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BEHIND THE SCENES: From TinselTown to the Gateway City

BayToday reporter Chris Dawson takes us behind the scenes

North Bay is making a name for itself as a hotspot for movie stars, turning the city into a Hollywood North. The presence of A-list celebrities in the area has sparked excitement among the locals. Nipising MPP Vic Fedeli had the opportunity to meet renowned actors like Bryan Cranston and Allison Janney, who have been residing in North Bay for the past few weeks. Speaking about their experiences, Fedeli shared Cranston's admiration for the city's stunning beauty. Even Danica McKellar, known for her role in "The Wonder Years," expressed her enthusiasm for the area when Fedeli reached out to her on Twitter.

The filming of "Everything's Going To Be Great" has attracted these Emmy-winning actors, Cranston and Janney, to North Bay. Fedeli recently visited a production set in Powassan, where he announced substantial funding of $2 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (NOHFC) for various projects. The following films are among those receiving financial support from the NOHFC and being filmed in and around North Bay:

  • KM Romance Swing Productions Inc. receives $500,000 to produce the feature film "Swing into Romance."
  • Carpe Dee Yum Productions Inc. receives $500,000 to produce the film "Seeds."
  • JoBro Productions Inc. receives $500,000 to produce the film "Boy in the Woods."
  • Drive Back Home Productions Inc. receives $500,000 to produce the feature film "Drive Back Home."

One of the beneficiaries of this funding, producer Kelly Martin from KM Romance Swing Productions Inc., recognizes the broader impact of these films on local communities. She emphasizes that even those not directly involved in the production benefit when films are shot in the area. The growth of the movie industry has not only transformed the lives of countless local cast and crew members but has also brought positive change to various northern communities. It has provided individuals, like Martin, with opportunities to pursue successful careers in an industry they are passionate about.

Jennifer Jonas, a producer at Carpe Dee Yum Productions Inc., highlights the importance of collaboration between the industry and the government in fostering sustainability. She commends MPP Fedeli for his support, as the government's incentive programs have significantly aided creative industries in the North. The attention and assistance provided by Fedeli have been instrumental in nurturing these industries, which previously lacked such backing.

While Fedeli takes pride in the city's flourishing movie industry, he believes that the true stars of Hollywood North are the local residents in his constituency. According to him, the talent and dedication of the people are what truly set North Bay apart. The city has fostered an ecosystem that nurtures and allows individuals to thrive in their respective fields, ultimately contributing to the region's success.

Video Summary

In recent months, North Bay has become a buzzing hub for the film industry, attracting big-name celebrities and earning the nickname "Hollywood North." Multiple movies have been filmed in the downtown area, drawing attention and excitement from locals. The presence of renowned actors like Bryan Cranston and Allison Janney has added to the city's star-studded atmosphere.

One of the movies being filmed featured Bryan Cranston, known for his acclaimed performances. The film set transformed parts of downtown North Bay into a fall setting, creating a unique and captivating atmosphere. Another movie, a Christmas production by Hallmark, added to the charm of the city, with a winter scene being set up right across from the courthouse. The juxtaposition of the winter scenery in May created an exciting and surreal experience for residents and visitors alike.

North Bay's rise as a filming destination is a relatively recent phenomenon. About ten years ago, the city was not on the radar for movie production, while nearby Sudbury had been attracting attention. The transformation of North Bay into a prominent filming location is a testament to its growing appeal and the increasing number of notable actors choosing to work there. The chance encounters with celebrities like Bryan Cranston and Allison Janney on the streets of North Bay add an element of thrill and excitement to everyday life for the locals.

Despite not being able to conduct interviews due to media limitations, there have been reports of Bryan Cranston socializing with people at a downtown pub. Additionally, Chris Dawson had an opportunity to meet Emilia McCarthy, who has roots in North Bay and is involved in the film "Skyman." The rapid succession of movie productions in downtown North Bay, including "Skyman," airing on Paramount Plus and CBC Jem, showcases the city's increasing prominence as a filming destination. The concentration of four movies within two weeks in the downtown area alone highlights the impressive growth and appeal of North Bay's film industry.