ann Ruttan)
New book shines a light on Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Publication examines history, lightkeepers, and volunteer society

Victoria-based guitarist Eric Harper performs at the Port Theatre on Nov. 27. (Photo credit Tatum Duryba)
Classical guitarist to play at the Port Theatre

Eric Harper to play new songs composed during the pandemic

Most Read