Word of filming in downtown London brought curious onlookers catching their first glimpse of a Hollywood production. Ed Winter has been set up on a chair for days at the corner of Dundas and Richmond streets waiting to see them start rolling. ‘It’s going to look like New York City’: Apple TV series to film in downtown London, Ont. this month
Richmond Street is in production mode right now. In the Apple TV series Improbable Valentine, London is now standing in for 1970s New York City, complete with an 181st Street subway station, vintage taxis, and a phone booth. According to CTV film critic Richard Crouse, “I think is only one of the sites that the two main characters, played by LaKeith Stanfield and Clark Backo, explore in quest of their child.” As this is a horror mystery fantasy, there are also eerie woodlands and enchanted Isles.
Curious onlookers take photos of the set on Richmond Street as Apple TV’s “Improbable Valentine” is filming in London, Ont. on August 24, 2022. (Brent Lale/CTV News London) “I’m excited to see how it’s all done and it’s interesting to see how they make a movie,” says Winter, who had been there since 3:00 a.m. and planned to stay all night while they film the scenes. Others made the trip specifically to see the street transformation.
“I thought it was just super cool to see live action sets going on,” says Claire Murray, who did acting camps as a child. “That’s good learning and just interesting. I knew they were making London into New York, and it’s so cool to see that how much you can change in just a small area.” Apple TV’s “Improbable Valentine” is filming in London, Ont. on August 24, 2022. (Brent Lale/CTV News London). The London Film Office was created a year ago, with the goal of bringing productions to the Forest City – and it’s already paying off.
He adds, “I wanted to come down and see what the sets were actually going to look like. I heard that we’re going to make it into New York, and I spent quite a bit of time in New York City, so I thought it would be really neat to come and see London turn into New York because I’ve spent time there.” His daughter Claire has dreams of being a filmmaker.
“It’s a massive industry in Ontario,” says Andrew Dodd, manager of Film London. “2021 was the biggest year Ontario has ever had, so our city council wisely recognized that London could be taking advantage of this industry more than we already are. I think we’re starting to see that happen.”