A film set explosion on Aug. 24 awakened the community to the impacts of Hollywood North.
Super Buddies, part of the Buddies series about a talking dog, is filming at a farm in the 800 block of 248th Street, and set off an explosion that ended up being more powerful than expected.
Langley Township officials planned to meet with the film's crew about the incident.
The production had alerted the Township that they were set to do a special effect, said Val Gafka, manager of engineering and business services.
"In this case the impact was louder than they had planned for, louder than intended," Gafka said.
The blast was set to go off inside a wooden barn. Normally that would muffle the sound for nearby neighbours.
"In this case, it amplified the sound effect," Gafka said.
Whenever there is to be a loud noise, explosion, or similar effect on a Langley film production, the crew is required to notify neighbours in writing.
They did send out notices to several nearby properties, but the sound was so loud it reached everyone within about two miles.
Gafka said the Township was called by four residents, from as far afield as Zero Avenue and 16th Avenue.
The RCMP was called after the incident and did briefly attend the film set. There were no firefighters or police on scene before the explosion, because it was thought it would be too small to require their attendance.
Firefighters often attend larger pyrotechnic effects for safety reasons.
Gafka said there is believed to have been no direct hazard to public safety from the blast.
Sheila Geraghty disagrees. She lives in the 700 block of 248th Street, a few hundred feet away from the film set property.
At about 10: 15 p.m. on Aug. 24, Geraghty was reaching up to remove a fly mask from Arklo, one of the horses she boards.
An explosion went off and the horse reared.
"He bumped me, knocking me over, and spun away from me," she said.
Geraghty said Arklo landed awkwardly, and is one of two horses that are lame because of the noise. The other horse, Sweet Pea, was in another field during the explosion, and is lame in four legs.
Geraghty said if she had known that the explosion was going to happen, steps could have been taken with the animals so they weren't hurt.
Geraghty and her husband Frank Metheun said a location manager was at their farm Aug. 22 and told them there would be no pyrotechnics.
She's not the only neighbour impacted by the explosion. Geraghty said horses on the neighbouring property were "running hell bent for leather" after the blast.
After the blast, Geraghty phoned the film company, and only able to reach the Burnaby office, left an urgent message with the staff there for someone at the Langley site to call her.
She assumed the noise came from the film set, but wasn't sure.
"When they didn't call me back, I called the police," she said.
Someone from the film company left an apology on the couple's voicemail the next day.
"They seemed genuinely embarassed and sorry," Methuen said. "He said there had been a mistake."
Methuen wondered how the film industry can use lands in the Agricultural Land Reserve for activities that have nothing to do with agriculture.
The farm has been the site for several productions. Geraghty said this production is there for a month.
Only after the film company had shown up and started work did neighbours receive letters with basic information.
"We get no say," she said. "If I want to put some soil on this farm- I've got to put a sign out."
An Aug. 15 letter from location manager Dan Carr said filming would be 7: 30 a.m. until 8 p.m, Mondays and Tuesdays, and 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday. It also said there would be two evenings where there would be "some fireworks" and that once those days were known, "We will drop off another letter to keep you in the loop."
An Aug. 20 letter said the Township was relaxing its noise bylaw to allow the set to work beyond 10 p.m. for night scenes, so the new schedule for Aug.
20-24 was 1 a.m. Tuesday, 2: 30 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 3 a.m. Friday.
It also said there would be a single sound effect like a shotgun blast between nightfall and midnight.
An Aug. 24 letter said the filming schedule was changed again to film 1 p.m. to as late as 3 a.m. each day until Aug. 31, and that there would be extra lighting to mimic a UFO and fans.
"Mainly the feeling I get is they'd like us to shut up and go away," Geraghty said.
She said the film company agreed to pay for the horse Sweet Pea to be examined, but the horse needs further testing to diagnose and treat its exact injuries.
Geraghty said her subsequent calls to the film company have gone unanswered.
The Langley Advance contacted the film production company about an interview but received no response.
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