The hustle and bustle of any film set can be mesmerizing. Watching the key grips do their part, the Director of Photography using his thumb and index finger to imagine the shot, to wondering who is in it and if they are famous. ‘I heard it is Tom Selleck!’ It can also bring in some serious dollars to the community.
The film industry brought in 2.6-Billion dollars throughout Canada in the past year according to David Barrett, from the Columbia Shuswap Film Commission. Vancouver and Toronto are in a huge film boom right now with production companies battling it out in the major markets just to secure filming locations. With a schedule to follow and less bureaucratic tie ups, production companies are beginning to look into the smaller markets for a little more freedom and to make their film on time and on budget.
Those opportunities have made their way to Revelstoke over the past year as well. With Hallmark bringing up two productions, Revelstoke saw some excitement in the downtown core, as well as a financial gain.
The first film, Merry Me at Christmas, spent roughly 175-Thousand dollars, while Frozen in Love, Spent about 115-Thousand dollars, and that does not include personal spending from the cast and crew.
Many businesses saw the financial reward in terms of equipment rentals, tutors for the child actors as well as the standard buyouts that production companies pay to businesses when it will cost them an income loss because if their presence. However, with the positives that the industries bring, there are always disruptions that can occur that are not ideal.
Director of Communications and Economic Development, Nicole Fricot stated, “They come in with very specific details that are not up for debate. It is either yes or no. I cannot determine any changes such as their shoot dates or where they want to film- those are non-negotiable.”
In the industry, a scout will seek out a location, determine what they want, how they want it and take it back to the Executive Producer and Director. Once the film crew arrives, they may decide that a different location is best for their scene and want to change it. This is where the City does have a say and can determine whether or not they have approval. This may cause locals some frustration as it may close an area in town or film late at night, however, the downside is that might be the reason the crew pack up and take their dollars to another city or town.
“They want to ideal small town, which can affect the core businesses negatively. Film crews know this and they do try to mitigate the issues and the negative impact that they can make. If a noise bylaw states that 11:00pm is the cut off time, they will most likely film right up to 11:00pm.”
With Revelstoke extremely accommodating to Hallmark, many film days of shooting were extended. Once they realized that much of their outdoors scenes could be shot here, additional shoot dates were schedules, which mean more income for Revelstoke.
Fricot is looking to put together policies and procedures plan for future film crews, however, the concern is that it is a balancing act. Making sure that the community is not impacted negatively and the production companies are not scared off.
“We want to ensure that the balance of negative impact to the community does not outweigh the positive gain.”
As of right now there are already two production companies interest in filming in Revelstoke in 2018.