'Van Helsing' season four draws inspiration from the Kamloops area

The recent filming of "Van Helsing" in the Kamloops area has officially wrapped and cast, crew and writers alike say the area did not disappoint.

The Netflix series spent five days shooting in the Kamloops area, using the local canyons and desert landscapes as the backdrop for their upcoming season.

The location itself was not chosen by mistake, says Jackie May, a writer for the show. In fact, they have been trying to film in the area for the last two seasons, however, their schedules simply never lined up.

This time around, a portion of the script for the fourth season of "Van Helsing" was specifically written for the Kamloops area, May says noting the location offered such unique landscapes they simply had to shoot here.

The three main areas used for filming were along Shuswap Road towards LaFarge, the canyons in the Dallas area and a number of locations throughout Tranquille Farm Fresh.

"I wish we had longer than five days," May says, explaining how she would have loved to take more advantage of the area, especially the buildings at the Tranquille farm. "They are just creepy. It costs thousands of dollars to recreate those types of effects."

The actors who made their way to Kamloops for the shoot were not disappointed with what they found.

“It’s amazing,” Jonathan Scarfe, the actor who plays Axel, told KamloopsMatters regarding the location. “I’ve been here before but have never filmed here.”

“It kind of comes out of nowhere. It’s kind of like canyonlands down in the states where you are driving along and it’s like wham, a completely different planet.”

Richard Harmon, an actor known for playing the role of John Murphy on the show "The 100," says he has never filmed in Kamloops before, but did come down to the Kamloops Film Festival a few years back where he received an award.

However, since he was only here for 12 hours, Harmon says he didn’t get the chance to explore the area much and was surprised this time around to discover how big the area actually is.

“It’s been incredible,” he says. “I mean it’s been hot, it’s very hot.” 

“I’m a person who likes the cold and it’s been very hot and dusty, but beautiful. It’s such a beautiful beautiful town.”

Harmon was just added to the "Van Helsing" cast this season and noted the unique landscapes in the area are what brought them to Kamloops.

“[Filming here] sort of expanded the world of the show," he says.

Vincent Gale who has been playing the character Flesh since season one, says the area brought back some pleasant memories for him.

“I did a play here almost 20 years ago at Western Canada Theatre company,” Gale says. “My wife and I came out and did a show called Proof. We did it here for a couple of weeks and then back to Vancouver to do it there for a few more. It’s was a family drama about mathematics, it was really interesting and actually quite fun to do.

“My wife and I had a really good time here. We stayed at the Riverland Inn and we had a barbecue and would go out into the town and we just had a really great time here.”

Gale’s wife Jennifer Clement has done a lot of theatrical work in the Kamloops area

“I really loved it,” he says on his experience this time around. “For one, the weather this week has just been extraordinary. It’s been really beautiful.“

The crew wrapped up filming on Friday (May 10), heading back to Vancouver to finish up filming on their set.

Harmon says he would love to come back and film in Kamloops more if given the chance.

“Absolutely any time you’ll have me. I’ll get the rigatoni from Moxies every night,” he says

“To the city, thanks for having me. You guys have been just wonderful people, really really pleasant and welcoming,” he added before giving the city a 10 out of 10 rating. 

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