This June Washington Filmworks (WF) Production Services Coordinator, Krys Karns, spent two days meeting with city officials and visiting areas of the Whidbey and Camano Islands, as part of WF’s quarterly liaison visits. Her hosts for the visit were film liaison Sherrye Wyatt, Public Relations & Marketing Manager of Whidbey and Camano Islands Tourism, and Laura Hilton, Location Coordinator Intern.
Wyatt is no stranger to production; the Islands recently hosted an A&E production, as well as the Discovery Channel’s Investigation Discovery. Because of the increased interest in the area, Hilton was brought on to build film friendly location collateral and streamline the permitting process. WF is pleased to report that Whidbey and Camano Islands are working hard to make this picturesque location a destination for motion picture production.
Karns began the day in the City of Langley and shared coffee with Mayor Fred McCarthy and Marc Esterly, Executive Director of the Langley Chamber of Commerce. Afterwards she was treated to a tour of the quaint town. Karns then traveled north to the coastal Town of Coupeville, familiar to movie-goers from the film Practical Magic (1998), starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Lynda Eccles, Executive Director of the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce, and Chet Ross, President of the Freeland Chamber of Commerce, also met with Karns to discuss the significant economic impact motion picture production can have on the Islands.
Day one of the visit ended with a tour of the City of Oak Harbor and dinner with Ron Nelson, Executive Director of the Island County Economic Development Council (EDC). The EDC is dedicated to encouraging economic growth and building a diverse demographic base, including motion picture production. “Film companies bring in much needed, out of county revenue to our small, rural businesses and help diversify our local economy,” said Nelson.
Over the two-day visit, Sherrye Wyatt and Laura Hilton showed Karns several one-of-a-kind Island County locations, including Fort Casey State Park and the Almiralty Head Lighthouse, Deception Pass Bridge and State Park, the Historic 1907 Captain Whidbey Inn, the Wildwood Horse Ranch, and various farms. Karns also toured the US Naval Air Station Whidbey Island with Tony Popp, Community Relations Director, and enjoyed lunch at the Officers’ Club.
The variety of location collateral certainly makes the area a unique destination for filmmakers to consider. If you’d like to learn more, WF recently featured Whidbey and Camano Islands in our Location of the Month newsletter series. We would like to thank Whidbey and Camano Islands Tourism for their hospitality and interest in partnering with WF to attract more film production to Washington State.