Tradesmen work on the movie set of The Convenient Groom the convenient groom

Hollywood comes to Sooke

Sooke's Prestige hotel gets starring role in made-for-TV movie

Ever saw a scene in a movie and thought, “Hey, I know that place.” Well, get used to it, because you’ll see it a lot more.

Already a film industry darling, Sooke’s Prestige hotel became the star location of the latest movie to be filmed here last week, The Convenient Groom, a romantic comedy.

The story goes that a young celebrity marriage counsellor finds herself abandoned at the altar of her own highly publicized wedding. To save face, she accepts an offer from her building contractor – who secretly has a crush on her – to step in as groom and marry her.

The movie stars Vanessa Marcil and David Sutcliffe. Marcil, an American actor, is best known for her TV roles as Brenda Barrett on General Hospital and Beverly Hills, 90210. Sutcliffe, a Canadian actor, is notably known for playing Christopher Hayden on the show Gilmore Girls.

Based on a book of the same name, the action takes place in Nantucket, Mass. at a colonial-era hotel called the White Elephant, which the Prestige holds a close resemblance to.

“The Prestige looks as similar as we could get to it, so we booked it,” said the film’s production manager Darren Robson, adding that while they had the main setting, it was hard to find the rest of the Nantucket look such as the sand and wispy grass.

But they figured that one out too.

“We ended up rewriting it into the Pacific northwest. Sooke is such a beautiful location that we decided to keep it, since most of the movie takes place here anyway.”

Other filming locations around Sooke also included the Whiffin Spit and the ALR Beach in East Sooke, where the final scene of the movie was filmed (hint: it includes sand castles). The rest was shot in Deep Cove and Fort Langley.

Robson said it was the hospitality and peacefulness in Sooke that drew many impressions from the film crew.

“It was a good experience, so I would definitely say it’s worth coming back to Sooke.”

This year was still a slow start for the film industry on the Island though, considering last year there were a record-breaking 24 movies filmed in the Capital Region, said Kathleen Gilbert, Vancouver Island film commissioner.

With two films in the bag so far, Gilbert said the ups and downs are common in an industry that is unpredictable.

“We’re getting a lot of requests for location pictures and many requests for familiarization tours, so the office is very busy, it’s just that things are not landing as quickly as we’d hoped,” she said, adding that there are still a few movies looking “very good” for this summer.

There is also something unique Sooke has that a lot places don’t: a natural charm that can’t really be replicated anywhere else.

“Sooke has some amazing locations that work for some pictures, certainly when they want a more wilderness look, so we send out Sooke a lot when it’s a small town,” Gilbert said.

The Sooke Harbour House, potholes and East Sooke Park are popular filming locations, along with the Whiffin Spit and the Sooke Regional Museum. Gilbert added that the museum’s lighthouse is an ideal spot as it is one of the few that offers ample interior room.

Without a studio on the Island though, don’t expect the next Star Wars movie to be filmed here.

“We don’t really get the big budget films here, we get television movies, low-budget features, fair amount of documentaries,” Gilbert said, adding that the Island’s bread and butter are television movies.

Still, last year, the Island’s film industry brought in $20 million into the local economy, which is everything from crew, gas, food and accommodations to rental cars.

“We have at least 200 people that work regularly full time in the industry here in Victoria, so as long as we’re busy here, they’re buying houses, they’re buying televisions, they’re investing locally.”

As for Robson, he returned to Burnaby with his crew, already preparing to shoot their next movie.

 

Sooke will also appear in the credits, along with a thank you to the Prestige and the community of Sooke.

 

 

Just Posted

Sixty Sooke homes needed to host Japanese students

Homestay program offers visitors a taste of life in Canada

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather in downtown Victoria for Extinction Rebellion climate protest

The rally is the kickoff to the Global Climate Strike Week of Action

Church bells to ring for 11 minutes in support of Global Climate Strike

Each minute to signify years left to drastically reduce greenhouse gas pollution

Hundreds of foreign species continue to wash along B.C. coast following Japanese tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Lone wolf eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

SOOKE HISTORY: Remembering Sooke’s 1953 soccer team

Elida Peers | Contributed When Milne’s Landing High School opened in 1946,… Continue reading

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Sixty Sooke homes needed to host Japanese students

Homestay program offers visitors a taste of life in Canada

Most Read