The Last Summer Hiatus Blog

Posted on Sep 1, 2016

After last week’s monster-sized blog I thought I would get away by answering a few questions this week.
And I will address any and all that were posted in the comments section of last week’s blog, but there is a bit of housekeeping I wish to take care of as well, so let me do that now…

1) Production resumes on season 10 on Tuesday, September 6, the day after Labour Day. Production tweets will resume as cast & crew get back at it. There are more than four full blocks of two episodes each remaining to film, so there is a lot of production work still to be done.

2) Today – September 1 – season 7 of Heartland has been added to Netflix in the United States. Canada is still waiting for season 9 to be added to Netflix and it will be in the near future, but in the meanwhile all episodes of Heartland from seasons 1 through 9 can be watched on the CBC Player.

3) And yes it is September 1 and that means one month from tomorrow season 10 will premiere on CBC Television across Canada at 7:00pm (7:30pm in Newfoundland). So that means our countdown is down to 31 days. How exciting is that?

4) Now I wish to address the Fans Extras Day, which has been jostled and moved around since it was first announced. Yesterday on our social media sites I announced that although production cannot confirm the date yet, it WILL be one of the 26th, 27th, 28th or 29th of September. I hope to know which of those four days it will be by next Friday. When I do I will then notify those who are being accepted as extras by email and I will then post on Facebook and on Twitter that I have done that. So there is no need to keep checking your email “every ten minutes” if you have applied. Everyone accepted will be done so in the order of first come, first serve, until capacity has been reached. However –

5) I know that a few Fan of the Month recipients (FOTM) are going to be in the area for the Calgary International Film Festival Celebration on October 2. Since the Fan Extras Day is so close to that day I would like to extend an invitation to any FOTMs who are able and willing to be part of the Fan Extras Day (whenever it falls in Sept 26 – 29). If you are a FOTM and you want to be part of the crowd and watch production please private message me on the Heartland on CBC Facebook Page. Only FOTMs will be accepted. Please note – these are in addition to everyone else who will be accepted by email. That number has not changed.

So that’s it for housekeeping (A Blog Whisperer’s work is never done!!!)

And now to answer your questions…

Vanessa Hopkins Pretty wrote, Oh my gracious I can not tell you how excited I am for this season to begin!! I am new to Heartland and binge watched all 9 seasons in a couple months, so I am very anxious for this new season!!
A: Not a question Vanessa, but I think you have stated what many fans in Canada have been thinking. I’ll let you in on a poorly kept secret: every one of the cast & crew and all at CBC are anxious for season 10 as well.

Heather Bickel asks, Will the screening of the first episode of season 10 be like the wedding event that was held in Toronto for the season 8 finale? What I mean by this is, will the episode be live-streamed, like the wedding was, or is the advanced screening only allowed for those who attend the event, and those who were unable to attend have to wait until the next day?
A: The special season 10 premiere that is part of the Calgary International Film Festival will only be for those in attendance at the event. Season 10 will premiere with episode 1001 on Sunday, October 2 for all of Canada to watch for the first time.

Adam Thompson writes, Love the show can’t wait for season 10 keep up the great work.
A: Thanks Adam. Sometimes it is so much fun it doesn’t seem like work, but it is and everyone is thrilled that Heartland has found a large appreciative audience.

Emily Wright asks, Hello from Tennessee! I am wondering how many (if any) cast members have ever read any of the Heartland book series. That is how I got introduced to Heartland in the first place (13 years ago), and I discovered the show last summer. I may or may not have watched 6 seasons in 2 months...
A: A few of the cast had read some of the books and others did once they were cast in their roles, but because the television story lines are so different from the books now the cast tends to just read the scripts as they come out.

David Mentch asks, Was Heartland ever shot on s16mm film, seasons 1-3?
A: Heartland was one of the last television series shot on film. Although it no longer isnow, the first three seasons were photographed on 16mm film stock.

Laura Spencer states, I hope even after season 10 there will be many seasons to come to look forward to.
A: You are not alone with that sentiment Laura. Many of the cast & crew & the CBC want to see Heartland go on for years!

Katherine Lowe asks, It's more of a question for the actors, but I was wondering how much they used the books as a guideline for their characters?
A: Not very much. Actors have to develop their own character to fit the scripts and they tend not to rely on external influences. This is especially true since the television series differs so much from the book series.

Cindy Brunson asks, Why don't we have meet and greets in the USA? We love heartland too! Specifically Salt Lake City, Utah. !!!!!!
A: It is expensive to fly cast around for meet & greets. Except for a few fall launches the cast has not been to major Canadian cities, let alone in the U.S. The truth is it takes a lot of time and work to film the series from May through December and during this period there is very little time for the cast to have time to themselves. From January through April many are also working on other projects. While the cast does love meeting fans their busy schedules often prevent it.

