WATCH: The community of Metchosin is welcoming the cast and crew of Hallmark film called Once upon a Prince and they hope it marks the beginning of a fairytale relationship with the film industry. Luisa Alvarez reports
Film crews and production trucks are common in places like Vancouver where the film industry is booming but in small-town Metchosin its a fairly new sight to see.
The production trailers for the filming of Hallmark’s ‘Once Upon A Prince’ have arrived on the parking lot of St.Mary’s church and those working in the industry notice the difference in how they’ve been received.
“It’s easier people are more receptive because there is a lot of film in Vancouver inundating peoples neighborhoods but here its welcome open arms please come kind of policy,” said Production manager Darren Robson.
And it’s a relationship that’s proved to be mutually beneficial. Metchosin Mayor John Ranns says its been smooth sailing for both parties.
“We are quite nimble to deal with so if they want to have something quickly we can just do it there’s no long approval processes or anything like that so I think we are easy to deal with in that regard and being an artsy community I believe the community has embraced the film industry as well,” said Ranns.
And since Metchosin is determined to stay rural Ranns says “anything that can fit in with that is a benefit to us as well.”
It’s what Robson says brought them to the town in the first place. ” Its hard to find rural like this over in the Lower Mainland for sure so it’s nice to come out and use different locations that nobody has seen before either.”
On top of Metchosin beautiful landscapes, this production group got a bit of a break with what they had to pay to use St. Mary’s Church parking lot and the old Metchosin School which were lent out on the cheap.
“There are pretty low budget films that come in here so they kind of need every break they can get,” said Ranns.
And with that kind of generosity, it’s clear there are certain benefits to be gained for the town as well.
“Our lunch room they actually threw in for free just to promote it and for us to tell other people that we had a good experience here and go to Metchosin if you can,” said Robson.
Thinking into the future, Ranns has big plans for his vision of the school.
“Our long-term goal for the school is for a sub-regional arts centre and the film industry kind of fits in with that I would hope we can develop a stronger relationship with the film that low-budget niche like I said I think its a good mix,” said Ranns.
This means if all goes to plan residents could soon be seeing a lot more filming around.