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Municipality of Yarmouth and town of Yarmouth draft documents for future film projects

Since the film was made public there have been over 100,000 pages views on the Cape Forchu lighthouse page on novascotiawebcams.com.
There was lots of activity at the Cape Forchu site during production of The Lighthouse - Contributed

Filming guide to establish mechanism for communication with film producers

YARMOUTH, N.S. —

Last year’s request by a professional filming company to use municipal property for the production of The Lighthouse movie took the Municipality of Yarmouth by surprise. 
It was also an education, as economic development officer Mark Blinn told council at its Oct. 9 meeting.
“We winged it,” he said.
“It was a learning process… like drinking through a firehose. But afterwards we thought, what would we do if this happened again?”
Staff researched the documents required with other municipalities and reached out to people in the industry and drafted a policy. 
The intent of the guide is to facilitate filming in the municipality in such a manner that residents of the community are not unduly inconvenienced, the operations of the municipality are not at risk, and the film industry can thrive.
The following projects will be considered for on-location filming: feature films, TV commercials, documentaries, educational films, films for television, television network programs, music videos and other projects as may be approved by MOY.
All requests for filming will be co-ordinated through the economic development office and follow required regulations. 
“It puts us in a better light when somebody does come and wants to film,” said Blinn. “It’s a tool that we’re using to encourage filming in the future.”
The film policy will be on council’s agenda for Oct. 23 with a recommendation for approval.
The Town of Yarmouth is also looking to be prepared for any potential future film projects. It has adopted a filming guide to strike a balance between film productions and residential needs, should the town ever be selected as a site for future film or TV production.
The town says the intention of the guide is to spell out how residential living and filming production can co-exist.
“Cape Forchu was used in the film The Lighthouse. It impacted that site. It restricted access to that site. It wasn’t peak tourism season so it wasn’t an issue,” town CAO Jeff Gushue said during a recent committee of the whole meeting. 
“If someone decided they wanted to use our heritage district as a setting for a film, or wanted to use our beautiful downtown as a setting for a film, we’d be pretty excited about that, but that would also be quite disruptive to people who live and work in those areas,” Gushue said.
The intention would that that an application would be put in place that would come to council, which would consider both sides of the equation and work with film producers to set out terms and conditions so filming occurs, but it doesn’t negatively impact residents.
“We’re enthusiastic that we might be a location for filming in the future, but we also have to look out for the community,” he told council. 
He said a very positive outcome of film productions is they generate a lot of business and economic revenue. 
A media release last year from the Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Tourism Association said at least 130 local jobs had been created to facilitate the production of The Lighthouse, which also generated increased demand for accommodations in the area at a time of the year when occupancy is typically low. The cast and crew ate in local restaurants, purchased local goods and services and explored the area, YASTA said. Second only to Halifax, the YASTA region reportedly had an occupancy rate of 66 per cent in April of 2018. By year's end YASTA had experienced a nine per cent growth increase in room night accommodations for 72,000 rooms for the year. The Cat ferry service and The Lighthouse film production were the major contributors to the room night sales. 
If filming ever were to take place in the Town of Yarmouth and streets have to blocked off and people are impacted, the filming guide, town council was told, puts in place an established mechanism for communication with the film producers.
Town council approved the committee of the whole recommendation to adopt the Yarmouth Filming Guide at its Oct. 10 monthly meeting. 

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