Medicine Hat Media

The ‘Hat’ on the Big Screen

A Canadian movie, just released (March 6th) called ‘One Week’ with Joshua Jackson from Dawson’s Creek fame.  It was filmed across Canada and there is an interesting story of the filming in Medicine Hat.

From the website, Director Michael McGowan talks about how the film was made on a shoestring budget and explains that this type of guerrilla filmmaking mirrored the spontaneous nature of the story and the lead character’s journey. “Countless times, if we happened to drive by a location that we liked, we’d just stop and shoot,” McGowan says. “Fortunately, everything that could have gone wrong– everything from Josh falling off the bike to bad weather to locations we couldn’t get–didn’t happen.”

For example, one of the most stunning locations in the film is ‘Fran’s ranch’. Finding the location was pure luck. “This was always going to be an ambitious day of filming. We needed a stunning vista, a pick-up truck, a farm. Horses for the actors to ride and not to mention lunch for the crew,” McGowan says. Typically this would involve wranglers, extensive location scouting and organizing the infrastructure to shoot in a remote location. By the time the crew arrived in Medicine Hat, on a Friday, they still didn’t have a location for their Monday shoot.

“We were definitely worried,” admits co-producer Avi Federgreen. “We were calling everyone we could to help us out.” The location breakthrough came from a most unlikely source: a maid working at the motel where they were staying. After hearing their concerns, she put them in contact with a ranch that she thought might fit the bill. “When Jessie [the ranch owner] took us out to the rock where Fran and Ben eventually end up, I was amazed,” McGowan explains.

“Hands down, it was one of the most spectacular views I had ever seen in my life. We couldn’t help feeling that perhaps the gods were smiling on us.”

The location for ‘Fran’s Ranch’ was Midnight’s Trail Ranch, just west of Medicine Hat.

The movie opens in Medicine Hat on the 16th of this month at Galaxy Cinemas.

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