“Taste The Bread!” declares Walter Rasmussen, the mayor of fictional Windward, Washington (Haig Sutherland) during filming of The Baker’s Son in Chemainus Friday. (Photo by Don Bodger)

“Taste The Bread!” declares Walter Rasmussen, the mayor of fictional Windward, Washington (Haig Sutherland) during filming of The Baker’s Son in Chemainus Friday. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Parallels between Chemainus and fictional town evident in Hallmark movie

Tourism boost likely down the road from publicity after a week of filming

Things have returned to normal in downtown Chemainus after an eventful week of filming for the Hallmark movie The Baker’s Son.

The block of Willow Street between Victoria and Mill Streets became home base over five days for Front Street Pictures crew, cast members and for the community to get a glimpse of the action. The public received a bird’s eye view of the incredible set-up time and numerous takes each scene requires.

It was a love affair in true Hallmark style, with the production bringing in much-needed tourist dollars absent during COVID-19 to the Chemainus area. Filming continued Monday and Tuesday in Cowichan Bay before moving over to Brentwood Bay Wednesday and Thursday and then to Oak Bay to complete the project.

Chemainus struck a chord as a filming site that will surely prove beneficial for future visits after COVID restrictions are lifted.

Related story: Chemainus provides the perfect small town atmosphere for movie shoot

“Chemainus has been fantastic,” said Joey Plager of Los Angeles, executive producer of The Baker’s Son and a 37-year veteran of the industry plus college.

“It’s great to find an accessible, workable small town look. The local merchants have been very cooperative. We got a lot done in a short period of time.”

“The town’s been great,” added director Mark Jean of Victoria, a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, who has a masters degree in directing from the American Film Institute and counts about 25 Hallmark movies to his credit. “It’s been a super good place for us to shoot.

“I’d say every show is different and every show has its unique challenges. The truth is you never know what it’s going to be. We make these movies in 15 days. They’re expected to look like any other movie you see. It’s a huge challenge to create quality in that amount of time.

“Making these movies is a bit like doing a sprinted marathon.”

By comparison, Jean added, the normal Hollywood movie can easily take from 4-6 months to shoot.

Dylan Staniforth, the unit manager for the Baker’s Son who oversees the group while shooting on set, said everyone on site recognized the importance of their presence for the town’s tourism-based economy.

“It’s mutually beneficial to call attention to this area and it’s overwhelmingly beautiful for us to film here,” he said.

“Because everything is so close together, logistically, we’ve been able to film faster than usual.”

Staniforth said the typical 12-hour shooting schedule was reduced to around 10. That was particularly beneficial for staff commuting from Victoria to make the length of their days more manageable.

The crew was set up with all its needs within one block, including a food truck, but branched into the town to support some of the surrounding businesses.

“I’ve gone into a number of the stores around here,” Staniforth indicated.

“We’ve been able to try all the treats of the town here and it’s been very good.”

Staniforth said the shop facades along Willow Street were ideal for the film’s needs and didn’t require much adjustment, other than some touch-ups and decorating.

“For us to build all of this would cost a lot of money,” he reasoned. “For us to rent all these shops for a week is less money.”

Some of the industry tricks of the trade will be evident in the final product. For example, the front of the Owl’s Nest was converted into the Duval Boulangerie outside, but the indoor scenes from the establishment will be taken from True Grain Bread in Cowichan Bay.

The Baker’s Son stars Brant Daughtery in the lead role as Matt. Eloise Mumford portrays Annie. Daughtery, born in Mason, Ohio, and Mumford from Olympia, Washington are the two better-known U.S. cast members.

Maude Green is Nicole and Haig Sutherland as Walter Rasmussen, the mayor of Windward, Washington, the fictional town that Chemainus and the other Island communities combine to portray, are the other main characters.

The plot revolves around Matt and Annie, who grew up together in the small island town, but he doesn’t realize he loves her. When Nicole arrives on the scene with a practicing ballet company, Matt falls for her.

Matt and his father own the local bakery in town.

