Film industry

Indoor Theater Industry Hit as Producers Struggle With Highway Closures | iINFOnews

Home: Fort Salem stars Taylor Hickson, from West Kelowna, right.

Image Credit: FACEBOOK / Taylor Hickson

December 13, 2021 – 8:05 AM

With film crews stuck in the Lower Mainland with no ability to ship their equipment inside, some cancel filming altogether.

Thompson Nicola Regional District Film Commissioner Victoria Weller said the television show Homeland: Fort Salem was scheduled to shoot in the area in December, but film crews canceled due to highways closed.

Highways 99 and 3 are currently closed to non-essential traffic, meaning film crews cannot get in and out by road and were unable to ship their equipment. The Coquihalla is not expected to open until early January.

Transport Minister Rob Fleming told a press conference on Dec. 9 that he was encouraging a film company to pay thousands of dollars to send material from Squamish to Kelowna to find other ways to prosecute its production.

“We want the business of these gentlemen, its team and its workers to be safe and everyone who uses a damaged highway in very bad condition to be safe,” he said.

A commercial production company filming indoors was also unable to bring their gear back to the Lower Mainland due to the freeway closures, Weller said, so they simply parked in Kamloops.

Typically, film companies make deals with equipment houses to ship cabinets and film equipment from the Lower Mainland. There are also concerns about the type of equipment that can be sent by air, she said.

“It had an impact on the inside and so far when COVID-19 hit, to my knowledge we were an essential service, which was great because we are such a big employer and there has such an investment in the film industry of other countries, ”she said.

Now some companies are making arrangements to get their equipment from Alberta, Weller said.

It’s not as easy as delaying the shots. With cinema, “you can’t just delay it. Once on the track, what do you do? You move it elsewhere, ”she said.

A company that was supposed to come inside to film went to Vancouver Island instead, she said.

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