The Pacific Rim Whale Festival wasn’t the only action launching West Coasters into spring.
Hollywood North packed the Wya Point Campground’s parking lot with trailers last week as the local landscape got its closeup for ABC’s television pilot, ‘The Crossing.’
The series, which stars Steve Zahn and Sandrine Halt, brought a boost of excitement to the area, and not just because Department of Homeland Security prop-vehicles were traveling through local streets.
“It’s just another piece in the puzzle when it comes to our economic activity and it’s fun. It gives people the opportunity for short term employment and definitely pumps up our hotels, restaurants and shops,” said Mayor Dianne St. Jacques.
“When [film crews] come in, they come in quickly and they’re here for a short time and then they’re gone. It’s an in-and-out kind of scenario and that makes it exciting. It’s something we’re not used to seeing so it’s always interesting to see something new and different.”
Coun. Sally Mole agreed.
“It brings more attention to our town,” Mole said. “Not that we want to inundate the town, but it’s a good reflection on us.”
She said, beyond the obvious economic benefits of film crews shopping locally, filming brings short-term employment to locals and attention to the area’s luring landscape.
“We are seen in the filming world as a filming friendly community,” she said. “We are a friendly community and we are very open to giving suggestions or giving directions or giving help and that word, I think, is out in the industry,”
She added out-of-town cast and crew-members bring their experiences home with them.
“They’re experiencing Ucluelet for a good amount of time and will get a good Ucluelet experience and that word of mouth is invaluable.”
Mole herself was excited to find an opportunity as an extra.
“I was cast as a drowning victim, so that meant we might have to be lying on the beach and it was raining and I’m a bit of a sugar-cube that way, so I wasn’t really looking forward to that part of the experience, but it’s something different,” she said.
“You arrive and it’s all bustly and busy and quite different from our little laid back community. You’re off to wardrobe and you’re off to set and all this different lingo and it’s really interesting just to be part of it.”
She added her first day on set was gruelling as she remained in her skin-coloured wetsuit costume from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.
“It’s the longest time I’ve ever worn a wetsuit, that’s for sure,” she said.
St. Jacques assured Ucluelet will continue to strengthen its reputation amongst filmmakers.
“The local employment and short term boon to business is good and it also gets our name and our reputation out there as being a community that provides what these film crews need,” she said.
“We’re known for being cooperative, firm in our requirements, but certainly cooperative and welcoming and we’ll continue to be that way.”