A makeup artist applies the finishing touches to James Van Der Beek prior to filming on location in Langley in 2009.

Major film company set to call Langley home

First wave of employees of Partners in Motion/Harmony Entertainment due to arrive by Nov. 1.

A company responsible for a string of highly successful programs that are aired around the world is settling in Langley.

The first wave of employees of Partners in Motion/Harmony Entertainment will arrive in Langley by Nov. 1, said company co-founder and executive vice-president Ron Goetz.

Partners in Motion/Harmony Entertainment is a television and film production and distribution company presently based in Regina.

“We are thrilled to be in Langley,” Goetz said, calling the community “a film-friendly environment.”

Langley “will offer more locations for shooting, more access to talent and crews and an inviting financing regimen.”

One of its biggest successes is the production of a series called Crime Stories. Started nine years ago, the series recently was renamed Blood Lies and Alibis, and airs on Discovery ID in both the US and Canada.

It also airs on Canal D in Quebec, as well as A and E in the United Kingdom, he said.

The company’s productions have aired in 150 countries and been translated into 30 languages.

The company also produced the series called the “Reinventions” for History Canada and Smithsonian Network in the US, and  produced more than 400 hours of Real Life programming that has aired around the world, Goetz said.

It has several productions under its belt which won Emmy and Gemini awards, Goetz said. In 2001, the company won an Emmy award for the production of 13 Seconds, a documentary on the Kent State shootings in 1970. It aired on TLC.

Partners in Motion/Harmony Entertainment’s current project is a series for Vision TV called I Prophesy.

The relocation of such a prominent company will further boost filming in the Township which is experiencing a significant increase this year.

Direct spending in the Township by film crews last year amounted to more than $24 million. So far this year, there have been four feature films and 25 made for-TV movies filmed in the Township.

While the first of the company personnel will arrive next month, a permanent office will be selected by Jan. 1.

Township Mayor Jack Froese said that the benefits to Langley will be tremendous.

“The Township has the depth of understanding of the film industry, the staff and ability to accommodate productions, the location diversity with beautiful rural, village, and urban settings, and the desire for partnerships,” he said.

“We’ve got it all, and we are open for business.”

He said it’s clear that Langley is being recognized by the industry as a film-friendly community, and that the municipality will strive to maintain that reputation.

“Filming in the Township is a very important contributor to our community’s economic success and Partners in Motion’s decision to make Langley their west coast home only strengthens the film industry business in our community,” said Gary MacKinnon, the Township’s economic development manager.

He noted that the film industry is an environmentally-friendly ‘clean’ industry, making it “exactly the type of business we want to attract.”

The Township is able to facilitate many and varied productions at once, including feature films, series, TV movies and commercials, he added.

The Township employs a film co-ordinator who facilitates a “one-stop” permit process, blends film industry needs with community balance, and is able to suggest locations of unique vistas, distinctive architecture, suppliers and vacant warehouse space suitable for use as production facilities.

As well, the province offers a film tax credit incentive to companies operating in the Township which is not available in municipalities west of 200 Street.