Move crews filming on the roof of a Bernard Avenue building in downtown Kelowna last year. In June the city will host the Movie Theatre Association of Canada’s annual gathering.—Alistair Waters/Capital News

The future of film production in the Okanagan amid COVID-19

The Okanagan Film Commission is mapping out safety concerns and solutions for production

Every industry across the province has had to make adjustments during COVID-19 to ensure the safety of employees and the public.

And, the film industry is no different.

John Summerland of the Okanagan Film Commission said since the outbreak the film industry has had to change strategies.

“For instance, instead of scouting for locations one film at a time, we have been tasked with scouting locations for multiple productions so that when we return to filming we will have our location files ready and up to date,” he explained.

Currently, scouts are unable to search for locations to photograph or film due to social distancing and self-isolation brought about by the pandemic.

According to Summerland, film commissioners and film industry executives are discussing how they will able to ease back into production while facing the challenges in the current situation.

“If people who have an interest in the future to have their home in a film or tv series for a fee, then now is a good time to photograph and register their home. There are stories for all sorts of homes, from modest to mansions,” said Summerland. “So, if you have ever thought of having your home used as a location, there is an opportunity for you to help us out.”

The commissioners plan on following all Interior Health guidelines and are working on various solutions to filming until production is allowed to return to a new normal.

“Every precaution will be taken while working within the public and private property. In terms of locations and homes this will include the creation of new jobs that include a crew that not only will clean the properties but sterilize it before and after filming takes place,” he stated.

Summerland said producers across North America are paying close attention to how B.C. is handling the Covid-19 crisis, and as the province flattens the curve it’s possible B.C. could be the preferred film destination in the future.

READ MORE: Businesses hard-hit by COVID-19 to get 75% in rent cost relief: Trudeau

READ MORE: B.C.’s COVID-19 outlook coming in early May, Premier Horgan says

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