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As Spooksville wraps, Disney film set to shoot in Cowichan Valley

When those white trailers roll in, they are bringing a boost to the Cowichan economy with them, according to Louise McMurray, executive director of Film Cowichan.

When those white trailers roll in, they are bringing a boost to the Cowichan economy with them, according to Louise McMurray, executive director of Film Cowichan.

The TV series Spooksville, which is starting to wind down months of shooting in the Cowichan Valley, has had a big effect on the area and with more movies coming to shoot footage there will be even more benefits to come, she said.

When it comes to the economy of the Valley, the crews that are in the area for months at a time are really helpful, McMurray said.

“They’re changing people’s businesses, creating whole new dimensions to careers. It’s huge and it’s all because of these opportunities that come from the TV series being here so long,” she said.

“We do have a made-for-Disney movie coming in, too; it’ll be shooting in August. It’s called Unleashed. The production offices are here,” she said Tuesday.

“It’s with Front Street Pictures again as the mother company. They really seem to like what we have to offer them here so it’s good to see them bringing their films and their TV series here.”

Spooksville shooting has spanned the region. “They have really been exploring the Valley and they are loving it,” McMurray said. “The executive producer from New York was saying she has never ever had such a wonderful, creative crew, many of them local. She just loves the locations and the people and how many resources they have here. She’s so excited.”

McMurray said it’s looking promising for them to come back and shoot again.

“I think, if this series gets picked up, that they would definitely be here. There’s hardly a corner of the Valley where you haven’t seen those trailers and seen them working, showing us off incredibly. They are so excited that they have so many different looks, locations and locales in such close proximity.”

Members of the cast recently took part in a fun night in Chemainus, as a thank you to that community.

“It has been just beautiful to see how the community there has embraced them and how they have embraced Chemainus as well. Chemainus has been one of their key locations because some of their key houses are there,” McMurray said.

Spooksville has also made lots of use of Lake Cowichan’s amenities and setting, shooting at Stanley Gordon School and outdoor locations on the west side of the Valley.

“I guess part of it was that the school was old looking but it was also location. They’ve done quite a bit up in Lake Cowichan, more than just the school. It’s been another key location for them,” she said.

McMurray said she’s still waiting for information on when Cowichan might see the TV series.

“It’s going to be aired in the fall on an American channel. I guess the distribution is still being negotiated through Canadian channels. I’m personally hoping that we will be able to get a copy of the series so that we can show it in the community at some point,” she said.

This fall, Film Cowichan is also working with several independent filmmakers operating in the area, making some short films.

“We’re also being scouted for a couple of more films, so, who knows what the future holds? The film, Unleashed, has come pretty quickly. I’m pretty excited that yet again Duncan has been chosen as the location to center the whole production. They did a casting call recently. It’s busy here, there’s no doubt about it,” McMurray said.