Film crews gracing the Peninsula

Television series Gracepoint being filmed in Capital Regional District until end of May

Actor and star of the British crime series Broadchurch

When it comes to choosing locations for filming, visual appeal is an important aspect, and Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula have just that, say producers of Gracepoint.

“Greater Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula are incredibly beautiful and the natural landscape of the Island is incredibly visually appealing. We chose Vancouver Island because of the visual appeal,” said the show’s Executive Producer, Carolyn Bernstein, from her office in Los Angeles.

Bernstein went on to say choosing the locations on the Peninsula like the Sidney waterfront were chosen based on where the show is set.

“The locations are doubling for Northern California and Victoria and the Peninsula had the wild, rugged and beautiful look that felt really right for the production,” she said.

Until the end of May, various locations in the Capital Regional District, including the Sidney waterfront, Brentwood Bay, Patricia Bay and Oak Bay, will play host to the filming of the show which is a North American remake of the U.K. crime series Broadchurch.

“Broadchurch is, of course, the original series and our remake is taking the essence of the original show and Americanizing it. While we’re all familiar with the original series and love it, we want to make this series uniquely ours,” said Brenstien, adding the show has a completely different cast with the exception of David Tennant, who starred in the original.

The show, which is filming ten episodes and is set to air on FOX later in 2014, also stars Nick Nolte (48 Hours, Warrior), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) and Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook), among others.

“It’s a fast and furious process to film it and air it this year. Once it’s aired we will see how the show performs and if there will be a second season,” said Bernstien, adding that if there are additional seasons, the company hopes to film in the same locations.

Kathleen Gilbert, Film Commissioner from the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission said the project is an amazing boost for Victoria’s film industry.

“Until they finish filming we can only estimate the numbers, but I would say we will see a minimum of $10 million in direct spending in the area from Gracepoint,” said Gilbert.

Prior to 2008, Gilbert said, Victoria’s film industry was bringing in anywhere from $15 to $20 million annually but after changes to film tax credits and global economic troubles, that number dropped to about $7 million.

“Since 2008 it’s been stagnant at about $7 million but with Gracepoint that number has already been surpassed in one project. We’re expecting about $14 to $15 million total this year,” she said, adding that with the new changes to film tax credits she hopes to see those numbers only go up.

Gilbert said filming a series like Gracepoint in the CRD opens doors for many industries.

“I was so excited about this production when we landed it. This series will have probably the biggest impact on film tourism in the CRD since X-Men filmed at Hatley Castle in 2000. The town in the U.K. where Broadchurch was filmed has seen a huge peak in film tourism. People are going to the town just to see the filming locations. When a company like Gracepoint comes to the CRD it benefits all industries including future tourism and jobs and the more immediate things being used in the production like car rentals, restaurants, hotel, lumber yards and hardware stores. It’s really a trickle down effect when a production this size comes to town.”

Gilbert said one challenge Victoria’s film industry has faced in the wake of Gracepoint coming to town has been employee numbers.

“Since 2008 and the downturn in the economy, our crew base has been eroded,” she explained.

“People move away, they find jobs in other industries, and to build that employee base again will take time. It didn’t erode overnight nor will it be rebuilt overnight.”

According to Gilbert, 40 per cent of the Gracepoint crew is local and many others have been brought in elsewhere, including from Vancouver’s film industry.

“Gracepoint is serving as a great training ground for local employees. The production is training a lot of crew so it’s really great for them to get the experience of working on a production of this scale.”

Sidney Mayor Larry Cross, in a previous interview with the PNR, said he’s excited to see the activity in his community.

“It’s a big production and it should bring some added economic activity to Sidney.”

— With a file from Steven Heywood

 

Just Posted

Sidney house fire caused by unattended appliance

Saanich Peninsula fire crews were called to a kitchen fire in Sidney… Continue reading

Feasting geese concern farmers

For farmers on the Saanich Peninsula, cereal crops like corn are starting… Continue reading

Cycling Without Age raises funds for program

Free rides for seniors coming to Sidney

Feast of Fields settles in for the summer of 2018

Vancouver Island Feast set for Kildara Farms in North Saanich on Aug. 26

An upstart ferry company might be a Malahat alternative

A new ferry service might alleviate Malahat congestion. Dogwood Ferries is a… Continue reading

New stage highlight of Brentwood Bay Festival

Peninsula Country Market vendors and music accompany start of summer celebration

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Sidney painter also a preacher

Patrick Chu opens new studio; off to China this month

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Search for capsized fishers near Tofino enters fourth day

“There’s a lot of shock in the community in terms of how we could end up at this place.”

B.C. announces $75M to help friends, family care for seniors at home

Funding will go towards respite care and adult day programs

Most Read