Crews prepare to film a holiday movie in Summerland on July 29, 2020 (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

COLUMN: Bringing British Columbia’s stories to the screen

The movies are often American stories, with B.C. communities serving as stand-ins for U.S. locations

Film crews are busy in British Columbia these days.

Crews are in Summerland to film The Christmas Yule Blog, a holiday-themed movie.

Summerland’s downtown core was decorated with festive trees, banners and other trimmings.

This is not the first time the community has been used as the setting for a movie.

In the 1970s, crews came to film Who’ll Save Our Children? a made-for-television movie which aired in 1978.

During this filming, a parade was held and a local band performed in the parade scene.

Film crews were back in the community some years later to film a scene for the 2001 movie, Lunch With Charles. The filming for this scene was done on the trestle bridge and featured the steam train.

More recently, Summerland has been used as the setting for other movies.

The same thing is true for other communities around the province.

Some of these have been fairly big productions.

READ ALSO: COLUMN: Light holiday movies, filmed here in B.C.

READ ALSO: It’s Christmas in July on many B.C. movie sets as Hallmark boosts production

The first of the Rambo movies, First Blood, released in 1982, was filmed in and around Hope.

And, the town of Nelson was the setting for the 1987 movie, Roxanne.

British Columbia’s film industry was used for television shows including MacGyver in the 1980s, The X Files in the 1990s and the 2019 reboot of The Twilight Zone.

A Million Little Things is also filmed in the Vancouver area.

The film industry is helping to promote this province, and it is bringing money into British Columbia.

But the television shows and movies are often American stories, with this province’s communities serving as stand-ins for locations in the United States.

The Christmas Yule Log is set in a community in New Mexico.

Who’ll Save Our Children? made changes to Summerland to create the fictional community of Summerland, Washington.

Hope became a community in Oregon for First Blood.

Vancouver becomes Boston in the television series, A Million Little Things.

For other movies, the Okanagan Valley has been a stand-in for California’s Napa Valley and Vancouver has been used to depict numerous American cities.

In short, our communities and our stunning scenery are used as backdrops for stories set in another country.

Lunch With Charles was an exception since much of the story was set in British Columbia.

And the 1985 movie, My American Cousin, was filmed in Penticton and Naramata and is a celebration of this part of the province.

But such films, where British Columbia serves as British Columbia, are not nearly as common as the motion pictures which are filmed here, but about other places.

There’s nothing wrong with using our amazing scenery and the spectacular place in this province as movie backdrops.

But I’d be far more interested in seeing stories where British Columbia locations are used to tell British Columbia stories.

This province has had its own unique history, including gold rush days, tales of boomtowns, construction of the railways and even an attempt to use camels as pack animals.

And today, the culture of British Columbia is something unique in Canada — and Canada is not a more northerly version of the United States.

Our stories and our experiences deserve to be told.

And while a movie filmed in British Columbia is good for our communities and our province, a movie telling a British Columbia story would be something special.

John Arendt is the editor of the Summerland Review.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Column

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

 

Stores on Main Street in Summerland have taken on a festive theme for a movie on July 29, 2020 (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Just Posted

Summerland’s fallen soldiers and nurses are displayed on banners displayed around the community prior to Remembrance Day. (Contributed)
Remembrance banners depict Summerland’s fallen soldiers

Efforts to create banners began in 2000

Naramata Slow is almost at its goal of raising $850,000 to save Centre Beach from being sold.
Final push is on to save Naramata beach by Oct. 31 deadline

Village has already raised 90 per cent of the $850K goal

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media file)
Penticton RCMP cleared of wrongdoing after man seriously injured in custody

B.C.’s police watchdog found no evidence of harm caused by police in Sept. 21 incident

Apex Mountain Resort received 35 centimetres of fresh snow over the weekend, prompting some to head out for some early season turns. (Apex Mountain Resort / Facebook)
Stay off the mountain: Apex warns of early season dangers

Recreational use of the mountain before opening day comes with serious risks

Mike Fetterer, Summerland’s facilities maintenance coordinator, drives the newly acquired electric ice resurfacer. (Contributed)
Summerland acquires electric ice resurfacer

New machine will reduce community’s greenhouse gas emissions

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Kelowna Secondary School. (SD23 photo)
Second case of COVID-19 confirmed at Kelowna Secondary School

Interior Health has confirmed the new case is unrelated to the one announced Sunday

The Stuart Park ice rink in January 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Popular Kelowna outdoor ice rink will open amid COVID-19 pandemic

City council approved COVID-related changes to the Stuart Park ice rink’s operations

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health sees 31 new cases of COVID-19 over record-breaking weekend

Eighty-six cases remain active and one person is hospitalized with the virus

Salmon Arm RCMP responded to a seven-vehicle chain reaction collision early Monday morning, Oct. 26. (File photo)
One person injured in seven-vehicle chain-reaction collision in Salmon Arm

Snow packed to ice, speed contributing factors behind collisions

RCMP responded to a single-vehicle collision on Highway 1 east of Salmon Arm early Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (File photo)
Salmon Arm man killed in collision on Highway 1

RCMP say slippery road conditions contributing factor behind collision

Jordan Naterer, 25, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. He planned a hike in the Manning Park area, and has not been seen since. Photo Facebook.
Parents not giving up, after official search for Manning Park hiker suspended again

‘We are determined, but eventually the money is going to run out.’

Most Read