It may be ‘lights, camera, action!’ for talented B.C. doctor

It may be ‘lights, camera, action!’ for talented B.C. doctor

Rob Forde is waiting to hear if he’ll become The Basement Doctor in his own reality show

There’s nothing about the outside of Rob Forde’s house in southern Chilliwack that sets it apart from those of his neighbours’. Yet, if a visitor to Forde’s home were to go around the side and enter through the back door, they’d be instantly transported across time to various decades throughout modern and ancient history.

READ MORE: Raising a pint to ‘The Irish Viking’ pocket pub

Upon walking through the entryway, one of the first things that may catch a guest’s eye is The Bomb Shelter, an area directly across from the door that’s been creatively decorated to look like a 1940s bar, complete with its own incoming mustard gas canister. Or perhaps it’ll be the newly completed Houdini pinball cage that will distract and delight those entering what Forde has dubbed “Doc Studio.”

“The basement acts like my resume,” said Forde. “And my goal when people (enter Doc Studio) is to help them figure out what they like,”said Forde as he sat near to what used to be his Montreal, Quebec scene, complete with the wooden shinny boys in Canadiens jerseys he carved with a chainsaw.

This isn’t ”just about the creating and the building,” continued Forde about Doc Studio. “It’s the picking, the searching for treasures. Finding those cool things, whether it’s at an garage sale, an auction, or whatever. I’m always on the hunt and it’s a good day when you come home with something fun.”

Forde, who’s quite literally a very handy man, has been a practicing doctor of chiropractic for more than three decades, however, during many of those years, he was also a well-known competitive chainsaw artist.

And now that he’s begun fixing up spaces creatively during his semi-retirement, the doctor’s latest artistic hobby may have lead him all the way to Hollywood.

“I didn’t ask specifically how they found me, but I‘m assuming it was from (The Progress) article,” explained Forde.

Last July, as word spread about the doctor who was remaking basement spaces into immersive scenes, Forde was featured in the newspaper’s Scene & Heard section. A few months later, he opened his email and found a letter from Brian Catalina Entertainment asking if he’d be interested in hosting his own reality show.

“It caught me out of the blue and I was flabbergasted,” said Forde. “It was two different TV producers from L.A. that contacted me and said, ‘We’re interested in doing a television show about what you’re doing.’”

Although the offer was unexpected, Forde says he was intrigued and wanted to hear more. “So from there we had a couple of Skype interviews … and then they had us do a photo shoot down here, which we (then) sent to them.

“They edit down the Skype interview and the photos and send that out,” explained Forde. “They’re looking for a network to pick it up.”

Brian Catalina Entertainment is the idea-maker behind several popular reality shows, including Swamp People, which is going into its ninth season, The Raft, and Ultimate Survival Alaska.

“Their role, if I’m understanding correctly, is to be the middle man and get a cut of the action,” continued Forde. “If their idea of The Basement Doctor, which is the title of the show, takes hold, then the network probably pays them (something for the show’s rights).”

READ MORE: Chilliwack man creates unique themed spaces in your own home

Talking about the process up to this point, the semi-retired chiropractor laughs when explaining how one of the producers didn’t quite understand the concept because of where he grew up. “He’s from Florida, and they don’t have basements in Florida,” said Forde.

“But the other producer totally got it because he’s from somewhere up north where they have basements. He said it’s going to be so cool because everyone’s basements are just a mess, and if you can turn it into something special, the transformation would be fun to (watch).”

Although he doesn’t know for sure which networks have been pitched his show, Forde says he guesses it’s gone to stations like Home and Garden TV (HGTV) or the Do It Yourself Network (DIY).

As for how the actual show would play out, much of that’s still based on guesswork as well. “They didn’t give us too much information other than I’d be the host and (my wife) would be helping me.

“I’m assuming they’d provide me with a crew … so it only takes a week or two to do a basement. Then they just film the process, edit it down, and there’s the show. But again, it’s all new to me,” said Forde.

