New West resident yells 'cut' over movie production's trucks

Chris Campbell

New Westminster resident resident Gerald Thomson says he got an unwelcome surprise when a film production called “action” with its trucks at the back of his home.

Thomson lives in the 900 block of Chilliwack Street and he says that signs were only posted on Monday that filming was to take place on his street.

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“That was the first notice I received that the filming was to take place,” he said in an email to me.

But he said, “no notice was given that the back of my house would also be used as a staging parking lot with a food truck.”

He says he was “trapped” by the filming because of a truck that blocked his garage on Tuesday.

“Too bad I wasn't notified that both the front and the back of my home would be tied up,” he said.

trucks street
Movie trucks on Chilliwack Street in New West. - Gerald Thomson

When the trucks rolled into the neighbourhood, Thomson said, nobody from the film crew approached him about blocking his garage.

“In my view this was a complete disaster,” Thomson said. “What if I had had workmen or servicemen scheduled to come to my property on the morning of Oct. 2? They would have never gotten near the house. They might have understood, but probably not. What about an ambulance or fire truck having to come to my house, particularly down the back lane?”

Sadly, this is all too common. I worked for a paper in Maple Ridge for more than 20 years and crews loved filming out there – but they rarely communicated well with residents. There seems to be a sense of entitlement that because they have paid their permit fees, they can do whatever they like.

“When people are getting paid for the use of their property for filming and the city is collecting a fee, simple notices handed out days before to someone like me whose property is going to be used both front and back is not enough in my opinion.”

Thomson says that since our first interview that the city responded to his complaint by telling him they will be issuing tickets for parking infractions. Not sure if that makes much of a difference to a big production company, but it's something.

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