Several spots around Crossfield have been chosen for filming a new Netflix production – you may even recognize your favorite spots on the big screen.
The City of Crossfield has partnered with Sony Pictures and Netflix Productions to provide fixed filming locations for a new Netflix series based on the book. My life with the Walter Boyswritten by contemporary young adult author Ali Novak
The story centers on Jackie Howard (played by Nikki Rodriguez), an austere and righteous perfectionist whose life is turned upside down by tragedy and who must learn to let her hair down to adapt to her new environment.
According to Sue Keenan, Head of Crossfield City Administration, filming is well underway, with two of the five film blocks already completed.
He said the film’s cast and crew will continue to work throughout the summer months. So far, production has been running smoothly, with no major hitches to account for.
“It was really well organized and implemented,” he said. “There have been minimal impacts on the community in terms of road closures and the community has really embraced My life with the Walter Boys’ production, cast and crew here in a great way ”.
Keenan said Crossfield’s recently approved shooting policy, designed to establish guidelines for the creative industry to ensure city ownership and the rights, safety and privacy of its citizens are protected, has really helped maintain operations like a watch.
The CAO added that it hopes the success will attract further interest in Crossfield as a popular television and film production location. The municipality has already been the backdrop to recent productions including Ghostbusters: Beyond and the Hulu series Under the banner of heaven.
“[The policy] it definitely streamlines the process and production, “he said.” People are always happy to know what the expectations are, and everything is very fluid, clearly articulated in that policy. “
He added that Crossfield’s recent popularity among production studios stems from the municipality’s availability as a “one-stop shop,” offering a little bit of everything with a small town vibe.
“When they come to the city, they initially look after me and I make sure everything from a city perspective is coordinated in the way it needs it,” he said. “So, it’s actually pretty flawless and it works very, very well.”
He said that from the city’s perspective, Crossfield’s marketing and promotion through global exposure in productions such as Ghostbusters: Afterlife and My Life with the Walter Boys is invaluable to the community.
“There is no price to put on it: having our city in a movie or TV series is incredibly beneficial for the economic impact of not just our city, but the region,” he said, adding that the city receives funding from production studios to cover the costs associated with filming.
Keenan said community feedback so far has been positive regarding the upcoming production, noting that a single complaint was dealt with quickly.
“It has been very well received not only by the business community but also by our residents,” he said. “[Filming is] sometimes a little awkward with the amount of vehicles and stuff, but people fit in and know it’s short term so it was definitely very, very good.
“We have been very lucky over the years in terms of the people we deal with, they know their stuff and we work very well together and love Crossfield.”
Filming locations in the city include WG Murdoch School, the Pete Knight Memorial Arena parking lot, and two separate locations on Railway Street.
According to WG Murdoch School Principal Derek Keenan, there is real excitement on campus for the school’s ongoing production.
“This is a place that students know and see on a daily basis, and to see it represented in another format is fantastic,” he said. “They are eager to see their community school on screen and what it looks like in production.”
He said students are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the production on Netflix so they can search for their favorite classroom, hallways and locations on the screen.
Additionally, several students have also expressed interest in acting as extras in the production.
“I’m not sure how many of them have been through it, but we definitely had some questions, which is a unique experience, to be able to act in school and be on that small screen as part of that production,” he said.
The principal said during the filming of Ghostbusters: Afterlife at the school, some students participated as extras in the film and added that it created a common story in the community, with shared stories about the experience.
“There are a lot of conversations about who saw Paul Rudd as one of the stars,” he said. “And some of the members of the production have become quite well known in the community, particularly the one who is in charge of the production of the site.
“Overall, it is quite positive for the community when they are chosen to be part of these productions because the productions see value in the city and in the community. And they want to capture it on film, so it’s kind of special that way. “