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North Bay on the verge of becoming “Hollywood North”

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There are more opportunities for northern residents to stay here and work in film and television.

Mayor Al McDonald says Thursday’s announcement of six more films coming to the gateway city is an exciting and incredible opportunity.He says Reel World Management is also looking to build a permanent studio and that would have a positive impact for the city.

He says film projects such as this continue to build the necessary infrastructure and open doors to future film and television opportunities for the region.

The project which wrapped up shooting yesterday had 80 per cent of its workforce from northern Ontario.

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McDonald adds this keeps more young people in the city who would’ve had to move away to work in this industry.

On set of upcoming film being shot in North Bay. Photo by Matthew Sookram.
On set of upcoming film being shot in North Bay. Photo by Matthew Sookram.

Producer Roma Roth says they are starting to get more people from the north that are already trained in the industry.

Roth says when she first broke into the industry she worked on the show The Lonesome Dove in Calgary. She says there were not many trained people there at the time, but now Calgary is a hot spot for film and television.

Roth says she believes North Bay can replicate that.

She adds if they can get a studio here their costs will go down. Roth says every time they finish a project they have to sell off all the gear, so a studio would allow them to store it.

She adds it would also give them somewhere to continue filming during the winter months.

As well a studio can be rented out to for other companies and Roth says that would be an attractive asset for the city.

She says they are in the process of finding an existing but easily retro fitted building to work out of.

Roth says they will be spending over $14-million throughout the process of their next six films. She says that would all be spent in the area and goes towards equipment rentals, vendors, restaurants, hotels and more.

She says the real hurdle will be building the infrastructure, but once that is done there will be constant production in the city.

On set of upcoming film being shot in North Bay. Photo by Matthew Sookram.
On set of upcoming film being shot in North Bay. Photo by Matthew Sookram.

Roth’s current project is titled “Deadly Secrets by the Lake” although that is slated to change. It stars Stefanie Von Pfetten, and Steven Byers. It will air on the A & E Network in January.

Moose FM will have a story with the lead actors on Monday.

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