Once dubbed “Hollywood North,” Vancouver’s movie industry has a long history and impressive resume of big budget movies, as well as TV series, local movies, and commercials. “The Bridge” studios in Burnaby is a first class venue for movie production companies and can accommodate multiple production teams simultaneously. Entire movies or scenes from movies like “Top Gun” to “Twilight” and “Planet of the Apes,” to name just a few.
The heyday of Vancouver’s movie production days was in the 1990’s when Vancouver studios were booked solid in advance with productions. This led to the development of a skilled and experienced labor force in Vancouver, making it an even better destination for production companies to come. With Canada’s weak dollar, US based companies could save over shooting in Hollywood or anywhere else in the US, and not have to compromise on quality or skill.
Soon, a movie culture developed in Vancouver, and little theatres popped up, along with acting schools, specialty courses in moviemaking and film editing. Local media often bragged about how many movies were being shot in Vancouver at any given moment, suggesting that Vancouverites may see a certain movie star walking down the street during a certain given time. Often, it did happen, and locals would call in to local radio stations, media outlets, or later, write about it in their blog.
As media shifted from newspapers to a more online focus, pictures and video began to appear of movie stars walking down the street, shopping, or eating in a restaurant. It became a local obsession and badge of honor for the city, which was earning a reputation for its beauty and destination of choice for movie stars. Some stars loved Vancouver so much, they insisted the production be shot there.
These kind of reports became wildly popular on Vancouver blogs, where a Vancouver blogger could quickly make a reputation for himself by producing evidence that a certain movie star was moving to Vancouver or at least buying a home there. Over time, the movie productions became less of a media sensation, but the influence of local bloggers remained strong, even until this day.
Now those same bloggers cover everything from lifestyle to food and fashion, and local events, but Vancouver’s movie scene still commands the attention of Vancouvrites, as the industry carries on making big budget movies with top actors and actresses. Vancouver may have lost the battle with Arnold and Hollywood, but it won a reputation as a destination for movie production, with its diverse scenery, mild climate, and homegrown talent.