Why does Heartland film two episodes at a time?

How does the Heartland shooting schedule work?

Today we take a brief look into Heartland's block-shooting process.

Behind the scenes of Heartland season 15 (Heartland Season 15 production)

Heartland is a big production with many moving parts and a large group of talented cast and crew who perform miracles, bringing audiences around the world new stories from the soon-to-be 15 season series universe (plus a small side-story with Hudson).  But, how is Heartland filmed?  How does the production make the show happen so quickly? Remember, production began in early-June and the new season will premiere in mid-October.

As I mentioned, Season 15 production first began in early-June. June 7th, to be exact.  And production of the new season is more than halfway complete.

As you may already know, Heartland production is broken down into periods that are about 15 days long, called blocks, where two episodes are filmed during each block. 

(Heartland Season 15 production)

This is why there is usually one director for two episodes in a row (not always the case, but often). During one director's block, a different director is typically preparing for the next block so that it can begin filming immediately after the current block has completed.

Watch Heartland on CBC Gem for Free (Canada)

Why is Heartland filmed this way?

Heartland takes place at a few main locations:

1. The ranch exterior, which is all of the beautiful scenery around the Heartland ranch including the barn, the gate, and the outside of the ranch house and surrounding area.

2. The dude ranch which includes the cabins and the lake with the dock and all of that surrounding area.

3. The town of High River Alberta, which includes the interior and exterior sets for Maggie's Diner. 

4. The studio in Calgary: This is where all of the interior sets are such as all of the rooms  inside of the ranch house, Lou's office, the interior of the barn, etc.

Sometimes there are also special locations in Alberta where episode-specific scenes are filmed.  An example of this would be around the town of Millarville, AB, where the race track and rodeo scenes (and sometimes other close locations) are filmed.

(Heartland Season 15 production)

Normally, the scenes from each episode are not filmed in the order they happen in the final episode, so by filming two episodes in the same block, all of the scenes that take place on a particular set for both episodes, can be filmed at the same time. And all of the filming equipment and trucks and other production-related services and infrastructure that go into making the episode don't have to be moved around as much, making it more efficient in time and cost.

(Heartland Season 15 production)

So there you have it.  Shooting two episodes at a time in these two-weeks-ish blocks allows for more Heartland to be produced in a shorter time.

That's all for today folks. Actually, there is one more thing: I want to send a huge thank you to all of the fans that sent in their video questions for the cast.  We won't get to show all of the questions in the Q&A, but I've sent them all up the chain for consideration. 

Be sure to watch the Youtube live premiere of the Heartland Season 15 Launch Event when it comes out sometime before the new season.  I'll keep you posted about the date, so check this blog and the official social media channels regularly.  

It will be presented in a similar way to last season's Virtual Fan Day, so you can imagine, if you tune in for the live presentation, you will see some things before anyone else! 

And, if you are in Canada, don't miss the Heartland Season 15 premiere on Sunday, October 17th at 7 p.m. (7:30NT)!