WATCH: Ladysmith is rolling out the red carpet for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars as the town is transformed into the set of the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Over 24 days, the town will be the centre of the film shoot and with a budget of $7 million, locals are revelling in the experience.
You will be forgiven if you stop and stare on Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue as this tiny town goes Hollywood.
“It’s amazing,” said Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone.
“And it’s like a free facelift for our town as well.”
“It is a buzz,” said Ladysmith resident Jackie Jursic.
Crews are refacing some of the town’s heritage facades with fresh coats of paint and heavy equipment is being set up for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie to begin shooting.
“It’s interesting to see all the changes and all the work that goes into this whole production,” said Jursic.
“That’s what’s amazing to me,” said Lindsay Ashby, a production assistant on the movie who lives in Qualicum Beach. “It’s amazing that you can come into a town and change the whole town up and turn it into something completely different.”
The live-action film version of the old Sega video game will star Hollywood heavyweight and comic Jim Carrey along with heartthrob James Marsden, who’s right now enjoying critical acclaim for his role in Westworld.
“It’s a huge cast in this movie,” said April Johnson, whose store April’s Tack Boutique is being transformed for the movie as well.
“Yeah so its a good sized budget on this show,” said crew member Rich Piotrowski.
Seven million is expected to be spent for the Ladysmith portion of the blockbuster alone.
Shooting in town will last 24 days, with cast and crew eating, staying and playing locally.
“And then all the investments that are being made in downtown by Paramount, by the film crews, is a sort of nice lasting legacy that they can leave,” said Stone.
Many locals are on the crew and cast as extras too.
“We’re hiring everybody local that we can,” said Piotrowski.