Signed into a nine-month contract, Forde says it isn’t so much about if the show will take place, but rather when the show will take place.

Rob Forde doesn’t only do large spaces, the talented chiropractor also does small spaces that pack a large emotional punch, like this space he created to commemorate his father and the family’s horse farm. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress)

“I’m not even sure if they’ll say no, I think it’s more of a case of waiting until,” said Forde.

“If enough time went by I would eventually assume that it’s probably not going to happen, but then a year from now it could pop up again. The concept is out there, so all it takes is somebody in some office somewhere to like it, and if they like a doctor doing people’s basements, then you’ve got a show!”

“In my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Oh, it’s going to happen!’ I just don’t know how soon.

“It’s like fishing, I’m betting (the entertainment company has) cast a lot of lines … and if just one of them bites, they’ve got some money coming in.”

“But if it doesn’t happen, that’s (okay, too),” said Forde. “As long as I’ve got people wanting me to help them with their spaces here in Chilliwack, that’s all I really want anyway. My main objective in all of this is to let people know this exists,” said Forde. “If they don’t know it exists, they can’t find it.”

However, at the end of the day, Forde says it’s all about “bringing people (and families) together and helping them feel proud of space when friends come over” and he’ll be happy to achieve that anyway he can.

For more information on Doc Studio, email Rob Forde at rdf9060@telus.net, or visit him on Instagram.

Stay tuned to The Progress learn more about when Chilliwack’s Basement Doctor will begin making house calls and transforming unused spaces into beloved places.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

These Douglas fir logs were recently found poached on Stoney Hill in North Cowichan’s forest reserve. (Larry Pynn/sixmountains.ca)
OPINION: Cowichan Valley’s Six Mountains Forest: War or Peace—The Choice is Ours

Icel Dobel writes in favour of protecting Cowichan Valley forests

North Cedar Volunteer Fire Department crews at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Barnes Road near Holden Corso Road in Cedar. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Jeep rolls over on wet afternoon in Cedar, occupants OK

Incident happened Monday, May 17, on Barnes Road

The former St. Joseph’s School converted to the St. Joseph’s Art Studios in 2019. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Former Chemainus St. Joseph’s School site sold to addictions recovery group

Diocese stresses the importance of a community outreach option in its decision

The bow-legged bear was seen roaming 2nd Avenue on Friday, May 7 and again in Brown Drive Park on May 13. (Submitted photo)
Bow-legged Ladysmith bear euthanized after vet examination

CO Stuart Bates said the bear had obvious health issues

The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District is working with several Vancouver Island art councils on the Digitial Innovation Group to improve digital skills for Island artists. (Submitted photo)
Digital Innovation Group supports digital literacy for Island artists

The goal is to leverage digital skills to promote Vancouver Island as an ‘arts powerhouse’

North Cedar Volunteer Fire Department crews at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Barnes Road near Holden Corso Road in Cedar. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Jeep rolls over on wet afternoon in Cedar, occupants OK

Incident happened Monday, May 17, on Barnes Road

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Nathan Zuk had left his mother’s residence in Whaletown on Cortes Island in mid-December 2020 in a 14’ skiff rowboat and headed to an unknown location near the Pryce Channel, Deer passage, or Toba Inlet. Photo courtesy RCMP
RCMP need help finding man who set off from Cortes Island in 14-foot rowboat

Nathan Zuk left in December, may have been last seen in Toba Inlet approximately three weeks ago

Discarded construction materials make up nearly 40 per cent of all materials sent to the landfill from sources in the city of Victoria. (Zero Waste Victoria)
Victoria looks to curb waste by turning demolitions into deconstructions

Community drafting bylaw forcing developers to be better at salvage and recycling

Emergency service workers at the collision scene along Highway 4 in Hilliers on Sunday, May 16. A motorcyclist was airlifted to hospital by BC Air Ambulance and later died. (Collin C photo)
UPDATE: Motorcyclist dies from injuries sustained in Mid-Island highway collision

BC Highway Patrol says impairment not a contributing factor in crash

Most Read