Rebecca Kidd asks, BW, I was wondering if you knew the song that played during the scene in season 8 where Ty & Amy take the horses for a swim. Also, is this the same area that Ty spread his Dad's ashes. This area looks so beautiful & peaceful.
A: Rebecca, the problem with being on hiatus is that there is no one to answer all the questions. I don’t know the song from season 8, but I will find out for you and post it here. But I do know the second part of your question. It is the same area and it is Great Barrier Lake in Kananaskis country, about two-thirds of the way between Calgary and Banff. It is a provincial park and it is indeed beautiful and peaceful.

Taylor Price asks, I was wondering if Amy has a middle name? I kinda hope it's Marion.
A: Nope. This has been asked before and the writers have told me that Amy has no middle name.

Kristena pettit asks, I was wondering if amber has had the baby and what did she have thank you. I love watching Heartland it is one of my favorite shows.
A: Thanks for being a fan Kristena, but you won’t find this Blog Whisperer giving away any spoilers. I am assuming you are asking about Amy. I will repeat that she will have a baby sometime in season 10, but when? You’ll just have to watch and find out.

Ethan Mousseau asks, Hi BW, could u please tell me when Heartland's Season 9 will be released on DVD in the US?
A: No date has been set, and it is usually some time after the season has aired in any country. In the US season 9 only starts airing next week, so you have some time to wait. However, season 9 will be available in Canada on November 1, so perhaps you can order it then.

Bonnie Sisco asks, What does Ty's wife & Amy's husband think of all the kissing??
A: Well, since Ty’s wife is Amy and since Amy’s husband is Ty I don’t think they mind it at all!
Okay, I know what you mean. You could ask the same question of any of the hundreds of married actors and actresses who are on television, in films and on stage where they have to kiss someone other than their spouse. It’s called acting, and like many others in the profession Graham Wardle (Ty) and Amber Marshall (Amy) do it well. Their spouses completely understand.

Mao Yang, BW, I want to know how you got this job, Why you choose to keep your identity a secret, and will you ever or eventually reveal your name to us fans?
A: Wow! Mao! Pretty direct with the questions. Okay then… I answered a classified ad in the National Post that intrigued me. It read, “Blog Whisperer needed for CBC family horse drama. Must love horses and must be able to answer the same question over 500 times. Identity will remain secret.” I applied and nearly ten years later here I am. I keep my identity secret because I work on other series and films and I also like my privacy. I will however reveal my name once Heartland has finished its run, which I’m hoping means not for many more years.

Sally Booker asks, I have just found the Heartland series and think it is amazing. I have bought season 1-8 and really enjoyed them and I am no spring chicken so the series is for everyone. You were talking about season 9 in your blog and how it will be available in Canada but I live in Australia and I was wondering if it will be available in Aus. Thank you for you blog it is very interesting.
A: Thanks Sally. Yes, the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) has the rights to Heartland in your country and they will be releasing seasons 9 and 10 in due time. Best to ask them when they plan on doing so.

Tim Benfield asks, Hi is it possible to get cast photos for specific actors?
A: If you click on FAN MAIL on this page and send a letter or card to the address listed and on the outside address it to a specific actor it will be delivered to that cast member. Heartland does not have an official fan club per se, and so it is impossible to respond to requests marked “To Heartland,” so please specify on the envelope which cast member you wish to receive the fan mail, and they will get it. It may take some time because of the volume of mail that arrives.

Willie Borland asks, To BW - do you ride? If so, how come? If not, why not?
A: I’ve not mentioned Bloggy, who resides in an Ontario stable with a big screen television so he can watch Heartland on Sunday nights (He loves the horses!). Bloggy loves going for rides although he is getting on now. Why do I ride? Ride a horse once and you’ll know the answer to that question!

Patricia Lepine asks, I understand Graham (Ty) was married last September. Why not show us a few pictures of his Wedding?
A: We respect the privacy of each cast & crew member. If anyone wishes wedding or vacation photos to appear on social media they can put them up on their own sites. What each Heartland employee does in their spare time is their own business.

Kate Anderson asks, I know that 99% of the horses used on heartland are quarter horses, however what breed of horse is typically used to portray the jumpers? For example, Ahmed's horses? I'm going to guess warmbloods or maybe thoroughbreds....??
A: That’s a great question and I am going to ask the wranglers about the breakdown. American Quarterhorses are many on the series, but it is nowhere near 99%. That would mean for Sugarfoot there would have to be 99 quarterhorses. For Monty another 99 quarterhorses. And for Tim and Janice’s racehorses 99 more quarterhorses. Let me find out, and I’ll put it up in a future blog.

