It’s Thursday – You Asked, I Answered

Posted on May 4, 2017

Here we are – the last Thursday blog before filming starts next week (on Tuesday).

Just to give you a bit more information about the first few episodes, last week I told you the titles of the first two episodes. Now I will give you the titles of the next two. I’ll even repeat the titles for those who missed them.

Episode 1101: “Baby on Board,” written by Heather Conkie.
Episode 1102: “Highs and Lows,” written by Mark Haroun.
The first two episodes are going to be directed by Grant Harvey.

Episode 1103: “Decision Time,” written by Ken Craw.
Episode 1104: “How to say Goodbye.”
These two episodes will be directed by Eleanore Lindo.

All the titles are still working titles. For an explanation on what a working title is please read last Thursday’s blog.

Before I get to your questions, I am going to let you know that the choosing of Amy & Ty’s daughter’s name has not only been difficult, it has proven a challenge for the writers. Without a given name to put in their scripts everyone has been forced to use other ways to describe the infant. Jerod Fahlman in Heartland’s Art Department wrote them down and sent them to me (Thanks Jerod!) so I will share them with you here.

In the first three scripts the infant has been referred to as; Baby, Good Girl, Grand Daughter, Missy, Honey, Sweetheart, Her, She, Child, Little Darling, Daughter, Miniature Cowgirl, Kid, Miss Smiley Pants, Little Petunia, Little Princess, Little Angel, Sunshine, Sweet Miss, Sweetie, Lucky Girl, Precious and Munchkin.

Whew! At least we now have a name which will be revealed when the season broadcasts in Canada on CBC in the fall.

Now then…

I’m going to get right to the main part of today’s blog, because last week I wrote that this Thursday’s blog would be one of those “the Blog Whisperer answers your questions” blogs. What I neglected to mention was that you should only ask one question, so I am retroactively imposing that stipulation now. I have answered multiple answers in some cases but there were a couple of you whose questions would have taken up my entire blog space so I had to be choosy.

I DID write, “Ask me anything you want in the comments below, and as long as you do so before Sunday night I will answer it, or try to answer it, or at the very least explain why I cannot answer it.” It is singular. So if I did not answer all your questions I hope you will understand.
Here we go!

Nan Stewart asks, “Can you tell me if there is any chance that Mallory will be back? I just loved her character and was so happy to see her back and then she left again. I also wonder if Scott will be back, to me he and Lou were better fitted together.”

A: This reply has turned into one of my mantras – as long as a character has not died there is always a chance they can return.

Shelly Sauve asks, “Any casting calls this season? Where do we watch for them?”

A: There are many determining factors, including of course how busy the actors are on other projects and their desire to return to be on Heartland.

Gayelle Geres asks, “I have family visiting from Australia June 23 to July 14. Big fans. Any filming taking place in High River during that time? Thanks”

A: I have no idea, for right now the schedule has only been set for the first three weeks of filming. And we do not give out which days filming takes place at which location, for visitors are not allowed on most of the private lands where Heartland films. If filming is happening on any given day at Maggie’s Diner in downtown High River – the one location the public can see – anyone can stand out on the street and watch behind a perimeter set up by the locations department, but know that it is a working set and there is no guarantee you will see any cast.

Jordyne Lynne Mottor asks, “What are some of the baby names you picked?”

A: If you are asking for a short list I am not going to give you that. There will only be one first name and it will be heard for the first time when episode 1101 premieres. I CAN tell you that the name was selected and suggested by over 50 fans. That narrowed it down to 43 possibilities.

Christine Cook asks, “Still waiting for #9 & 10 to air on Netflix here in the US. Any hints on when that will happen?”

A: Only Netflix knows when they are adding season 9. They have permission to do so now, but they are probably going to wait a couple of months, having only added season 8 in April. So please ask Netflix in the States.  And nothing is in place for season 10 yet. There are primary broadcasters which have to air it first in the U.S.

Sarah Blenkin asks, “Is ty staying home this year?”

A: I’ll address how the scripts are written a little later, but I’ve only seen the first two scripts and he’s home being dad to whatever her name is going to be.

Ben Thompson asks, “Is there any planning or work on making Heartland Radio available for fans outside of Canada?”

A: Not at this time. All of CBC Radio is available in Canada only.

Marie Elena Vanderzee Shupe asks, “Why was Amy and Ty's baby a girl instead of a boy? I know it doesn't matter, but I was just curious.”

