Town Council has approved requests for Resident Alien to film in Ladysmith in late January.
Mary Jo Beirnes and Ken Brooker, co-location managers for the series, made a presentation to council that outlined their proposal.
Resident Alien will be filming six episodes with three different directors. A bulk of the scenes will be characters walking through the town, and entering buildings.
Barnacle Barney’s will play the town bar, the Ladysmith District Credit Union, (LDCU) will play the doctor’s office, and the Traveller’s Hotel will play the town hall and sheriff’s office. The interior sets for these locations have already been built on sound stages in Vancouver.
“The plan that we’ve put forth is somewhat broad in scope. Because we have to shoot six different episodes simultaneously, we need bounce around the street a little bit. Primarily, our focus is 1st Avenue, generally around Roberts Street,” Brooker said.
Prep work will begin on January 24, and the actual filming will take place over January 27, 28, 29, and 30. There will be closures of Roberts Street between the Trans Canada Highway and First Avenue between January 24 and February 2. The production company will have a traffic management plan and highway use permit in place.
There will also be intermittent closures of parking spaces on both sides of Roberts Street from the Trans Canada Highway to the west point of the Ladysmith District Credit Union parking lot; 1st Avenue between Gatacre Street and Baden Powell Street; and High Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. These closures come with the condition that the production company provide staff to assist customers in accessing businesses in these areas, and offer delivery of prescriptions as required.
The Town’s parking lot at 17 and 25 Roberts Street will be closed from January 20 to February 5 to accommodate filming. The Town’s parking lot and spaces along the alley between Gatacre Street and High Street will be closed for work trucks and support vehicles. Councillor Rob Johnson expressed concern that some residents would be displaced from their parking if this occurred. Beirnes and Brooker were open to solutions to accommodate residents impacted by that parking closure.
The gated area of Lot 4 off Transfer Beach Boulevard and the gravel parking lot at Slack Point have both been designated for truck parking. The production company will also have use of the the Town’s property on Buller Street east of 1st Avenue for parking on the condition that the company completes any necessary fill or other work required to accommodate the weight of work trucks.
Parking along Oyster Bay Drive north of the Machine Shop from January 27 to January 31 has been designated for use by production crew. The southern half of the parking lot at Fishermen’s Wharf and Rotary Boat Launch will be closed to accommodate the production ‘circus’. The circus is the area where hair, makeup, wardrobe, and other production needs are conducted.
Brooker said that the filming is fluid in nature and once the filming in specific areas is finished they can release parking back to the public. The production company consulted the producers of Sonic the Hedgehog about planning logistics.
“We listened very carefully to them and understood how important it was to try to maintain as much parking as possible,” Brooker said.
Resident Alien will likely return to finish filming their season in mid-March.