Megan Fults asks, When will the synopsis for each episode in season 10 come out? And a sneak peek?
A: The one sentence logline for each episode is given to the TV listings people about two weeks ahead of broadcast. On the Thursday before each broadcast my blog will go into great detail. As for a sneak peek, CBC is putting together some promos that will be running very soon for all of you to watch.

Missy Stultz asks, BW I have a question for you. Do the actors call each other by their real names instead of their character names during filming? I know I would love to see that. Will the cast and crew come to Missouri? Because I know there are a lot of Heartlanders here.
A: The actors are pretty good at getting their lines correct, but if they were to call each other by their real names instead of their character names it would be reshot. And please read my answer from the Salt Lake City fan above.

Pauline Jourdain asks, I have a question, Amber participated in the Canadians Screen Awards in 2013, 2014, 2015 (if I remember well), and you say that it's Alisha Newton who will participate this year at the Canadian country music awards. It's different isn't it? Will Amber participate in the Canadian Screen Awards for this year?
A: Yes Alisha will be on the live broadcast of the CCMAs on Sunday, September 10. The Canadian Country Music Awards are completely different than the CSAs – the Canadian Screen Awards. No one has been asked to participate yet. The deadline to submit television projects for consideration is still a week away, so who will appear on the awards show is a long way from being determined.

Kristen Kingsley asks, So this question isn't exactly related to season 10 but i am super excited for it! . But I've been rewatching the show from the beginning, and I was just curious as to where did the wolf/dog Lobo go in season 6..? Like he just disappears.
A: The dog Lobo was an older dog and he passed away. Near the end he was very uncomfortable being on set so he was dropped from the series rather than write him out.

Emily White asks, Any netflix Canada release date for season 9 yet? I love Heartland!
A: That was the subject of yesterday’s What’s Up Wednesday on Facebook. Short answer? No idea but it should be soon and as soon as I know you will all know cause I will post it as soon as I know.

Debbie Diaconescu asks, Has the season 9 DVD in Canada come out yet? I'm really looking forward to watching the season 9 DVD. Thanks BW!
A: You are welcome. Season 9 gets released in Canada, complete with extras, on November 1. Season 9 is already for sale in the UK, but without the extras. I think most of you want to wait for the extras, no?

Willie Borland asks, What help did Heartland's producers receive in the earliest days of preparation for the first full season - when they were searching for locations for the ranch and other outdoor areas?
A: Heartland has an excellent Locations Manager by the name of Brian Dunne. Brian sits down with the producers when each script is written and he goes over the location requirements and then he goes out and finds a selection of locations that could possibly work. The producers and the director then settle on one that fits the needs of the script(s). For permanent series filming locations, such as the ranch set, the Dude Ranch, Maggie’s Diner and Ty’s/Caleb’s trailer, long term deals have to be negotiated and agreed upon. This is all part of what a location manager does.

Theresa Molesky asks, I'm new to the Blog.. My husband & I absolutely LOVE Heartland! So much that we're hoping to take a trip to enjoy beautiful Alberta in person next year for our anniversary. My question is: Did the actors/actresses have to take riding lessons to be as comfortable riding as they appear? I know Amber has personal experience but does a stunt double do many of the training/riding 'Amy' does on the show?
A: Most of the cast are comfortable riding horses. Shaun Johnston (Jack) and Amber Marshall (Amy) have ridden for years and Chris Potter (Tim), Nathaniel Arcand (Scott) had ridden before being cast on Heartland. Graham Wardle (Ty) played a greenhorn in season 1, so he learned to ride as his character did. The wranglers and Heartland’s stunt coordinator – Tom Eirikson – conduct a one week “cowboy camp” for cast who need to look proficient on a horse but have little experience. Kerry James (Caleb) went through the training and he looks like a seasoned veteran on his horse, no?
No cast member is ever asked to do anything they are not comfortable and so yes, even Amy/Amber has stunt doubles for certain jumps and for requirements like falling off a horse.

Crystal Leckie asks, I was wondering if there will be a season 11 of Heartland?
A: What a great last question to answer.
When a season airs no one knows if it will be renewed for another season. Sometimes the producers get tired of it, but that is not the case here. Sometimes the numbers drop off as the fans tire of it, but since season 10 was the most watched season ever of Heartland and because season 9 was better watched than season 8 which was better watched than season 7 which was better watched than season 6 I think you know the fans are all for more seasons. In other words, everything is in place for a long run. As long as season 10 does well I am pretty confident you may see additional seasons. Of course there are never any guarantees, other than Tim and Jack will always bicker!

Whew! That was a ton of questions. I skipped the repeats and some non-questions containing massive praise but otherwise I answered them all the best I could. That’s what a Blog Whisperer does.

I’ll be back next week with more photos and news and we enter the 20s(!) with our countdown. Until then I remain – as always – obediently yours.