What does the town gain from disruptions as a result of the movie shoot?

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Tempers are flaring as traffic is detoured and getting from point A to point B in town takes longer than usual. Yet for others, watching the making of a movie is pretty exciting.

So what does the community get out of all this? We posed the question to Huntsville CAO Denise Corry.

According to Corry, the benefits she sees coming out of the five-day disruption (from Sept. 25-29) is that it gives Huntsville an opportunity to showcase its community and “it’s another way to put Huntsville on the map.”

She said it also boosts the local economy as those involved with the filming of the movie stay in area hotels, eat at area restaurants and use local goods and services. It is also an opportunity for local residents to participate in the filming of a movie or see a movie in production, and the experience provides exposure to the arts industry while also creating civic pride.

Corry said the municipality is also collecting fees for the following:

  • Rental of Kent Park and the High Street Parking lot as well as the parking spaces at the corner of Brunel and High Street.
  • Fees for the rental of the Active Living Centre
  • Application fee for the Special Event Advisory Team

“In total we are collecting $1,479.17 from this movie shoot,” she said.

You can find out more about the movie here.

UPDATE Sept. 29, 2018: Listen to Mayor Scott Aitchison talk to Wei Chen of CBC’s Ontario Morning about the movie shoot. The interview starts at the 2:20 mark.

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56 Comments

  1. Really, this is the sum total of financial compensation ..
    Did the company offer a location fee for closing our downtown for four days and did businesses that are experiencing losses get compensated?
    Are Police noticing an increase in car accidents? I know Cann Street is having trouble with traffic and with the noise trucks using their Air Brakes to avoid collisions. Better noise than an accident.
    The film is presented as small town USA and our downtown will be only identified as Huntsville Ontario in the end credits so how does this replace cash money compensation for the inconvenience to everyone? I was hoping they offered to pay a decent fee so it could go into our reserves. Did the Town ask for a fee?
    We need better negotiators in the room next time and the blessing of the people impacted.
    Respectfully asking as a Candidate for Mayor of Huntsville
    Peggy Peterson

    • It isn’t always about money….the people of the film crew are loving it up here and many have said they want to vacation here(oh look money in the future) the money we are getting is great news conciteting the park is all FREE normally,and the restaurants in town are not complaining because it’s business as usual,people just have to walk to them,maybe as someone who is wanting to become mayor should look at the infrastructure of our roads and see that that’s a problem not the movie set,everyone seems to forget about the “dinner on the bridge” fiasco a few years ago now don’t they? What did that cost the town and local restaurants?????

      • Thank you for helping my argument. All of this may be true but they are private for profit company who are used to paying location fees . As exciting as it is that these people want to come back they likely feel the same way about everywhere they go in Canada. Their love of Huntsville and possible return does not address the actual losses to local business and delays for everyone here these two days . It is these kinds of decisions that have motivated me to want to be the next Mayor. Who was in the room negotiating this deal and did they ask for a location fee ? I would suggest this was irresponsible and more proof of my argument that this is all about shallow photo ops but don’t dig any deeper for protecting this community and this ecology like all the candidates are chatting about . The snow is not eco-friendly soap either. It is a chemical polymer that is used in disposable diapers and comes with health warnings, Do NOT INGEST, and it is going in the Muskoka River . What about asking them to donate $20,000 to the Food Bank… It cannot hurt to ask them and we will know better next time to negotiate .

        • Peggy, we are a designated arts community: We have film festivals, art exhibits, all the magnificent musical talent and musicals per se at the Algonquin Theatre. Just think of this as another arrow in our arts quiver.
          .
          If we sold out for a “mess of pottage”, consider it a loss leader. Others will come, and we’ll do better next time. Anybody who wanted to visit a business between Brunel and Centre could easily walk there, and get a bonus of healthy exercise in the bargain.
          .
          If somebody in Town is so important that they can’t leave home 5 minutes earlier, they can move to The Six and experience true delays. For shame.

    • I would believe the accidents happened because someone wasn’t driving carefully enough…these happen every day. It’s a human problem, not a filming problem.

  2. Heather Thompson on

    Wow, We should have been paid a lot more. My dog was an animal actor in the 80’s. He was paid $400 per 8 hour day on set $250 for 4 hours or less, whether he was used or not. My dog paid for the down payment on my house lol. I think the town should have been compensated a ton more money. Money isn’t the only thing that is green…… Heather Thompson

  3. I’m surprised that the Town of Huntsville is not getting more money. I’m wondering how the downtown business’ are faring as well. Would they repeat this experience? Personally, I enjoyed walking through it all and seeing the scenes being filmed.

