DGC Ontario Location Manager Scott Alexander, along with Location Manager Anne Richardson and their team, found the GTA stand-in locations for the Emmy nominated U.S. period drama Mrs. America, now streaming on FX Canada. We spoke with Scott about his favourite location for the show and how he’s handling the current production shutdown.
How are you doing during this crisis?
I am doing well. I am keeping busy around the house and getting into more Lego projects with my son. On one hand it’s been great to spend so much time with my family, normally limited due to the hours we work in this industry. However the stress of not knowing when everything will start back up again weighs on you. As well as depleting your savings so rapidly, but we are managing well and trying to keep a positive outlook for when we start back up again.
How did you get involved with Mrs. America?
One of the original producers, Joe Boccia, contacted me and convinced me to come on board. He was instrumental in selling me on the challenges of the show location-wise and the era in which it took place. Knowing that he was going to be involved, along with Production Manager Melissa Girotti, I knew that the Locations department would be supported fully and allowed to do what we needed to make things happen for the project.
What was your favourite Location on Mrs. America?
Mrs. America had so many fantastic locations, but one of my favourites would have to be the Schlafly residence out at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus (Lislehurst Estate). The staff out there were amazing and very accommodating and willing to work with us on everything from getting the house as an exclusive location for many months and adapting to our ever-changing schedule and requests. The interior of the house was amazing; so much of it met the needs for the period of the show. It also was set so far back on the campus that we didn’t have any disturbances, which made filming there a massive plus for our show.
What is the best/most helpful advice you’ve received or given for enduring these trying times?
Just keep your head up, there are brighter times ahead. Know that this is affecting not only our industry here in Ontario but the entire industry as a whole, so unlike SARS we know that this is the new normal for everyone around the world.
What are you watching/reading/listening to stay positive these days?
We have been watching a ton of stuff on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Watching Bob’s Burgers on the City TV app has been a godsend for us. The Bodyguard on Netflix is an amazing show and we are binge watching Ozark. Chasing a seven-year-old around and keeping him entertained really helps to distract you from the depressing news.