My Chistmas Wish-A small town white Christmas

Nancyg56

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Aug 17, 2005
It sounds like they are branching out from Vancouver then. I live 3000 miles away from Vancouver and we rarely, if ever, get snow here. When they were filming the movie here, they sprayed fake snow everywhere. The movie premieres on December 7.
We have had some filmed in CT. They film early so all fake snow
 

ronandannette

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The majority of the Hallmark movies are filmed in Vancouver, CA. The head of Hallmark said that in an interview last year. He said they are running out of locations there that haven't been used & are recognizable as having been used in other movies already. A few are filmed in other parts of Canada, depending on the level of the star and where they need to film. I think a few have been in Toronto.

Hallmark has been able to nab Susan Lucci, (Erica Kane on All My Children,) a couple months ago, to do an upcoming mystery movie (series) I think they said. The way she spoke, it's unlikely that it will be in Vancouver. They want her so badly, that I think they will film in the states or on the eastern side of Canada, so Susan can be closer to her DH, kids & grandkids.
No one should head to Vancouver with the expectation of a "winter wonderland". It rarely snows and when it does, it doesn't stay on the ground. Winter on the coast is also hideously grey and rainy - not really what the OP is going for.
And a lot of these films are done in the summer. I can tell by the outdoor shots.

Now, it does look like the show Heartland films into at least the fall. Now, that show has very pretty scenery. I’d look to see what’s available nearby.
Heartland is filmed in the foothills just southwest of Calgary. Apparently they have to edit really carefully to be sure the city skyline doesn't make it into any of the horizon shots. There is no town, per se, they have constructed sets on an old Army barracks and also do some filming on the streets of older neighbourhoods in Calgary. There are a few smaller communities out that way but nothing that would be known as "touristy" at all. If you were coming all this way, might as well go to Banff instead.
 
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Imzadi

♥ Saved by an angel in a trench coat!
Joined
Oct 29, 2004
We have had some filmed in CT. They film early so all fake snow
The Lifetime and ION networks also do Christmas movies. I think they tend to film around the U.S. vs Canada.

In fact, it looks like Lifetime pulled one over on Hallmark this year. Normally they show their stalker/obsessed neighbor, nanny, babysitter, teacher, ex-spouse movies year round. I always wonder how a network that originally was supposed to be about empowering & uplifting women turned into a 24-hour network that shows movie after movie of clueless women being stalked & in danger all the time. :scared: And sometimes by other wacko women. :sad2: That their network viewpoint is how many crazed stalkers there are out in the world, that they just might be in your backyard. :scared1:

Then a few years ago, both Lifetime & ION started airing brand new Christmas movies on Sat nights. Then about 2 years ago, Lifetime added an extra Christmas movie each weekend. I always wondered why they didn't get a clue that, since Hallmark is so popular showing only feel good movies year round, over crazed stalker movies, that why didn't Lifetime air more feel good movies? :cloud9: I almost never watch Lifetime because of that - except when they have a Christmas movie or lighthearted romance.

Well, this year, Lifetime got the message. A couple weekends before Halloween, I was scrolling though channels on my TV guide. I noticed Lifetime's line up that weekend was all Christmas movies. It was a little too early for me, as Halloween hadn't even come yet. But, they had one older Christmas movie I liked, so I recorded it for later.

Then the following week, I had my DVR set to record a Hallmark mystery series. They had advertised for months that October would be a full "Mysteries month," on their mystery channel, until both Hallmark channels started their Christmas season starting Oct 26 - with big fanfare. Yet it didn't record Episode 2. I checked my DVR and it had definitely been set right. But, the DVR listed that the movie had been CANCELLED, so I had definitely scheduled it right. :confused: I thought that was odd. But, I figured, I'll just record Episode 3 and wait to watch it after Episode 2 airs again. Then Episode 3 completely blipped off the schedule. No where to be found.

That's when I noticed that Lifetime had promos saying they are airing Christmas movies 24/7 through Christmas. TWO weeks before Halloween. No advanced advertizing (I think,) they just started showing Christmas movies. ONE week before Hallmark was set to start. Then Hallmark changed their schedule, dumped all the mysteries that were set to air that week, (probably re-scheduled for Jan,) and started showing old Christmas movies on their Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel, too.

