A revitalized online lure could convince filmmakers to bring more action to the West Coast.
The Island Coastal Economic Trust is kicking $5,000 into a $10,000 upgrade to the Vancouver Island North Film Commission’s website (INFilm).
The commission’s enhanced web-presence will include an easy to navigate database of local locations as well as a comprehensive breakdown of production credits and available resources.
Ucluelet local Geoff Lyons serves as INFilm’s West Coast representative and told the Westerly News the unique local landscape offers a diverse range of movie set options that are perpetually ready to serve as the perfect backdrops for filmmakers.
He said INFilm’s updated website, expected to be launched in January 2017, will deliver the West Coast to the doorsteps of directors and producers around the world.
“People from all over the world can now, on an internet access, see what landscapes and opportunities there are for bringing their movie here without them having to send a director over that hilly, windy road or fly somebody in and risk being fogged in,” Lyons said. “They can make the decisions in the comfort of their own office…Without having to go all over the world looking for that right spot, they can find it on a webpage and say, ‘Perfect, that looks like a great place.’”
He noted the West Coast has enjoyed the economic benefits of movie shoots before and said film crews bring big gains in terms of local spending.
“They come in en masse. They book up hotel rooms. They wine and dine at various restaurants and basically insert funds into the community,” he said. “And, it’s not like tourists coming for nine months and people are going to get frustrated. These folks are in and out in a matter of weeks, or days even, so it’s just a quick insert of adrenaline rushing into the community and some dollars associated.”
A recent Island Coastal Economic Trust media release suggests last year’s filming of the latest Planet of the Apes sequel—set for release in 2017— in Ucluelet infused over $1 million of direct spending into the community.
Lyons said movies filmed locally also add to the area’s allure to visitors and provide free advertising for local landscapes.
“Years later, people are heading down to see where Superman climbed,” he said citing the Man of Steel movie filmed in Ucluelet in 2011.