Thursday, May 9th - Filming begins in 4 days!!!

Posted on May 9, 2013

A talking cow

Yep, as this articulate bovine succinctly states, the 5 weeks of nothing I identified on April 11's post is about to end, as Season 7 goes into full production on Monday! Yay! Click on through...

You know, there are only so many time killers and memories of Heartland's past that can be posted and now that the first two episodes of Season 7 are set to start filming on Monday, I'm going to be getting you a whole bunch of new content!

I took a little trip down memory lane and discovered this pic, the first production photo ever posted on this blog, back in August of 2008 from the set of Season 2...


This first ever behind the scenes photos prompted this in a comment by Heartland fan Michaela - "Oooooooo! This backstage stuff is juicy!!!!! You got to luv it... Keep up the good work!!!!!! Post more behind the scenes!!!!

Then let's flash ahead to May 13, 2009, which coincidentally was exactly 4 years ago from this Monday when Season 7 begins filming. This was the very first day of filming Heartland's 3rd Season...

Amy and Jack

That one got such an enthusiastic response that I had to do it again a year later, on May 17, 2010, during the first day of Season 4...


Season 4 was the first time I was able to get my hands on a lot of cool behind the scene photos, like this one...

Gramber, walking

And more from the beginning of Season 5 as well...

Amy and a horse well as the start of Season 6!

The crew, and Phoenix

So that's it for the past, 'cause starting Monday new memories are going to be created and I can write with authority that there will be lots of production photos coming your way from set when filming starts.

Now you probably know this, but each day there are new fans visiting this site, so I thought I'd explain the math of filming. I find this totally interesting, and I know a lot of you do as well!

A season of Heartland has 18 episodes. Ever since Season 2 this has been the case (Only Season 1 had less, with 13). Each season is broken down into 9 blocks of 2 episodes. It takes 15 days of production to film a block - each pair of episodes. Because filming takes place during the weekdays, that means that normally 2 episodes get shot in 3 weeks.

To do some rough math - a television hour is around 45 minutes, x 2 episodes = 90 minutes filmed in (divided by) 15 days = 6 minutes a day of final footage on average being shot. It doesn't sound like a lot, but each scene is filmed several times from different angles and not all of the footage is used. And it takes a lot of time to set up for each shot!

So why is Heartland not filmed one episode at a time? I thought you'd never ask! The reason is because it makes more economic sense to film two episodes at a time. There are tons (literally!) of trucks and equipment that are needed to film a TV series, and by filming two episodes at once, it means way less moving around for all this equipment. If there are scenes at the Heartland ranch (and there always are), all the scenes from episodes 701 and 702 can be shot together. Then everyone will move to a new location - maybe Maggie's Diner, Ty's trailer or the Dude Ranch - and all of the scenes from the two episodes that take place there can be shot. And so on, effectively cutting in half the number of moves which would be required if each episode was shot individually.

Now, every day on production for the past two seasons my spies have joined me on the official Heartland Twitter account (@HeartlandOnCBC) to tweet out all sorts of tidbits from production - live from set! And because those spies have all returned I just know we're going to be able to do that again, starting this Monday when Day 1 of 15 of the first block kicks off. So fire up Twitter and follow along - there's be stuff posted there that you won't find anywhere else.

Now some of you won't like me pointing this out, but as usual I'm going to be true to my New Year's resolution to not reveal too much. For example, if I'm told that a scene is being shot in a beautiful little cemetery I'll find out exactly what is being filmed there before I reveal anything. No spoilers from this Blog Whisperer!

Speaking of Tweets and Twitter, here are the OFFICIAL Twitter handles for the cast!

Amber Marshall: @Amber_Marshall

Michelle Morgan: @MichelleMorgan_

Graham Wardle: @Graham714

Kerry James: @KerryJames04

Jessica Amlee: @jkamlee

Alisha Newton: @alijnewton

These are all the real deal, so follow them! Just another Blog Whisperer public service!

That's it for this week. Next week brings a new time killer on Tuesday and a report from set on Thursday... and that's just on this blog. Who knows what else'll crop up elsewhere? [hint... hint...]

-Your friendly neighbourhood Blog Whisperer