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

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Valley woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

First in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Comox woman on fence about vaccine prompted by brother’s death

Leela Harrop says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Most categories of crime held steady from year to year in Cumberland. File photo
Cumberland crime numbers hold steady year to year

A few categories had notable changes but many were similar to 2019

The colourful Taylor’s Checkerspot butterfly has been reintroduced on Hornby Island, BC. Photo courtesy the Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project.
Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project releases more caterpillars on Hornby Island

Chris Junck Special to Black Press The number of Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies… Continue reading

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)
Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Valen a student of Coldstream Elementary writes advice for adults amid a pandemic.
‘We can get rid of COVID together’: B.C. kids share heartwarming advice

Elementary students share their wisdom to adults in unprecedented times

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. health minister says delay in Moderna vaccine ‘disappointing’

‘The sooner we get vaccines in people’s arms the better, and inconsistency in delivery is a consistent problem. This is simply a reality and not an issue of blame,’ Adrian Dix said Friday

(Police handout/Kamloops RCMP)
B.C. man dies in custody awaiting trial for Valentine’s Day robbery, kidnapping spree

Robert James Rennie, who was on the Kamloops RCMP’s most wanted list, passed away at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks games against Leafs postponed as team returns from COVID-19

The team has had 11 games postponed since an outbreak late last month

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Island woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

Becomes first person in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

Most Read