Lights, camera, action in the Ottawa Valley! Last movie ends in Arnprior and Pembroke
ARNPRIER, ONT. – From the Hollywood Hills to the Ottawa Valley, top directors travel to rural communities west of the capital, which means the next movie you watch could have been shot in your backyard.
Originally from Ottawa but now living in Los Angeles, director Brian Lutes is back in the valley this summer for the set of his latest film, Painted Sharks, a story set in the late 1970s about a woman and her child. seeking refuge from a troubled and abusive relationship. .
“There is definitely a distinct flavor here, it just has that old school charm,” Lutes told CTV News Ottawa. “We shot most of our indoor scenes in Arnprior and most of the outdoor scenes, the neighborhood scenes in Pembroke.”
Saturday is the last day of filming for Painted Sharks, and Lutes wraps up his final scenes at a disused Smiths Falls hospital. He says that after working for so long in the United States, hospitality is one of the many reasons, besides the value of the dollar, that filmmakers have chosen to shoot in Canada.
“Canadians are a lot easier to get along with than Americans. When I shoot something in the United States, there are people who come out of their homes with shotguns who turn the bird towards the camera,” Lutes admits. . “But in Canada we call extras and you have 200, maybe 500 people raising their hands.”
One of those people is Anna Mary Burke Grattan, a resident of Pembroke. She received a knock on the front door of her Victorian home in April, where a scout asked if she would like to be a part of the film.
âShe asked me if I thought we would be interested in participating in a movie because we have century-old houses with porches and it’s a very old neighborhood with mature trees,â says Grattan, who helped with the film as a production assistant since.
âAnd I love to be involved in the whole set,â Grattan continues, âI actually did come in the movie as well as my husband and some of the neighbors, so it was really, really good.”
Over the past year, the valley has also hosted two shoots of Mel Gibson films, titled Fatman and Bandit. Many Hallmark and Christmas movies were also shot on the streets of downtown Arnprior.
âYou have the beautiful streetscape, but also the historic buildings which provide a beautiful and picturesque downtown setting for many typical Hallmark films,â says Lindsay Wilson, Marketing and Business Development Manager at Arnprior. “I think the residents really enjoy seeing the end results, and it’s great to watch movies and see places you know well.”
âWhen you’re in a big city like Ottawa or Toronto, everything is new and shiny,â says Lutes, who enjoys shooting his films in historic settings. “But to get this Norman Rockwell painting, you’re going to always find it in Arnprior, Pembroke, and Petawawa.”
Lutes is hoping Painted Sharks will be finished by spring, with the goal of Netflix resuming production.