  4. Has any money been lost by the downtown businesses? They are the ones the town needs to be sure are getting customers. The town really needs to be sure that the businesses downtown are not losing out on their regular revenue or do something for them to offset the loss of business. A sense of pride won’t put food on the tables or pay the rent/utilites or other expenses for them.

  5. This is the stupidest thing ever !!!! Every week the Main Street is closed and the people filming this movie are flying American flags on our Main Street. If they want it to be an American movie they should film it in America and get out of Canada !! 5 days of Main Street being closed is so stupid and the town only received 1500 dollars from it ? Like, is our town that hurting for money?

  6. The next time I get my tax refund, I want to rent the town for five days. Shut down main street, and set up a hot tub in the middle of the road. What a bargain!!

  7. Peeps…the figure quoted is only what the Town charged for rent. A lot of people here were (well) compensated. Get a life…

  8. As a downtown business owner I would like to thank the Town of Huntsville for making this happen. There is a major buzz downtown and more foot traffic than normal for this time of year. People are even walking Main Street at night just to check out the action. It has been a little bit inconvenient shuttling the kids around for school and hockey but nothing we can’t handle. There are far bigger problems in this world than adding 5-10 minutes to your commute. This is great for our town, thankfully there are a lot more positive comments than negative ones.

    • Mary Lou Verbonac on

      Positivity here. I have been sharing my photos of our picturesque “Christmas” town on social media and I’m surprised and pleased with the response not just from Canadians but internationally as well.

      It will be fun to watch the final production. We have a beautiful town.

    • Thank you, Scott, for being the voice of reason. This is just a first attempt at being a movie location and it is not as though it is some sort of a big budget feature movie. Hopefully, that may be in our future. North Bay is an example of how this can grow into something that is profitable and repeatable.

  9. Small minded people only concerned that nothing happens that changes ‘things’, even for a few days. As far as compensation, it’s a rounding error in the scheme of things. Instead of guessing that the businesses will lose money, let’s see the ultimate affects with data after the shot. We should be happy that the production company choose Huntsville – it will bring new tourists, perhaps more filming, and new money from the cast and crew. All over North America, cities and towns are bending over backwards to get film productions shot there. Again, small minded people whose only concern is ‘what’s in it for me’?

    • It has been more than just a 5 or 10 minute inconvenience. Tell it straight. I’ve come up on two auto collisions that very likely would not have happened if not for frayed nerves and frustation.

    • Small minded people refer to people who don’t agree with them as small minded people. You are naive and know not the FACTS.

      • No. Your definition of ‘small minded’ is incorrect, just like your concept of “facts” (what were the actual causes of those accidents you referred to?).

  10. Seriously people, if the town charged 20 times as much it would make little difference. Be glad you live in a place others envy for its beauty and atmosphere. We’re so lucky to be where we are. If you are in such a hurry why do you live here? Maybe move to Toronto.
    And remember, it’s a movie, not an invasion or political statement, so calm down about the flags. Some individuals seem to need to complain about something always.

  11. If Huntsville can have its main street closed every other weekend all summer long and Huntsville can deal with being a tourist town then I think we can deal with a closure of the main street for a movie shoot. In the long run it’s about bringing more people in the future to spend money and give us exposure to the world. If you don’t like it get out of town

    • Ryan Vallentin on

      “If you don’t like it get out of town” What type of statement is that. This Town belongs to all residents and everyone is entitled to share their concerns regardless of ‘for’ or ‘against’

      Also, the problem has never been closing main street, the problem is the closing of the bridge. That alone is the single biggest inconvenience to most people. Some of us are on very tight schedules and a detour around the bridge takes a lot of time that we simply do not have. The closing of the bridge should not be permitted, but since it was permitted then at the very least we should have been given sufficient notice. Under two weeks notice was not enough for us to reschedule clients at the beginning and ending of the day to allow the extra travel time. Appointment based businesses are often booked months in advance and last minute changes are difficult.

  12. Everyone I know loves them filming here and it is sad if people have to complain about a small detour or it taking a couple minutes longer to get where they are going. They should drive in Toronto at rush hour and then maybe they would not complain

  13. Kathleen Miller on

    Hope everyone enjoyed their experience. Even when they were stuck in traffic .
    Let it be. Let it snow , Let it snow, Let it snow……..But not too soon !