I have a feeling that with these network wars, Christmas movies may start to air Labor Day weekend in the coming years, :badpc: as they try to get the jump on each other. :sad2:


Yes, I have no life, that I noticed all this. :p
 
  • Nancyg56

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    Aug 17, 2005
    I think Hallmark airs Christmas Movies all year long now, but not every day. I know they air Christmas in July and I think that a while back there was a day a week devoted to Holiday movies. My DH cringes when I have a day off and commandeer the TV and he hears carols. LOL!
     

    Imzadi

    ♥ Saved by an angel in a trench coat!
    Joined
    Oct 29, 2004
    No one should head to Vancouver with the expectation of a "winter wonderland". It rarely snows and when it does, it doesn't stay on the ground. Winter on the coast is also hideously grey and rainy - not really what the OP is going for.
    I didn't say she should head there. No one on this thread has said that. I only said to someone else that that's where the majority of Hallmark stuff is filmed. One can also tell, as the smaller, supporting roles are usually cast with Vancouver local actors that the shows wouldn't fly to a different location. When one knows the other Vancouver TV shows, Supernatural, Arrow, The Good Doctor, Bates Motel, a few others I can't remember off-hand, they end up casting all the same local actors over and over for the lesser roles. There is actually quite a lot of work for those actors.

    The general negative viewpoint has been how filming in Canada steals away filming from NYC and L.A. because in Canada, they pay the crews less. So it costs a lot less to film up there. The crews aren't covered by U.S. unions. (NYC has the added burden that location shooting is just way more expensive here, getting permits, moving street parking around, having to pay for the locales to shoot in, extra police presence, higher insurance, etc.) It will be interesting to see how Tyler Perry's newly opened film studio, set on a former army base, will change how and where stuff is filmed. It is larger than sizes of Walt Disney Studios, Paramount, and Burbank’s Warner Bros. lots combined.
     
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    Imzadi

    ♥ Saved by an angel in a trench coat!
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    Oct 29, 2004
    How about the Netflix Christmas movies? Far better than I expected last year.
    I didn't get Netflix last year. I did watch them 2 years ago, and I agree, a couple were better than expected. I assume they've improved even more since then, since the movie studios are learning what a big industry Christmas movies has become.

    :scratchin Maybe some of these small towns that the OP wants to visit, that PP have said there's no guarantee of snow, might also get the idea to buy a snow machine that Hallmark movies use, and blanket the "Christmas sectors" of town with some manufactured snow. :idea:

    Don't some ski slopes have a snow machine to churn out extra snow for the times when there just isn't enough snow to ski? :confused3
     
  • maddiel

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 5, 2003
    The majority of the Hallmark movies are filmed in Vancouver, CA. The head of Hallmark said that in an interview last year. He said they are running out of locations there that haven't been used & are recognizable as having been used in other movies already. A few are filmed in other parts of Canada, depending on the level of the star and where they need to film. I think a few have been in Toronto.

    Hallmark has been able to nab Susan Lucci, (Erica Kane on All My Children,) a couple months ago, to do an upcoming mystery movie (series) I think they said. The way she spoke, it's unlikely that it will be in Vancouver. They want her so badly, that I think they will film in the states or on the eastern side of Canada, so Susan can be closer to her DH, kids & grandkids.
    I'd love to see them do more movies in Nova Scotia again. Changes to our tax incentive structure drastically reduced the size of the film industry here, but it's still struggling along.

    We have had a number of Christmas tv movies shot here in NS - I think the most well known would be The Christmas Shoes - but IIRC they shot them all in the summer because the winter weather is too unpredictable. The filming season here usually runs from about March to November.

    The general negative viewpoint has been how filming in Canada steals away filming from NYC and L.A. because in Canada, they pay the crews less. So it costs a lot less to film up there. The crews aren't covered by U.S. unions. (NYC has the added burden that location shooting is just way more expensive here, getting permits, moving street parking around, having to pay for the locales to shoot in, extra police presence, higher insurance, etc.)
    IATSE is an international union and covers Canadian film crews as well as American film crews. I would say that differences in available production tax incentives have a much bigger impact in making some locals more attractive. The local permitting costs you mention, advantages of currency arbitrage and convenience of travel to other major centres all have an impact as well.

