Film crews are beginning to be a familiar sight in Mission.
Last week a crew spent all day shooting scenes along First Avenue, and this week another crew is busy preparing to shoot scenes for a major Hollywood production.
Film activity has increased significantly in the past year and there are no signs of it slowing down.
In 2015, 87 film days took place in the district, encompassing 25 different movie projects. That’s a 300 per cent increase from 2014.
“We already have seven (film projects) confirmed for this year between January and March and we have another six interested, which is huge,” said Clare Seeley, executive assistant for economic development at the District of Mission.
“It’s a big deal. We really are seeing a lot of interest right now.”
Seeley thinks the sudden increase in activity is due to two factors. One is the downturn in the Canadian dollar, making filming in B.C. more and more attractive, and the other is Mission is “starting to build up a reputation” for being efficient to work with.
“Location scouts are interconnected, talking to each other about Mission.”
And while filming in Mission doesn’t make a lot of money for the district – licensing and film permit fees are nominal – the local economy is getting a boost each time a new film project comes to town.
“They spend money while in the community.”
While it is difficult to track exact figures, Seeley said a recent production that was in Mission for five days spent approximately $22,500 locally.
“And that’s not one of the big-budget movies. That was a local, made-for-TV production.”
With that in mind, Seeley is currently creating a business directory for hotels, restaurants, cafes as well as propane providers, photography construction material and anything that might be required by a film crew.
“That directory will go out to all location scouts,” she said.
Many productions are based out of Vancouver and the crews pack needed materials to the locations. Seeley is looking at what they bring out from town and providing local alternatives.
“We want them to spend money at local businesses.”