A: Why not? It had nothing to do with available twins who will play the baby. The producers and writers decided on a girl and me? I always trust them.

Michael B. Hoffman asks, “Please get season 9 on Netflix.”

A: I am pretty sure you are asking about Netflix in the United States but I can’t be sure, because Netflix has different catalogues in each of the 200 countries where they operate. So here is my new policy on answering questions about Netflix – because CBC has no say whatsoever when Heartland seasons will be available on Netflix (other than a season cannot air on Netflix in Canada until it has premiered on CBC) I am going to answer all future questions by asking you to ask Netflix in your country, for they will have the accurate information way before I do.

Judith Doreen Buckler writes, “All the work that provides for our enjoyment… thank you to the camera people today. How about a list of all the titles (job descriptions) of those behind the production.”

A: If you go to IMDB.com and look up Heartland you will see everyone who has been in and has worked on the series. During the course of the year I do give out certain information regarding what certain people do, but it would be a daunting task to cover every position on the series.

Tracie Wilson asks, “Will Mitch be back in the next season?”

A: Starting next Tuesday there will be multiple production tweets revealing things about the scenes being shot on the day. I have to be very aware that spoilers do not go over well, and so not too much will be revealed. And since Your question is not asking too much, yes, Kevin McGarry will indeed be back as Mitch.

Bev Elliott asks, “Please, remember that many of us are seniors and although on FB are not on Twitter--keep us up to date with Tweets on FB!”

A: Asking for tweets on Facebook is kind of like asking Tom Brady to throw a basketball (I crack myself up!). The nice thing about using Twitter for the production tweets is the 140 character limit which prevents me from revealing too much, and it keeps the tweets short and tweet, er… sweet. If there was one perfect social media platform that would be all we’d use. But in addition to this website Heartland on CBC uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and there is also a YouTube Channel for clips and trailers and videos and bloopers (no episodes though). You can follow and like us on as few or as many of these as you want.

Elodie Jubert asks, “Hello, I was wondering! Maybe have you already said, but the episodes of the series are written when? During the winter break? Or when the series is filmed?”

A: Rough outlines for most of a season are written near the end of the year, without production even knowing if there will be a new season. As soon as CBC places their order for 18 episodes then the outlines get fleshed out, with each episode getting assigned to a writer. When the production office opened three weeks ago the first two episodes (1101 and 1102) had been written, but they have since had many changes after input from department heads and after the producers and the writers themselves have gone over them. The scripts are always evolving. Right now the first versions of episodes 1103 and 1104 have been written, but they too will get changes before they begin filming the actual scenes. No one other than the individual writers have seen from episode 1105 on, but the producers, the CBC and of course Heather Conkie, Heartland’s Showrunner (Head Writer) knows the stories that each script will contain; they just have not reached the first draft stage yet. 

Gail Hirst asks, “Dear Blog Whisperer~thank you for all you do. Terry McNamee (below) tells people to wear helmets...in fact, I see this question/request/command often and have decided to ask......why DON'T the actors wear helmets when riding? Especially when jumping? I bet there is a 'production' kind of answer?”

A: Some fans comment that no one should ride without wearing a helmet and that Heartland influences fans who watch it and therefore the series should set a bad example. The truth is that Heartland tries to reflect how life is in Alberta. Very few seasoned riders wear helmets if they are just out for a ride. If everyone always wore one it would look fake. That being written, for bronc and bull riding and for all jumping helmets will be worn.

Jo Jones asks, “Where do Set Decor and Properties people find the pieces for use on sets? What are the responsibilities of the Script Supervisor? They all do an awesome job!”

A: On the first day of prep every prop and costume gets discussed and before filming starts (there is a 15-day prep that takes place during the fifteen days when the previous two episodes are being filmed). This gives everyone time to determine what exactly needs to be bought, rented or otherwise obtained to fill what is called for in the script.
The script supervisor – once again Mr. Wayne Pells this season – is on set for every moment of filming. He ensures that what is written on the page is what gets captured by the cameras. An actor may change a line during a take. Wayne will inform the director and if the line works they may keep it. Or the actor will be told to change it for the next take. The script supervisor also is responsible for continuity (other than costumes) and he makes notes regarding any changes that are made in scenes, from the actors’ lines to the look of the scene. These are invaluable during the post-production process.  

Brooke Coffman asks, “Do you have any storylines for Scott? He needs a love interest.”

A: Of course Scott will be back in season 11. He needs a love interest, huh? Interesting.