    M.
     

    bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    I didn't say she should head there. No one on this thread has said that. I only said to someone else that that's where the majority of Hallmark stuff is filmed. One can also tell, as the smaller, supporting roles are usually cast with Vancouver local actors that the shows wouldn't fly to a different location. When one knows the other Vancouver TV shows, Supernatural, Arrow, The Good Doctor, Bates Motel, a few others I can't remember off-hand, they end up casting all the same local actors over and over for the lesser roles. There is actually quite a lot of work for those actors.
    Of course many of the CW shows. I remember when Supergirl went to CW and filmed in Vancouver to save on costs, the location was cited as something that might be an issue with Calista Flockhart.

    As for the OP, I'm not sure if there's really any place where one can really get that kind of experience that isn't manufactured in some way for tourists.
     

    ronandannette

    I gave myself this tag and I "Like" myself too!
    Joined
    May 4, 2006
    I didn't say she should head there. No one on this thread has said that. I only said to someone else that that's where the majority of Hallmark stuff is filmed. One can also tell, as the smaller, supporting roles are usually cast with Vancouver local actors that the shows wouldn't fly to a different location. When one knows the other Vancouver TV shows, Supernatural, Arrow, The Good Doctor, Bates Motel, a few others I can't remember off-hand, they end up casting all the same local actors over and over for the lesser roles. There is actually quite a lot of work for those actors.

    The general negative viewpoint has been how filming in Canada steals away filming from NYC and L.A. because in Canada, they pay the crews less. So it costs a lot less to film up there. The crews aren't covered by U.S. unions. (NYC has the added burden that location shooting is just way more expensive here, getting permits, moving street parking around, having to pay for the locales to shoot in, extra police presence, higher insurance, etc.) It will be interesting to see how Tyler Perry's newly opened film studio, set on a former army base, will change how and where stuff is filmed. It is larger than sizes of Walt Disney Studios, Paramount, and Burbank’s Warner Bros. lots combined.
    The provincial governments of both BC and Alberta also offer extremely attractive incentives (subsidies and tax credits). There's been a strong effort to grow the local film industry for decades.
     

    RamblingMad

    DIS Veteran
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    Mar 29, 2019
    Of course many of the CW shows. I remember when Supergirl went to CW and filmed in Vancouver to save on costs, the location was cited as something that might be an issue with Calista Flockhart.

    As for the OP, I'm not sure if there's really any place where one can really get that kind of experience that isn't manufactured in some way for tourists.
    I think when folks watch Hallmark Christmas movies, they want to create that same experience for themselves. I know I do.

    My last home looked like it was out of a Hallmark movie.

    Unfortunately, small towns have been dying for a long time, so you can’t really escape the city and go to the country like you used to. These movies are very nostalgic.
     
  • luvflorida

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2003
    I think you should check out Kennebunkport, Maine. I might be a bit biased since it's my hometown, but I truly think it's the closest you're going to come to replicating something from a Hallmark Christmas movie! Kennebunkport is a small town located on the coast of Southern Maine, and every year for the past forty or so, they've held an event called Christmas Prelude, usually during the first two weeks of December.

    The center of Kennebunkport consists of small, quaint shops and wonderful local restaurants. You won't find any fast food chains or big box stores. Everything is locally owned and most merchandise is New England-themed. Just like a Hallmark Christmas movie, the town has a huge tree in the center of the village (Dock Square) and they have a tree lighting where everyone gathers around and carols are sung. Usually the local high school choir performs before and after the tree is lit. I have wonderful memories of my kids singing at every Prelude when they attended the local high school!

    Other events during Christmas Prelude include sleigh rides, cookie crawls, tours of historical homes, and craft fairs. You mentioned doing holiday crafts, and that is something you can do, too. Events may change a bit from year to year, but you can usually participate in making decorations (wreaths, pinecone crafts, etc.) You can walk around sipping hot chocolate while listening to carolers, popping in and out of shops, or just strolling around admiring all the beautiful decorations. Like I said, everything is New England-themed (it IS new England, after all!) and Santa arrives every year by lobster boat!
    Even the tree in Dock Square is decorated with lobster buoys. And, if you miss THAT tree lighting, there are several more- one in nearby Kennebunk and another in Cape Porpoise, which is made from lobster traps!

