There’s plenty of action during filming of The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

There’s plenty of action during filming of The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Island community provides the perfect small town atmosphere for movie shoot

Chemainus takes on the persona of Windward, Washington for Hallmark production

Chemainus is now known as Windward, Washington during filming of The Baker’s Son.

The Hallmark movie is being filmed by Minute-Road Production Limited until the end of the week in a portion of the downtown core on Willow Street between Victoria and Mill Street.

Changes to the Chemainus landscape have sprung up, with McBride’s taking over as the name of the Willow Street Cafe which is the primary shooting location. Ironically, as local residents know, McBride’s is the name of the community’s iconic service station but its alter ego has the reputation for being “the best coffee in town” according to a sign outside the establishment.

Banners reading “Welcome To Windward, Washington,” a place apparently established in 1830, line the street. There’s also a Windward Realty office next to McBride’s.

The other obvious change to that part of town is the presence of American flags at the entrance to the Western Forest Products Chemainus sawmill for the backdrop to the movie.

Underneath all the window dressing, it’s still Chemainus and folks can look forward to seeing the familiar town sites in the finished product.

“We selected it because it’s so great,” said Steve Kinghorn, the location manager. “It’s a very pretty small town.

“We were scouting around for the last month.”

There is a real Windward High School in Bellingham, Washington but the fictional Windward is pegged as a coastal town in Washington state for the movie.

After shooting wraps up in Chemainus at the end of the week, the scene shifts for two days to Cowichan Bay – Monday at True Grain Bread and Tuesday at the dock – before wrapping up in Victoria for eight days. Filming ends on April 1.

“This will probably be on the air by late spring – I would say by June,” said Kinghorn.

“For people trying to look out for it, a lot of our movies show up on the W Channel.”

The exact story line is being kept under wraps, other than Kinghorn saying “it’s a romantic comedy. This is a little bit more of a comedy than the love story.”

People who’ve never seen a movie being filmed before will quickly discover it’s a painstaking process. Each scene requires several rehearsals and then numerous takes.

Such things as an ambulance siren in the background, a helicopter flying overhead and even the sun coming up and going back behind the clouds required delays in the process Monday to get all the scenes just right.

Otherwise, it was an ideal day to begin shooting except for a chilly start until the sun broke through for most of the day.

Related story: Hallmark movie crews moving into Chemainus for the week

The film brought a large influx of personnel into the community with cast and crew.

“Probably 50 here plus the background extras and the cast,” noted Kinghorn.

“Everyone’s been very welcoming,” he added.

Kinghorn said four productions, including the Baker’s Son, are expected to be completed for Hallmark by the middle of May amid a busy shooting schedule.

Like every other industry, it’s been a different time for movie productions.

“We’ve got very strict COVID protocols in place,” Kinghorn indicated. “The industry opened up after about a three-month hiatus. We opened up about the first of July.”

The benefits of the attention the film will bring to town are considered significant once full-fledged tourism returns.

“This is the best thing that could happen to Chemainus and put them on the map internationally,” said Don Goodman, co-owner of the Willow Street Cafe, who also lives upstairs and has a bird’s eye view of the filming.

Willow Street Cafe closed for the week, with the movie’s cast and crew taking over the building.

“They’re decorating to their taste,” noted Goodman. “They’ve even got curtains on the windows.”

“This is a natural location,” he added of Chemainus as a whole. “Every year there should be something.

“I think we could use a college of the arts to support the theatre and the jobs.”

The Baker’s Son is being directed by Mark Jean.

EntertainmentFilm industryMovies

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Make-up touch-ups are applied during a break in shooting for The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Make-up touch-ups are applied during a break in shooting for The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Cameraman zeroes in on shooting a scene. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Cameraman zeroes in on shooting a scene. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Camera and sound crew set up for a shot. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Camera and sound crew set up for a shot. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Crew sets up for shooting in The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Crew sets up for shooting in The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Matthew Blecha, assistant director for The Baker’s Son, makes a point before filming begins. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Matthew Blecha, assistant director for The Baker’s Son, makes a point before filming begins. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Actors swing into action for scene rehearsal. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Actors swing into action for scene rehearsal. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Sound work requires a steady hand. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Sound work requires a steady hand. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Extras for The Baker’s Son get ready to move into place. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Extras for The Baker’s Son get ready to move into place. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Dylan Castro is tasked with traffic control on Willow Street. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Dylan Castro is tasked with traffic control on Willow Street. (Photo by Don Bodger)

All hands are on deck for shooting of The Baker’s Son in downtown Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)

All hands are on deck for shooting of The Baker’s Son in downtown Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Scene during filming of The Baker’s Son in downtown Chemainus Monday. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Scene during filming of The Baker’s Son in downtown Chemainus Monday. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s Green Point Campground saw an unprecedented flurry of reservations last week. (Pacific Rim National Park Reserve photo)
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s campground sees ‘unprecedented’ interest as reservations open

Green Point Campground is scheduled to open from May 1 – Oct. 12 this year.

Kale is a classic in West Coast gardens.
COLUMN: Kale reigns supreme in West Coast gardens

In Tofino and Ucluelet, kale is a classic.

(B.C. Government photo)
POLL QUESTION: Are you in favour of B.C.’s three-week ban on in-restaurant dining?

Dr. Bonnie Henry called the three week stoppage a “circuit breaker”

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Theatre manager Sophie L’Homme is ecstatic to share the news that Tofino’s aging Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre is finally getting upgrades. (Nora O’Malley photo)
BC Arts grant funding breathes new life into Tofino’s community theatre

“Once it’s done, it’s going to be a pride of the town.”

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
Vancouver Island team helps make $368 million three-tonne cocaine seizure

12 members from 19 Wing Comox involved in Op Caribbe

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photos courtesy Ella Smiley)
Chainsaw and friends near the beach thrill orca watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

Nootka Sound RCMP and DFO Conservation and Protection Officers seized this 30 foot vessel, fishing gear and equipment as well as Chinook salmon, salmon roe, rock fish and ling cod after an investigation on Sept. 11. A judge in Campbell River on February hit the owner and his accomplices with significant fines, a ban on holding fishing licences and loss of equpment, including the boat’s motor and trolling motor. RCMP photo
Washington State trio’s fisheries violations the worst veteran officer has seen in 20 years

Judge bans three men from fishing or holding a fishing licence anywhere in Canada

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Most Read