Is the B.C. film industry about to get a toe hold on Vancouver Island?
While it could be argued that the industry in many ways has already done so, so could it be said that producers and movie-makers find the wonderful areas of the Island they need and then move on back to their home base.
Now, there’s someone looking into making the Saanich Peninsula their home base for filmmaking.
While any deal for land or studio space is still pending, the idea of expanding the region’s industrial base is certainly appealing on a variety of fronts. There’s a potential for jobs and the idea that more filmmaking here could better highlight what the region has to offer — within the industry and to a broader audience, aka tourists.
Of course, like any such high profile plans, it’s wise to take it with a grain of salt until the ink is dry. Otherwise, we run the risk of getting our hopes up.
Having an expanded film industry on the Peninsula is not all that far-fetched. On a basic level, there’s room for it to grow.
Already, a variety of TV series and movies have been filmed here, completely or in-part. And that’s thanks to the marketing efforts of the area’s regional film commission. One example that comes to mind was the remake of the British crime series Broadchurch — Gracepoint — that was shot in Sidney and Brentwood Bay. It was also filmed elsewhere in Greater Victoria and that provides a solid example of how a film company, based on the Peninsula, could reach into other local communities — and then even further afield.
The effort to open a film studio here is positive. Yet, there is much work to be done. The proponent has to come up with millions in investments to get it started. Based on that alone, this work is still in its infancy.
The region is welcome to get behind the effort, keeping in mind the volatile nature of the business and the big investment required to make it happen.
Should it happen, the Peninsula’s industrial community is sure to greet it with open arms.