The West Shore continues to be a popular place for movie productions this year, according to the local film commission.
While the natural beauty of the area brings a number of smaller productions to the area throughout the year, blockbuster productions are also beginning to notice what the West Shore has to offer.
Earlier this summer, Vancouver-born actor Ryan Reynolds was in town, shooting scenes at Hatley Castle for Deadpool 2, set for release next year. Last week, Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp was also spotted filming scenes for his upcoming movie, Richard says Goodbye at Hatley Castle and Royal Roads University.
“[The West Shore] has always been a popular spot for us to show to productions,” said Brian Globus, office and locations co-ordinator with the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission. “This year has been extremely popular at the castle … it’s one of the most popular locations in the region.”
Other popular locations include the lighthouse at Fort Rodd Hill, Esquimalt Lagoon, and Goldstream Provincial Park (which can sometimes pass as an old growth forest).
Last year, Descendants 2, a sequel to the 2015 film about Disney villains’ children attending prep school with the Disney heroes’ kids, was shot at Hatley Castle. A Volvo commercial was also shot at the lighthouse.
The commission also makes recommendations to productions who are searching for locations, and has recommended the Coast Collective Arts Centre in Colwood, as well as office space in Metchosin recently – although their suggestions are not always selected as the preferred location.
While Victoria has been the focus of some productions in recent years, for example with the horror movie The Boy filmed at Craigddaroch Castle, the West Shore offers more space for productions to bring trucks, equipment, and allow for parking and staging rooms to be set up, Globus said.
“It’s a little easier to film there [the West Shore] than a city centre, so productions are always happy when they can find a place that’s a bit more calm and they don’t have to disrupt a city centre,” he said.
Not only do productions bring the possibility of residents catching a glimpse of Hollywood stars, it gives local tourism a boost as well.
“People want to go to the same locations that the stars have been to,” Globus said.
And the year isn’t over yet. There is another production set to beginning filming just outside the West Shore in the east Sooke area in September.