By Tristan Kong
If you happened to see a troop of Second World War soldiers on the streets of Stirling recently, don’t worry, you may be right, but it’s just Loyalist College’s television and new media production of Hiding taking over the main street.
West Front Street from North Street to Emma Street was closed from 6 a.m. until noon last Monday morning.
The students said they were excited to take over the streets. They were allowed to use the closed streets for a maximum of six hours.
Earlier in December, television and new media student Jacob Côté, who is directing the film, Megan Crowe, who is producing the film, and Loyalist professor Eric Howard pitched their project and showed the trailer to convince local councillors about their filming locations. Council approved the request the same day.
Côté says Stirling is the perfect town for filming because it has everything for his story. The original buildings, old community looks and small town are the perfect location for the film.
The regular street is replaced with a cast and crew of about 30 people, which will make Stirling look like a “war-torn and occupied town.”
The crews and casts of Hiding had to brave the chill as the mercury fell early on Monday morning with closed stores. The crew had to block the cars driving through by the barriers on the closed street.
“It was really cold in the morning! Once the sun came up, it was a bit better. We hit some bumps in the road but we ended up finishing right on schedule thanks to a great cast. We are pretty happy about the results,” said Tabatha Horst, who oversaw casting and publicity.
Director of photography Joseph Spencer agreed.
“Working on a production with the amount of dedication put into the work like my crew has for Hiding is a great experience,” he said. “Filming outside in the cold for six hours is a deadly feat, but not so much when you are being greeted by friendly Stirlingians.”
Hiding, starring actors Carter Stephens, Ian Felham and Randee Dann, is a period film showing the struggle and love of a family in hiding during the Second World War. This project is the biggest film production in Loyalist College’s history and also has provided an opportunity to take over the streets.
“It’s exciting to see it finally be in production,” Crowe said.
“We have been working hard and I can’t wait to see the finished production.”
Hiding has been in production since October 2011, but the story began with an idea from the writer, Ryan Harding, making its away through numerous pitches and elimination rounds which began two years ago. Since the fall of 2011, the crew was thrilled to learn that their story was one of the scripts selected by the teachers to start filming.
“It was really cool to see my ideas come to life and to see others get excited over something I created,” Harding said.
Councillor Jeremy Solmes said he is excited to let the students use the streets to make the movie.
“I think the benefit is that Stirling will be seen by other places where it never would have been seen before,” Solmes said. He said it will give exposure to the town and bring in visitors and tourists.
The movie is scheduled to be released on YouTube and Vimeo in March 2012 and the creators are aiming to submit to various film festivals in Canada and the United States.
– – With files from Sarah Schofield