  14. Jeffrey Belhumeur on

    “Eating in local restaurants”. I heard that they were eating in the church, having there meals catered in. Maybe the caterer made out OK.
    Bad enough to move around in this town when traffic flow is normal let alone this fiasco. Another town brain f..t!!!

    • Jeffrey. I was employed as an additional caterer on the shoot. I’m local and INVested in our community.

      Shoot finally finished at 3.48am on Saturday morning. Over 100 people are hungry at 1 am.
      Who’s going to feed them? What kitchen in Huntsville will stay open, fully staffed for 18 hours?

      Our local businesses are doing fine. Who cares about a two day shoot when we’ve had one of the most busiest summers on record?

    • Scott Morrison on

      The team at the new Thai place said that they were full every night during shooting and also sold lots of takeout. They attributed this to the filming and I know that other establishments saw an increase in business as well.

  15. The paid duty police probably made more than the town. Why be surprised that the Town made less than $1500? Show me where this Council has sold anything for near market value.

  16. As a romantic, I think it is awesome that our beautiful downtown was chosen as a location for the US based movie. Although I have not been down to see the event as yet, I drive by daily, go out of my way, to see how our town has come alive this week. There are trailers, and crew everywhere! In addition to these visitors, I have seen our regular fall “leaf lookers” up and down the Main Street. The restaurants have been full as well this week. I would love to hear from some downtown businesses to have their feedback on traffic in their establishments. As a business owner, the store owners should have been capitalizing on the exposure and opportunity to gain new customers by connecting with the film crews and drawing in customers that may not be normally shopping downtown. This town cannot survive solely on the residents that live here and we need to take every opportunity to market ourselves to visitors to be able to remain vibrant My two cents…

  17. Get a life people. We live in small town Ontario, have some fun, enjoy something different in our town. Sit down on Nov 11 and enjoy seeing your wonderful town on TV.

  18. Karen Wehrstein on

    I think a cost-benefit analysis would be a good thing, so town council can know whether we really want to do this next time a movie studio asks. As well as revenue to the town, local business costs vs benefits and the degree to which Huntsville will actually be “put in the map”, inconvenience and annoyance to citizens and visitors should be factored in.
    .
    As an organizer for a charity event that rents the Active Living Centre annually for a weekend and brings five figures of benefits to the town, I’m very surprised at how little revenue Huntsville is receiving for what must be a longer rental period of the same facility. Were they given some kind of discount?
    .
    I’ll end on a humorous note: yesterday I was downtown, feeling colder than usual in September for some reason, and some folks who were obviously visiting downtown for the first time asked me, “Where’s the Christmas store?” I showed them the way to Christmas Tyme, which they had just walked right past. “That’s a real store?” they asked me. “We thought it was part of the movie set!”

    • Not suggesting the shutdown shouldn’t have occurred but fees are a pittance.Y ou set the Bar way too low for film companies in terms of remumeration. Hope there is a prominent thank you to Huntsville displayed in the movie credits because it was made to look like an U.S. town ( Yikes ) ! Definitely in favour of cost analysis based on sales receipts/income for local businesses affected by the shutdown of Downtown Hollywood Near North !

  19. I think I have the solution!
    Close the Main Street of downtown permanently. That’s right!
    Then the never ending events promoting “our” town can continue unimpeded.
    Bring on the movie makers, macaroni festivals, midnight madness, sidewalk sales, so on and so on.
    No need for permits, special announcements about street closures, so on.
    By the way, the payment of $1479.17 to the town for this event is a joke too.

  20. Many important questions raised concerning the impact – both positive and negative – of the ‘movie shoot’ on Main Street over the last few days. Our mayor, Scott Aitchison, was interviewed by Wei Chen of CBC Radio One’s Ontario Morning yesterday. During the day, I received a number of calls and emails from across Ontario, hence lots of great coverage for Huntsville right across the province and beyond! Here’s the link to the interview, about four minutes into the recording: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/ontario-morning-from-cbc-radio/episode/15606278

    • Elizabeth Rice - Doppler Publisher on

      Thanks for providing his link Peter. For those interested in listening, the interview with Mayor Aitchison starts at the 2:20 mark.

      • Yes, great coverage on the CBC for Huntsville by the mayor and certainly all worth it, but as mentioned by others, it was somewhat of a ‘freebie’ for the film company this-time-round.

