The cult following attached to Godzilla movies just got a little bigger in Nanaimo, thanks to filming of the latest installment in the Harbour City this week.
The city’s south end and downtown played host to crashed helicopters and torpedoes strapped to railcars, with local actors and film enthusiasts on set as extras for the multi-day shoot.
It’s one of just a handful of films that have been shot in Nanaimo over the past few years – the teen drama franchise Twilight features scenes shot around Nanaimo River.
Movies can be economic drivers for areas lucky enough to be showcased in big budget flicks.
Film crews descend on the city, gobbling up food at local restaurants and shacking up at hotels. Permits are paid for the privilege of shooting.
The beauty and charm of a location is also included in that package – one that can have even more of an impact than the workers employed. Tourism numbers in New Zealand after filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy can attest to that.
Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation and Island North Film Commission, both of which worked closely with a production company to secure the shoot, have been at odds in the past over financial contributions to the non-profit to support its work to secure filming on the Island. Seeing the start of a new working relationship between the two is yet another positive aspect.
But one film does not an industry make.
Questions still remain about the overall value of the film industry and whether Nanaimo will reap benefits for any financial contribution to InFilm.
It’s exciting to see our beloved city showcased on the big screen. But we don’t yet know if our love affair with the film industry will end as an inspirational, feel-good drama or a gruesome horror show.