Location, location, location
Colwood is home to outstanding filming locations. Few communities offer full access to a castle, a lighthouse, miles of ocean beachfront and old growth forest, parks and lakes, as well as comfortable neighbourhood areas. Hatley Castle in Colwood is the city's most recognizable film location, made popular by major projects like the X-Men series, Smallville and many others.
The film industry in BC employs thousands of British Columbians and creates business opportunities in our community. Direct spending by the film industry in BC was 1.2 billion dollars in 2012. The portion of those dollars spent in our community are re-circulated to other businesses, multiplying the financial benefit Colwood receives by attracting film productions. Showcasing Colwood's beautiful west coast waterfront location to national and international audiences also has the potential to attract new interest and investment in our city, the capital region and Vancouver Island.
Get approval to film
Once you have confirmed the site's availability with the site manager, complete the City of Colwood Application for Filming. Permission to proceed with filming will be provided only AFTER the City of Colwood confirms the application has been completed and approved.
If the filming interferes with the surrounding community, businesses and residents in the vicinity of filming must be notified of the activity a least two business days prior to filming.
Follow these guidelines while on location
To ensure a good relationship between residents and your company producing the film, television or video, you must follow these guidelines below.
- Notify residents and businesses directly impacted by the filming in writing, at least two business days prior to filming, with a copy submitted to Colwood City Hall. The letter must include:
- The title of the production, contact information for the production office and brief details on the project;
- Dates and times crews will be working in the area with a description of what the crew will be doing;
- Impacts to the neighbourhood including street closures, parking, noise and lights from the lighting set.
- Where your production vehicles are permitted to park, including any closures, detours or after hours filming that may affect the area; and
- The name and phone number of the location manager and the assistant location manager.
- Place signage in the area where filming is taking place to advise the public. Filming involving loud special effects, gunfire, etc. requires a larger notification area.
- Ensure your staff act in a safe and professional manner. This includes refraining from trespassing, littering, lewd or improper language or dress.
- Take care that vehicle and generator exhausts and spill over lighting do not negatively affect residents and businesses. The safety of the public and enjoyment of their property should not be jeopardized.
- Ensure your production crews clean up and restore the location to its original condition at the end of filming unless otherwise directed by the City of Colwood.
- You must notify the site manager and obtain his/her approval for any schedule changes, use of parking or utilities, accessibility issues, etc. before shooting begins.
Filming in my Neighbourhood
The City of Colwood and the film companies understand that filming may cause temporary disruption to the regular routines of your neighbourhood. We appreciate your patience and cooperation. To help you prepare, here is a list of what to expect when filming activities are taking place in your neighborhood or when a film company wants to film on your property.
What to Expect
When film productions arrive at their filming site, they often come with a lot of people, trucks and equipment. Although the City of Colwood works with film companies to limit the potential impact in your neighborhood, it can often be somewhat invasive and require some changes in your daily routine.
This may require that pedestrian and vehicle access in your area be limited, before, during and after filming. There can also be major street closures, intermittent traffic control, traffic and pedestrian delays, parking restrictions, increased noise, and additional light from the set lighting.
Vehicles, Equipment & Film Crew
Film productions use a variety of vehicles to transport their equipment and their crew, from small pick-up trucks and vans to large cube-trucks and 18-wheelers. This fleet of vehicles can cause additional noise and increased traffic in your area. They bring cameras and lighting gear, set decors and first aid equipment and park close to the set. Larger vehicles such as hair, makeup, wardrobe and actors trailers and support vehicles are usually parked further away to allow for public parking.
Lighting sets vary from a few lights on tripods to lifts and cranes that hoist large lights up to a hundred feet in the air. Camera equipment can also be handheld, on stationary tripods, rolling along a length of track, or on lifts. Equipment is often operated with electricity produced by power generators brought on site. Look-out for power cables laid-out between trucks and equipment.
Crew size can range from just a few people to a hundred, and are governed by the Regina code of conduct for film cast and crew members. Film productions also provide security personal on the site and around the parameter to oversee the security of the crew, the equipment and the vehicles, and to answer questions from the public regarding the event.
Film productions are required to notify property owners and residents to be impacted by the proposed filming, in writing, through a public notice. This notice includes a brief description of the filming activity, how it will impact your neighborhood, a detailed map with times and locations, and contact information. The notice must be distributed door-to-door at least 48 hours before the beginning of the event. It must also be displayed in the area where filming will be taking place at least 24 hours before the event, and distributed to the passing or visiting public during the event whenever requested
As a property owner and/or resident of that neighborhood, you are encouraged to contact the production company if you have any questions, concerns or needs in regards to their filming activities. As a guest in your neighborhood, they are required to accommodate any reasonable request you may have.
Who to Contact
Contact the film company indicated on your public notice if you have any question, concern or need in regards to the upcoming or immediate filming activities in your neighborhood.
For general questions regarding filming in Colwood property, contact Colwood City Hall at 250-478-5999 or [email protected].