Collaborative ideas, tips and local industry news.
Gibsons is a sleepy little coastal town that’s accessible only by boat – for most, this involves a 40 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver.
It’s most famous for the CBC series Beachcombers which filmed there for 18 years. Although it finished filming in 1990 the town still gets many visitors with an interest in the show and seeing its location landmarks.
Other notable productions include the Stephen King movie Needful Things (released 1993). This horror took over lower Gibsons (filming in Grammas Pub, Mollys Reach and the dock) and starred Ed Harris. Locals still talk about the set they blew up for the ending.
Over the years Gibsons has had its fair share of movies from the mainland looking for a beautiful coastal town that often doubles for America. Charlie St Cloud starring Zac Efron filmed a portion of the movie here as well as Hallmark movies including Christmas Sail (2021) and Nantucket Noel (2021). We’re sure there’s many more! – please comment below so we can add to our list.
The Cost and logistics of the ferry crossing definitely act as a deterrent to larger productions but the town is welcoming to projects of all scope and sizes. Location fees on the Coast are generally less than comparable locations on the mainland so that could offset any travel costs for your smaller projects. Maybe Gibsons could be perfect for your next shoot location?
Filming with no / low budget is tough and something we get asked about from time to time.
Location Base only represents locations that would like to receive a location fee, BUT we do have some hot tips for creatives who want to create, but simply don’t have the funds (trust us, we’ve been there!!)
Who do you know? Are you a regular in a cafe or a bar? Could you ask the owners to use the place for free if you buy the crew sandwiches there? Or maybe you’ll tell them you’ll put their logo in the film and tag them in all your socials. If you want to film a quick segment of someone exiting a store, can you say you’ll feature their signage?
If you have some budget, reach out to independent hotels or home rental sites. Be very open and honest that you are filming / creating content and may have a large number of people there but reiterate that it will be self contained and not that many people will be sleeping there! Some locations will be fine with this as long as they get the regular rental fee and no damage.
Think of yourself as a small community event (if you are non profit that’s what you are!) and reach out to venues that allow community rentals for free or a small amount. Many community centres do this. Also many of these types of locations have interesting looks – Community Halls / Legions / smaller event spaces/ camps. You may think they are just empty spaces but many of them have kitchens that can be dressed / gardens / bar areas (that could be a restaurant or cafe) or even lounge type areas that could be an apartment. Again some have parkades or rooftops.
Cheat. Cheat. Cheat (not that kind of cheating!) Set dressing is your friend. With the right props, one house could double as many locations. The garden could cheat for a park or a living room or a bedroom could be different houses belonging to different characters.
Stay away from the popular, busy filming areas. Locations further away from a city centre may be more accommodating. Some communities may let you film in parks/ public areas for free if you keep yourself contained. Be sure to reach out to the relevant film office and get the local guidelines. (They will almost certainly need to see insurance).
Keep your cast and crew small and your footprint small. A location is much more likely to let you filmif you are a crew of 8 and you are there for a specific time frame 2 – 4 hours. Be mindful of the locations busy hours. If they are not being paid, a business is not going to want you there if it could affect their sales. Suggest a day when they’re closed or after hours. Some venues have event rooms out the back, could you use that room if it’s not being rented – that way they don’t have to pay staff to come in when they’re closed?
Be respectful and get yourself a dedicated location manager on your set. Locations will take you more seriously if they have one point person handling the logistics. Who will be doing the cleaning? Have you asked if you can plug in your equipment, who’s bringing toilet paper and hand soap for the washrooms – this all makes you seem more considerate!
Be realistic! Don’t expect to cold call a mansion and get to use their swimming pool for a few days! Also remember $200 may be a lot to you but in the great scheme of things most houses want upwards of $2000 for a day for a small crew and $5000 + for a large crew! Maybe don’t even suggest the small fee as a rental fee – suggest it as more of a thank you fee!
GOOD LUCK! 🙂
Here at Location Base we pride ourselves on being able to accommodate Productions of all shapes and sizes at our locations. We recognize that in this industry one size doesn’t fit all. To satisfy a range of budgets and creative visions we have complied a list of film-friendly restaurant, cafe and bar locations from our location library just for you. From a charming coastal farm-based brewery to a speak-easy in the heart of Chinatown; a sleek cafe to a versatile boutique hotel restaurant, there should be something here for everyone.
We invite you to imagine the possibilities and let your creativity soar. For even more inspiration you can check out our Find a Location page where you can search by location, keyword or category. We hope you enjoy browsing these unique spaces…
Sunshine Coast Brewery and Farm
Farm based full brewery with tasting room/bar area/restaurant as well as 11 acres of farm land. Also there are chickens and an apiary!
Upscale Chinatown Speakeasy
1930’s Shanghai-inspired cocktail and dumpling bar. The 2100 sq ft space oozes class and style. We love the emerald seating and decadent lighting. The bar is fabulous with an old cash register, perfect for photo shoots.
