Posted on 08 August 2012 by Mathew White
The Town of Osoyoos continues to increase its reputation as one of the premier locations anywhere in the province for movie and television executives.
Mayor Stu Wells said he was thrilled to discover the new ABC Television series Once Upon a Time has chosen Osoyoos as one of its premier locations to shoot several episodes for its second season.
“I found out about two weeks ago at a meeting of the RDOS (Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen) and needless to say, I was pretty happy about it,” said Wells. “When you have major movie producers and producers of television series wanting to come to our little town to shoot, it’s pretty exciting.
“We obviously have a beautiful little town, but I think the fact these TV and movie people know we want to have their business and have them come here has also played a big role.”
Film crews have already been in Osoyoos shooting several scenes and will return with a full crew in the next couple of weeks, said Jon Summerland, commissioner of the Okanagan Film Commission, which has worked hard to bring numerous movie and television productions to the Okanagan Valley over the past several years.
“It is great for the Okanagan to be chosen as a location by a high profile series like Once Upon a Time, and it will also be great for the region to get the international exposure from the reach of the viewer audiences.”
Once Upon a Time is a series that centers on a woman with a troubled past who is drawn into a small town in Maine where the magic and mystery of fairytales just may be real. At its core, it is a story about hope, said Summerland.
Co-creators and executive producers are Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, who worked together to produce the hit television series Lost and Tron: Legacy.
The series stars Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love), Jennifer Morrison (House), Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting and SGU: Stargate Universe), Lana Parrilla (Boomtown and Spin City), Josh Dallas (Thor), Jared Gilmore (Mad Men), Emilie da Ravin (Lost) and Meghan Ory (Vampire High).
Summerland said the producers of Once Upon a Time had been scouting locations in British Columbia for several months and looked carefully at numerous possible sites in the Okanagan Valley before making the final decision to come to Osoyoos.
The fact several other movies have been shot in this area played a significant role in the final decision as did the fact local council and administration have been very co-operative and supportive in the past when working with film crews.
The natural beauty of Osoyoos and area has attracted a lot of interest among Hollywood movie and television producers and his organization continues to work hard to bring as many productions to this area as possible, he said.
The fact a major series on one of the major American networks has decided to shoot several episodes here in Osoyoos will continue to enhance the reputation of this town and the entire Okanagan Valley as a terrific place to do business and shoot scenes, he said.
“Producers are becoming aware of the stunning scenery we have to offer in the Okanagan and when we have a studio, they will also be able to use and collect tax credits, so it will be a win win.”
Having a large film crew and numerous high profile actors in town will not only be exciting, but will have some economic spinoff as these people need to eat and find accommodations in town, said Wells.
“I’m sure there will be some economic spinoff as they are shooting several episodes here in town and are going to be here for some time,” he said. “When the movie Gunless was shot here a couple of years ago, there was very good economic spinoff and I expect the same with this TV series shooting here.”
How the producers are going to shoot scenes in Osoyoos with a storyline based in coastal Maine is beyond him, said Wells.
“How they are going to shoot a scene in town here and have it mimic scenery in Maine should be very interesting,” he said laughing. “I’m just hoping a lot of the landmarks we have here in town will show up when the series goes on the air.”
Film crews, actors and producers should start coming into Osoyoos in the next couple of weeks, said Summerland.
While most of the scenes will be shot in private locations, there might be a few scenes where extras are needed and producers will make sure to get the word out when members of the public might get their 15 minute shot of fame, he said.
The Okanagan Film Commission has been doing its best to attract as many major movie and television productions to this part of the province as they possibly can and he’s thrilled a major American television series has selected the Okanagan Valley and Osoyoos to shoot several episodes, said Summerland.
Once Upon a Time has already attracted a large and loyal audience in its first season and he’s hopeful more and more fans will become regular viewers, which will hopefully lead to a long run on ABC and perhaps more episodes being filmed in the Okanagan and in Osoyoos, he said.
With the friendly people who live here and the beautiful scenery, Summerland believes the visiting cast and crew are going to have a wonderful time and will enjoy every second they spend in Osoyoos.