  21. Veterans Way is one of the detour routes and while it’s fun to look at new traffic, we are now left with quite a number of pot holes. Fill them up before winter, please.
    High Fives to the school bus drivers getting through this mess.

  22. What a disappointment reading all these complaints. This was such an exciting event!

    One would think the citizens of Huntsville would want to embrace events such as this, along with the triathlon, dinner on the bridge, craft beer festival, concerts in the park, etc. We have the most quaint and prettiest town in Muskoka. Main Street is a perfect place to host such events, not to mention generating income for the merchants. People came to watch, many from out of town. These people popped in to the shops, most came out with merchandise.

    If people get into car crashes because they can’t drive on Main Street, then perhaps they shouldn’t be driving at all?

    And, as for the concerns of one of our candidates for Mayor, well, I certainly won’t be voting for her. I am looking for a Mayor who encourages events like this.

    • I agree Linda. There are people who need to get a life. It took me five extra minutes to get to where I had to go Small price to pay for the benefits most people can see. It might have even helped some to get a little extra exercise walking another block.

      • Congrats …👍🏻🏁. TOWN OF HUNTSVILLE ONT . 👍🏻🏁
        NICE TO SEE , & HAVE THIS TYPE OF HAPPY HAPPENINGS INSTEAD OF ……….STUPID …
        PROTESTERS & RIOTING . BURNING & LOOTING . ✅

    • Well said.

      I’m local. They hired my business to support the crew and supply espresso coffee to everyone.

      Shoot finished on Friday night.
      All the crew stayed here on Saturday as well.

      We had Culture Day on Saturday and the Main Street was closed all day.

      Many of the crew were asking my opinion as to where to eat as they had tried all the restaurants on Main.

    • Ryan Vallentin on

      LInda, most events are great for this town, but the two that caused the biggest issues are the Dinner on the Bridge, and this movie shoot. The bridge should NEVER be closed. Every other street downtown can easily be closed to traffic with little impact, however the bridge is the critical link that should remain open. I live down Brunel Road, work near the hospital, my children go to two different schools, and I’m at the arena several times a day, the bridge closing is the straw that broke the camels back. I don’t care who wants it closed, it needs to stay open.

  23. Robert Attfield on

    I agree that the movie shoot has had some benefits for Huntsville, and adds some excitement on the main street, but I was shocked that the Town received a mere approx $1500 for a multi-day disruption at one of the three busiest intersections in Huntsville.
    Unless this company is a not-for-profit, which is extremely unlikely, I think we’ve been hosed.

    • Well said Linda!
      Really the town gets profiled, receives an economic impact, and for what, the cost of maybe a ten minute delay in traffic?
      It’s a shame more people don’t see the big picture!

  24. I think it was rather neat that they were filming a movie in Huntsville. It isn’t really any worse than the summer traffic in Huntsville. People complain about the triathlons in Town too. We had ample notice of this filming. Maybe we should just plan for a 5 minute longer commute. It could be worse.

  25. Huntsville is not really known as a Movie Meca; but maybe it could be? So let’s learn from this great opportunity and move forward.

    The Town of Huntsville’s job is to attract opportunity not scare it off?

    Events such as Triathlons & Movies choose Huntsville because we are so accommodating. If we were to present them with a list of demands that were unreasonable they would simply move on to the next town that is more receiving and interested in what their event brings.

    There is no “big fee” to be negotiated: and the last thing we want is for the Town of Huntsville to be known as difficult for event organizer to deal with. Our neighboring towns would take our great events in a heartbeat.
    FYI – our sales at BIG BEAR were up 12% over last year’s same week.

  26. I love this town and area. The towns fill up on the weekends and then they go away. We then get to enjoy the small town life. We have the Algonquin Theater that brings in entertainers that normally fill bigger stadiums down south so we get a more intimate show. We get to show case our town secretly on tv so lets enjoy the moment and then go back to our normal lives. We have such a jewel here and often the visitors decide they want “in”. I am willing to “detour” every once in a while because I am proud to showcase our town. BTW 1.3 BILLION was spent in Toronto in 2013 and the largest film studio in North America recently got a face lift. I see no reason to resist when the movie makers come to visit.

  27. Wow! My son lives in a rural subdivision south of Barrie. He was paid $1000+++ for allowing a movie crew to park in his driveway for 2 days while filming on his street.
    Huntsville could have made much more.

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