Production of the first season of Northern Rescue has wrapped and Parry Sound was the star.
Executive Producer David Cormican told MyParrySoundNow.com that the town was visually stunning and set the tone for the CBC/Netflix co-production that stars Billy Baldwin as the head of a search and rescue unit.
Executive Producer, David Cormican and director, Michael McGowan organize a shot on the set of Northern Rescue. (Peter Stranks for DCTV)
The show is about a family who loses their wife and mother and the father, Baldwin, relocates to a remote town to take over the search and rescue office.
Shooting took place from early June to last week and according to Cormican it all went very well.
“A few of the crew had visited Parry Sound (prior to production moving there) and they said ‘you know it has a bit of a coastal charm. It’s not the same as the Maritimes but it has the Island Queen (ship) and there’s tons of water everywhere you look and there is this trestle bridge.’” he explained. “Everyone started falling more and more in love with the area. It kind of looked exactly what we imagined in our mind.”
The other advantage was a proximity to home for most of the cast and crew. Being able to drive down the 400 to Toronto in a few short hours always beats having to climb on a plane or just be away from home because of distance.
Cormican said one of the surprises and equally a curse of shooting in Parry Sound was the trains coming through the area.
“The biggest surprise was the frequency and regularity of the trains,” he says with a laugh. “Sometimes it was ‘Oh My God roll now, the train’s coming! – Let’s Get This!’
“It’s production value that you cannot buy. Fortunately, we had a lot of beautiful shots with the train going by. But that comes with the lumps because you have got to hold for sound because it would ruin many takes.”
In terms of economic impact to the local area Cormican says it is too early to give an exact number but it will likely be in the seven figures.
When asked about how the cast and crew liked spending their time in Parry Sound, it was an emphatic lovefest he says.
“We heard from the Jolly Roger that we made their summer,” Cormican laughs. “I think all of us can repeat by verse the menu at Bistro by the Bay, and the Log Cabin, The Brunswick, a ton of locations that we very much enjoyed spending our time and our dollars at.”
When asked how the central star of the show Baldwin enjoyed his time Cormican joked he loved it except for the short time when Maurizio’s Pizza moved. “We all flocked in as soon as he found a new location,” he recalls with a laugh.
While there are no guarantees Northern Rescue will be back for a second season, Cormican is quietly confident more episodes will be ordered and Parry Sound will once again double for the fictional town of Turtle Island Bay.
“We head into every production with the idea it is going to run multiple seasons and we’ve done our diligence on that as well crafting a series that has that potential,” Cormican offers. “I know there is interest from both sides, though it is too early for them to commit to that. It’s pretty rare that a second season wouldn’t be ordered.”
There is no word on when the show’s exact release date is but it will be available on the CBC App for online streaming in December.