It’s going to look a lot like Christmas in Prince George this March.
Barker Street Cinema, a Cariboo-based production company, will be filming a Christmas movie in the city from March 1-13. The movie will be directed by Wells resident James Douglas. Douglas works at the Barkerville Historic Town and Park.
Douglas said bringing a Christmas movie to film in the region has been an idea he and producer Norm Coyne have been working on for a few years.
“We’ve been kicking around ideas about how we could maximize the winters we have in the north to our filming advantage,” Douglas said. “I’m a huge Christmas movie fan. They’re definitely on rotation in my household over the holidays.”
The Christmas movie format should be familiar to anyone who watches them over the holidays.
“A successful LA entertainment lawyer is gifted a trip to Canada by her friends for Christmas and she falls in love with the place and the people,” Douglas said, explaining the movie. “There’s some authentic northern B.C. things in the film, which will be really exciting to shoot.”
Barker Street Cinema is partnering with a larger company on the production.
“I think of it like leveling up in a video game,” Coyne said. “We’ve gotten to a point we’ve done as much as we can on our own. Now we’re partnering up with this bigger company that will take us to the next level. The intention is for this to be the first of many [productions in the area].”
Running a feature film shoot during a global pandemic comes with challenges, he added.
“We have to have an exhaustive safety plan,” Coyne said. “One benefit we have in our favour is we can follow protocols that have already been set by bigger productions … Some of our crew are actually on set in Vancouver right now, so we’re relying on them.”
The problem of locating Christmas decorations for the production is already solved. The shoot will be borrowing their props from the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation, which holds an annual Christmas event.
“They have 20 years of Christmas decorations,” Coyne said. “They jumped on board to help us find the stuff we need. We’re lucky.”
The production is lucky in another way, as the unseasonally warm temperatures would have played havoc with a normal filming schedule.
“This year in particular is really good,” Douglas said. “Had we actually been filming around Christmas time, there would be a lot less snow than there will likely be in March.”
The movie is planned for release in the fall of 2021, just in time for the holiday season.
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