Tony Smith asks, “I'm writing a new Heartland story and when I'm done I'd like to send a copy to Alisha Newton (Georgie) what are the chances she'd see it?”

A: If you address it to her personally and send it to the address listed in the Fan Mail section at the bottom of this page she will receive it. It may take some time, but she will receive it as long as it is personally marked to her on the outside of the envelope.

Brooks Raddatz asks, “How did you film Mongolia in season 10?”

A: In the popular “Borden Without Borders” clips, much of the footage was shot by Graham Wardle himself, when he went to Mongolia on vacation. The scenes with the yurt and the bear, and all scenes involving Bob, were filmed in the Badlands of Alberta, near the town of Drumheller, which can double for the Gobi Desert.

Tiffany Reynolds asks, “Any chance of another Fan Day for Season 11?”

A: Nothing has been planned, as the first few scripts do not call for a crowd scene. If one does occur later in the year I will put out a call for extras. Production has done this four years in a row. I’ll give everyone plenty of notice if it is going to be five.

Pam Dias asks, my question is: the series still has many years of life ahead of you !? You weigh in to record for how many years !? “

A: Heartland is like most television series. A decision to renew is based on the ratings of the previous season and other factors, such as the interest of the producers to want to continue (which they certainly do). So we know there will be an 18-episode season 11. If it performs well on CBC in Canada then a decision will be made regarding a possible twelfth season. The decision to renew is based solely on how well the season performs in Canada.

Cheryl Jennings Rager asks, “When will the next season be on Netflix?”

A: Because I have no idea which country you are in and because there are 200 Netflix countries, each with a different catalogue, I have to again request that you ask your own country’s Netflix.

Emily Rose asks, “Will we see the first time Amy rides again after having the baby?”

A: We certainly missed seeing Amy riding. You are going to get that in the very first episode!


Debbie Bernard Krzus asks, “Will Heartland be adding any baby boys or solid stable men to the show any time soon that will be regulars on the show? It is becoming a show of all women and girls.”

A: I’ve only read the first two scripts, but I doubt we’ll see any baby boys this year. And just because Amy and Ty have added 1 female into the mix I wouldn’t call it having all women and girls. Yes, it is not Bonanza, which was a western series about a father on a ranch with three grown sons, but there will be more characters added this year, both male and female. And I did mention that Mitch is coming back. I’d call Mitch a solid stable man.

Dean Cascarelle Jr. writes, “So happy there will be more it seems like all other shows are leaving but not Heartland want to see it for many more years.”

A: You are certainly not alone.

Andreas Constantinou asks, “BW I have a question. About Ty's Amy's loft. How do you build a place to live in without a door? What kind of a privacy can anybody have? Now that they have a baby, how is that going to work for them?”

A: This will be addressed in the upcoming season.

Brittany Tunshell asks, Hi BW. Have they fixed the Heartland ranch game on facebook, I would love to play it if it is up and running. I asked you this question last time you had a ask a question cession but nothing has happened yet. So are they going to fix the game or make a new one?

A: Brittany – thanks for your question. I am looking to get an answer to this but I do not have it yet. When I do get one I will let you know.

Meghan Thibodeau writes, “Hey BW, “Is Heartland merchandise available for purchase anywhere? My daughter is constantly asking for a poster for her room, and I can't find anything when I search online. Thanks!”

A: Posters are not for sale. Clothing is, however. The officially licensed and exclusive home for Heartland Merchandise can be found at wearheartland.com.

Susan Harris asks, “When filming takes place at Maggie's are visitors/locals able to watch?”

A: There is a perimeter set up and the public can stand outside and watch. If scenes take place outside you will be able to watch some filming. If the scenes are restricted to inside the diner then there will not be much to see. Production does not announce which days they are filming or what scenes are being filmed ahead of time.

Deb DeLooze asks, “Are there going to be any "Extra" opportunities this filming season? When Ty was in the hospital in Calgary, where was that filmed? And will any of the actors be attending the Calgary Stampede?

A: Three good questions, so I will answer them all. Don’t know yet about the extras, but if a crowd scene is called for which will call for fans as extras I will make a big announcement here. An empty building in the Bridgeland neighbourhood of Calgary was turned into a working hospital for the last two episodes of season 10. And Heartland will be on hiatus during the Calgary Stampede. Most of the cast will not be in Calgary. Any that do attend the Stampede will do so on their own. If they wish to share that info they can.

