A large ramp to the Fraser River was built for a movie called Aim for the Roses

A large ramp to the Fraser River was built for a movie called Aim for the Roses

Filming on location in Mission

District enjoying the economic benefits of becoming a popular destination for film crews

Artificial lighting casts an odd, clean hue to the surrounding dense forest in Silverdale.

About 35 people are scurrying around a rundown home situated on 23 acres on Manzer Road, everyone busily flitting from group to group, giving and taking orders, or completing tasks.

Black power cables snake across the forest floor, wending between swordfern leaves, and climbing up and over fallen trees and hillocks, while a constant stream of vehicles shuttle staff from the Silverdale Hall parking lot to the film site.

Amidst all this organized, hurry-and-wait chaos, a movie is being filmed. Commands squawk out over the radios carried by crew members, calling for silence. Even those out of sight of the actual filming move as little as possible. The hushed tones and quiet movement ends as quickly as it started when “Cut!” emanates from the black Motorolas.

This is no longer a unique scene in Mission.

The Stave Falls Power House was transformed into a genetic research facility in X-Men 2 in 2003; Rocko’s Diner on Lougheed Highway was given a facelift for a Daniel Radcliffe movie last year; and a serial killer burned down a home on Moss Avenue in June, all while the cameras rolled.

With filming comes extra revenue for the District of Mission.

Stacey Crawford, Mission’s economic development officer, said an estimated $680,000 has been spent in Mission over the past two years. There were 34 days of filming in both 2012 and 2013. Crawford said a figure of $10,000 a day for indirect expenditures (fuel, lodging, food, construction materials, etc.) is used to estimate the local financial impact.

This number was provided by the International Film Commission and is used by municipalities such as Langley and Maple Ridge.

“It’s an area of opportunity for Mission. It creates new markets for local retailers and is generally a green industry,” he said.

One of the first Mission people movie industry representatives meet is film liaison Lesley White-Raymond, who works in the engineering department.

“It’s an exciting time,” said White-Raymond. “We’ve had some big films in the last few months.”

The most popular, she said, was Horns, starring Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame.

Other larger movies filmed here have been Signs of Destiny, Scarecrow, and a multitude of television commercials for companies such as A&W Restaurants and Opal cars.

Aim for the Roses is the most recent production in Mission. A large ramp was built on the banks of the Fraser River to replicate one of Canadian stuntman Ken Carter’s jumps. In 1976, Carter declared his intention to jump a mile over the St. Lawrence Seaway in a rocket powered car. Filming wrapped up last week.

There are some projects that escape the district’s notice as they shoot on private property, said White-Raymond.

However, the majority purchase business licences ($148 each), and filming permits ($250) which cover administrative costs associated with filming.

Since 2008, more than $55,000 has flowed into district coffers from permit fees.

White-Raymond said there’s likely even more money spent in Mission.

Once filming ends, each company is asked to send in a “wrap sheet,” which details the number of employees who were in Mission, what they spent and where. There is no obligation by the companies to return the sheets, so many, especially the smaller productions, fail to send them back.

Rico Mielnicki is a location manager who was recently filming in Mission, and has worked here a number of times.

“Mission has a few interesting areas,” he said, and many old houses located throughout the district, set into the hillside, which makes them very “San Francisco and Seattle-ish.”

First Avenue has a great small-town-U.S.A. vibe that makes it a popular spot to work, Mielnicki noted. “Mission has very interesting homes like you would find on Commercial Drive,” except costs are substantially lower.

Parking is always an issue, said Mielnicki, but there is ample space out here which removes one more item from the to-worry-about list. Renting land for parking in Mission is generally around $250 a day. In Vancouver, it can be as high as $5,000.

Mission residents also charge less for renting out their homes.

If someone is offered $1,000 a day to use their residence, they’re thankful, said Mielnicki. In Vancouver, it ranges up to $15,000 daily for some special, signature homes.

One of the drawbacks to coming to Mission is the distance, he said, “especially if you have to go back every day.”

Depending on the department, union rules dictate that employees must have at least nine to 11 hours off between shifts, which leads to shorter filming days.

Mielnicki was especially pleased with the film liaison, and said it makes coming to the district simpler.

His only critique was that she doesn’t work full-time.“I wish she had more hours. She’s very helpful when she gets here,” he said.

In the movie business, “we always want everything yesterday,” Mielnicki said laughing.

 

Permit revenue from films:

2013: $11,665

2012: $13,044

2011: $1,194

2010: $6,118

2009: $10,259

2008: $12,259

 

Just Posted

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

web
Father’s Day Parade planned for Mission

Classic vehicles from the 1920s to the 1970s will drive through Mission, Hatzic on June 20

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

.
Fraser Health monitors long-term care vaccination rates amid local COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19 transmission has largely been on the decline in Agassiz-Harrison

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Most Read