In parallels to Chemainus, “the small island town gets most of their income from tourism,” noted Staniforth. “But they haven’t seen a lot of tourism for quite some time.”

The bakery is a big drawing card and “when he falls in love, his bread becomes very tasty,” Staniforth indicated.

A news crew from Seattle arrives to cover the ballet group’s practices. The publicity combined with Matt’s love interest means the town sees a major increase in tourism because of the bread’s quality.

The conflict in this show, Staniforth pinpoints, is tourism falls off and Matt’s bread doesn’t taste so great after Nicole leaves the island.

But in the end, Matt discovers his true love and triumphant mayor Walter declares “taste the bread!” that marks a resurgence in the product and burgeoning tourism again for the small community.

The anticipated broadcast date on the W Channel in mid-to-late June.

“I know for a fact everyone in Chemainus will watch this movie because Chemainus is in it,” laughed Staniforth.

“The script was written as a feature film,” said Jean. “It’s bigger than a Hallmark movie.

“The hardest part was having to cut things that were great about it. Hopefully, we’ve hung on to the heart and soul of this movie.”

Film industryMoviesTourism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Brant Daugherty plays the lead role as Matt in The Baker’s Son. He stands outside the Owl’s Nest in downtown Chemainus, converted to the Duval Boulangerie. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Brant Daugherty plays the lead role as Matt in The Baker’s Son. He stands outside the Owl’s Nest in downtown Chemainus, converted to the Duval Boulangerie. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Director Mark Jean and assistant director Matthew Blecha prepare to set up for a shot in downtown Chemainus Friday during filming of the Hallmark movie The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Director Mark Jean and assistant director Matthew Blecha prepare to set up for a shot in downtown Chemainus Friday during filming of the Hallmark movie The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Pioneer Days in Windward, Washington (a.k.a., Chemainus) was celebrated in grand style during filming of the Hallmark movie The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Pioneer Days in Windward, Washington (a.k.a., Chemainus) was celebrated in grand style during filming of the Hallmark movie The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Many extras were used for filming of the Pioneer Days segment in downtown Chemainus for the Hallmark movie The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Many extras were used for filming of the Pioneer Days segment in downtown Chemainus for the Hallmark movie The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The Baker’s Son star Brant Daugherty prepares to make a special delivery. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The Baker’s Son star Brant Daugherty prepares to make a special delivery. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Getting set up for Pioneer Days filming as part of The Baker’s Son in front of the Willow Street Cafe. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Getting set up for Pioneer Days filming as part of The Baker’s Son in front of the Willow Street Cafe. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The Heritage Museum is one of the background sets for filming of the Pioneer Days segment of The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The Heritage Museum is one of the background sets for filming of the Pioneer Days segment of The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Old-fashioned fun and games, old cars, activities and more are featured in the filming of Pioneer Days in The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Old-fashioned fun and games, old cars, activities and more are featured in the filming of Pioneer Days in The Baker’s Son. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

John and Jeri Wyatt hope the upcoming North Cowichan public hearing will move things along toward exclusion of the Chemainus River Campground from the Agricultural Land Reserve. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Opportunity for input on campground ALR exclusion at public hearing

Matter back on the agenda after a late reprieve in 2019 for Chemainus River Campground owners

Rainforest Arts in downtown Chemainus is closing temporarily. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Rising COVID cases cited in temporary Rainforest Arts closure

Contact can still be made through email and social media

The Red Zed 1 aroused a great deal of curiosity when it was stationed off Kin Beach in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Alaskan fast ferries the eventual load for heavy hauler

The Red Zed 1 stayed anchored in Chemainus for the better part of a month and a half

A police car at the scene of a child’s death Friday, April 9, at the Falcon Nest Motel in Duncan. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
RCMP investigating child’s death at Duncan’s Falcon Nest Motel

First responders attended to a call about an unresponsive child at the… Continue reading

North Cowichan is looking for public input through a survey as it updates its Master Transportation Plan. (File photo)
North Cowichan looking for public input on transportation

Online survey to be held until April 22

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees on highway near Ladysmith

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island’s Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Most Read