Hopkins draws in Vernon fans

Movie production was at Forge Valley Storage, on Vernon’s 30th Street, Friday

Patience ultimately paid off for Dodie Lindley as she basked in star power.

Lindley was among the residents who hung around Forge Valley Storage, on Vernon’s 30th Street, Friday morning as cast and crew of Go With Me shot a few exterior scenes.

“I just wanted to see what’s going on,” she said.

As her camera snapped away, Lindley made it clear that she hoped to see Sir Anthony Hopkins. “That would be cool.”

And Hopkins didn’t disappoint as he arrived on set a few minutes later and took part in a scene with Julia Stiles.

“I’m happy,” said Lindley of catching a glimpse of Hopkins, who won an Oscar for The Silence of the Lambs.

Also taking in the action was Patty Everson, who works in a nearby office.

“It’s pretty neat. You don’t get to experience this in Vernon every day,” she said.

Go With Me is filming in Enderby, Armstrong, Vernon and Lumby.

“This is day three and everything is going well,” said Rick Dugdale, producer and president of Hollywood-based Enderby Entertainment, which is named after his hometown of Enderby.

The North Okanagan, apparently, has made an impression on Hopkins.

“He loves it here. He’s been a big part of the picture for three years,” said Dugdale.

The movie takes place in a logging community and Dugdale says the North Okanagan was the perfect selection for filming.

“The whole area fits,” adding that Forge Valley Storage was the ideal choice as a sound stage.

“It’s something the region could utilize as a sound stage.”

In fact, Dugdale believes the North Okanagan could expand its role in the film industry and he would like to see two to three films a year shot here.

He anticipates Go With Me could have a $5 million economic impact on the region beyond hotels and restaurants between now and mid-December.

“There are transportation guys and we have a local carpentry guy,” said Dugdale.

Beyond his personal connection to the Okanagan, Dugdale says he has received substantial professional assistance from Jon Summerland, with the Okanagan Film Commission, and Howie Cyr, Enderby’s mayor.

“He knows how much this industry can impact the region,” said Dugdale of Cyr.

Kevin Poole, Vernon’s economic development officer, was pleased to see a film being shot just around the corner from city hall.

“It is great to see this type of interest in filming in the North Okanagan,” he said.

“The Okanagan Film Commission has done an excellent job in promoting our area as a film location and we are now reaping the economic benefits.”

Go With Me could be a catalyst for future films.

“This is the first of the larger feature films shooting entirely in the Okanagan and using a 50 per cent-plus local crew,” said Summerland.

“It tells other production companies they can do a film here too.”

Go With Me will be released November 2015.