    Something to keep in mind, though, is that even though Christmas Prelude takes place in December in Maine, there is still no guarantee that there will be snow. More times that not, there is snow, but not always. I can pretty much guarantee, though, that it'll be very cold and you'll have to bundle up in warm coats, hats and gloves! I can also say that the most magical Christmas Preludes are the ones where it is snowing during the tree lighting. It truly is like a Hallmark Christmas movie!

    I'm sure if you do a search on the internet, you can find more information on Kennebunkport and their Christmas Prelude, and get a better idea if it's what you're looking for!
     

    bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    I think when folks watch Hallmark Christmas movies, they want to create that same experience for themselves. I know I do.

    My last home looked like it was out of a Hallmark movie.

    Unfortunately, small towns have been dying for a long time, so you can’t really escape the city and go to the country like you used to. These movies are very nostalgic.
    A lot of suburbs these days try to maintain that small town feel, but they're not going to be remote towns.

    Even if the OP isn't looking to ski or snowboard, those areas tend to be in small, remote towns. But it's going to be commercialized to a high degree.

    There really aren't going to be any "genuine" experiences any more. The experiences the OP wants are all going to be packaged as either for sale or as a promotional activity from a commercial business hoping to sell something. Getting a Christmas with snow is actually pretty easy, but that idealized Hallmark Channel/Thomas Kinkade painting experience doesn't really exist except as fiction. Still - there's nothing wrong with a manufactured experience. This board is dedicated to a manufactured experience.

    As a kid I remember spending a lot of winters around Lake Tahoe. Of course it was far different in the 70s, but it's great when one can take sleigh rides and watch tree lighting ceremonies, roast marshmallows, etc. That can certainly be fun, but there's really no true small town, "genuine" experiences. And there's really nothing wrong with packaged fun.
     

    RamblingMad

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    Mar 29, 2019
    A lot of suburbs these days try to maintain that small town feel, but they're not going to be remote towns.

    Even if the OP isn't looking to ski or snowboard, those areas tend to be in small, remote towns. But it's going to be commercialized to a high degree.

    There really aren't going to be any "genuine" experiences any more. The experiences the OP wants are all going to be packaged as either for sale or as a promotional activity from a commercial business hoping to sell something. Getting a Christmas with snow is actually pretty easy, but that idealized Hallmark Channel/Thomas Kinkade painting experience doesn't really exist except as fiction. Still - there's nothing wrong with a manufactured experience. This board is dedicated to a manufactured experience.

    As a kid I remember spending a lot of winters around Lake Tahoe. Of course it was far different in the 70s, but it's great when one can take sleigh rides and watch tree lighting ceremonies, roast marshmallows, etc. That can certainly be fun, but there's really no true small town, "genuine" experiences. And there's really nothing wrong with packaged fun.
    Packaged fun is okay as long as the pricing is reasonable. For example, I’d rather go to Hawaii than stay at the Poly. When the packaged version costs more than the real thing thing, I go for the real thing.

    Now, my friends in Canada are already celebrating Christmas in November. There is real no reason that the OP has to wait until Christmas.

    Personally, I’d opt for either Jackson Hole or Banff. Of course, I’m a hiker, so those places really appeal to me.

    For filming small towns, a lot of films use Covington GA, but you’re not likely to get snow there.
     

    bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    Packaged fun is okay as long as the pricing is reasonable. For example, I’d rather go to Hawaii than stay at the Poly. When the packaged version costs more than the real thing thing, I go for the real thing.

    Now, my friends in Canada are already celebrating Christmas in November. There is real no reason that the OP has to wait until Christmas.

    Personally, I’d opt for either Jackson Hole or Banff. Of course, I’m a hiker, so those places really appeal to me.

