Update April 29, 2013 – Had no idea I’d photographed Norman’s crush & one-time hookup Bradley Martin (Nicola Peltz, who’s co-starring in the next Transformers movie) in Horseshoe Bay. Now I wish I’d got there earlier to see Norma (Vera Farmiga) & Emma (Oliva Cooke) spying on Bradley in a yoga class.
In what cast calls an “incredible reimagining” of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Psycho, a teenage Norman Bates and his mother Norma Lousie Bates start fresh with the Bates Motel in the picturesque town of White Pine Bay, Oregon, filmed in the Vancouver area. Until yesterday, I’d never seen Freddie Highmore as future serial killer Norman on location for this upcoming A&E series from Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse (see the first promotional trailer) and Friday Night Lights producer Kerry Ehrin . Highmore didn’t look that different from his iconic role as young Peter in Finding Neverland but Bates Motel will be a vastly different world than Peter Pan’s.
On the surface White Pine Bay is as beautiful as its Vancouver locations but underneath there’s something dark and creepy going on. Think Friday Night Lights crossed with Twin Peaks. Normally Horseshoe Bay — on the edge of Howe Sound in West Vancouver — would count as one of those beautiful locations but yesterday it was dark and creepy on the surface too.
Bates Motel crew had turned Bay Market into Bay Market & Hardware for a scene of Norman (Freddie Highmore) and Norman’s step brother Dylan (Max Thieriot) buying supplies at a Fall Hardware Sale, carrying them out to the back of Dylan’s 4 x 4 and chatting with [Norman’s crush Bradley (Nicola Peltz)] who’d just been dropped off by her friends in a BMW.
Background performers crossed the intersection from all four corners and it proved difficult to stay out of the shot unless you kept behind the prop grey White Pine Bay Fish Co. van.
Rehearsal in the rain.
Filming in the rain without umbrellas and rain gear.
The young cast had more fun than you’d expect. I could see Freddie Highmore dancing around to keep warm between takes as Max Thieriot laughed at his antics.
Bates Motel is expected to premiere on A&E in March 2013.