For Your Consideration - Thom Barker

For Your Consideration - Thom Barker

Welcome to the cast and crew of The Mother

Having a major Hollywood production is a big deal for a town like Smithers

I’ve never been much of a starstruck person. Even less so now after 20 years in the journalism business during which time I have met and interviewed myriad celebrities including prime ministers, movie stars, musicians, comedians, athletes and scientists, just to list a few.

So, if I wasn’t in the business I am, I would likely be one of those people who would take the news of the Netflix production of The Mother being in town as interesting, but meh.

The idea of catching a glimpse of JLo, or running into Joseph Fiennes or chatting with Niki Caro over a beer, would not be unwelcome, but also would not be things I would go out of my way to do.

I’m sure they are all fine and intriguing people, but we’ve got a lot of those in the Bulkley Valley too.

Having the cast and crew of a big-time production in Smithers, though, has created a real buzz. And since I am in the business I am in, I am going out of my way to find out what I can.

I won’t hold my breath on getting to rub shoulders with the stars, but I will try to find out as much as I can and attempt to get interviews and pictures and report whatever we can about it because our readers are very interested and it generates big traffic and newsstand sales for us.

What is most interesting to me, though, is what it really means to a small town like Smithers.

I haven’t been able to find out what the overall production budget for this flick is, but let’s say it’s in the neighbourhood of your average major studio movie, around $65 million.

Do you know what else has a budget in the neighbourhood of $65 million? The Town of Smithers.

The Town’s 2021 Financial Plan pegs total expenses at just shy of $59 million.

It’s mind-boggling to think we can run an entire town of more than 5,000 people for less than it takes to make an average Hollywood movie.

Of course, The Mother will not spend anywhere near that amount of cash in Smithers while it is here, but whatever way you look at it, productions like this bring a lot of cash to town. We all know somebody who is directly benefitting from it being here.

And as long as some people are directly benefitting, we are all indirectly benefitting.

This doesn’t happen very often, but the more often it does, the more often it might. Vancouver has garnered a reputation for being Hollywood North. Perhaps we will never be Hollywood North of North, but it certainly does not hurt us to make the people who do end up working here temporarily feel as welcome as possible.

From what I’ve heard, the casts and crews of the movies who have been here before have felt that way.

Those of us who live in this little corner of paradise already know what a friendly and welcoming place it can be, let’s let the current cast and crew feel it too.

The bottom line is, having a production like that here is a big deal.