Sleek and Modern Cafe
Situated on the street-facing side in the heart of Lower Lonsdale, this cafe has an airy, modern design featuring light wood, lush greenery, & sleek coffee bar.
North Vancouver, BC
Classic Concert Venue
Classic Concert Venue with connecting bar featuring comfy couches and animal print walls!
Downtown Vancouver, BC
Boutique Downtown Hotel
Stylish boutique hotel featuring 700 sq ft lobby, restaurant, vibrant guest rooms, luxury spa bathrooms and event/office rooms.
Downtown Vancouver, BC
Our sister company Location Fixer was established over a decade ago, and in that time, we’ve hosted many Holiday movies for Film shoots and parking too (all those crew and work trucks have to park somewhere!).
Here is a small selection of Holiday movies filmed in BC that either Location Fixer or Location Base have been a part of. Which ones will you be watching… ?
A Gingerbread Romance An architect begins to find herself longing for a place to call her own as she works alongside a baker to win a gingerbread house contest.
A Coyote Creek Christmas The fate of the Coyote Creek Inn and Paige’s relationships are both left to the magic of the holiday season to decide.
A Christmas Proposal A Chef who dreams of having her own food trucks, agrees to pose as the girlfriend to an attorney. Working together, they try to prove he’s the ideal candidate to take over the family firm, but things become complicated as real sparks begin to fly
Christmas Takes Flight Matt, a number-crunching CEO, purchases Jenny’s family-owned, regional airline. Matt’s cost-cutting initiatives threaten Christmas when he cancels the airline’s annual holiday charitable benefit for underserved children.
The City of Langley is a really popular Location for Holiday movie shoots.
During the holidays, a woman with amnesia catches a ride with her handsome nurse to investigate the only clue to her identity: a newspaper clipping for a Christmas Festival with a cryptic invitation.
As Christmas approaches, Paula, a St. Louis antique appraiser, reluctantly accepts a marriage proposal from her boyfriend Daniel. Sensing her reticence, her Aunt Jane invites Paula to her Nantucket home. When Paula visits nearby Martha’s Vineyard, she meets a charming inn owner, Gery, and enjoys the celebrating the holiday festivities with him. Although Paula develops feelings for Gery, she moves forward with her engagement, but Aunt Jane reminds her that sometimes we receive messages from above to help determine which direction life should take.
At Christmastime, a close-knit group of childhood friends return home after 10 years to take part in the celebration of life of their beloved high school teacher.
Last but not least, our Modern Farm House location hosted a mini Hallmark Promo shoot earlier this year. The cast from Three Wise Men and a Baby did a Q & A in their living room. Looks great doesn’t it?
Three Wise Men and a baby is on Hallmark Channel now!
Vancouver and the surrounding area has seen a flurry of filming this season.
Here’s a list of 5 TV shows starring female leads that you just might catch a glimpse of while out and about up here in Hollywood North! As a local, female owned and operated company, we celebrate and encourage diversity in the film industry!
Showtime’s Yellowjackets returned to Vancouver this September to film their second season and are expected to be on location until February next year. Starring popular long-time actress Christina Ricci, alongside Juliette Lewis, Melanie Lynskey and Tawny Cypress, it has badass lady vibes and has been referred to as “the best portrayal of trauma on television.”
“Equal parts survival epic, psychological horror story and coming-of-age drama, ‘Yellowjackets’ is the saga of a team of wildly talented high school girls soccer players who become the (un)lucky survivors of a plane crash deep in the remote (Canadian) wilderness. The series chronicles their descent from a complicated but thriving team to savage clans, while also tracking the lives they’ve attempted to piece back together nearly 25 years later, proving that the past is never really past and what began out in the wilderness is far from over.” –Showtime
Release dates are expected in the first quarter of 2023 so get watching the first season now!
Alaska Daily – ABC
Alaska Daily is NOT filmed in Alaska haha! Production set up shop in the Metro Vancouver area (Burnaby to be exact) to film for its first season starting August 8th, 2022 and is set to conclude January 22, 2023. The new series stars Hilary Swank as Eileen Fitzgerald, a journalist who moves to a remote town in Alaska searching for a new start. She works with colleague Roz Friendly to complete and release reports on a crisis known as the Missing and murdered Indigenous persons Crisis, an important issue for a drama series to tackle. Streaming on Hulu now!
Kung Fu – The CW
Kung Fu is an American martial arts action-adventure television series that premiered on The CW on April 7, 2021. Set in the present, it is an adaptation of the 1970s series of the same title. It is filming on location in Vancouver for its third season. The series stars Olivia Liang as Nicky Shen, a young woman who becomes a vigilante for her San Francisco hometown by using martial arts to fight crime and protect others. It is one of a few American network dramas to feature a predominantly Asian American cast. Production will continue until December 2022.