Elaine Hagglund asks, “With all the stuff that has happened to Ty, I hope the writers will let him enjoy his family next season. Drama is fine, but stop trying to kill him!”

A: Heartland’s writers are excellent. I don’t think Ty will be in any grave danger this year. Well… at least not in the first two episodes, for those are the only scripts I’ve read.

Chris Beasley writes, “BW, over the years, you have answered many questions for us. Many of these have been repeats...so, I am going to ask some totally new questions in hopes that you will find them a "challenge" to answer.”

1. There is a new building next to the quonzet hut that was built a couple of years ago, and though, since I am in the U.S., and haven't seen all of season 10 yet, the building did not appear to show up in season 9 episodes (that I could tell). Can you tell us anything about this building?

A: The Heartland ranch is on private land and the owner of the property has made some changes and additions. The building you mention is not part of the world of Heartland and will not be seen in
any episodes.

2. Can you tell us anything about the filming locations of some of the following...Hudson Vet Clinic, Mrs. Bell's home, old farm that Amy and Ty dreamed of buying a few seasons back, Victor's home that Amy went to visit (217-still think this is my favorite episode), Jack's fishing cabin, Mr. Hanley's home and barn, and last, but not least (for now, hee hee)...the jumping course in the meadow that Ty set up for Amy. As a land surveyor, the outdoors and the filming locations are of special interest to me. I have already found many of the other locations and have traveled to those in the past when visiting the area (with all due respect to property owners, of course). So, any info that you can give on these additional locations would be greatly appreciated.

A: Great question, but unfortunately part of the terms of production using private properties is that the location cannot be revealed. Sorry.

3. A couple of times, you have talked about the clothing that the actors wear and some of the brands of clothing were even mentioned. Can you give any more info on the clothes? I have found a few of the shirts while shopping on line, but it would be nice to be able to find some of these pieces to add to my own clothing collection. Of special interest are the boots that Amy wears when visiting Victor (she wears them in a couple of other episodes as well). They appear to be brown suede with fleece...and may be a lace up style. Any other clothing details would be greatly appreciated.

A: The costumes worn in the early seasons of Heartland are no longer readily available. It is difficult for crew to recall items from last season, unless they are still being used, let alone from 6 years ago. I try to answer these as best I can, but I would be devoting too much time going through a decade’s worth of costumes which are stored in a warehouse.

Martha Olver asks,

1) Over the years some of the images in the opening credits have changed ... I really miss the one of Amy and Spartan riding toward us ... any chance that it could be put back in?

A: It has been necessary to make modifications to the title sequence due to the changing looks of the cast. The editors have done a great job keeping it within the time limit allowed.

2) I really like the character Margo -the midwife - which performer plays her?

A: Sasha Barry played Margo in two episodes.

3) How old is Remi? - The character and the performer?

A: Remi – who is owned by Amber Marshall - was born April 26, 2010. She plays her own age.

Pauline Jourdain asks, “Hello BW :) I was wondering how the process of writing the scripts is organized? I mean, when all the cast & crew know that there will be a new season, when are they beginning to write the scripts? Do they have to write all the scripts from Ep 01 to Ep 18 in like 3 weeks?”

A: I’ve given a short answer earlier, but I will devote a future blog just to Heartland’s script writing, and I will get some interesting stuff from the writers themselves.

Patty Edzards asks, “I have never seen any reference as to where the Dude Ranch is filmed. I know we cannot have specifics, but is it actually close to where the Heartland ranch is filmed?”

A: Yes, it is still in the Millarville area, about a ten minute drive from the ranch set.

Beth Hosey Burdeshaw-Pace  writes, “OH BW, I know what I wanted to ask. When will the music list be updated? It hasn't been since Feb., and ended on ep-1014. Thank you!! I'm a SUPER FAN of ALL the Heartland music as well!!!!!! I really hope that Keith Power is still in that place!!!”

A: Yes, Keith is back, and the music list will be updated in the near future.
 


Whew (Again) !

So that’s it for me. If I didn’t get to your question it may be I answered it when someone else asked it, or I didn’t know the answer. But I hope you found the above interesting.

We’ll do this again in the future, and your questions and comments also give me ideas on what upcoming blogs can focus on.

Speaking of focus, here are some more images from season 10; some of which you have not seen before. I will be back next week with more photos and of course news about how the first two days of filming went. In the meanwhile I shall remain, as always, obediently yours.