Television: two directors of filming locations reveal some secrets to you

Television: Two film location directors let you in on some secrets


A house, a field, a business, a street. It seems quite banal. But when we tell a story, the right places, those that immerse us in it, those that ensure its credibility, those that reinforce the quality of the production, those that make us believe in it, are essential. These places often go unnoticed. Because everything seems normal, to flow naturally. We imagine that the characters were simply catapulted there. However, behind each place, a team is busy showing creativity, interpersonal skills and resourcefulness. Meeting with two directors of filming locations who do a colossal job and who have taken up great challenges in the past year.

An essential link in the development of a production, the director of shooting locations is active on several levels. He is one of the first consulted when writing the texts, and one of the last to close the set. 

At the church in Le temps des raspberries.

“Our work often starts upstream, confirms filming location director Aïcha Raïhani. Sometimes we are asked to do pre-research to sell the city of Montreal, for example when there is competition for an American shoot. I have already recreated Syria in Old Montreal! Places and access to them can weigh in the balance. We also discuss quickly with the director. Sometimes a place forces a rewrite or changes a perspective. Some places are charged and have a great importance in history. Some even become a character.

“It's teamwork,” adds Mélanie Lessard, who is also the director of filming locations. It's a job that touches so many facets. There is field research, but also negotiations with cities and owners. And all the organization of the land.” 

In the field in Le temps des raspberries.

Because beyond the places we see on screen, it is up to the location director to find support areas where vehicles can be parked, as well as space for lunch or dressing rooms. . There is also the link with the neighborhood. An imperative step for everyone to be happy, as Mélanie Lessard reminds us. 

“Sometimes an electro asks for a balcony on an adjacent house or that we can use a roof to mount the lighting, quotes Aïcha.” 

Not to mention the restoration of the premises once the camera is closed.

Francisco and the workers' house in Le temps des raspberries.


The action of the series Raspberry Timeis located on a farm. So you had to get out of the city and court the agricultural spaces. 

“It was difficult because during the pandemic, everyone wanted to become a farmer. There wasn't much availability. It's a lot of steps in three weeks for few answers, remembers Aïcha. p> At the store in That's how I love you.

“For the first time in my career, I was asked to buy a house. The producer was willing to take that risk. This house is a character. She is the lust of the whole family. We were shooting there for a month. As the family is English-speaking, I knew that in the corner of Hemmingford and Franklin, near the border, one would find something typical with bricks. We completely transformed the interior, removed the walls. The workers' house was built nearby. But we didn't want land because we would have had to manage it over the long term.” Whereas for the story, fields were needed to cultivate throughout the season.

It was in Oka that Aïcha made a great discovery. 

“A wonderful woman. A collaboration like this is invaluable. Turning with nature adds a difficulty. We don't want to hinder the production of the farm with the filming. At the same time, we had to shoot to the rhythm of the harvest. This exceptional woman accommodated our schedule. She planted products upstream. For the onion scene, she was the one who had planted them where they needed to be.”

Aïcha and her team created a kind of new village. 

The Prime Minister's Office in That's How I Love You.

“We cheated a lot! It is an invented village. We shot a lot in Varennes in the typical little streets. We found a unity to make it believable that Emilio's character does all the distances on a bike. In addition to finding places, human relationships are very important in our work. Even after 20 years, I am still touched to go home to people, to their things, and that they trust me. Entrust their keys to me.”

The era

Shooting a second season can have its advantages, but also its constraints. When Mélanie Lessard took over the torch of C'est comme ça que je t'aime, she had to juggle the loss of some of the series' key locations. 

“Two years passed between the two seasons and we lost Serge and Micheline’s house which was sold. The new owner had undertaken work, so it was necessary to find a house with the same facade, in a roundabout, with a non-renovated kitchen of the same configuration as that of the first season. We must have visited about fifty! And for the basement, it is that of another house. We needed an above ground pool, which we installed. We recreated a house with several places, explains the director of filming locations.

At Gaétan and Hugette in This is how I love you.

Remember that the series takes place in Sainte-Foy in the 70s. 

“We distributed a lot of solicitation letters. Often, we trust the windows if they are vintage. We have about a 10% return of people who agree to meet us. We hope to have the chance to come across original wooden cabinets. Doing the era is a fundamental research, says Mélanie. For Season 2, the team walked around a lot. If in the story the two houses of the couples were close, in reality they were in two different cities.

Shooting took place in Terrebonne, Laval, Montreal, Beloeil. 

Elisabeth's house in Le temps des raspberries.

“We were lucky, we were able to use the Omni hotel for several places. We filmed the Prime Minister's office and the Grazia apartment there. The motel La Demoiselle has been demolished. We had to find another one. The corn field was also a challenge, she continues. We spent our summer following its evolution, measuring it. Doing a second season is more difficult than a first because we have to stay in continuity. To make of the time is more difficult than of the contemporary. For us, finding a period house that still has its 70s paint and upholstery is a little gem!”

  • Raspberry timeis available on Club illico  
  • That's how I love you < strong>– season 2 is available on ICI extra   

Aïcha Raïhani in a few projects  

Aïcha Raïhani

The films Mambo Italiano, Laurence Anyways, X-Men: Apocalypse, My Salinger Year and Babysitter, and the series The Gentleman, The Young Wolves, 19-2, Premonitions, Béliveau, Jack Ryan and Raspberry Time.

Mélanie Lessard in a few projects 

Mélanie Lessard

The films C.R.A.Z.Y., The Novena, The Odyssey of Pi< /em>,Henri Henri, The 3 Little Pigs 2, Bad Santa 2, X-Men: Dark Phoenix< /em>, and the series s 19-2, Dark Series and That's How I Love You 2.

Share Button