OSOYOOS – Stunning images of Osoyoos’ hills and desert, captured last summer for the comedy western movie “Gunless,” are no longer just being seen by feature filmgoers in big-screen theaters, they are now available to view at home on DVD.
Destination Osoyoos Executive Director Jo Knight says last week’s release of “Gunless” on widescreen DVD takes the movie’s promotion of Osoyoos, Oroville’s neighbor to the north, to a new level.
“The filming of ‘Gunless’ in Osoyoos in the summer of 2009 was a fantastic experience,” Knight said in a recent press release. “The entire community embraced this opportunity to showcase Osoyoos and the film production helped to boost the local economy, providing revenue for hotels, building material suppliers, restaurants and many other businesses – even local florists. It also raised our profile as a highly desirable movie location – with gorgeous scenery, skilled film crews and great local partnerships that can really help film productions when they’re here.”
Knight adds the showing of ‘Gunless’ in movie theatres this spring created a lot of promotion for Osoyoos as a tourism destination and release of the DVD will now boost the community’s profile to an even greater degree.
Not only is the Osoyoos landscape featured in the film, the DVD also contains a number of “featurette” mini-films, including one showing impressive footage of Osoyoos and area and another showing a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of ‘Gunless’ in the hills just west of town along with comments about working in the locale by writer/director William Phillips and stars Paul Gross and Sienna Guillory, according to Knight.
“On top of that, the Osoyoos: Canada’s Warmest Welcome logo is right there on the cover of every DVD, and Destination Osoyoos (DO) receives a thank-you credit at the end of the movie,” she said.
Knight notes that, as the Osoyoos area’s “destination marketing organization,” DO partnered with a number of organizations including local businesses and the Town of Osoyoos to help the production of ‘Gunless’ run smoothly. She credits the Okanagan Film Commission with doing advance work and attracting the film to Osoyoos. Once ‘Gunless’ was set for shooting in Osoyoos, DO helped arrange accommodations for the 100-member cast and production crew, found space for some of the set-assembly work, and provided additional area publicity during filming and at the time of the feature film’s release in April.
“It was exciting for me to attend the Vancouver film premiere and to have DO play a major role in organizing the community’s premiere of the movie at the Oliver Theatre this spring,” Knight said. “It is gratifying to see the benefits that came to town during filming, and we will continue to see the tourism marketing benefits for months and years to come, thanks to the DVD.”
In “Gunless,” a notorious American gunslinger, the Montana Kid (Paul Gross), is on the run from bounty hunters in the 1880s and finds himself in the tiny western Canadian town of Barclay’s Brush, unable to find a pistol for a gunfight. Gross told media during filming that the Osoyoos location was perfect for the kind of hot, dry look the moviemakers wanted.
“It’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and I’d come back here in a heartbeat,” Gross said.
“Gunless” was produced by Rhombus Media and Brightlight Pictures and is distributed by Alliance (Universal).
According to the Destination Osoyoos press release, an online review by the Toronto Star’s Peter Howell notes that movie has “a sublime soundtrack by Blue Rodeo stalwart Greg Keelor and evocative lensing by cinematographer Gregory Middleton, who makes mountainous Osoyoos, B.C. (where the movie was filmed) look like a scene from a John Ford movie.” Another review, by Bruce Kirkland in the Toronto Sun, says, “the high-definition Blu-ray showcases how gorgeous Gunless looks… the high plains desert location, on a British Columbia ranch in Osoyoos, is strikingly fresh, and the production design is startling.”