Virgin River – Netflix
Virgin River follows Melinda “Mel” Monroe, played by Alexandra Breckenridge, as she begins a new job as a midwife and nurse practitioner in the remote Northern California town of Virgin River. It’s based on the Virgin River novels by Robyn Carr and Season 4 has been filming in British Columbia since the summer. Binge-worthy romance series for sure.
Nancy Drew – The CW
The fourth season of Nancy Drew is filming in the Metro Vancouver Area from now until December 2022. The series is narrated and led by the amateur sleuth Nancy Drew, played by Kennedy McMann and is based on the original Nancy Drew books.
We hope you liked this list ! Leave a comment below if you’ve tuned in to any of them and let us know what you think!
All the best,
The Location Base Team
We love connecting with clients and learning about the special aspects of their homes and properties. Some have worked with the film industry before, and others are brand new to the excitement and buzz. What they all have in common is a willingness to share their most intimate space with others, welcoming them into their world in the name of creation. What a gift!
Behind every door there are humans who have tended to the land and decor with deep care and intention. Their hopes are that you enjoy it as much as they do, treat their space with respect and have the most successful shoot possible.
Here’s five unique homes we are thrilled to spotlight so you can make the connection and have that experience.
West Coast Zen
A contemporary, custom-built property that oozes relaxation and peace.
Point Grey, Vancouver, BC
The Ambleside Estate
This well maintained home and property includes an indoor theater, pool, and two libraries.
West Vancouver, BC
Modern Farm House
This spot is open concept with a warm country feel. Recently the kitchen was used for a food product shoot, with very satisfactory results. A unique characteristic is that there’s a batting cage in the basement!
Renovated Family Home
This 2600 sq ft five bed, three bath West Coast style family home on a large, bright flat lot. We think indie film, lifestyle shoot, magazine, you name it.
House on Five Acres
This home features vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors throughout this large new property. There is plenty of space for all your equipment.
- Include multiple shots of your location from different angles. Taking photos standing in one corner of a room usually gives the best view.
- A photo file of around 20-30 pictures is a great starting point (depending on how many spaces you have available).
- Please include interior and exterior shots. If some areas are no access, please don’t photograph them.
- Landscape format photos are generally preferred, using widest setting possible.
- Here are some general standards: – File size between 100KB – 1 MB – JPEG format, Uncompressed
- If you are sending from a camera phone, please email over at the highest resolution which is usually ‘actual size’
- Please do not include photos shot in bad weather (rain, snow etc.)
- Submit photos in room order e.g. front entrance/lobby then moving through each floor
- Spaces don’t need to be unrealistically tidy but minimize clutter before photographing – e.g. removing piles of laundry of paperwork
- Concentrate on shooting the actual location itself and not people, pets, vehicles etc.
How much you will get paid will vary, depending on the geographical location, appearance, selling features, and of course the Production’s budget (which varies immensely).
If you’ve taken the plunge and decided to list your location, you’ll want to make it as appealing as possible. We often get asked how to get your location to stand out and get that first booking. Here’s a few top tips to get you started:
- Be responsive. If you get a shoot inquiry, try to get back to us/the Production as quickly as possible.
- Your home or space doesn’t have to be super modern or new to be appealing. Productions look for all types of locations, depending on their script.
- When taking photos use a real camera (or high-quality camera phone) to show your space in the best light.
- Parking! If you don’t have parking on site, is there at least some parking close by?
- Space to move around is also key. Tight spaces don’t work for crew plus equipment.
- Often, we get very little notice for a shoot, so flexibility is a must! Productions don’t operate in the real-world sense, especially when it comes to timing!
- Scouts and recces can often amount to nothing. Don’t get disheartened, it’s just that your space is not quite right this time, BUT they may remember you for a shoot in the future.
- Liability insurance is something you should consider before opening your home up for commercial purposes.
- Expect some wear and tear. If you have 15 people in a small area of course there’s going to be a few knocks and scratches.
- The more flexible you are with their requests, the more shoots you will get, e.g painting the location or moving furniture around. Remember, they will always be expected to return the space to the way they found it.
- Good accessibility and availability are key! No brainer.
- Make sure your location is clean and safe. If Creatives realize they need to spend a lot of money to prepare the location, they may go elsewhere.
- Get the Productions to take “how-they-found-it” photos of every room they are shooting in so that they can reset everything as they found it.
- Try not to be distracting to the crew during the shoot as they are under pressure to work fast. They will be treating your home as a set which some folks could find unsettling.
- Enjoy the process!
Once you’ve registered your property, really all you need to do it sit back and wait for the phone to ring! But seriously though, it may not ring for a while, and it may not ring often. Don’t lose faith. Keeping your photos up to date and information current are things you can do to increase your chances of being selected. Our suggestion is always to be optimistic, present your location in the best way (great photos always!) and then don’t overthink it. Don’t start working out all the logistics, just wait until an inquiry comes in and then we will help walk you through the process.