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Season 16 of Heartland is currently filming, and the series first premiered on CBC in 2007. For fans wondering how filming works for the long-running TV show, actor Amber Marshall shared some behind-the-scenes secrets on the Hallmarkies Podcast.

Jack and Amy stand near a river in season 14 of 'Heartland'
Shaun Johnston and Amber Marshall in ‘Heartland’ | Courtesy of CBC.

Amber Marshall revealed how filming for ‘Heartland’ works

In Heartland, Marshall plays the show’s main character, Amy Fleming. The show follows Amy and her family on their farm, Heartland Ranch. Not only is Heartland a long-running show, but it also has multiple sets, including the ranch, the family’s home, outside in nature, rodeo grounds, horse show rings, and more.

On the Hallmarkies Podcast, Marshall described how the cast and crew manage to make such an expansive show.

“So there’s three weeks of pre-production, is what we call it, before we go to film each block,” said Marshall. “So we film two episodes at a time. So if you’re watching the show we would be filming one and two at the same time, then three and four at the same time… what that means is we don’t go in order. We take scripts one and two and put them together like they’re a two-hour movie.”

Filming ‘Heartland’ involves a lot of ‘prep’

To make filming as streamlined as possible, the cast will film all the scenes needed in one location at a time.

“And then we take all the scenes out of them that happen in the kitchen and do all those together. Then all the scenes that happen at the rodeo grounds out of those two episodes and do them together,” Marshall said on the podcast.

She continued, “And we shoot that, each block is three weeks long. So as we’re filming those two episodes over the three weeks, simultaneously to all this behind the scenes, there’s a whole other crew that’s prepping the next two episodes.”

Because Heartland involves multiple sets and uses animals in many scenes, Marshall revealed that preparing for filming takes a lot of time.

“So how it kind of happens when we have different horse action scenes like the rodeo or whatever, they will completely prep that out before we get there so they will know exactly how many horses they need, how many stunt doubles, what the setup is,” Marshall said on the Hallmarkies Podcast.


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Amber Marshall thinks filming for ‘Heartland’ can run ‘smoothly’

While filming for Heartland can sound quite complicated, Marshall does not think this is the case. Because of the amount of planning that goes into each season, the actor thinks the process goes “smoothly” when it is time to actually film scenes.

“We show up on set that day, everything’s ready, it’s all been blocked out ahead of time,” Marshall said on the Hallmarkies Podcast. “It makes it run so smoothly.”