    For filming small towns, a lot of films use Covington GA, but you’re not likely to get snow there.
    Sure. The incentive to make a buck is always strong. That doesn't mean it can't be fun just because someone is in it to make money. I can find similar Christmas activities at local shopping centers, and that's just the way it works.

    And certainly ski resorts are built around winter activities. It's a good 3 hours drive (even in bad weather) where I can find snow in December. My favorite places are Yosemite and Lake Tahoe. I have fond memories of staying in $20/night budget cabins back in the 70s during winter in Tahoe with only a pot bellied stove for heat. Those were the days. These days that same rustic cabin is $150 a night. A fancy cabin might be $600 a night.
     

    RamblingMad

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    Mar 29, 2019
    Sure. The incentive to make a buck is always strong. That doesn't mean it can't be fun just because someone is in it to make money. I can find similar Christmas activities at local shopping centers, and that's just the way it works.

    And certainly ski resorts are built around winter activities. It's a good 3 hours drive (even in bad weather) where I can find snow in December. My favorite places are Yosemite and Lake Tahoe. I have fond memories of staying in $20/night budget cabins back in the 70s during winter in Tahoe with only a pot bellied stove for heat. Those were the days. These days that same rustic cabin is $150 a night. A fancy cabin might be $600 a night.
    I’ve always wanted to go to Yosemite for their Christmas dining show. However, I’m afraid driving those roads without snow, but I survived. I’m terrified with snow.
     

    bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    I’ve always wanted to go to Yosemite for their Christmas dining show. However, I’m afraid driving those roads without snow, but I survived. I’m terrified with snow.
    I survived. Yosemite is awesome in the winter, although there isn't always snow. I was there one time in late December and there was only light, patchy snow on the Yosemite Valley floor. It was raining too. I've also been there with a lot of snow, and it's great. They have a variety of activities. It fun for kids to have a hot chocolate while in front of the fireplace at the Ahwahnee Hotel. I remember going to the Wawona Hotel and seeing it packed with people having mulled cider and other warm drinks in the lobby. I recall hikes in the snow and even snowshoeing in Yosemite. That was really fun, although one need the proper clothes for it.

    Driving in those conditions is another matter. I've slid out, but learned from it. The important thing is to drive slowly (but not too slowly) and deliberately. I've been followed way too closely and seen tire chains that snapped off from diving too fast. It's really not that bad if taken deliberately. And I've seen the conditions vary, from clear roads, to active snow, and then rain.

    The big thing I remember about driving is to not make any sudden changes, and try to do one thing (accelerate, brake, steer) at a time if possible. Do everything in stages, such as braking well before making a turn.
     

    Imzadi

    ♥ Saved by an angel in a trench coat!
    Joined
    Oct 29, 2004
    Have you guys seen one of the latest Christmas movies this weekend? It's the one where a soldier was stationed, (is that the right term?) back in the states near a woman he has been pen pals with. They didn't just have a small segment of making s'mores. The town had a whole night of making fancy s'mores that had a lot of different fillings, during their winter festival.

    Another thing for the OP to add to her list of Christmas things to do. :teeth:


    Anyway, it reminded me that someone had posted a "Hallmark Drinking Game," online a couple years ago. :scratchin

    I Googled to see if I could find it. Apparently there is also a 2019 version too! :teeth:

    For drinks, one can do hot cocoa. And for shots, maybe a shot of Reddi Whip whipped cream straight from the can into the mouth! :rotfl:




    2019 updated version:

     

    bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    Have you guys seen one of the latest Christmas movies this weekend? It's the one where a soldier was stationed, (is that the right term?) back in the states near a woman he has been pen pals with. They didn't just have a small segment of making s'mores. The town had a whole night of making fancy s'mores that had a lot of different fillings, during their winter festival.

    Another thing for the OP to add to her list of Christmas things to do. :teeth:


    Anyway, it reminded me that someone had posted a "Hallmark Drinking Game," online a couple years ago. :scratchin

    I Googled to see if I could find it. Apparently there is also a 2019 version too! :teeth:

    For drinks, one can do hot cocoa. And for shots, maybe a shot of Reddi Whip whipped cream straight from the can into the mouth! :rotfl:
    It could be interesting getting wacky from all the nitrous.

     



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