Filmmaker says filming in Central Alberta was ‘like coming home’


Alberta-based Numera Films was in Sundre to film part of the third season of Abracadavers

SUNDRE – Returning to Sundre to film part of the third season of Abracadavers was like coming home, said one of the show's producers.

“It felt like a homecoming,” said Griffin Cork, who was in town last year with a cast and crew from Alberta-based Numera Films to work on a production tentatively titled Project: Six Shooter.

“The crew still talks about their time in Sundre,” Cork told Alberta during a telephone interview.

“People still talk about how great the extras we hired were or how great the locations were,” he said.

A film crew recently visited the Sundre and District Museum’s World of Wildlife exhibition and the Sundre Contracting gravel quarry to capture part of the Abracadaver Season 3 on May 19th.

“We missed the city, so it's nice to be back,” he said. “Funny enough, it was almost like a little getaway in the middle of filming.”

When asked what ultimately led the production team to choose Sundre as a filming location for part of the third season of Abracadaverhe said: “There are three reasons.”

The film crew first discovered the museum and its taxidermy exhibition last year while filming in the city Project: Six Shooterhe said.

“When we knew we were going into production next year, we wrote a scene for the show specifically to be shot at the museum. We liked the location so much that we wrote the scene for that location,” he explained.

The warm welcome with open arms and the proverbial rolling out of the red carpet reinforced the film crew's decision to return to Sundre.

“The warm welcome we received in the city when we filmed there last summer was a real incentive for us to come back,” he said.

“I think there's always a certain appeal to filming in Alberta's smaller towns rather than the big inner cities, simply because it's so well received. It's more of an event and the people are a bit more personal.”

And the community is even going a step further by supporting the Mountain View Regional Film Office, which helps with location scouting and finding the right location, he said.

“Sundre makes it easy to film there,” he said.

However, there are always unpredictable factors like the weather that can make a production a little more challenging, especially when filming outside of an enclosed and controlled stage that is outdoors and at the mercy of Mother Nature.

“It rained a little, but in typical Alberta weather we stopped our production for about 20 minutes. Then the rain stopped and we continued filming,” he said, adding that everything went well anyway.

“We've had much longer delays even with this production. I'm sure a lot of people call that the nature of the beast.”

In response to another question about whether the Numera Films team intends to keep Sundre on the shortlist of locations for future projects, either for more Abracadaver or other productions, Cork said filming for the former would wrap on May 27 and he does not expect to return to film again this season.

“But we have some money to develop a new series that we have planned,” he said, adding that a filming location at Schott's Lake west of Sundre caught the team's attention.

“It has often occurred to our writers and producers that this could be the central setting for the next series,” he said, stressing that the idea is still in the discussion phase.

“I don't want to sit here and make promises, but it has come up a few times.”

Regarding an update to Project: Six ShooterCork said production was “further advanced than we could have imagined.”

This success is due in no small part to the Sundre locations, he said.

“I think a lot of that is due to places like the Pioneer Museum and the historic building,” he said.

“The studio we worked with was really impressed with the production value of the project.”

Can't say much more about it Project: Six ShooterCork was able to confirm that the show would initially be more of a “niche boutique” release, but later described it as an “exceeding expectations project that had to change the scope of the release”.

“After seeing the first iteration of the project, the studio has now stepped it up a gear and the release is going to be a little more grand,” he said. “There are a lot of international partners coming together to plan the release.”

However, if you have an itchy trigger finger to see Project: Six Shooter have to be patient a little longer, as there is no provisional release date yet.

And while Cork openly admitted he's not holding his breath, he was encouraged by the studio's interest and said it's a matter of waiting and seeing where this leads.

“We should have more news by early 2025 at the latest,” he said.

Over at the Sundre Museum, executive director Carrie Couch said they were pleased to welcome the crew.

“We started very early in the day to minimize disruption to guests,” Couch said by email in response to questions.

“When the first guests arrived, the team was very accommodating, explaining the process and showing some of the behind-the-scenes activities,” she said. “It was certainly a unique museum experience that you don't get to experience every day.”

Since filming ended after lunch, guests were still able to view all of the exhibits at World of Wildlife and the rest of the grounds where no filming was taking place, she added.

Couch said the Sundre and District Historical Society and museum staff are happy to have all of these spaces available and to be able to open them to the public in this way.

“It always amazes us how they can shoot these scenes in such tight spaces and with such unique obstacles,” she said.

“The museum director is admittedly nervous on these days, but the film crew was very easy to deal with and they respect our history and the importance of our museum and the objects we keep.”