Little Lark Harbour
becomes Hollywood North
LARK HARBOUR This Bay of Islands town
is a place where Vikings and aliens can meet — with the help of a film crew.
Don Carmody, the Los Angeles-based
executive producer of the science-fiction film Outlander, said the location was
ideal for the big-budget movie.
“It’s a very scenic location and it
works very well for us,” said Carmody. “We have this inlet that simulates part
of a fjord. We have these spectacular cliffs and mountains with good access for
getting equipment up. We have this very convenient dock that allows us to work
off of it, yet shoot what we need and avoid it, so it’s quite a unique location
in that regard...
“We were quite knocked out by it.”
He said finding the location was a
matter of having a thorough production designer who found a website with photos
of the west coast, including Gros Morne, after checking out and discarding New
Zealand and B.C.
Carmody wishes the location was
easier to get to, especially with a lot of people in tow. The company had to
charter a Boeing 737 in order to get the crew they needed into Deer Lake
because there weren’t enough seats on regular flights. He also said having the
larger centre of Corner Brook nearby is a godsend with good hotels and
He said he didn’t need the sound
stage at the Pepsi Studio, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind.
Carmody said the people here have
“The local people here have been
terrifically accommodating and haven’t allowed us to make a nuisance of ourselves
and been very welcoming. They’ve been great in coming out and being extras with
great faces. The local crew that have supplanted the people from Nova Scotia,
Toronto and Los Angeles crew have been Class-A and definitely right up there
with some of the best. I’m very pleased with our experience so far.”
He said having films like this on the
west coast could be the start of a larger film presence.
“Toronto and Vancouver have huge film
industries, but they started small,” Carmody said. “First the American shows
came in and they brought a lot of people. The next time they came in they
brought less and less. Now, when they come in they almost bring nobody.
“It’s the same thing with
Newfoundland. The more feature film work they can get here and build up the
skills with different picture and pretty soon it’ll be a self-sustaining
The production company put out a call
through Theatre Newfoundland Labrador to get the burliest, bearded, long-haired
men it could find to tackle the role of background actors playing Viking
Jason Motty, from St. John’s, had a
whirlwind trip to make to Lark Harbour in time, getting to the bus five minutes
before it pulled out from Corner Brook, where most of the crew is staying.
He said it was a long way to go, but
it was well worth the trip and finding out about the role was a lucky break.
“I heard about it in passing,” said
Motty. “I started searching the Internet and found out more about it. I sent in
my picture and way to go.
“It sounded like fun and it’s been
the experience of a lifetime.”
Despite some long waits in cold
weather wearing a thin costume, he said it’s been a blast.
“We were 14 hours stood up on the
bog, looking at the wind,’ said Motty. “It was so cold. A make up artist came
up to me and said, ‘you’ve got that nice, purple look’. I never even had makeup
Sheldon Parsons, of Corner Brook,
said he wouldn’t have missed the opportunity for the world.
“It’s been good,” said Parsons. “We
had a couple of days with really vicious wind, but you tolerate that.
“It’s really interesting being on the
inside, seeing all the setups. It’s really cool. I’d like to see more of this
in the area.”