Some 200 cast and crew will descend on Ucluelet this week to film a scene for the movie ‘Lou’ starring Oscar winner Allison Janney and Lovecraft Country star Jurnee Smollett.
Directed by Anna Foerster from an original screenplay by Maggie Cohn, ‘Lou’ takes place in 1986 and tells the story of two women tracking a kidnapper across an island in order to rescue one of the women’s daughters.
“The filmmakers selected Ucluelet as a location because of the location’s unique beauty and magnificent coastline,” notes the film’s publicist Lorraine Jamison.
About 40 Tofino and Ucluelet locals were hired as background performers for the Aug. 9 and Aug. 10 filming dates, which involves relegating Main Street with intermittent traffic control.
Ucluelet’s director of Parks and Recreation Abby Fortune says Deerfield Productions was awarded a film permit and business licence through the District of Ucluelet.
“Although filming will be taking place the second week of August, traditionally a busy time of year, the disruptions of the Main Street road closures is negligible in comparison to the economic benefit a production such as this brings to our community. The result of a large-scale Netflix production will not only support many local businesses during the filming and into the future, but it will place Ucluelet as a desirable and experienced filming locations on the West Coast,” said Fortune.
For the scene, Pioneer Boatworks will be converted into a hardware store and The Crow’s Nest, Ucluelet’s longest running store, will be transformed into a bank.
“It’ll be fun for the community. They are building a façade by the old post office end of the building,” said Jan Draeseke, owner of The Crow’s Nest.
Owner of Pioneer Boatworks Bonnie Gurney said her shop will be closed for business on Aug. 9 to accommodate the production.
“They were very specific about wanting the parking lot empty. And they want a boat on the marine railway and a boat at the dock,” said Gurney.
Fortune went on to say that the cast and crew “are meeting and exceeding all current Public Health Regulations” to protect the community from COVID-19.
‘Lou’ is also filming in and around Vancouver. Release dates are still to be announced.