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Under the Banner of Heaven TV series filming in Carstairs

“Ron Howard. Yeah, that’s got everyone buzzing,” said Town of Carstairs Mayor Lance Colby
MVT filming
Production crews amassed in parking lots surrounding the Carstairs Curling Club during two days of filming Under the Banner of Heaven in the town. Lea Smaldon/MVP Staff

CARSTAIRS - The town was awash in excitement last week as filming began on a new FX limited television series, giving residents a taste of what’s to come.

Filming for Under the Banner of Heaven got underway in Carstairs Aug. 18 and 19.

According to FX Network, the series is inspired by Jon Krakauer’s bestselling non-fiction novel detailing the double murder committed by Ron and Dan Lafferty -- members of a splinter group of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The limited series that is underway was created by Dustin Lance Black and stars Andrew Garfield. It tells the story of a devout detective whose faith is tested when investigating a brutal murder and its connections to a Utah family’s spiral into fundamentalism.

Ron Howard and Brian Grazer will executive produce it along with Samie Falvey, Anna Culp, Jason Bateman, Michael Costigan and David Mackenzie. Mackenzie was expected to direct the first two episodes.

“Ron Howard. Yeah, that’s got everyone buzzing,” said Town of Carstairs Mayor Lance Colby.

A chance sighting of Andrew Garfield, or in some cases, a chance meeting, had many people abuzz, too. Garfield is known for roles in Hacksaw Ridge, The Social Network and several Spider-Man movies, among others.

Colby said Under the Banner of Heaven comes on the heels of the filming of a Brett Kissel music video in town and welcomed the crews to Carstairs.

“It just gives more exposure to our town. Gives you a good feeling that they want to come here, like the town versus others places, that’s really good for a town to get your name out there, your town’s name out there so people hear more about your town,” Colby said.

Aside from the excitement of having big Hollywood names in town, Colby said many residents were interested in the production as well. Some streets were closed intermittently, chance extra opportunities arose and even a home’s exterior was used in scenes.

“I understand that if they have to change things in the area they’re filming, there’s some reimbursement for the inconvenience,” said Colby.

OP Banner Productions Inc. began filming scenes for an upcoming Under the Banner of Heaven episode at a house on McCrimmon Drive and the surrounding neighbourhood last Wednesday and Thursday after setting up behind Chinook Winds Lodge on Aug. 17.

Short vehicle delays were expected when interior scenes were filmed at the McCrimmon Drive location and crews worked to minimize road disruption when exteriors scenes were filmed around McCrimmon Drive and Macintosh Drive. A short driving scene was filmed on Gough Road between 10th Avenue and Macintosh Drive on the evening of Aug. 19.

OP Banner Productions says the location on McCrimmon Drive will be used as a recurring location for the show. Crews are expected to come back a few days each month until filming wraps Dec. 3.