A section of Richmond Street in downtown London, Ontario. looked a little more like New York City from the history books on Wednesday as production ramped up on a new Apple TV+ series filming in the city this week.
Richmond Street was closed off by police between Dundas and King Streets as crew members put the finishing touches on the 1970s New York streetscape, complete with vintage cars, a newsstand, fake graffiti and signs advertising adult entertainment and cheap hotel rooms .
Passersby snapped photos of the time machine’s transformation provided by Apple Studios and Annapurna Television, who are producing a series for Apple TV+ based on the 2017 novel by Victor LaValle The changeling.
Apple TV series setting the stage for downtown London, Ontario. shoot
An Apple announcement last year described the series, which stars LaKeith Stanfield, who also serves as executive producer, as “a fairy tale for grown-ups. A horror story, a parenting fable, and a perilous odyssey through a New York City you didn’t know existed.”
The city’s roadblock portal lists the name of the production as Unlikely Valentine, as well as a listing on the Film and Television Industry Alliance (FTIA) website. However, it’s unclear if this is just the production’s codename or if this will be the final title of the series.
The FTIA listing summarizes the drama as “focusing on the death-defying odyssey of Apollo Kagwa and Emma Valentine as they try to find out what happened to their son, who was taken from them.”
“On their journey, they will travel through enchanted islands and enchanted forests, meet glowing witches, demonic giants and racist police officers,” the synopsis continues.
Filming for the production is slated to wrap up next month and will also be filmed in Toronto, New York City and Jersey City, NJ, according to the listing. The series is written by Kelly Marcel, who is also a producer, and directed by Melina Matsoukas.
Officials from Film London, a film production concierge for the London Economic Development Corporation, would not confirm the name of the production or who was involved, but said on Wednesday things had been going smoothly.
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“A big thank you to my friends and associates over in the City of London who have worked very closely with the film office and the production itself on every production to just make things happen that productions need to have,” said Andrew Dodd, Manager by FilmLondon.
“There’s a lot of moving parts in there and it takes a lot of coordination and everyone I work with around town and other downtown partners has been just fantastic.”
James Edwards, owner of AAHC Barbershop and Salon, told Global News last week that he and other business owners were told production would take place Wednesday through Friday, with most filming taking place in the evening.
The city’s road closure portal says Richmond will reopen at 10 p.m. on Friday.
“I’ve seen some notices suggesting the road will only be closed for a day, but often productions are able to stay and do some post-production or additional filming,” Dodd said.
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Unlikely Valentine is just the latest television production coming to town this year. In the spring, London served as a mainstay The Amazing Race Canada in an episode that aired August 16.
Dodd told Global News last week that Film London’s office is following “several different productions of varying sizes” but declined to comment further on legal grounds.
“We’re tracking a few over the coming months that we really hope will end up here,” he reiterated Wednesday.
“I always say nothing is certain until it is certain, there are so many moving things in this industry. But if these productions that we’re following decide to go to London, it could mean really great things for our local filmmaking ecosystem,” he said.
Moving the production to the city, he noted that different size productions are looking for different things in one location, but says London tries “to offer as much of those things as possible”.
“We have to travel a bit further than they’re used to when trying to stay within GTA, but we’re hoping to make up for that with some reasonable location fees or some really unique or interesting locations that might be harder to go elsewhere.” there,” he said.
“That’s true of real estate and it can be true of the film and television industry as well. Location, location, location. If we can offer something they can’t find, then it’s worth the trip to London for them.”
– with files by Andrew Graham
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