Steveston is in the spotlight once again as the crew of ABC’s new fall drama, Once Upon a Time, descended on Moncton Street to transform the sleepy village for more filming of their first season. The show just had its first big pilot screening at Comic-Con in San Diego this weekend, and was received enthusiastically by fans for its focus on fairy tales and a shared heritage with its ABC forerunner, Lost.
Steveston is playing the part of Storybrooke, Maine, and for the block between 1st and 2nd Avenue, no sign was left unturned in the transformation. While businesses remained open and traffic mostly unaffected, workers were busy into the evening doing everything from planting trees to dirtying signs, and making all the little changes both inside and outside of the storefronts that make a fictional town come to life on screen.
Splash, for instance, has become a variety store called “Neighbor’s” and features all sorts of retro packaging in the windows, giving it the feeling of an American general store from yesteryear. When you go inside, they are still selling toys behind the props, and will be during most of the filming. However, we talked to them and they suggested it might be easier to come in the back door during the shoot.
One thing we noticed on the signage for Neighbor’s is that the word “stationery” is spelled incorrectly (stationery is for paper and letters, stationarymeans you’re standing still). We actually talked to a set designer who couldn’t believe it had gone through so many levels of approval to be ultimately corrected by a passerby, but they were relieved it wasn’t like the time they had put “equiptment” on a sign that received an extreme close up. We’ll see if they have time to fix it before they roll camera, or if it will be a Steveston secret to look for when the show premieres on October 23rd.
In addition, the directory to the Hepworth Building has been covered up with an authentic-looking heritage seal, and the windows high above the street now advertise the psychiatric services of Dr. Archibald Hopper, MD instead of Fleming & Associates. Presumably they will be doing crane shots to have paid this much attention to detail.
Across the street the Cannery Cafe has been overtaken by fake vegetation, boasts a beautiful mural, and neighbours Worthington’s Haberdashery in the former site of Artisans Galleria. Nikka now appears to be some sort of shuttered and abandoned library, possibly working its way into the plotline of characters not knowing their frozen-in-time storybook alter egos.
We’re particularly fond of the Hollywood magic applied to Pacific Net & Twine, which conveniently becomes “Atlantic Twine & Net”. They dont get paid the big bucks for nothing, folks.
We took lots more photos of the hard work this team put into the transformation, which can be found over at our Flickr page. It’s hard to believe that the actors will only be on set for one day, but we’ve confirmed that come Wednesday, the facade comes down and Storybrooke will become Steveston once again. We want to know, will you be watching Steveston light up the screen on October 23rd?